Archive for January, 2008

Press release on House Committee of Orissa Legislative Assembly meeting the Rail minister

Angul - Talcher - Sukinda (under constr.), Haridaspur - Paradeep (under constr.), Jakhapura - Daitari, Khurda Rd - Balangir (under constr.), Lanjigarh Rd - Junagarh, Odisha Assembly, Railways, Talcher - Bimlagarh (under constr.), Tomka - Jaroli Comments Off on Press release on House Committee of Orissa Legislative Assembly meeting the Rail minister

Following is from



New Delhi,

January 30, 2008


Reg:   Submission of Memorandum by the House Committee of OLA to the Hon’ble Minister of Railways on 30.01.2008.


        The members of House Committee on Railways under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Speaker, Orissa Legislative Assembly, accompanied by the Members of Parliament submitted a Memorandum to the Hon’ble Union Minister of Railways in his office chamber. In the said meeting, Chairman, Railway Board and other high officials of Ministry of Railways were present.


          Orissa is on the threshold of major industrial upsurge and first progressing towards rapid industrialization. The large number of MoUs have been signed with several companies for setting up Steel Plants. Similarly, MoUs have been signed for setting up Alumina Plants and Super Thermal Power Houses. Several ports are also coming up along the Orissa coast. It is expected that additional generation of traffic will be staggering 200 to 250 MTPA by 2016.

          In the background of such massive transportation requirement, the rail infrastructure require urgent strengthening and expansion.

           Hence, the committee has given a proposal for enhancement of allocation of funds for the six ongoing projects to the tune of Rs.655 crore, for electrification of two Sections for Rs.50 crore, for gauge conversion Rs.125 crore, for doubling Rs.500 crore, altogether totaling to Rs.1330 crore, in the ensuing Railway budget.


        2 –


          Hon’ble Railway Minister gave a patient hearing to the various demands raised by the House Committee and assured to look into the various proposals positively. He further assured that additional funds will be given for the projects in the execution stage for their early completion.


          On Puri-Konark project, Hon’ble Minister suggested that if land can be provided by the State Government, the project can immediately be taken up by the Government of India keeping in view the huge tourist potential of the area.


          The Committee also requested Hon’ble Minister to sanction nine new railway lines for which survey has already been completed. Hon’ble Minister assured that sanction of viable projects will be processed for approval of Planning Commission. The Committee also put forth demand for introduction of new train services, extension of selected existing services, increasing frequency of popular trains, improving quality of onboard services and amenities at the major Railway stations in the state.


          The Hon’ble Minister, Railways directed the Railway officials to examine the proposals given by the House Committee on Railways of OLA.

Various news reports mention some additional details. For example, New Indian Express reports that the committee asked for the following:

Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh- Rs 120 crore, Khurda Road- Balangir-Rs 150 crore, Haridaspur-Paradip-Rs 175 crore, Angul-Dubri- Sukinda Road-Rs 75 crore,Talcher-Bimalagarh-Rs 75 crore, Daitari-Banspani-Rs 60 crore.

Electrification of Kharagpur-Nimpura- Bhubaneswar and Bhubaneswar-Kottavalasa lines-Rs 50 crore, gauge conversion of Rupsa- Bangiriposi and Naupada- Gunupur lines-Rs 50 crore and Rs 75 crore respectively and doubling of Titlagarh- Lanjigarh Road-Rs 500 crore.

`Mo Kudia’ low cost housing scheme in Orissa

Mo Kudia, Odisha govt. action, RURAL & SPECIAL PROGRAMS 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a report in Hindu.

Accusing the Centre of depriving ten lakh families in Orissa of the benefits meant for the poor by insisting on listing BPL families in Orissa according to the 2002 list, the Orissa government has announced a low cost housing scheme to cover all those denied houses under the central programme, official sources said.

"Mo Kudia" (My Hut) scheme has been launched to provide houses to 10 lakh poor families who would be deprived of the benefits meant for families living below the poverty line (bpl), Panchayati Raj Minister Raghunath Mohanty said.

The BPL families were entitled to get houses under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), ration cards and old age pensions.

The decision to launch +Mo Kudia+ scheme was taken at a high-level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.

Mohanty said the state government had decided to give Rs 25,000 to each BPL family denied a house.

He said nearly 10 lakh people living below poverty line would be deleted from the list, if the state government accepted the fresh list prepared in 2002.

According to a survey of poor people in 1997, nearly 44 lakh families were identified as BPL. But the statistics changed in 2002 when the number of BPL families in the state was reduced to 34 lakh.


