Archive for March, 2009

Decision making style in current Orissa government – for Orissa to progress this must change

ADMINISTRATION & REPs, Elections 2009 Comments Off on Decision making style in current Orissa government – for Orissa to progress this must change

A researcher in one state government institution in Orissa recently received an invitation to spend a month in a top US university with all expenses paid by the US university. She/He requested permission from the head of his/her institution to take leave and make the trip. The head sent the request (WHY?) to the overseeing department in the secretariat. When the whereabouts of the file was inquired the secretary in charge of that department said that she has just put up the file to the Chief Minister’s office (WHY?). Now the file will probably sit among hundreds of files in the CMO’s office that are waiting for his attention.

This is an example of how even simple stuff are not being decided at lower levels and are being sent all the way up to the CM’s office. In this case, the head of the institution should have just made the decision.

The current Orissa government is at fault for directly or indirectly allowing/encouraging such passing the buck and/or for not empowering decision making at lower levels. Regardless of who wins the election this must change and the new government should encourage and empower decision making at lower levels.

How the parties fared in 2004

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Assembly constituencies of Orissa and links to their maps

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AcName AcName AcName AcName
Padampur(GEN) Balasore(GEN) Nabarangpur(ST) Bhubaneswar Central(GEN)
Bijepur(GEN) Remuna(SC) Dabugam(ST) Bhubaneswar North(GEN)
Bargarh(GEN) Nilgiri(GEN) Lanjigarh(ST) Ekamra-Bhubaneswar(GEN)
Attabira(SC) Soro(SC) Junagarh(GEN) Jatani(GEN)
Bhatli(GEN) Simulia(GEN) Dharamgarh(GEN) Begunia(GEN)
Brajarajnagar(GEN) Bhandaripokhari(GEN) Bhawanipatna(SC) Khurda(GEN)
Jharsuguda(GEN) Bhadrak(GEN) Narla(GEN) Chilika(GEN)
Talsara(ST) Basudevpur(GEN) Baliguda(ST) Ranpur(GEN)
Sundargarh(ST) Dhamnagar(SC) G. Udayagiri(ST) Khandapada(GEN)
Biramitrapur(ST) Chandabali(GEN) Phulbani(ST) Daspalla(SC)
Raghunathpali(SC) Binjharpur(SC) Kantamal(GEN) Nayagarh(GEN)
Rourkela(GEN) Bari(GEN) Boudh(GEN) Bhanjanagar(GEN)
Rajgangpur(ST) Barchana(GEN) Baramba(GEN) Polasara(GEN)
Bonai(ST) Dharamasala(GEN) Banki(GEN) Kabisuryanagar(GEN)
Kuchinda(ST) Jajpur(GEN) Athagarh(GEN) Khalikote(SC)
Rengali(SC) Korei(GEN) Barabati-Cuttack(GEN) Chhatrapur(SC)
Sambalpur(GEN) Sukinda(GEN) Choudwar-Cuttack(GEN) Aska(GEN)
Rairakhol(GEN) Dhenkanal(GEN) Niali(SC) Suruda(GEN)
Deogarh(GEN) Hindol(SC) Cuttack Sadar(SC) Sanakhemundi(GEN)
Telkoi(ST) Kamakhyanagar(GEN) Salipur(GEN) Hinjili(GEN)
Ghasipura(GEN) Parjanga(GEN) Mahanga(GEN) Gopalpur(GEN)
Anandapur(SC) Pallahara(GEN) Patkura(GEN) Berhampur(GEN)
Patna(ST) Talcher(GEN) Kendrapara(SC) Digapahandi(GEN)
Keonjhar(ST) Angul(GEN) Aul(GEN) Chikiti(GEN)
Champua(GEN) Chhendipada(SC) Rajanagar(GEN) Mohana(ST)
Jashipur(ST) Athamallik(GEN) Mahakalapada(GEN) Paralakhemundi(GEN)
Saraskana(ST) Birmaharajpur(SC) Paradeep(GEN) Gunupur(ST)
Rairangpur(ST) Sonepur(GEN) Tirtol(SC) Bissam Cuttack(ST)
Bangriposi(ST) Loisingha(SC) Balikuda-Erasama(GEN) Rayagada(ST)
Karanjia(ST) Patnagarh(GEN) Jagatsinghpur(GEN) Lakshmipur(ST)
Udala(ST) Bolangir(GEN) Kakatpur(SC) Kotpad(ST)
Badasahi(SC) Titlagarh(GEN) Nimapara(GEN) Jeypore(GEN)
Baripada(ST) Kantabanji(GEN) Puri(GEN) Koraput(SC)
Morada(GEN) Nuapada(GEN) Brahmagiri(GEN) Pottangi(ST)
Jaleswar(GEN) Khariar(GEN) Satyabadi(GEN) Malkangiri(ST)
Bhograi(GEN) Umerkote(ST) Pipli(GEN) Chitrakonda(ST)
Basta(GEN) Jharigam(ST) Jayadev(SC)  

