Bhubaneswar: Odisha Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today approved five key proposals including the establishment of Odisha Maritime Board.
“Odisha Maritime Board shall be constituted with 12 members. Chief Secretary will be the chairperson along with representatives of stakeholder departments as well as representatives of Government of India,” Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said while briefing the media persons soon after the significant meeting.
Padhi said, “The Board will function as the single window facilitator for the overall maritime development of the State. It will provide policy, guidelines and directions for the integrated development of ports and inland water transport keeping in view of the country’s security and defence-related concerns. It will take up the survey and techno-economic feasibility studies so as to facilitate private sector investment for the development of ports and port-based industries.”
According to a press note, “A statutory body named ‘Odisha Maritime Board’ is to be established in the State for administration, control and management of non-major ports and non-nationalised inland waterways. Earlier a Bill was passed in the year 2011 for the constitution of Board but that was withdrawn because of some more issues were to be added.”
Besides, Odisha CS-Designate Asit Kumar Tripathy said, “The Cabinet has approved the proposal for implementing in the first phase certain recommendations of Justice B.P. Das Commission as contained in its first interim report which relate to the safety and security and improvement of Shri Jagannath Temple at Puri.”
Notably, the State Government has constituted a Commission of Inquiry on 23.07.2016 comprising retired judge of Orissa High Court Justice B.P. Das to enquire into and submit a report for better administration and governance of Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri. The Commission has submitted two interim reports dated 20.04.2017 and 07.12.2017.
The Odisha government also approved the financial restructuring of OSRTC. The old dues of OSRTC and Govt. of Odisha will be settled forever. Also, the accumulated losses of Rs.169.93 crore will be taken up against the Share Capital in a phased manner. Once the losses are adjusted OSRTC will have the option to approach the Financial Institutions for taking up commercially viable projects for better passenger amenities.
It may be mentioned here that OSRTC was incorporated during the year 1974, as a State Govt. undertaking Corporation to provide road transport service to the public. OSRTC has been providing uninterrupted transport services mostly in inaccessible and Naxalite areas which are not financially feasible and the private bus operators are unwilling to run their buses in those routes. However, due to various reasons, OSRTC incurred losses and due to huge accumulated losses, the Corporation was unable to get funding from Financial Institutions to procure new buses and improve bus stands for better passenger services. Also, there were very old unsettled claims of OSRTC against the Govt. of Odisha and vice versa. Old claims of Govt. of Odisha of Rs.72.03 crore against OSRTC is converted into equity and raising the total equity capital to Rs.254.47 croreand claims of OSRTC of Rs.77.44 crore against Govt. of Odisha will be relinquished.
The State Cabinet has also approved an amendment to the existing provision of Rule-6(4) of Odisha Police Service (Method of Recruitment and Condition of Service) Rule 2013 aimed to eliminate the constraints therein and facilitate to get eligible OPS officers for filling up the posts of Superior Administrative Grade in OPS cadre for efficient and smooth people administration.
The Odisha Cabinet further approved the proposal for Gopabandhu Science College, Athagarh, established in 1963 and is a fully aided college. It has no building and land of its own and has been running in the palace building located over Ac 11.56 dec. of land belonging to erstwhile Athagarh royal family since 1978. In the greater public interest, the Government has remitted stamp duty and registration fees on Gift deed of land measuring ac 11.56 dec. along with building standing on it in Mouza-Birakishorepur of Cuttack district to be executed in favour of Gopabandhu Science College, Athagarh.