Archive for August, 2008

Real Estate gets pricey in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, DLF, IDCO projects, Koraput, REAL ESTATE, Satellite and Residential townships 2 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a report in Economic Times by Nageshwar Patnaik.

… With the state attracting around Rs 6,00,000-crore investments, including two biggest FDI proposals from ArcelorMittal and Posco, property prices in the city have jumped 4-8 times in five years.

Rapid urbanisation coupled with positive developments in sectors like information technology, biotechnology and mega investments in airport, steel, aluminium, mining, power, railways, road, port, hospitality and manufacturing has given a boost to realty in the state capital. A 1,200 square feet apartment in an up market area such as Kharabela Nagar, Forest Park and Saheed Nagar now costs between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 40 lakh.

“There is a mismatch between demand and supply, leading to steep hike in property prices in Bhubaneswar. Against a demand of 2,0000 houses in the medium and upper housing categories, the supply is mere 1,000 houses only. …

In the last five years, the city has witnessed tremendous growth in all segments,IT park, BPO, call centres, hotels, technical institutes, medical colleges and hospitals. In fact, the rise in number of world-class educational institutes has put the pressure on the city. This also has attracted many leading real estate companies in the country, which have taken the land for different projects.

But confusion is writ large among both the developers and customers with the government owning around 80% of land. “The state government is yet to come out with a clear policy on real estate for the capital city. Besides, land consolidation policy is conspicuous by its absence. …

The state government owns about 80% of the land in the state capital while 10% of private land is under legal dispute and the rest 10% is in the hands of landlords. The leading real estate companies from the country have taken land from the government to put up huge properties.

DLF has taken 54 acres of land from the state government owned IDCO near Infocity at Chandrasekharpur where it is coming up with 40 lakh square feet floor space to accommodate an IT Park, shopping, hotels, retail and residential apartments. Similarly, Unitech emerged as a successful bidder for 11 acres of land leased out by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority to develop commercial properties like multiplexes, retail and office space.

Vipul Group is developing a 19-acre township in a public private partnership mode with Orissa State Housing Board (OSHB). Similarly, Mumbai-based K Raheja Corp proposes to set-up a Mindspace IT Park here through a joint venture with the government or any of its agencies over 30 acres in three years at an investment of Rs 250 crore.

Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Orissa (IIDCO) will acquire land for the project. FIRE (First Indian Real Estate) Capital Fund, a global PE Fund, is eyeing major investments in Bhubaneswar. … has a good collection of articles on Orissa spots

Chandipur, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Heritage sites, Hills and hill stations, Historical places, Konark, Mahanadi tourism, National Parks and Sanctuaries, Nature spots, Puri, Similpal, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Temples, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion, Travelogue 1 Comment »

Their page on Orissa is at The list of sites in Orissa that they cover are:

Travel tales of Orissa: a beautiful blog of travels to various scenic places and temples in Orissa

Ecotourism, Hills and hill stations, Lakes, Mahanadi tourism, Nature spots, Puri, Travelogue, Waterfalls 2 Comments »

Following are the links as of today:

Orissa number three investment destination behind Gujarat and Maharastra

Investment ranking 2 Comments »

Following is  from a report in Economic Times.

Gujarat is still on top of the heap when to comes to the list of most attractive investment destinations in the country.

The state attracted maximum project investments in 2007-08, followed by Maharashtra, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, according to a study by the Reserve Bank of India on projects funded by banks and financial institutions. At the same time, the overall investments in the country are expected to moderate in 2008-09.

With a proposed investment of Rs 62,442 crore from 100 projects, Gujarat continued to occupy the top spot as far as investment intention is concerned.

Of the total investment intentions in 2007-08, the state accounted for 22% of the total proposals for the year, though the share dipped from the previous year’s share of 25.8%.

Maharashtra, which ranked second, had a share of 12.7%, envisaging investments worth Rs 36,202 crore. Orissa was third with 10.9% share, accounting for investments worth Rs 30,913 crore, followed by Andhra Pradesh (8.5%), Chhattisgarh (6.2%), Tamil Nadu (5.6%), Karnataka (3.7%), Uttar Pradesh (3.5%) and the rest sharing less than 3% each.

The study involves 910 projects that were sanctioned assistance by banks and financial institutions in 2007-08 with an aggregated envisaged project cost of Rs 2,84,371 crore.

