Abducted Malkangiri Collector implemented many schemes for villagers’ benefits

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NEW DELHI - Malkangiri District Collector R V Krishna, who was abducted by the Maoists on February 16, made it a priority to begin development works there, as he was able to implement a number of schemes particularly individual benefit schemes like pensions and disability compensation that put money directly in the hands of villagers.

Krishna, a 2005 batch IAS officer, has been instrumental in ensuring the successful implementation of different welfare schemes in backward and tribal dominated areas of Orissa and is popular among the locals.

On the day of his abduction, Krishna visited a “single window camp” in Badapara where the administration distributed cheques of about Rs. 10 lakh in various pensions.

In the afternoon he took a boat across to Badapada village and made his way, by motorcycle, towards Papermetla village to monitor progress on a check dam.

When he took charge in 2010, Malkangiri’s cut-off areas rise up like islands, marooned in 1972 by the Balimela hydropower project’s reservoir.

This year, his administration has spent about Rs. 37 lakh in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), of which 85 percent goes directly to the villagers of the three panchayats including Papermetla, Badapara and Ralegada that protested against his abduction.

“The Collector told us to ignore the fact that we were working in a Maoist area,” said Balwant Singh, Project Director of the District Rural Development Agency.

“In one area we began work on a road for the village under the MGNREGS, but when the Maoists stopped the villagers, we took up pond digging work instead,” said an official.

Junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi has been released by Maoists and Krishna is awaiting release, after Orissa Government conceded to the 14 demands put forward by the rebels.

The Maoists had kidnapped the two government officials on February 16 near Jantapi village in Malkangiri, and had given the state government a list of 14 demands, which had to be fulfilled in exchange for the two men.

The demands included release of all the prisoners listed by the Maoists, halting anti Maoist operations by security forces, stopping of ‘Operation Green Hunt’ in the state, compensation for the families of Maoist sympathizers killed in police custody, among others. (ANI)

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