Krishna Beura slowly breaking into Bollywood as a singer

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Following are excerpts from an article in Times of India.

He mesmerized us with the pensive Main Jahan Rahoon in Namaste London, captured our hearts along with Himesh Reshammiya with Aap ki Kashish in Aashiq Banaya Aapne, shot to fame by bagging the Max Stardust Award 2008 for Maula Mere in Chak De and more recently he gave us the melodiously haunting Soniyo in Raaz 2.

The voice behind these soulful renditions is Krishna Beura, an Oriya guy who is probably the first from his state to offer his voice as a male playback singer in Bollywood.

…Krishna, who specializes in Sufi songs, has sung for more than 30 Bollywood flicks and also worked in Hollywood with famous American musician Jay Oliver for a song by Sandeep Chowta. Now, he is waiting for Sanjay Gupta’s Acid Factory.

KBK Poll graphics on past elections

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BJP in Orissa does not seem to have any real plans for Orissa; its only goal seems to be to teach a lesson to BJD

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The early indication is that BJP in Orissa has really no plans for being in a winning coalition and do something for Orissa. It seems its only goal is to teach a lesson to BJD and hope that there is a hung assembly and that BJD comes crawling back to BJP. If this is the case, then this agenda of BJP (in addition to its alleged communal agenda) must be exposed to the fullest and BJP be made a non-entity in Orissa. (Many of the people in Orissa BJP are good people, and hopefully they will then form a seprate party without the alleged communal agenda of BJP and its Sangh parivaar.)

The BJD-CPI-CPI(M)-NCP alliance may results in smart and compassionate Industrialization of Orissa

Elections 2009, INDUSTRY and INFRASTRUCTURE 1 Comment »

During the last several years, many of the industrialization projects, such as POSCO, Tata Steel project in Kalinganagar, and even the Vedanta University project were drastically slowed down because of protests organized or led by the communist parties. For political reasons the opposers would not come and properly discuss a give-n-take with the Orissa government. With the BJD-CPI-CPI(M) alliance there is a chance that at least the opposers led by the CPI and CPI-M will join the (hopefully) BJD government in a discussion and will be less rigid in their stand and win-win solutions would be arrived at that will be good for the locals and good for the  industrialization of Orissa. In addition if BJD supports UPA at the center then Congress may not create much trouble, and with BJP having very little influence in these regions, these and other projects, including land acquisition for various Railway projects, could proceed faster with changes that will safeguard the interests of the locals.  