Progress on Jindal Steel and power projects

Angul, Anugul- Talcher - Saranga- Nalconagar, Coal, Iron Ore, Jindal, Keonjhar, Pragativadi, Steel, Thermal 3 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a report in Pragativadi.

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd is optimistic about commissioning the first phase of the proposed six MTPA steel mill in Orissa’s Angul district by October 2010.

… Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Jindal said that the work for the first phase of the project was progressing well.

The company had already spent Rs 4,000 crore so far for it and has placed an order for equipment for the purpose.

Of its total project cost of Rs 13,135 crore, JSPL had also spent a lot on land, construction, equipment and other activities, he said.

Jindal said JSPL has a small iron ore mine at Tensa in Keonjhar district and is hopeful of getting raw material linkage to its Angul project. 

We have been allotted coal block for the requirement of our captive power plant and the steel plant, he added.

He said that the company apprised the chief minister about the progress and made a presentation before him, while seeking the state government’s help in availing new raw material linkage early.

The JSPL which signed an MoU with the state government for setting up a beneficiation plant at Deojhar in Keonjhar district and the Angul steel plant on November 11, 2005, had progressed well besides tackling local problems, he said.

Orissa in Transition: From Fiscal Turnaround to Rapid and Inclusive Growth (Forthcoming World Bank Study)

Best practices, CENTER & ODISHA, INDUSTRY and INFRASTRUCTURE, INVESTMENTS and INVESTMENT PLANS, Odisha govt. action, World Bank 1 Comment »

The following is from See  also this Telegraph report.

Orissa in Transition

From Fiscal Turnaround to Rapid and Inclusive Growth 

Forthcoming World Bank Study


Overview: Orissa has transformed from a seriously lagging state to a state on the move


From being the poorest state of India in the mid 1990s, Orissa has become a state on the move.  The state’s economy has shifted gear and is on a higher growth trajectory.  Gross state domestic product (GSDP) has grown at 8.5 percent on average during the Tenth Plan period (2002-07), compared to 5.5 percent during the previous plan (1997-2002) and even slower in the past. 


Public investments in infrastructure have begun to rise, and private industrial investment is booming. The finances of the state have improved remarkably, creating fiscal space for expanding public investments. 


Private investment is booming: Indian and foreign mega investments in the steel and power sectors and aluminum and chrome products are dominating the private investment boom. Industry has grown at 20 percent annually in 2002-07, compared to only 6 percent in 1997-2002.  This is fuelled, in part, by the rise in world metal prices. Since 2004, Orissa has ranked as the country’s premier investment destination, according to the Center for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE).


Private investments under implementation in Orissa now total about US$125 billion – which is about seven times the state’s annual gross domestic product (GSDP).  Many of these investments are at an advanced stage and expected to start production before 2012/13. This makes it likely that Orissa will enjoy high double digit growth, faster than the rest of India, for several years to come.


Early signs of economic diversification: There are also some, albeit early signs of economic diversification. In the services sector for instance, Indian IT companies are entering Orissa as traditionally favored destinations become increasingly saturated. The services sector is now growing at a rapid clip, almost touching 10 percent. Even agriculture, traditionally beset by drought and floods, grew at 3 percent per year during 2002-07, which is better than the rest of India.


As a result, Orissa’s per-capita income, which progressively fell behind the rest of the country during the past five decades, has begun to catch up. Inequalities within Orissa have also narrowed.   The latest National Sample Survey data show that rural families in the southern region of the state – one of the poorest parts of the country without the mineral deposits of the north – are now spending up to 25 percent more on basic necessities like food, clothing, and schooling for their children, compared to just five years ago.  Although average spending in rural Orissa is still low, it is moving up more rapidly than ever before.


A great deal still remains to be done


Second poorest state in the country: Despite recent progress, however, Orissa is still the second poorest state in the country with one of the lowest levels of urbanization. Over 45 percent of its people live in poverty with the scheduled tribes (STs) – who make up a sizeable 22 percent of the state’s population – lagging far behind the rest of the population. Most STs live in tiny villages or remote habitations in the hills where their geographical isolation underlies much of their poverty. Rural electrification is among the lowest in the country; some 18,000 villages and 5 million households have yet to get electricity. Learning levels in schools are low, and the burden of ill health too high.