Gauge conversion of Naupada-Gunupur line to finish by March 2008?

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Following is an excerpt from a report in Hindu.

… gauge conversion of the 90-km-long Nuapada-Gunupur railway is to be finished," said A K Goyal, general manager, East Coast Railway here on Wednesday.

The gauge conversion work was going on very rapidly and it would be completed by the end of March, he said. In 2007-08, the Railway Ministry has provided Rs 25 crore for this project. The ministry has targetted to extend the line up to rayagada in the next phase.

The 118-year-old railway line was established by the then Maharaja of Paralakhemundi, Krushna Chandra Gajapati in 1889 for his personal use. The narrow gauge railway line was handed over to the Railway Ministry in 1949. Since then the people of southern Orissa have been demanding its upgradation.

Apart from the Nuapada-Gunupur line, the ministry has also targeted to complete the doubling of the railway lines in 15.3 km length Khurdha-Delang, a part of the Khurdha-Puri line, 12 km Cuttack-Barang and Titilagarh-Kesinga, a part of the 47-km long Lanjigarh-Titilagarh railway line by the end of march next, goyal said.

Update on Titanium SEZ in Chhatrapur

Berhampur- Gopalpur- Chhatrapur, Bhubaneswar-Berhampur, Ganjam, New Indian Express, Indian Express, Financial express, SEZs, Titanium Comments Off on Update on Titanium SEZ in Chhatrapur

Following is from a report in New Indian Express.

The Rs 2,000-crore titanium plant to be established jointly by the Russian Federation and Kolkata-based Saraf Group at Chatrapur in Ganjam district would lay the base for development of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

The SEZ spanning over 600 acres would house beach sand mineral-based industries.

It would be spearheaded by the Russian and Indian partners and developed into an industrial hub as the flagship titanium project gets executed, said General Director of Technochim Holdings L N Bobkov here on Tuesday.

Plans are to pump in around 3 billion USD for development of the SEZ and the concept paper would be submitted to the Governments of India and Russia for consideration and approval.

The high-value applications of titanium as raw material would open a floodgate of opportunities for value-addition by downstream industries.

Units in the sectors of casting, titanium metal, magnesium, automotive and machine parts, electronics , computers and other manufacturing sectors, etc., can come up. The SEZ would also be open to other private players, the developers have said.

OSL hotels in Orissa

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Following is an excerpt from

Orissa Stevados Ltd (OSL) [?] plans to bring more hotels into Eastern India, under the brand names Country Inn & Suites (CIS) and Radisson. After its five star properties in Paradeep, Bhubaneswar and Orissa, the group is now taking up projects in Kolkata, Puri, Bhubaneswar, Gopalpur and Guwahati.

On the Kolkata project, Suvodip Rai Choudhury, Manager, Sales and Marketing, OSL, comments, "A twin property is coming up at Rajarhat, Kolkata by the end of 2009. Two five star hotels will be accommodated here in the same complex. …"

OSL is also associated with the first state-of-the-art 50 room hotel in Puri, which is expected to be operational by 2009. The 80 room property in Bhubaneswar and 75 room Gopalpur property are slated to start in 2010. The group is yet to decide on the affiliations of the Bhubaneswar and Puri properties (from CIS or Radisson).

On the projects in Orissa, Choudhury claims that the company is getting far better responses in this state. The hospitality scenario is changing fast with adequate support from the ministry. … OSL employs Country Development Management Service (CDMS) for both operational and management purposes in these properties. On the challenges faced, Rai Choudhury says, "Acquiring quality staff poses as the greatest problem. Moreover, most of our properties have been classified as four star properties despite having all the possible facilities. This is because they do not meet the requisite number of rooms for a five star rating."

Four multi-purpose water projects for KBK: Samaja

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More MOUs in steel and other discussed proposals

Angul, Bhadrakh, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Ore pelletisation, Pragativadi, Samaja (in Odia), Steel, Steel ancilaries, TOI, Economic Times Comments Off on More MOUs in steel and other discussed proposals

Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India

… the state government signing three fresh MoUs for setting up units, taking the total proposed capacity of output to 75.66 mtpa, involving a total investment of nearly Rs 2,00,000 crore, official sources said.

With this, the number of MoUs for establishment of steel units touched 49, including 11 for mega projects. Besides MoUs with the largest steel maker in the world Arcelor-Mittal and South Korean gaint Posco, the government had signed agreements with domestic firms such as Jindal, Tata Steel and others for mega projects.