Orissa Lok Sabha constituencies and their 2009 contestants

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BJD and alies [1,2] (CPI,CPI-M,NCP)



BJP [1,2] Samruddha Orissa Others
Bhubaneswar Prasanna Patsani

Santosh Mohanty

Archana Nayak    
Cuttack Bhartruhari Mahtab Bibhuti Mishra Anadi Sahu    
Puri Pinaki Mishra

Prasad Harichandan

Pinaki Mishra

Debendranath Mansingh

Braja Tripathy   Krishna Nayak (SP)
Balasore Arun Dey (NCP)

Srikant Jena

Rabindra Jena

Kharabela Swain
Jajpur Mohan Jena Amiya Mallik

Ashok Das

Parameshwar Sethi

 Ajit Jena  
Mayurbhanj Laxman Tudu Priyabrata Majhi Draupadi Murmu   Laxmiswar Chamudia (SP)
Sambalpur Rohit Pujari

Sriballav Panigrahi

Amar Pradhan

Surendra Kumar Lath    
Sundergarh Salomi Minz (CPI-M) Hemananda Biswal Jual Oram    
Dhenkanal Tathagata Satpathy

KP Singhdeo or Suparno Satpathy

Chandrasekhar Tripathy

Rudra Narayan Pany   Abhinna Hota (SP)
Berhampur Siddhant Mohapatra Chandrasekhar Sahu Bharat Paik    
Koraput Jayaram Pangi Giridhar Gomang Upendra Majhi    
Bhadrakh Arjun Sethi Anant Prasad Sethi Panchanan Mandal    
Balangir Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo Narasingha Mishra Sangeeta Singhdeo   Arun Mishra (SP)
Bargarh Hamid Hussain Sanjay Bhoi Radharani Panda    
Keonjhar Jasobant Laguri Dhanurjay Sidhu Ananta Nayak    
Kendrapada Baijayant Panda Ranjib Biswal Jnanadev Beura    
Kalahandi Subas Nayak Bhakta Ch Das Bikram Keshari Deo  

Gurmit Singh (BSP)

Parameshwar Panda (SP)

Aska Nityanand Pradhan Rama chandra Ratha Shanti Devi    
Jagatsinghpur Bibhu Prasad Tarei (CPI) Rabindra Sethi Baidhar Mallik Akhaya Sethi Bibhuti Bhusan Majhi (BSP)
Nabarangpur Dambaru Majhi Pradeep Majhi Parsuram Majhi    
Kandhamal Rudramadhav Ray Sujit Padhi Ashok Sahu   Nakul Nayak (SP)


Where is BJD vulnerable?

Elections 2009 1 Comment »

Earlier articles in this series:

1.In the Orissa context, What parties have done right? What have they done wrong?
2.What outcome is good for Orissa in Elections 2009?
3.My Initial Analysis of Elections 2009 in Orissa

This is a bit premature as BJD’s complete list of candidates has not come out yet. But my prediction after seeing the first list is that BJD is vulnerable in one main point. As BJD has not picked highly comptent, trusted by the CM and Pyari babu, people at the MLA level, if one asks them the following questions then they will not have the proper answers.


  • Who will be your ministers?
  • Who will run the ministries?
  • Are they competent to run ministries?
  • Do Naveen and Pyari trust them to allow them to take decisions?
  • Will Naveen and Pyari micromanage everything?
  • Or will they let the bureaucrats run the show as during the last 9 years?
  • How often ministers were thrown out during the last 9 years? How badly they managed?

In other words there does not seem to be any one running at the MLA level in the BJD outside of Naveen babu one can name and say that this person is clean and super-competent and would be a good minister. Beause the Congress and BJP are much worse options, my vote would still go to BJD but I don’t expect any big change in the Orissa governance; Naveen and Pyari (quarter time; as he is an MP as well as party strategeist)  will take the major decisions and the bureaucrats will run the show and since 1-2 people (Naveen and Pyari) can only do so much by themselves many good intentions and plans will not get properly implemented and there will be regular scandals; not the money or bribe kind; but scandals based on expose of incompetency of various ministries. I wish there was another clean, competent and viable option to BJD. 

Yashoda Cancer institute plans a hospital in Orissa

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Following is an excerpt from a report in Statesman.

The Hyderabad based Yashoda Cancer Institute has plans of setting up a hospital in Orissa and till such time it is committed to carry out health camps in the state by introducing its mobile cancer screening unit.