Capacity constraints in infrastructure: Capacity constraints in rail are increasing congestion on roads, and limited port capacity is diverting cargo from Paradip in Orissa to Haldia in West Bengal, and Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. The state has yet to capitalize on its large coastline facing South East Asia.


Undoubtedly, much remains to be done. Given the state’s recent growth, the time is now ripe to consolidate the gains of the past and devote public resources to building infrastructure, and reducing the gaps between the people – between rural and urban, between the interior and the coast, and between the scheduled tribes and the rest of the population.

Policies will need to unleash the full potential of agriculture, fisheries and forestry on which an overwhelming 85 percent of the state’s people depend. Education and health will need urgent attention if the people are to benefit from the growing opportunities provided by the new economy. Roads, railways and ports will need major upgrades if the benefits of growth are to be spread more equitably and the state’s natural resources effectively utilized. And, for all this to happen, the accountability of the government in the delivery of basic services must be increased.


While Orissa seeks to industrialize on the strength of its rich mineral wealth, it is important to ensure that those who live on mineral-rich land benefit adequately from the advent of large mineral-based industries. While the Orissa government has adopted a progressive rehabilitation and resettlement policy for the displaced, and legislated to ensure that a share of company profits are earmarked for development, the challenge ahead lies in   the effective implementation of these promising policies.


As Orissa strives to build for the future and surpass average Indian living standards by 2020, it can take productive lessons from its recent successes. The open and consultative process that has served it well in the past will be necessary to deal effectively with the complex issues that lie ahead on the road to modernization.


Reforms Spur Faster Economic Growth


Since 2001,Orissa has achieved a remarkable fiscal turnaround. The ratio of the state’s debt burden to annual GDP has fallen significantly, helping it transform from being one of the most fiscally-stressed states of the country in the late 1990s, with a primary (non-interest) fiscal deficit of 6 percent of GSDP, to a surplus of 3.4 percent.


The turnaround has been triggered by a number of factors. Policy reforms at the central and state level have spurred the arrival of industry, the state government’s strong resolve has helped to complete long pending infrastructure projects despite a resource crunch, and its consultative approach has enabled it to reduce expenditures:

National level reforms: The central government’s elimination of the freight equalization subsidy – that prevented Orissa from becoming an attractive location for mineral based manufacturing in the past – paved the way for arrival of the metal industry in the state.

State government efforts to improve the investment climate: This was followed by a wave of well-sequenced state level reforms. In the first instance, from 2000 to 2003, the government mainly concentrated on raising its revenues through tax reforms and improving the investment climate by simplifying the regulations.


Between 2004 and 2006, it undertook significant measures to contain unproductive public expenditures. Through a consultative and transparent process, the state government took the people on board in its efforts to rightsize the civil service, retrench employees of loss making public enterprises, and rationalize grants to non-government high schools and colleges. The growing private sector presence that had already begun to open up new job opportunities for the people, helped gain their acceptance for the government’s efforts to downsize the public sector.

Improved connectivity: Strong resolve and a focus on outcomes rather than outlays helped the government to complete long-pending construction projects – roads, bridges and irrigation canals – despite constrained budgets. As a result, the number of bridges completed rose from 19 in 2004 to over 100 in 2006.



Over 45 percent of Orissa’s people still live in poverty with almost half of them belonging to the Scheduled Tribes, most of whom live in remote villages with little migration to the cities. There are large gaps in the delivery of basic services. The state still has large untapped potential for economic growth.


Improved transport and power connectivity: Almost half the villages in Orissa are small and isolated – with less than 500 residents. As geographical isolation poses a big challenge for connectivity, adequate road, rail, and port infrastructure is essential for inclusive growth as well as to benefit from the state’s mineral endowments.


Urban infrastructure: Although Orissa has one of India‘s lowest levels of urbanization – 15% – its urban centers are growing rapidly. With the growing advent of industry, tourism and IT services, the demand for urban housing, water and power services is likely to increase many times over. Massive upgrading of urban infrastructure is therefore needed to attract and retain the skilled labor force demanded by modern industry and services.


Agricultural and forestry growth: While some 85% of the state’s population remains dependent on agriculture, fisheries and forestry, these sectors are beset by low yields, excessive middlemen, poor connectivity, and lack of storage facilities. The ban on land leasing has resulted in informal and illegal share-cropping arrangements that are harmful to cultivators. To improve the rates of return from farming, the state has amended the agricultural products marketing act to permit privately run mandis and contract farming. The computerization of land records is ongoing. Yet, reforms in land tenure and land administration are needed so that small farmers can access bank credit and make productive investments in the land. For the mostly tribal populations that are dependent on forest produce, joint forest management practices can be a promising route to higher incomes.


