Report by OD bureau; Bhubaneswar: The 66th Independence Day celebrations in the state passed off peacefully on Wednesday though in Naxal infested areas Maoists in hoisted black flags.
In Bhubaneswar, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unfurled the tri-colour and received the guard of honour at the Mahatma Gandhi Marg in Bhubaneswar amid cheers by about 20,000 people. On this occasion Patnaik highlighted his government's performance. After hoisting the tricolour at the Independence Day celebrations, Patnaik said Odisha had a special place in the country for the initiatives his government had taken in different areas. "The state economy has improved and the government has been implementing various welfare and development schemes from its funds," Patnaik said.
In his address Patnaik announced launch of an scheme name "Mamata" for pregnant and lactating women and infants in urban areas. The Biju Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput (KBK) Yojana, rice schemes for the poor, free cycles to all girl students studying in Class 10, Biju Kandhamal and Gajapati Yojana, and Mamata Yojana were some of these, he said.
Recognising agriculture as the mainstay of economy, Patnaik said one lakh deep borewells would be in place in next three years to irrigate 10 lakh hectares of land besides expanding lift irrigation facilities to benefit farmers.
Finance Minister Prasana Acharya unfurled the tri-colour and received the guard of honour at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. Despite tight security, Maoists hoisted black flags and put up posters and banners near several schools and panchayat offices in Kalimela, Khairput, Chitrakonda and Guma areas of naxal-hit Malkangiri district where the ultras had asked people to refrain from celebrating the Independence Day.