All the MoUs were signed during the last six years, they said, adding 26 steel projects had already become partially operational while the mega ones were facing land acquisition problem.

The production capacity so far achieved by these companies was 3.96 mtpa in sponge iron, 0.45 mtpa of pig iron and 3.32 mtpa of steel, besides 308 mw captive power plant.

said the three companies would produce one million tonne of steel per annum.

The companies which signed MoUs are Pradhan Steel and Power Private Limited, Atha Mines Private Limited and Tecton Ispat Private Limited.

While Pradhan Steel proposes to set up a 0.50 mtpa steel plant in over 460 acre land with an investment of Rs 606 crore at Dhurusia in Cuttack district, Atha Mines would set up a 0.25 mtpa capacity unit at an investment of Rs 291.60 crore at Tarkabeda in Dhenkanal district. Tecton Ispat would set up a 0.25 mtpa steel unit over 150 acre of land at an investment of Rs 227.13 crore at Tarkebeda in Dhenkanal district.

Following is an excerpt from a report in Pragativadi.

The meeting …accepted two out of the eight project proposals.

The meeting decided that the state government would seek necessary environmental clearance from the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) before giving the nod to any proposal for new thermal plants in the Angul-Talcher belt.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, industry secretary Ashok Dalwai said that state government had asked the IBM to make a detailed study on the environmental sustainability of the Angul-Talcher areas.

He said that the meeting, while discussing about the setting up of a number of thermal plants in the state also took note of the searing heat in this industrial belt during summer.

The Committee gave its nod to Jindal Photo Ltd’s proposal to enhance its power production capacity from 1,000 MT to 1,200 MT in its proposed plant at Angul.

The SLSWCC also approved the Well Spun Power and Steel Ltd’s proposal to set up its ore beneficiation and pelletisation plant at Dhamra.

The company aims to produce ductile iron and spiral iron from this plant, for which Rs 1,830 crore would be invested.

The company has asked the state government to arrange 2,000 acres of land.

The state government will scrutinise the land requirement proposal. The company had earlier inked an MoU with the state government to set up a 3-MT plant at Angul.

The following is from Samaja:


Short-cuts to Orissa related webpages

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Real face of the anti-R&R protestors in Kalinganagar: report from Sambada

Atrocities of some Kalinganagar protestors, Atrocities of some POSCO opposers, EXPOSING ANTI-ODISHA-GROWTH SCHEMES Comments Off on Real face of the anti-R&R protestors in Kalinganagar: report from Sambada

Following is a report in Sambada which was in its website today. For some reason this news about what the anti-R&R people are about did not appear in major news papers. However, similar actions by POSCO protestors, such as kidnapping officials did have major media coverage. ( Deccan Herald May 12 2007, DNA India October 13 2007).

Also, couple of days back walls of a proposed hospital was demolished in Kalinganagar by armed people. This was widely reported. (Kalinga Times,Statesman, Sahara Samay, etc.)

Times UK travelogue on Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark and Gopalpur-on-Sea

Beaches, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Khordha, Konark, Puri, Temples, Travelogue 1 Comment »

Following are some excerpts from it.

Gopalpur, with its grand views of sunrise over the Bay of Bengal, is the final destination of the week my wife Clare and I are spending in Orissa, one of India’s least-visited states. It rises to densely forested hills from coastal paddy fields fringed with palm trees and ponds of hyacinths. It feels remote, but has good transport connections with Calcutta and Madras and would suit visitors ready to move on from the Indian “starter pack” of Kerala and the Delhi-Agra-Jaipur Golden Triangle.

Its fame rests on its temples. As our train from Calcutta pulls in at Bhubaneswar, the state capital, I read that the city has about 500 of them. This is not necessarily good news. Over 15 Indian trips, many long afternoons of padding across warm temple floors have left me “templed out”. So what a pleasant surprise Bhubaneswar’s temples will turn out to be.

The city, with its broad avenues and plush hotels – notably the elegant Trident Hilton – has little of the hustle and bustle of a state capital. Its parks, gardens and languid cyclists give it the easygoing charm of small-town India.