Education: While school enrollment has risen, learning levels remain very low. While the state government has launched bold measures to improve teacher accountability, strong educational fundamentals from the earliest years, supplemented by some public and mostly private efforts in training and skill development are needed.


Health: Despite dramatic improvements in overall infant mortality rates in the past 5–10 years, the predominantly tribal districts lag behind. They have the poorest immunization rates and least access to antenatal care. While the state government’s health sector plan for 2005 envisages a decentralized and participatory approach to service delivery, innovative and flexible approaches will be required to reach geographically isolated villages. Importantly, systems of accountability will need to be strengthened before budget allocations to education, healthcare, and anti-poverty programs are increased.


Small and Medium Enterprises: With the arrival of new mega projects, the demand for a wide range of goods and services will rise, generating opportunities for small investors as well as new avenues for employment. To capitalize on these opportunities, an improved regulatory climate for SMEs is called for.  

Environmental considerations while tapping mineral rich areas: Given that mineral-based industries impact the environment, there is need to strengthen environmental institutions. Ongoing plans and current efforts of the government toward strengthening public consultation mechanisms will play a crucial role in determining the sustainability of mineral sector investments in Orissa.





1. How many people have been brought out of poverty in recent years?


Between 1999/00 and 2004/05, based on NSS data estimates using ‘mixed reference period’, the proportion of people in poverty in rural Orissa declined by 8 percentage points compared to 5 percentage points in rural India as a whole. Despite this progress, however, the level of poverty in Orissa remains significantly higher than the rest of India.


According to the latest calculation based on official figures released recently by the Planning Commission, the number of poor in Orissa has come down by about 1.5 million between 1999/00 and 2004/05.  This figure will feature in the final Bank report.



2. By how much has Orissa’s economy grown in recent years?


The rate of economic growth depends on the period one considers. According to the latest data released by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of Orissa, the state GDP grew at 10.5 percent annually on average during the most recent five years, that is 2003/04 to 2007/08.  During the Tenth Five-Year Plan period, that is 2002/03 to 2006/07, the average growth rate was 8.5 percent.  Clearly, Orissa, which grew much slower than the rest of India during the 1990s, has now caught up.  From about 2004 onwards, it has begun to overtake the national average.


3. What is the state’s current debt burden?


How the debt burden has moved can be appreciated by comparing not rupee figures but the ratio of the debt burden to annual GDP or annual revenue. As a proportion of revenue, Orissa’s debt has fallen from 343 percent in 2001/02 to 201 percent in 2007/08. As a proportion of GSDP, it has declined from 63 percent to 50 percent.  This is a major correction, and reflects responsible fiscal management to lift the state out of a crisis situation.



4. Has the government achieved a revenue surplus by curtailing capital expenditure and squeezing development expenditure?


The revenue surplus has been achieved as a result of 3 factors:  improved performance of the state’s own taxes, enhanced central transfers and external donor support, and curtailing of expenditure.  The capital budget was constrained during 2002-05, but still outcomes improved due to emphasis on project completion. As explained in the report, there was undoubtedly a lot of flab in the administrative machinery, and Orissa was more over-staffed than other states. The government undertook major surgery to trim the fat, and in the process some muscle also got cut, which needs to be rebuilt now.   The Government of Orissa has been hiring a large number of para-teachers, and the teacher-pupil ratio is 40 on average, ranging from 31 in the best served district to 60 in the worst.  This is far better than the situation in Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.



5. Has the signing of MOUs been interpreted as industrial growth?


The reported industrial growth in recent years is based on actual and officially estimated GSDP figures, not on MOUs.  Assessment of future prospects has been informed by CMIE’s projections using detailed information on the status of each investment project under implementation, and its likely date of completion based on historical experience and informed judgment in exceptional cases.



6. What is the evidence of crop diversification?


The report cites some signs of crop diversification.   For instance, the output of maize and cotton has increased in some areas; this is reflected in official agricultural crop statistics. 

Supreme court allows bauxite mining by Vedanta/Sterlite

Aluminium, Bauxite, ENVIRONMENT, Kalahandi, Pragativadi, Supreme Court, Vedanta Comments Off on Supreme court allows bauxite mining by Vedanta/Sterlite

Following is an excerpt from a report in Pragativadi.