Addressing a Press conference here today, Mr Dheeraj Gorukanti, CEO of Yashoda Hospitals’ Group and Dr D Mohanty said the mobile cancer screening unit containing digital mammography, digital X-Ray, ultrasound scan, ECG room etc, all in a bus will be moving in rural areas of Orissa in May. The idea is to detect cancer at an early stage and educate the people. It is part of our CSR activities and presently the bus is moving around rural areas of Andhra Pradesh, they said.

Highlighting the facilities provided by Yashoda Cancer Institute, they said it offers RapidArc radiation therapy and is the only cancer institute in Asia to have this facility.

…  Yashoda Hospitals’ Group has over 1250 beds, 600 doctors and it attends to over 5 lakh patients per year, they said.

In the Orissa context, What parties have done right? What have they done wrong?

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The governing party: The CM has a clean image. He has picked up many causes that need central govt. support and hammered them as issues over and over leading to success with respect to some of the causes. He achieved success in getting approval of the Vijaywada-Ranchi highway, getting NISER, getting an IIT, getting a central university and getting a National University. He has not been as much successful with respect to ad valorem lease rates for minerals, new railway lines as well as speeding up on currently approved Railway lines (e.g., Khurda – Balangir), getting international flights to Bhubaneswar, getting another operational airport in Orissa, etc.  Because of his clean image, and perhaps because he does not ask industrialists to pay bribes, he has been able to attract many industrial investments (making Orissa among the top states in India with respect to this parameter); some of them mega-projects. Although some of these investments have gone from paper to real spending of money, many of them, especially the mega ones (such as POSCO), are slow to get off the ground. 

However it seems that either all the ministers other than the CM were incompetent or they did not have trust of the CM. We are told, because of this almost all major decisions were taken at the CM’s level and many things were basically run by the bureaucrats. This of course meant that the voice of the people, as represented by the ministers who were elected by the people, were not heard.

I wish the BJD had been proactive in locating some good, honest, young, pro-development highly qualified and highly active in the community people such as Dr. Dhanada Mishra, Prof. Supriti Mishra, Dr. Sruti Mohapatra and mentored them into electoral politics. Such people would be wonderful junior ministers and oversee important programs like primary education (Dhanada’s speciality). Often times good people have to be found, encouraged and helped.

[It is often said, that most people in India are good, nice and hospitable. So if  a foreigner is in trouble and he/she randomly knocks a door in India, he/she will get help. However, if someone approaches a foreigner in India then the advise is to stay away from him as his motivation is suspect. The same analogy is often applicable to politics. If someone is desperate to join politics and become an MLA/MP/Minister then his/her intentions may not be that good. On the other hand good people who have shown their goodness and commitment to serve society need to be searched, encouraged and helped to become MLA/MP/Minister as they will really do good to the society.]

I believe the CM and his lieutenants Pyari babu and Baijayanta babu when they say that their focus is development of Orissa. (I have not heard CM Naveen babu taking a vacation during the last nine years; when he goes out of state, its mostly to Delhi and he is back as soon as the state’s business is done; and I think he has not made a foreign trip in the last 9 years. He seems to be fully dedicated to Orissa.) I hope they realize that they can not do everything by themselves and identify, recruit and help good people to get into their party and subsequently to the government.

Perhaps it is too late for this elections, but even now BJD can recruit the kind of people I mention above and rope them to help in the campaign. 

Opposition parties -Congress: They have tried to be watch dogs, which they are supposed to do. But often times, they have opposed things, even if they are beneficial to Orissa. They seem to follow the principle of "Cutting of the nose to spite the face." An example of this is the opposition to the Vedanta University.

No one active in Congress in Orissa has the clean image and/or stature of Naveen Patnaik. The Congress high command in New Delhi made a big mistake in not making Mr. Chandrasekhar Sahu, who has a clean image, a cabinet minister. If they had given him a high stature in Delhi, automatically he would have had a high stature in Orissa. Alternatively, they could have roped in Mr. Sam Pitroda, made him elected from Orissa (via Rajya Sabha) and made him a minister and slowly established him as a leader from Orissa. They could have also roped in Mr. Lalit Mansingh, ex-ambassador of India in the USA, who, I was told, was at one time, interested in electoral politics through Congress.

