Daily Pioneer reports
The repeated claims of the BJD leaders and Rourkela MLA and Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Sarada Prasad Nayak that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has special attention for Rourkela have few takers here.
It is no doubt that during the last two tenures of Naveen Patnaik’s regime, the city has lost its quota of PDS which is just the beginning of neglect to the city. But one thing the denizens of Rourkela would never forget is during Naveen’s first tenure (2000-04), when Ajit Das was the MLA of Rourkela, the city was conferred with many mega projects like BPUT (foundation stone laid in 2003), medical college (foundation stone laid in February 2004) and four-lane road from Panposh Chowk to Udit Nagar.
However, it is a different story that the construction work of the medical college and BPUT are still going on in very lethargic manner and just for name’s sake, the BPUT headquarters has been established at Rourkela, but all the important decisions and executions are being taken up by its top brass at Bhubaneswar. The four-lane road construction work is still going on and nobody knows when it would end.
As Rourkela is an industrial hub and a sensitive city, earlier the State Government used to post an IAS officer as the ADM of Rourkela.
But it may be some political compulsion or anything else, OAS officers were posted for some years. No doubt, the State has less than the required number of IAS officers and it is acceptable to have an OAS officer as ADM occasionally. Given the fact that the office of the ADM is already overburdened with its day-to-day works, the Government has imposed the ADM to take up the additional charge of Secretary, Rourkela Development Authority (RDA). The decision will not only subject the officer with more responsibility but also the public will be deprived of getting appropriate and timely service from both the offices.
However, the Government has decided to put an IAS officer as ADM on October 20, 2010. With the posting of an IAS officer as ADM, the people here have regained some confidence and hope that the development of city will be on the line.
But when the ADM was starting the developmental works, he was sent as District Collector of Koraput on promotion on May 5, 2011. The pity is that the substitute of the ADM is not yet posted. Rather, the Sub Collector, Rourkela has been given the additional charge of the ADM and Secretary, RDA.
The step-motherly attitude for Rourkela does not end with this. Rourkela Police District is very sensitive for a host of reasons.
Koira, Gurundia, Bonai, Lathikata, Bisra and Lahunipara blocks of the district are worst affected by the Maoist menace. However, the police district is running without a regular SP since April7, 2011. It is to be mentioned here that the SP DK Pattanaik on leave since April 7 has not only been carrying very bad reputation since his posting here but also his activities have sullied the image of the Government.
A couple of months ago, fresh OAS officers were recruited in different blocks and tehsils on the basis of a jumbo transfer list. But despite repeated demands, an Additional EO post has been lying vacant in Rourkela Municipality since February 11, 2009. When the municipality requires at least three regular OAS officers for its smooth functioning, one OAS has been posted as EO only.
Similar neglect is reflected in primary education and health services here. For months together, a regular DI of Schools has not been appointed. Similarly many doctor posts are lying vacant in Rourkela Government Hospital for years together. In another development, the ESIC proposed to have a medical college in Odisha investing `500 crore. And locals here thought that the medical college should be set up here as it is one of the major industrial and mining hubs of the State. But ignoring the sentiments of the denizens of Rourkela, the State Government proposed to have it in Bhubaneswar even though a number of medical colleges exist there.