The Supreme Court on Friday cleared the decks for Anil Agarwal promoted Vedanta Resources to mine bauxite from the ecologically fragile Niyamgiri hills for its proposed Rs 4,000-crore alumina project at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district.

Vedanta had sought clearance for diversion of 660.749 hectare of forest land for mining purposes to feed its alumina plant.

The special forest bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices Arijit Pasayat and SH Kapadia allowed Sterlite to go ahead with bauxite mining.

The application of Vedanta is allowed, the Supreme Court bench said in a statement. 

However, it asked the ministry of environment and forest to proceed in accordance with law.

… Vedanta wants to dig open-cast mines in the Niyamgiri hills located in Kalahandi district near its project area. 

Vedanta promoted Sterlite Industries had sought clearance for diversion of 660.749 hectares of forest land for mining purposes to provide required raw material for its plant.

Supreme court comes in favor of POSCO

Iron Ore, Jagatsinghpur, Jatadhari port (POSCO), Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, POSCO, Pragativadi, South Korea, Steel, Supreme Court Comments Off on Supreme court comes in favor of POSCO

Following is an excerpt from a report in Pragativadi.

The Supreme Court on Friday permitted South Korean steel major Posco to set up Rs 51,000-crore mega steel plant and captive minor port at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.

A special environmental bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan allowed Posco India Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of South Korea-based Posco, to go ahead with its plans.

With this order, the apex court has also cleared forest diversion proposal for the plant site which require 1253.225 hectares of forest land.

The court, while directing the Orissa government to dispose of all the Posco’s applications seeking prospecting licences within four weeks, also asked the state government to send its recommendations to the ministry of environment and forests that would proceed in accordance with law.

The bench also asked the state government to undertake implementation of compensatory afforestation plan under the supervision of a Supreme Court-appointed committee comprising top officials of the state government.

… Posco counsel Mukul Rohtagi contended that the state government-owned Orissa Mining Corporation had agreed to supply uninterrupted iron ore and other minerals for its steel project and had identified mines in the western part of the state, some 300 km away from its project site.

… The company can source raw materials on its own and can buy the same from the open market, he said, adding that the company is not dependent on prospecting licence.

ADB grant for irrigation

Irrigation, Loans, Odisha govt. action, River linking Comments Off on ADB grant for irrigation

Following is from a report in Pragativadi.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to give 188 US million dollar as loan for the improvement in the irrigation sector of Orissa. The funds would be spent under the Orissa Irrigated Agriculture and Water Management programme. Under this project, Budhabalanga, Baitarani, Subarnarekeha and Chitrotpala basin will be inter-linked.  Besides, six major irrigation projects, nine medium and 1,400 lift irrigation points would be set up that would facilitate irrigation in 2.24 lakh hectare of lands. A tripartite agreement was signed in New Delhi by the Centre, the ADB and the Orissa government. As per the agreement, ADB will provide 47 US million dollar in the first phase. The state government will repay the money at a five per cent interest in a period of 25 years.

Hoteliers selected for the Shamuka beach project

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Hotels and resorts, Puri, Puri, Shamuka Beach project, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Tourist promotion 1 Comment »

Following is from a report in hospitalitybizindia.

Eleven hospitality majors like the Indian Hotels Company, ITC Welcomgroup, Dubai-based Emaar MGF, DLF, IHHR Hospitality, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels, Goa-based VM Salgaonkar Bros Pvt Ltd, Unitech, Delhi-based Zoom Developers, Kolkata-based Shristi Infrastructure Development Corporation and Mumbai-based Subha Hospitality have been selected by the Tourism Department of Orissa to convert Samukha Beach, the long virgin beach situated near the Konark Temple, into the biggest beach city of India.

The project was planned to be completed in two phases on a public private partnership (PPP) format in October 2007. The beach city will house five-star properties, golf courses, convention centres, handicrafts centres, art centres and conventions halls. It will also include special varieties of housing estates, social housings, condominiums, budget hotels and villas.

The Tourism Department inaugurated the commencement of the awaited hop-on and hop-off bus services, recently. Sasank Rath, Officer on Special Duty, Orissa Tourism said that the work for sizing of the lands is currently going on, while lands will be disbursed by the end of August 2008. The Tourism Department plans to invest Rs 2000-3000 Crore to build the whole project. The State Government will invest Rs100 Crore for infrastructure development. Work on the project is expected to start in August 2008 and it will take another 42 months for it to be completed.