Congress did none of these.

They waited until it was too late and then created a joint leadership of Mr. KP Singh Deo (who has been acting like a king), Mr. Ramchandra Ulaka (nice man; good personal record in election wins; but no base in coastal Orissa), Mr. Srikant Jena (has good smart friends who help him with ideas, arguments and posters, but is the perfect example of practising "Cutting of the nose to spite the face" with no positive ideas so far) and Mr. Bhakta Das (similar as Mr. Jena; good at stopping development; but no positive ideas so far). Then they repeatedly insulted the hard working Youth Congress President Rohit Pujari, who got fed up and quit and joined BJD.

If Congress wants to revive in Orissa, it must create a leader that can match Naveen Patnaik’s stature and also follow the earlier suggestion of identifying good, pro-development, highly qualified and highly active in the community people and recruit them to its fold and help them rise.

Opposition party – BJP: They really have no good leaders in Orissa. As its stands it is a party which maintains close relations with groups such as Bajrang Dal, RSS etc. (generally referred to as the Sangh Parivaar) who are alleged to have been involved in post-Godhra Gujarat pogrom in 2002 [1,2,3,4,5,6,7], killings in Kandhamala last year, and violence and arson in Karnataka. So until they own up to their divisiveness, apologize to the nation, and change track, I hope and pray that not withstanding some excellent and highly competent people they have (such as Arun Jaitely), their dedication towards India, their good ideas, and their good governance in some states, that they do not come to power in Delhi.

[Note that Congress was allegedly involved in the 1984 Sikh riots where it is alleged that more people were butchered by the then Congress associated goons. However, Congress has owned up to its mistakes, apologized to the nation and punished some of the lead perpetrators. **There is some disturbing word that some of the alleged perpretators are being given tickets this time. If this is true, then Congress is also up to no good.**]

In any case, despite a couple of BJP people in Orissa such as Mr. Kharavela Swain, who has been a good parliamentarian, I don’t see much hope for BJP in Orissa. Neither they have good people of stature, nor is their ideology particularly attractive to peaceful people of Orissa.

Opposition party – CPI, CPI-M: They are useful as watch dogs but more often follow the principle of "Cutting of the nose to spite the face." On their own they will hardly win any MP seat and may win a couple of MLA seats. But through their opportunistic alliance they may win an MP seat this time. They have not much hope in Orissa.

Opposition party -Samrudha Orissa: Jatish babu seems sincere in his goal to get Orissa out of its poverty. I wish he had come out and done something for Orissa before going on campaigning and saying his party will do this and that. Why should we believe him? What has he done for Orissa so far?

Other opposition parties: Not worth talking about at this point. 

What outcome is good for Orissa in Elections 2009?

Elections 2009 1 Comment »

This has two aspects.


  • Which party in power in Orissa is good for Orissa?
  • Which party in the center is good for Orissa?

