By Odisha Story Bureau, Bhubaneswar:
With rich mineral resources, and revolutionary schemes like Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana and setting up of District Mineral Foundations, our mining sectors in the country are all set to address the developmental issues of the mining areas and people living around these areas. However, success to these schemes is yet to be achieved due to lack of effective implementation. With a fund allocation figure under District Mineral Foundation for Odisha, hovering around 1233 crore (for 2016-17), the expenditures so far is mere 22 crores.
“To address the roadblocks, we need to make structural changes and develop a precise delivery system that is flexible with low cost operation and should be professional in approach”, said Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand, while addressing as chief guest at the inaugural session of state –level workshop on theme – Understanding District Mineral Foundation & its Role, organised today at Bhubaneswar.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Chand also underlined the importance of inclusion of Civil Society members and Industry bodies who are contributing to the District Mineral Foundations as core team members within the structural list of implementers. “Civil society members are always in the forefront in taking up the cause of the people affected by mining activities, besides Industry bodies as professional bodies can also share their experience and expertise for effective implementation of developmental activities. It’s a paradox that the present structural system of policy implementers under District Mineral Foundations has confined it only to the law and order authorities and has ignored the role of Civil Society and Industry bodies thus defeating the very purpose of effective implementation mechanism”, said Dr. Chand.
Citing the example of Nalco Foundation – the CSR arm of the company, Dr. Chand shared his views that as an independent body, the Foundation has been effective only due to its flexible & professional approach. “Nalco Foundation from its inception has ensured that the wealth created from mining activities has been spent judiciously on issues that matters the most to the company that includes education, health care, sanitation, skill development, sports, promotion of art & culture, infrastructure development environment conservation, drinking water supply etc” Dr Chand added.
Among others, Shri K V Singhdeo, Honl’ble MLA (Patnagarh) and Dr. Siddartha Sankar Dash, former Professor, Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Ahmadabad, were notably present on the occasion. The workshop is being organised by the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Societies (CSCS). On the CSCS newsletter ‘Anwesha’ was also released by the distinguished guests.