There are still 840 inaccessible villages in entire Rayagada district. Drinking water scarcity is yet another burning problem here along with other development deficits like health and education. But this has not deterred Amrit Ruturaj, Project Director, DRDA, Rayagada, one of the youngest civil servants of Odisha to take administrative cudgels under bureaucratic parameters prescribed by the Government.
To be visible in person in the most inaccessible areas, where adibasis of PVTGs(Primarily Vulnerable Tribal Groups) like Lanjia Sauras of Gunupur and Dangaria Kandhas of Muniguda, K Singhpur and Bissam Cuttack reside, he uses a scooty to mingle with the tribals, Dalits and other weaker sections of the society,listens to them patiently and solves most of the problems at the spot.
While Government officers, in the plea of Naxalites, avoid visiting villages, Amrit has proved that will power can override any kind of bottleneck.
Being a Ravenshavian and JNUite, it helped Amrit to get into this coveted service without any formal coaching. After a short stint as Assistant Secretary in Union Ministry of Culture, he joined as Sub-Collector in Gunupur Sub-division of Rayagada district. He left his foot print of several achievements during his regime as sub-divisional magistrate.
According to him, “The magistrate has to apply his mind with respect to law and human rights. Convergence of learning and action by law keepers, prosecutors is a befitting step in this regard.”
Very successfully he was instrumental in conducting Chaiti-Idital, a cultural extravaganza in the sub-divisional level. This has established his love for Odia and tribal culture as a true Odia.
Though there is a Government order that the top bureaucrats must visit, review and have overnight stay in the field, it is hardly adhered to; but Amrit is an exception. He makes frequent visits to most interior villages in Chandrapur and Kashipur, where issues are galore.
He has made night stay mandatory for himself in these areas, which are infested with Mao insurgency. It is not in BDO office or a PWD bungalow where he stays, but in a residential school hostel(Ashram school).
In his recent visits to the hinterland areas of the district, he has given top priority to drinking water, communication, irrigation, employment under MGNREGA containing migration, etc. As the Director of DRDA, he emphasises upon the development of the rural part of Rayagada mostly dominated by tribals and Dalits. Being born at Umerkote of Nabarangapur district and lived in most interior districts of Odisha like Koraput, Malkangiri and Gajapati, the development of KBK districts has always been a driving force even before getting into IAS.