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Odisha sets up taskforce after death of 18 babies in 3 months

baby kidnap

Bhubaneswar: With the death of at least 18 children in a span of three months allegedly due to malnutrition at a village in mineral-rich Sukinda valley of Jajpur district, Odisha govenrment today set up a taskforce to ensure all round development of the area.

The taskforce was constituted based on the report of director, social welfare, development commissioner R Balakrishnan said.

The director in his report had stated that the area is deprived up of basic facilities like health, education, communication, power and drinking water.

The Development Commissioner said revenue divisional commissioner (RDC), central division, will head the taskforce.

“The RDC will submit weekly report on the developmental activities of Nagada area,” Balakrishnan told reporters.

Five nodal officers will be appointed to look after five different sectors like food security, health, education, road communication and drinking water facilities, he said.

Nagada is situated on a hilltop in a dense forest under mineral-rich Sukinda block. Located about 30 km from Sukinda chromite valley and more than 50 km from Kalinga Nagar Industrial complex, there is virtually no road to the village.

The people have to trek more than 15 km through a dense forest to reach a motorable road, the director of social welfare mentioned in his report.

Though the state government has been implemnting the Nutrition Operational Plan (NOP) supported by DFID (Department for International Development) in 15 ‘High Burden’ districts, Jajpur was not in the list.

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