[Watch] BJP Govt In Odisha To Promote Nature Tourism: Deputy CM Pravati Parida

Bhubaneswar: A day after being assigned Women and Child Development, Mission Shakti and Tourism departments, Deputy Chief Minister Pravati Parida on Sunday said that efforts will made to draw nature lovers to Odisha, which abounds with natural wonders from breathtaking beaches and lakes to a wide variety of wildlife nestled in some of the most beautiful forests.

“I want to thank CM Mohan Charan Majhi for giving me this responsibility. The state has seen majority of development in spiritual tourism with pilgrims visiting Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri. We will work for the nature-loving tourists coming to Odisha,” Parida told ANI.

She added that the state has not witnessed much development in nature tourism despite having the potential. “Finance was never an issue. There was lack of political willpower. The previous BJD governments did not do much for the development of this sector. We could not develop tourism or other sectors much despite having a long and beautiful coastline. Our government with the help from the Centre will develops the sites of tourism importance,” she said.

Talking about her priorities as Women and Child Development Minister, Parida said that the state government would make women the stakeholders of development. “In the state, ‘Mission Shakti’ was just for name sake but there was no empowerment of women. BJP made two deputy chief ministers and ensured that one of them was a woman. We will ensure that women are a part of the development story in our state,” she said.

The Deputy CM said that efforts will be made to ensure that schemes/programmes of the Centre, having a bearing on nutrition, reach the grassroots. “For the holistic development of women, our government will make them aware of their legal rights, make them economically and socially empowered and make them stakeholders of development,” she added.

Parida also emphasised that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating women-led development and the the state government will follow this. “The tourism department was perhaps given to me to ensure development women-led tourists sites,” she added.

On Saturday, Governor Raghubar Das assigned departments to 16 ministers on advise of the CM. The chief minister has kept weighty departments like Home, General Administration and Public Grievance, Finance, Water Resources, Planning and Convergence, Information and Public Relation and departments not specifically assigned to other ministers.

This is perhaps for the first time, a chief minister has preferred to keep Information and Public Relation department with him.

The other Deputy Chief Minister KV Singhdeo has been given two important portfolios of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment and Power. This assumes significance with the government having announced to provide a support price of Rs 3,100 per quintal of paddy to the farmers under Samrudh Krushak Niti.

Of the eight ministers in Cabinet rank, senior leader and Brajrajnagar MLA Suresh Pujari has been given charge of Revenue and Disaster Management department. Kuchinda MLA Rabi Narayan Naik, a farmer leader,  has been given Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Supply. Health and Family Welfare along with Parliamentary Affairs and Electronic and Information Technology departments has been allotted to Dr Mukesh Mahaling. The Housing and Urban Development department has gone to Morada MLA Krushna Chandra Mohapatra along with Public Enterprise.

Tribal leader and MLA from Umerkote, Nityananda Gond has got three departments – School and Mass Education, Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare, and Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department has gone to Dhenkanal MLA Krushna Chandra Patra while Prithiviraj Harichandan, a first-time MLA from Chilika, has been assigned three powerful departments like Law, Works and Excise. Steel and Mines has been given to Bibhuti Bhusan Jena, the Gopalpur MLA, along with Commerce and Transport.

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