Khurda (Odisha) [India], Dec 24 (ANI): Expressing concerns over the state of healthcare sector in Odisha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took a jibe at the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government asserting that the people are asking the state government why the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or the Ayushman Bharat scheme are not being implemented.
Addressing a public rally here during his day-long visit in the state, the Prime Minister said: “Today, people of the state are asking why Odisha has not accepted Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. If Odisha had implemented this scheme, people across the country would have got free medical care”.
Talking about his cleanliness campaign, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Prime Minister Modi said that when the country achieved 97 per cent of cleanliness in the country, he questioned why Odisha was lagging behind in the mass movement.
Continuing his tirade against the BJD, the Prime Minister said: “In Odisha, both children and mothers are suffering from malnutrition. More than half of the positions for doctors in the state are lying vacant. Farmers are facing issues over irrigation and they are not getting suitable procurement. Chit fund scam has emerged here, corruption is thriving in Odisha.”
He said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre is making tireless efforts to improve the healthcare facilities in the state, adding that five new medical colleges have been approved in the state.
Talking about his government schemes, Prime Minister Modi elaborated: “We are spending five times more on infrastructure and connectivity in villages and cities of Odisha. Under the Mudra Yojana, more than one crore loans have been given to the youth of Odisha. Nearly 12 lakh houses have been constructed here under the Pradhanmantri Awas Yojna.”
“35 lakh gas connections have been given to women in Odisha. Four-and-half years ago, only 20 per cent families had gas connection, and now it is 70 per cent. In the near future, everyone should have a gas connection and we are working in that direction,” he added.
He said that families of around 18 lakh farmers are beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, adding that in the event of crop failure, Rs 1700 crore have been provided to them.
Talking about farmers’ welfare, Prime Minister Modi further said: “Farmers and consumers should not be intermediate. For this, the farmers are being connected via the Internet through the mandis, and are being connected through online banking. To increase the income of the farmers, special attention is being given to farming as well as other related activities like animal husbandry, poultry, beekeeping and fish farming.”
Invoking late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Modi recalled that when the BJP was in power in the 2000s, a campaign to connect villages and cities of Odisha began.
Heaping praises on Vajpayee, Prime Minister Modi said: “The determination that Atalji had shown during a cyclonic storm that came here 20 years ago, is still remembered by the people here today. The work that he (Vajpayee) had started for the development of Odisha is being carried forward by us at a fast pace now.”
Underlining that Odisha is emerging as a centre of higher education, the Prime Minister elucidated: “With the efforts of the central government, prominent institutes like IIT Bhubaneswar, IIM Sambalpur, IISER Brahmapur will help the youth to scale new heights. A world-class skill development institute has also been established in Bhubaneswar. In addition, more than 90 Eklavya schools have been opened for the education of tribal children.”
Before signing off, Prime Minister Modi went on to say that the central government’s main goal is — all-round development of Odisha and development that encompasses the people of the state, including youth, women, farmers and entrepreneurs. (ANI)