In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Patnaik said the KBK region comprising eight districts of undivided Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput districts in Orissa were considered as the most underdeveloped areas in the country with more than 70 per cent of the scheduled tribe and scheduled caste population residing in this region.
The Chief Minister said the KBK region was lagging behind in all spheres from communication to literacy rate and so required special attention from both the state and the Central Government.
He said during 1988-89 the Centre had sanctioned Rs 29 crores to undertake various developmental programmes. In the subsequent years a long term action plan with a plan outlay of Rs 5527 crores was initiated.
But the centre had released only Rs 1200 crores till date and started releasing special central assistance from 2002-2003. He said during 2001-2002 only Rs 100 crores was released, while the amount increased to Rs 200 crores and Rs 250 crores in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 respectively.
The Chief Minister added that the assistance provided by the Centre for the KBK region was not sufficient for the implementation of various programmes for the development of the scheduled tribes and the scheduled caste people.
Stating that the tribal region required special attention and additional assistance to carry out the developmental programmes, Mr Patnaik appealed to the Prime Minister to provide at least Rs 500 crores Central assistance every year for the development of the region.
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