Bhubaneswar: The union minister for petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan has demanded that the Odisha government should initiate the process of setting up a medical college at Bhadrak and establishment of a hostel for girls belonging to minority community in the State.

Pradhan, in a letter to the chief minister Naveen Patnaik, has stated that the State government should take advantage of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakaram(PMJVK) of the minority affairs ministry for setting up a medical college in Bhadrak. He has pointed out that the ministry sanctions projects under the PMJVK only in the identified minority concentration areas where there is more than 25% minority population and the area is relatively backward in socio-economic and basic amenities parameters as compared to the national average.

The Centre bears 60% of the capital cost of the project, while the State chips in 40%.

The minister, in a separate letter to the union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, has urged to allow projects like girls hostel, residential schools, ITIs skill centres in locations where students belonging to minority communities migrate to in search of better facilities for education, skill, healthcare in the state capitals and other metropolitan cities.

“I request you to instruct expeditious action for making provisions to cover major cities as well as state capitals under PMJVK scheme, so that infrastructure support in priority sectors such as education, health, skill, women empowerment etc, can be made available in these cities as well,” Pradhan wrote.