Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Jual Oram is critical of the newly constituted Special Development Council covering 9 districts with tribal population in Odisha. It is remarkable that for Odisha alone, under Central grant and tribal sub-plan. 57321.98 lakh & 53125.79 lakh respectively have been granted during last four financial years. It is regrettable that these funds have not been utilised for development works to benefit tribal people. The special grant given by the Centre to States under Article 275 are intended for developmental works pertaining to Tribals but these in Odisha are diverted to 117 Blocks covering 2225 GPs to promote BJD party programme in the State, as Minister Shri Oram has alleged.
He is accusing the State Government as how it can ignore the elected GP Ward Members, Sarpanchs, Panchayat Members, ZP Members, MLAs and MPs who represent the tribal population in these scheduled areas and allocate 1.5 crore for each Block annually from the Central Government allotment meant for their development. What is the meaning of their development with out their representatives’ participation in formulation of policy for them, questions the Central Minister. Eleven Ekalavya Model Schools have been allotted to Odisha so far, but there is no sign of any progress whatsoever in Odisha in even for a single model school. For 16 Ekalavya Model Residential Schools has been granted in Odisha in last 5 years but there is no progress due to total indifference of the State Government.
In tribal dominated districts in Odisha performance of BJD during last Panchayat was poor and the State Government has targeted such districts specially Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh and Malkanagiri so as to placate beneficiaries on party basis, by passing people’s representatives. For last four years the earmarked schemes have been neglected and allotted funds are not spent for the purpose intended. The State Government has not held quarterly meetings to monitor the progress of such allocation of funds during last three years.