My analysis is that for the first part, a strong regional party with a leader of stature is good for Orissa. National parties even make their decisions regarding who will contest from where in Delhi. A national party in power in Orissa will not be able to strongly make a case for Orissa. They can not threaten the government in Delhi even if the same party is in the government. As it stands now they are always afraid to speak up to their leaders lest they lose their privileges. Also the Orissa leaders of the national parties (BJP and Congress) do not have a national stature. However, with coalition governments and alliances to stay, a regional party whether in the coalition in Delhi or not, will be valued. If they are in the coalition, they will be valued because their withdrawal of support may  weaken the government, if not bring it down. If they are not in the coalition, they will still be valued, especially if the party has a strong leader, because the government coalition will want to keep the regional party in good humor as they may need them in the future. For example, the UPA government needed SP. They also were attentive to BJD and the Orissa CM. The strong leader part is important as the government coalition can depend on the words of the strong leader of the regional party. Unlike many of the regional parties in the other states, such as Mayavati’s BSP, the focus of the regional parties in Orissa (BJD and Samrudha Orissa) is the development of Orissa, and not the PM’s post in Delhi. Among the two main regional parties in Orissa, BJD and Samrudha Orissa, BJD supremo has a national stature; so much so that some consider him to be a sleeper PM candidate for the third front. (It is great that he has categorically said that he has no interest in that job.) After winning two consecutive 5 year terms, if BJD wins a third term, the stature of Naveen Patnaik will be further enhanced nationally and if he then goes to Delhi with a demand, he will be heard. The weight of his voice during the last couple of years was evident from the approval of the Vijaywada-Ranchi highway, and Orissa being given a NISER, an IIT, a national university and a central university. He still has many unfinished business such as ad valorem mineral royaly, lack of progress on the AIIMS-like institute in Bhubaneswar, Railway in KBK and Kandhamala, etc. With him at the helm, Orissa has the best chance to make progress on those unfinished issues as well as new issues. Thus, in my opinion, in the elections 2009, it is best for Orissa, if the BJD makes the governemnt in Orissa, and has sufficient number of MPs (say 15-16) to consist a crucial block that either the central government depends on directly or as a fall back option for the future.

Now lets move to the second question. Which government in Delhi is best for Orissa?

A somewhat stable government that partially depends or expects to depend on the leading party from Orissa, BJD, is good for Orissa. Stability is important because otherwise policy decisions won’t get implemented properly and in a timely manner. For example, none of the proposed 14 national universities have started yet. The act involving them could not be agreed upon and thus was not presented  in the parliament. Thus one has to wait till the next government is formed to act on it. For stability reasons, a Third front government is not good. Moreover, a third front government may lead to PM candidates like Mayavati or Lalu Yadav who do not have a national view and are prone to siphoning off large chunks of the budget to their own states. Thats exactly what Lalu Yadav did with respect to Railway largeese to his home state. While for Orissa, both NDA and UPA, may work, the NDA needs to again lose this election because of the divisive policies and practices of the Sangh Parivaar, especially in Karnataka and Orissa. The alleged violence by Sangh Parivaar members in Karnataka (Bangalore, Mangalore) and Orissa (Kandhamala) are reprehensible and a party (BJP) and a coalition (NDA) that could have connections to such violence is not fit to lead India. That leaves us only UPA. An UPA with Manmohan Singh at the helm, who has been acquainted about Orissa issues during the last 3 years by Naveen Patnaik and Orissa MPs, and that depends on a BJD MP contingent of 15+ MPs will be the best for Orissa and the country.

My Initial Analysis of Elections 2009 in Orissa

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A month back my impression was that the conventional wisdom was that BJD is going to sweep the elections based on CM Naveen Patnaik’s clean image and Congress party’s lack of an acceptable leader. This was based on BJD’s performance in the municipal elections held in February where it not only did extremely well in Cuttack, but also in Baripada. The CM campaigned hard in all the places. Earlier they also did very well in Bhubaneswar and some other places. In all these places BJD and BJP were not together. They were in a so-called friendly contest. The performance in those elections gave confidence to the BJD leaders that they will do well even if they go it alone. ( One thing they missed was that in those contests BJP was a "friendly" competititor and was not going all out against BJD.) This confidence and BJP’s absurd deamnd of seat allocation close to what they had in the past two elections was the immediate reason BJD decided to split from BJP. But this was in the works for some time. It was obvious when BJD went alone in the municipal elections that they were trying to judge their individual strength and based on that they will decide on the seat allocations. In December 2008 they were ready to split from BJP if it had not called off the Cristmast day strike.