World shopping mall in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Khordha, Malls, Shopping 5 Comments »

This is next to the Kalinga Stadium on the Airport-Infocity Road. With this the major malls and department stores in Bhubaneswar are:

  • Forum Mall with Big Bazaar near Ram Mandir
  • Big Bazaar near KIIT and Patia Chhack
  • Pantaloons near Utkal University and Rama Devi College
  • Bazaar of Kolkata
  • Couple of Vishal Megamarts  (one in Market Building, one to the right of NH5 South of Jayadev Vihar exits)
  • World Shopping Mall near Kalinga Stadium  (this is by a local entrepreneur)

Tulasi plant is nature’s gift: Samaja

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Need for Organic Farming: Samaja

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Slow progress in the construction of Haridaspur Paradip line: Samaja

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Ecosystem-based aquarium at CIFA Bhubaneswar

Aquarium, Bhubaneswar-Pipli- Astaranga, Khordha, Research institutions 5 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a report in New Indian Express.

The city is all set to have one of the biggest aquariums in the country, spread over 332 square metre and housing as many as 140 varieties.

Deputy Director-General (Fisheries) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research Prof. S. Ayyappan would inaugurate iton Friday.

It has been built by Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA).

The research institute is describing it as one of the biggest ecosystem-based aquaria.

It will hold 140 varieties including 20 marine species and as many indigenous species in about 54 aquaria.

Entry fee has been priced at Rs 10 per adult, Rs 5 for child and Rs 3 for students (group of 20 or more).

The primary objective of the aquarium would be to create awareness among the public about aquatic fauna and flora.

It will aim at providing first hand information on ornamental fish and motivate farmers and entrepreneurs in ornamental fish farming and trade.

Some of the important fresh water varieties it would exhibit include Discus, Angel, Barbs, Danios, Tetras, Catfishes, Gouramies, and Cichlids.

Besides, some of the popular marine fishes in collection include Clown Fish,’ ‘Starfish,’ ‘Tang Fish,’ ‘Angel Fish,’ ‘Lion Fish and Anemones.

Importantly, the aquarium also has in possession a few pretty exotic fishes like Ghost Knife Fish of the Amazon, Texas and Flower Horn.

Plans for various ancillary industrial parks: Dharitri

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Swosti travel introduces Jungle Safari in Bhitarakanika and Simlipal

Bhadrakh, Bhitarakanika, Mayurbhanj, Nature spots, Safari, Similpal 2 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a report in

Swosti Travels,…, recently introduced jungle safaris at Bhitarkanika and Simlipal sanctuaries in Orissa. According to S Patnaik, General Manager, Swosti Group, the seven-day-package includes stay at diverse locations, interaction with local artisans, forest explorations, animal rides, etc.

"We have roped in private players running eco camps, forest cottages and cruise liners for the project, as we wanted it to be on par with its international counterparts. To begin with, we had to get the requisite clearance from the forest and the tourism departments of the state in terms of the safety and security measures," said Patnaik, as he went on to add that the packages were already being promoted at international fairs and festivals.

Bhitarkanika is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India, whereas the Simlipal National Park boasts of several scenic spots such as Barehipani and Joranda waterfalls.

Big 92.7 FM comes to Rourkela

Radio Stations, Rourkela- Kansbahal, Sundergarh 8 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from

BIG 92.7 FM, India’s No.1 Radio station today announced the latest edition to its kitty, with the launch of its Station in Rourkella. The launch of BIG 92.7 FM in the City marks the launch of the 43rd Station of the network. …

In Rourkela, BIG RJ’s Rajiv, Priyanka, Sneha and Shaheen will be entertaining the steel city of Orissa.

The joyride will start at 5am with Aradhana followed by Breakfast show BIG Chai 6am -9 am. Other shows include Hello Zindagi, Ring Road 927, Thoda Gyan Thodi Masti, Evening Masala and Direct Dil Se.

To ensure the highest aspirational appeal and connect with its listeners, BIG 92.7 FM has Abhishek Bachchan as the Brand Ambassador.

Commenting on the station’s entry into Rourkela, Mr. Soumen Ghosh Choudhury, Regional Head East, BIG 92.7 FM, said “We are very excited about launching in the city of Rourkela. We are the first private radio station in the region to do so. The programming mix of the Station with programmes like Aradhana, BIG Chai, Hello Zindagi, Ring Road 927, Thoda Gyan Thodi Masti, Evening Masala and Direct Dil Se have been put together after much research and understanding of local requirements. It is our aim to create content that is relevant, credible and has an aspirational value for the listeners. We are completely geared and are eagerly looking forward to entertaining the city of Rourkela. We are sure the city will welcome us with open arms and will enjoy the programmes on our Station.”

FACOR’s expansion plans in Orissa; 2 power plants: New Indian Express

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Following is an excerpt from a report in New Indian Express.

