Bhubaneswar: The supreme court appointed Central Empowered Committee(CEC) has expressed its satisfaction over Odisha government’s initiatives in selecting projects to be implemented with the Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation(OMBADC) Fund in the State.

The five-member CEC team under the leadership of PV Jayakrishnan had a meeting with the Odisha chief secretary, here on Tuesday. The meeting discussed about the utilisation OMBADC Fund.

The visiting CEC team was told that the State government has taken up projects worth Rs 10,860 crore in the mineral bearing districts. The State has been allotted Rs 16,869 crore in two phases.

The CEO of OMBADC, Uma Nanduri, told the CEC that in the first phase, projects of drinking water, housing, skill development, farm forestry and social forestry are being implemented in 691 villages spreading over 121 gram panchyats in 29 blocks of 8 districts namely Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sundergarh, Angul, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Jajpur and Koraput.

The CEO said that 244 drinking water projects, 29,829 housing units, and skill development of 200 ST and SC youth had been taken up. So far Rs 860 crore has been released against these projects.

In the second phase, Nanduri said that the Oversight Authority constituted under justice AK Patnaik has sanctioned total 15 projects in seven sectors worth Rs 10,000 crore. The projects are in drinking water, education, health, livelihood, rural connectivity, environmental protection & pollution control, water conservation & soil moisture conservation sectors, the CEO said adding the projects are in first stage of implementation.

The CEC team will visit Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts from October 30 to November 2 and gather first hand report about the projects, their implementation and the outcome. The CEC team after returning to Delhi will submit its report to the apex court.

The Tuesday meeting with the CEC team was attended by Additional chief secretary Raj Kumar Sharma, principal secretary panchyati raj Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh and principal chief conservator of forest Sandeep Tripathy.