Nagada village to get urban facilities: Odisha government
The nondescript hilltop Nagada village in Odisha’s mineral-rich Jajpur district would soon get urban facilities, the state government said on Friday, amid criticism from various quarters over the death of at least 19 infants allegedly due to malnutrition.
The official announcement came a day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said all steps are being taken to avoid repetition of malnutrition cases.
Though the state government has identified about 20 malnourished children at the village, it is yet to admit that the 19 kids died due to lack of nutritious food within three months.
“The government has already opened a Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre at the village where 25 children along with their mothers are being provided special care and treatment,” Agriculture Secretary Manoj Aghuja told reporters after meeting Chief Secretary A P Padhi in Bhubaneshwar.
Besides Ahuja, Agriculture Commissioner P K Meherda also visited the affected village on Thursday.
Stating that a Health Camp would operate from Friday at the foot of the hill, Ahuja said all inhabitants of the village would undergo health check ups.
As malaria appeared to be the main disease there, all the 85 families living in five sectors of Nagada village would be provided medicated mosquito nets, he said.
Claiming that one anganwadi centre has been operating there, Ahuja said the government has sanctioned three more
mini-anganwadi centres for the 85 juang tribe families. All the families are covered under the food security
programmes and they are being given food grains, he said.
On communication, Ahuja said efforts are being made to build two roads — one from Jajpur side and another from
Dhenkanal side — to the village as the tribals are reluctant to come down from their habitation on the hill top.
The government has also decided to install a solar panel at the hill top for lighting the village, he said.
This apart, Ahuja said, “One VHF set has already been installed at the village and plans are there to provide two
more VHF sets for easy communication with the plain”.
The state government is also working on a plan to provide piped water to the villagers, he said, adding that officials will visit Nagada regularly to monitor developmental works.
Meanwhile, Jajpur district collector S K Mallick said the number of children hospitalised in Kaliapani has increased to 22 from 19 on Thursday.
The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has asked the state government to submit an action-taken report within three weeks over the incident.
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