Fundraising for Jatin Das center of Arts In Bhubaneswar

Art Gallery, Arts n crafts, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Khordha, Museums, Odisha artists, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Statesman, Telegraph Comments Off on Fundraising for Jatin Das center of Arts In Bhubaneswar

Following is an excerpt from a news report in the Telegraph.

Painter Jatin Das’s dream of a museum for traditional and contemporary art in his native Orissa has gone international.

Das was in Washington and New York last week outlining his plans for the J.D. Centre of Art in Bhubaneswar to his American and Indian American fans.

At an interactive evening at the Indian embassy here, hosted by India’s deputy chief of mission Raminder Singh Jassal, with slides of his life’s work, Das said the proposed centre would be the first in India to display both traditional and contemporary art in 14 permanent galleries under one roof.

The Orissa government has allotted an acre of land to the painter, who was born in Mayurbhanj. B.V. Doshi, the famous architect from Ahmedabad and associate of Le Corbusier, has designed the master plan for the ambitious centre.

The painter said he had been dreaming of the project for almost a decade and expected that it would cost Rs 50 crore to make it a reality.

“I have been funding the centre, which has a board and a small staff of six people, with money from my paintings. They are temporarily working out of a house in Bhubaneswar given by the state government,” Das told this correspondent.

But he plans to make international requests for funding and hopes Indian Americans will join in the effort.

When the centre is ready, Das will donate his entire collection of 45 years, including paintings, books and antiquities, to the new venture to be housed in one place.

New lines under construction and under survey in ECOR

ECOR, SER 1 Comment »

New lines:

   Daitari – Banspani (155 Km.)
   Koraput – Rayagada (164 Km.)
   Khurda – Bolangir (289 Km.)
   Talcher – Sambalpur (174.112 Km.)
   Langigarh Rd. – Junagarh (56 Km.)
   Haridaspur – Paradeep (82 Km.)
   Sukinda Road – Angul (98 Km.)
   Talcher – Bimalgarh (154 Km.)

New lines under survey:

Jeypore-Kottameta new BG rail link 128 Orissa
Puri-Konark new BG rail link 30 Orissa
Phulbani-Berhampur new BG line 175 Orissa
Talcher/Hindol Road -Gopalpur/Berhampur new BG rail link 245 Orissa
Talcher-Bimlagarh new BG rail link 130 Orissa
Bargarh-Nawapara Road new BG link via Padampur 120 Orissa
Jeypore-Nawarangpur new BG line 45 Orissa



Orissa government’s new policy regarding thermal power stations

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Following is an excerpt from a report in Statesman.

The state government formulated policy guidelines for power generators covering all those who have already signed MoUs and those who are in the pipeline and stipulated availability of power as state shares with the quantum being linked to coal block and coal linkages.

Henceforth the MoUs will have a provision entitling a nominated agency authorised by the state government to purchase 14 per cent power from a generator with coal linkage and 12 per cent power from those without coal linkage. The power purchased from the generator by the state or its authorised agency will be at variable costs determined by the OERC.

For existing power producers, the same has been fixed at seven and five per cent of the generation respectively. However with regards to ultra mega power projects, the state will have a right to purchase upto 50 per cent of power from it through competitive bidding at the lowest bid price only.

The government has also said that ultra mega power projects should contributed five per cent of their profit to the peripheral development fund.

The MoUs and power purchase agreements signed already may be modified and the progress of existing independent power producers will be reviewed, it said.

Ultra mega power projects will signed MoU with the state government for support in getting various clearances and assistance in rehabilitation measures as per state policy.

The central sector power generators will however follow government of India guidelines on sharing of power and state will get 10 per cent home state share from the plant in addition to the 20 per cent share through Gadgil formula.

The Centre will be required for 15 per cent discretionary power from NTPC Kaniha while agreeing to the proposal of NTPC in Ib Valley project, stated the Cabinet.

