Odisha State of Governance 2020 review shows that the state has moved up from the #10 spot in 2019 to the #8 spot in 2020. Administration in 2020 has been chiefly defined by the Covid-19 pandemic and what states have done in response. Odisha too has introduced several schemes for the management and curtailment of Covid-19.
The Odisha State of Governance 2020 rankings show tremendous progress in the Police & Safety segment as well as the Water segment. Odisha has moved up from being unranked in these categories in 2019 to holding a Top 10 spot in 2020. These changes are analogous to how some State of Governance categories have done all over India this past year: both Policing and Water have experienced a countrywide boost, with local authorities taking initiatives during the pandemic. There has also been significant progress in the District Administration and e-Governance niches. The Agriculture category also gets a boost up for 2020.
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The Directorate of Soil Conservation & Watersheds Development of Nabarangpur is congratulated for an impactful project targeting rainwater harvesting. The authorities recognise the potential for harvesting available surface water. Instead of trying to increase groundwater potential, they decided to increase storage capacity. To this end, the department began construction on a water harvesting structure. This involved building a check-dam in a rainfed area. A very positive element of this entire project was the effort made by the authorities to reassure local farmers that their land would not be absorbed into the construction. So far, 52 check-dams as well as 42 Water Harvesting Structures have been built. As a result, 53 villages and 1272 people have benefited. A significant portion of this population is small and marginal farmers who were previously dependent entirely on rainfall for their irrigation activities.
District Administration has done well all over the country this past year. And the Odisha State of Governance 2020 review is no different. Nabarangpur District Administration started a project dedicated to Farm Based Scientific & Technological Intervention for Socio Economic Development. The idea is to leverage science and technology in order to help the farmer community. As a result of this project, about 3023 farmers, 280 youth, 27 Women-SHGs and 5 Producers Groups have been involved in reshaping the farming landscape. The farmers receive capacity-building and skill development training which in turn helps to choose better seeds, irrigation methods, harvesting processes and climate-smart tech. Because of these changes, farmers enjoy greater incomes and lowered overheads. Consequently, farmers and their families can now access better healthcare and education services as well.
District Administration Cuttack started Project Zero-F in order to help underprivileged students with a failing grade prepare for High School Certification Examination. 13,684 students from 457 schools were promoted on a consideration basis. Firstly, the scheme helps academic low-performers regain their self-confidence. Secondly, the scheme works on designing low-cost learning methods keeping in mind the needs of struggling students from weaker socioeconomic backgrounds. Mentoring, counselling as well as community participation are some of the key aspects of the scheme.
The Ministry Of Electronics & Information Technology launched the COVID Odisha project. The project incorporates a hybrid approach that prioritises transparent, citizen-facing procedures as well as user-friendliness for field functionaries. At the same time, advanced data-visualisation capability is guaranteed for decision makers. The system uses real-time conversations with field functionaries via mobile and web platforms as well as local heat maps to keep tabs on outbreak management and containment. The idea is to offer a truly dynamic and democratic platform so that medical resources can be utilised most effectively. Multiple data points and discrete sources have helped speed up contact tracing, identifying suspected cases testing and enforcing quarantining when needed. Predictive modelling and actionable data have allowed the government a chance to keep a finger on the pulse at every turn of the pandemic.
Police & Safety
SKOCH recognises the Mayurbhanj District Police for its excellent response to Covid-19. Given that policemen, like all frontline workers, are high-risk, the Mayurbhanj police established a dedicated quarantine facility for the force. The police worked to trace migrant workers, provide them with transport, accommodation and essential goods as needed. The district worked to connect with other districts as well as the destination states for migrants going back home. In order to prevent the spread of infection, the district police set up border checkpoints. They also followed a 3-tier patrolling program (4-wheelers, 2-wheelers and foot patrols) to enforce lockdowns.
The Bhadrak District Police launched project Bharosa. The primary target beneficiary was the migrant community working and living in Bhadrak when the pandemic hit. The police force worked actively to provide food and essential goods to the migrants. The police also worked to arrange transport and accommodation as needed. The Bhadrak police coordinated relief efforts with other districts to make sure no migrants would go hungry or break lockdown directives during this time of crisis. All migrant workers were provided food and water. 5000 hot meals were cooked and supplied everyday as part of this project. The police provided food to 1,30,000 migrant workers over 2+ months. The police also helped 4587 people get transport services.
The Directorate Of Soil Conservation And Watershed Development, Koraput, has done important work in the Water Conservation Innovation-niche. The Zero Energy Consumed Gravity Field Spring Based Irrigation System helps the district tribal community who otherwise dependent on rain-fed agriculture. The land is typically barren post monsoons, which forces the villagers to migrate to other places. The new irrigation system allows for new cropping options with increased water conservation.
The Odisha State of Governance 2020 review shows consistent performance in the Municipal Sanitation niche. The state has also done reasonably in the Transport sector, only falling one place between 2019 and 2020.
Odisha Targets Municipal Sanitation With Women SHGs
The Berhampur Municipal Corporation launched the Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) by Women SHGs for waste water management and sanitation. The program is pioneering the way for SHGs to take completely responsibility of water septage treatment plants. The involvement of women’s SHGs is also supported by the collaboration of the Housing and Urban Development departments. The goal is to ultimately achieve 100% safe and scientific disposal of all fecal sludge and septage across the state. In order to create ownership of a shared concern, the authorities have roped in the SHGs. This also gives disadvantaged women a chance at employment and empowerment. It allows them to become financially independent as well as responsible members of society. As a result, the project has positively impacted 60% of the state population.
Transport Sector Does Well In Odisha State Of Governance 2020
Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT), Odisha, has designed some notable schemes in 2020. CRUT is recognised for its response to Covid-19 post-outbreak. Firstly, all buses are regularly sanitised with a high-strength disinfectant, with emphasis on frequently-touched spots like support poles and door handles. Bue Queue Shelters are also disinfected. CRUT supported Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation through the worst of the pandemic. The Mo Bus service ran emergency services in order to help people get home safely. The service specifically prioritised people returning home from airports and railway stations.
The Mo Bus fleet mentioned above is part of the ‘No Bus to Mo Bus‘ program which is also a solid contender in the Transport sector. This program revitalises the flagging public transport landscape in Odisha with 200 buses across 20 service routes. The program plan identifies 2.9million passenger journeys per month. As a result of the new bus transport system, 57% travelers have shifted from two-wheelers, four-wheelers and autos to the Mo Bus system. The project also includes a bicycle sharing feeder service. In brief, it is an entire industry revitalised, with efficient, safe and affordbale transport for passengers. It also means greater revenues and lower maintenance costs for the administration because of a more reliable fleet. Fewer private transport options and personal-use vehicles will also reduce the state’s carbon footprint.
Odisha State of Governance 2020 review shows progress in the overall state rank. This is an indicator of progress, as can also be seen by the projects discussed above. However, there are some segments which might require more attention. For example, the Ease of Doing Business, Education, Finance & Revenue and Governance (General Administration) do not have any ranking schemes this year. Similarly, the Health, Infrastructure, Power & Energy, Skill Development and Women & Child Development niches too come under the ‘Indifferent’ category. The Municipal Governance category ranked #11 in 2019 for Odisha but is not ranked this year. The Rural Development and Urban Development sectors are also amongst this category for the Odisha State of Governance 2020 review.