Bhubaneswar: “Prepare innovative projects based on potential of your district for elevating people to the height of a surplus level of living”, the Odisha chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra told the district collectors on Wednesday. He gave this direction while reviewing the present state of development and future prospects of growth in each district over video conferencing.

Mahapatra said, “Now that the coverage of the schemes focused on necessities like food, water, housing, road and electricity have expanded considerably towards saturation, the districts should plan for achieving next higher stage of development”. This will be possible, added Mahapatra, “with identification of district wise potential in terms of agro-climatic zone, natural and human resources; and, molding those to definite projects for harnessing the opportunities”.

Mahapatra directed Collectors of all districts to identify “missing links in the matters like all-weather connectivity to all villages, irrigation for more than one crop, livelihood enhancement, crop diversification, agricultural marketing, escalation of income generation, pipe water supply, extension of health services and intensification of economic activities”. They were also directed to expedite implementation of infrastructural projects through proactive action for forest clearance, tree falling permission, issue of no objection certificates, land acquisition.

The development commissioner Pardeep Kumar Jena advised the collectors to find ‘missing links’ in different infrastructure and livelihood schemes on the basis of “objective criteria like non-availability of alternatives, additional advantage of the proposed work in terms of enhancing productivity, saving of cost and time”. He added, “While expediting infrastructural projects, the Collectors should look at both the government projects and the projects being laid by private sector investors. Jena added, “Assess your present state of development and define the target you fix for your district in terms of short, medium and long term objectives.

Agriculture Production Commissioner Raj Kumar Sharma said, “The primary sector like agriculture and allied activities provides livelihood employment to more than fifty percent of rural population. So the interventions in this sector will have direct benefit to the people. He advised to come up with projects for crop diversification, judicious use of water, fishery, poultry and enhanced marketing support to agricultural products. He also directed the collectors to “spend some more time with agriculture, soil conservation, horticulture and irrigation officers for formulation of innovative projects”.

Principal secretary agriculture and farmers’ empowerment Dr Sourbh Garg, principal secretary panhayati raj Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh, principal secretary Industry Hemant Kumar Sharma, principal secretary water resources Anu Garg, and secretary skill development and technical education and CMD IDCO Sanjay Kumar Singh joined the video conference. The Collectors apprised about district potential and ground level improvement in implementation of the infrastructural and industrial projects.