By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, November 22, 2017: Odisha government on Wednesday gave its approval to 11 proposals including the crucial Rs 635 crore ‘Naba Krushna Choudhury Seccha Unnayan Yojana’ (NKCSUY) aimed to provide irrigation facility in about 55,000 hectare land across the State within a span of three years.

The new scheme has been named after former Chief Minister and freedom fighter Naba Krushna Choudhury whose birth anniversary falls on 23rd November.

Besides the existing canal system will be renovated under the scheme, according to health minister Pratap Jena in a media briefing after the cabinet meeting.

Under the NKCSUY, the government has set a target to revive irrigation facility in 46,296 hectare command area of 14 major and medium irrigation and 284 minor irrigation projects through restoration of existing canals. This will pave the way to extend irrigation to additional 8,719 hectare land.

“The scheme will be funded from the State’s own resources,” said Jena while briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Similarly, the Cabinet approved amendment to the Wildlife Protection Odisha Rules-1974 for enhancing amount payable as compensation to the next of kin of a person killed by wild animal. The compensation amount has been hiked to Rs 4 lakh as against Rs 3 lakh earlier. Moreover, in the event of domestic animals like sheep and goats getting killed in attack by wild animals, the farmer will be compensated. Compensation payable being Rs 2,000 per adult sheep/goat and Rs 750 per goat/sheep calf killed due to wild animal attack.

The Cabinet approved another significant proposal to reduce rate of VAT on natural gas for use in domestic and industrial sector to 5 percent while it will be 15 percent for use as fuel in vehicles.

The cabinet also approved a proposal to take Rs 1071 crore loan from the World Bank for development of infrastructure in 140 colleges and 11 universities.

Moreover, a solid waste management project will be set up at Mahuda in Berhampur at an expense of Rs 118.85 crore.

Besides, the Cabinet approved an amendment to the Odisha Municipal Act under which changes in reservation system will be made during every civic poll.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to increase the compensation to Rs 4 lakh from Rs 3 lakh to kin of the victims killed by wild animals. Similarly, owners of sheep and goat killed in wild animal attack will get Rs 2,000 compensation.

Value Added Tax (VAT) on piped gas was reduced by the Cabinet to 5% from 15% for both industrial and domestic use.