Ferro Alloys Corporation Limited (FACOR), one of India’s largest producers and exporters of ferro alloys, is going to expand its integrated plant at a cost of Rs 2,700 cr in Orissa.

The company has initiated an ambitious expansion plan of setting up two power plants and a Stainless Steel Plant (SSP) in Orissa for which a consultancy has also been appointed.

The FACOR group is planning to set up the power plant for its own consumption. A 45 MW coal-based captive power plant is to be set up for Bhadrak near Randia of Orissa at a cost of Rs 180 crore.

The power plant work is scheduled to be completed by 2009 for which the FACOR group has inked a financial tie-up with Rural Electrical Corporation, New Delhi.

Another 250 MW coal-based power plant and a five lakh tpa SSP are also being planned to be set up to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore at Orissa. The expansion works will be completed by 2011.

… According to Ashim, for the Rs 2,500 crore 250 MW power plant and SSP, Rs 1,700 crore would be the debt component while Rs 400 crore would come from internal sources and another Rs 400 crore raised from a partner.

“We are looking for a strategic business partner either in the form of investment or through technological support,” he said.

Two Orissa-West Bengal MPs plan to jointly push for Jaleswar-Digha Railway line: Samaja

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Per capita income in Orissa grows by 11.5% but Orissa is still behind and has ways to go

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Following is an excerpt from a report in Livemint about the per capita income of various states in India and their growth.

According to an Assocham Eco Pulse (AEP) study on ‘States performance in per capita income’ has highlighted that Jharkhand, with per capita income of Rs14,990, has registered 16.6% growth. With an abundant resource of mineral and other natural resources, the state has been receiving investment proposals in steel, cement and power sectors, giving necessary push to its economy, providing sufficient employment opportunities.

With influx of huge capex by the large industrial houses in the core infrastructure sector, Orissa is witnessing a rapid rise of 11.5% in income distribution (Rs14,795).

…  southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and industrialized Gujarat rank among the top states with per capita income more than the all-India average of Rs20,734 (in FY06).

Karnataka tops the chart of well-to-do states with fastest growing income per person by 9.28% at Rs21829 for the FY 2006. Gujarat’s average income per person rose to Rs26,543 with growth of 8.92%. Per capita income in Tamil Nadu was recorded at Rs24,308 with rise of 8.46%. …However, Delhi and Goa, relatively smaller states, have highest per capita income at Rs49172 and Rs47507 but the rate of growth is relatively lower at 6.9% and 6%.

The state of Chhattisgarh struggling at political, social and economic front, witnessed 8.8% growth, though average income base remains very low at Rs16,365.

Development plans in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are yet to take off as they remain at the bottom of the pyramid with lowest per capita incomes of Rs12566, Rs10637 and Rs6610 growing at the slowest rates of 2.9%, 3.1% and 3.7% respectively.

Per capita income in 17 states was growing below the national average of 8.4% while per capita income for the Indian economy grew to Rs22,483 in FY07 from Rs20,734 in FY06.

Maharashtra, with the largest state domestic product and major recipient of foreign as well as domestic investment, has witnessed a healthy growth rate of 7.3% in its per capita income (29,085). Another state to record above 7% growth was Uttaranchal, though the income base was low at Rs20, 328 per person in fiscal 06.

Haryana, with prosperous farm sector and booming IT, real estates, engineering and construction activities, has the third largest per capita income of Rs 29,887 growing at 6.5%.

West Bengal, despite having the fourth largest population, has managed to raise its per capita income at a rate of 6%, owing to massive investment plans in sectors like steel, real estate, power, retail and IT. The average income per person was recorded at Rs 20,485 in the fiscal 2005-2006.

There were states where the effect of overall economic boom was not reflected in their per capita income. While the state domestic product of Kerela and Andhra Pradesh grew by 8.8% and 7% respectively, average income available to each person grew by 5.9% each.

Per capita income in scarcely populated Himachal Pradesh rose at a moderate growth rate of 5.34%. As the state remains predominantly dependent on tourism sector, the level of industrial investment remains low. Per capita income was recorded at Rs27,162 in fiscal 06.
Growth in the prosperous state of Punjab seems to have stalled as rise in per capita was estimated to be mere 2.9%, even though it has the fifth largest per capita income of Rs28,605.

Article on Vira Surendra Sai in Samaja

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Balasore alloys pledges 45 crores for Balasore-Balgopalpur rail: Samaja

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