Calculating Indian Railways’ estimated profit from Orissa in 2008-09

APPEAL to readers, Railway network in Odisha, SECR, SER 1 Comment »
  Total Route kms Route Kms in Orissa

Total estimated Profit in 08-09 (in crores)

Orissa’s portion of the profit (in crores)
ECOR 2430 1607 3077.15 2034.97
SECR 1599 51 2529.89 80.69
SER 2577 589 2467.88 564.06
    2247   2679.72


Indian Railways exploitation of backward and tribal areas of Orissa: confronting Railway Board Chair with the facts in Toronto

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Following is the news report on the discussion (almost a confrontation) with the Railway Board Chair, as reported in India Abroad. The basic premise behind our grievances against Indian Railways and our demands is simple.

  • Indian railways is scheduled to make 2500-3000 crores/year from Orissa, but spends only 1000 crores/year on Orissa in terms of new lines, doubling and gauge conversion.
  • Its current plan for major spending includes freight corridors, metro rails, and high speed rails, none of which touch Orissa. It plans to do gauge conversion of 12000 kms, most of which is unprofitable (this proves that Indian Railway lies when it says it only does profitable lines), very little (less than 100 km) of which is in Orissa.
  • Orissa is already behind the national average in terms of rail density and way behind its neighbors such as West Bengal and Bihar. If no changes are made to the 11th plan IR allocations Orissa will further fall behind.
  • Indian Railways must not take money from its profit in Orissa, and spend it else where, until it takes care of proper connectivity to Orissa’s tribal, backward and maoist infested areas. The 2500-3000 times 5 = 12,500 -15,000 crore that Indian Railways will profit from Orissa during the 11th plan must be spend in new lines in Orissa until the (i)-(v) lines below and other port and mine connectivity lines are completed during the 11th plan.
  • To Mr. Jena’s retort that Mumbai earns so much in taxes and not all of it is spent in Mumbai; we reply that it is often acceptable to take from rich and give to poor; But when did it become acceptable to take from poor (Orissa) and give to rich (freight corridors etc. in other states)?

The lines in Orissa connecting to the tribal and backward areas that we demand to be finished during the 11th plan are:

  • (i) Khurda Rd – Nayagarh – Balangir: Lack of connectivity was one of the reasons a recent Maoist mayhem happened in Nayagarh. It seems after recent events, including the confrontation with the Railway Board Chair and various dharanas in Bhubaneswar, IR has started responding to this demand, but not to the extent to promise its completion during the 11th plan. Note that Balangir is the B in the KBK districts that are the most backward in India.
  • (ii) Lanjigarh Rd – Junagarh – Nabarangpur – Jeypore – Malkangiri – Bhadrachalam Rd in Andhra Pradesh: Only small part of this is approved. Most of it is not even surveyed. In the long run this will really bring those parts of Orissa closer to the rest of Orissa. This is the most important connection and has to be take care of at the earliest. Like the approved Vijaywada-Ranchi highway, this line will create an alternative Hyderabad – Ranchi path passing through backward and tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand. This line will connect the Kalahandi and Koraput districts, the two K’s in KBK. The recent Maoist attack and killing of the Greyhound forces in Malkangiri might have been prevented if this line existed as then the forces would have used the train rather than being seating ducks taking a boat across a lake in Malkangiri.
  • (iii a) Rayagada – Gopalpur: This has been surveyed and but work on it has not started. Note that Rayagada is part of the undivided Koraput district, one of the K’s of KBK. This line could come under port connectivity and will be a viable line connecting the industries near Rayagada with the upcoming port in Gopalpur.
  • (iii b) Gunupur – Theruvali: This will add to the Naupada-Gunupur line and make it an economically viable line. (IR and Mr. Jena agree about its importance.) This line will be completely inside the Raygada district, part of the undivided Koraput district, one of the K’s of KBK.
  • (iv) Talcher – Bimlagarh (connectivity to the tribal district of Sundergarh): This line has been approved but is only being given a few crores each year, which is less than the inflation. This line will reduce the distance between Sundergarh district and teh coastal areas significantly. For example, it will make Rourkela only 4-5 hrs from Bhubaneswar.
  • (v) Baripada/Buramara – Chakulia: This line will connect the tribal district of Mayurbhanj to tribal areas of Jharkhand. It will add to the Rupsa-Baripada-Bangiriposi line and make it an economically viable line. (IR and Mr. Jena agree about its importance.)

All these lines can be completed if Indian railways just suspends its practice of taking from poor (Orissa) and giving to the rich for only a few years (may be just 3-4 years). The following maps show the above mentioned lines.