After the split BJP has gone all out villifying BJD, Naveen Patnaik and especially BJD lieutenant Pyari Mohapatra. So this is different from the "friendly" contest that BJD faced from BJP in the municipal elections. The initial charge of BJP that BJD betrayed it does not sound reasonable to me. They used that in Karantaka and it made sense there as it was indeed betrayed by its partners when they did not hand over  the CM post as they had agreed before. In case of Orissa, BJP’s charge of betrayal is just noise and does not make any sense. What BJP was doing was not admitting its weakness and was kind of blackmailing BJD to get almost the same number of seats as before.  The blackmail was that they were saying that they had X% percent of the vote in earlier elections and if BJD will lose that percentage then they will lose a lot of seats. BJP was also reminding BJD that when Biju Patnaik decided to break his alliance with the communist parties in the ninties it lost the elections to Congress. But in my opinion BJP has way overdone it. BJP is not much popular in Orissa and was basically piggybacking on Naveen’s popularity. Plus it has become quite unpopular because of the alleged involvement of Sangh parivar in the Kandhamal deaths that brought bad name to Orissa all over  the world. From being considered one of the most peaceful states in the country, Orissa became associated with the Cristian killings in Kandhamal. Many in Orissa hold the Sangha Parivaar responsible for this worldwide defamation of Orissa. Recently Bijay Mohapatra and Dilip Ray joined BJP. Although this got a lot of press, my thought is that this is not going to have much impact.

The Congress was initially demoralized and the revamping of its state level leadership had initially given it some impetus. But the multiple leaders (KP Singh Deo, Ramchandra Ulaka, Srikant Jena and Bhakta Das) have clashed about their lists of who should stand where and Youth Congress President Rohit Pujari’s resignation and joining BJD is going to further hamper Congress in Orissa.

There is not much to talk about the other parties except that the newfound allies of BJD, such as NCP, CPI and CPI(M) have become lucky. They may win some seats because of BJD not contesting those seats and supporting them. They will help BJD a bit in that their support will reduce the villification of BJD in the media and campaign.

Regardless of all of the above, the halo of BJD and its supremo Naveen Patnaik is much less than what it was during the municipal elections in Cuttack and Baripada. My feeling is that once the dust settles, the candidates are anounced and campaigning begins in earnest, BJD will slowly get back its popularity, may be not 100% but a large part of it. But BJD should not take this as a given and must work hard in getting its message through and in comparing Naveen’s clean image as compared to the other leaders.

In subsequent articles I will write why I think a regional party with a clean leader like Naveen Patnaik, who will have an even bigger stature after winning third time in a  row, will be good for Orissa in this elections. My expectation and hope is that BJD will come to power in the state and UPA with BJD’s crucial support will come in power in Delhi. If this happens and Naveen Patnaik makes appropriate demands in a  timely manner then Orissa will benefit a lot. However, I may support individual contestants from other parties if they are way better than the other candidates from that constituency. For example, I am leaning to support Mr. Kharabela Swain of BJP for the Balasore seat, because of his performance in bringing up Orissa issues in the last five years in the Lok Sabha.

The outrage over voice vote

Elections 2009, Odisha Assembly Comments Off on The outrage over voice vote

After the BJD-BJP alliance broke BJP state legislators withdrew their support from the Orissa government.  That led to the Governor asking the party in power to seek a confidence motion in the Orissa Legislative Assembly. The party in power did that, but through a voice vote. This led to cries of "murder of democracy" by many opposition leaders. The Governor sought clarifications from the Chief Minister, sought other counsels and went to Delhi to give his report. In other words there was a big broughaha over this issue. The following report from an article in Pioneer lists other such incidences and calls this outrage phoney.

The phoney hullabaloo over voice vote is nothing but a made-up controversy in these election times. There are precedents to show that confidence motions have been passed and no-confidence motions have been rejected by voice vote in the various State Assemblies and the Lok Sabha in the past. Complying with the orders of the Rajasthan Governor to prove his majority, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot won a confidence motion by voice vote on the floor of the Assembly on 3rd January this year. If no-confidence motions can be defeated by voice vote, why can’t the confidence motions be won by voice votes? Four such no-confidence motions were defeated by voice vote in the Lok Sabha itself. A no-confidence motion against Andhra Pradesh’s Congress Government moved by the Telugu Desam party was defeated by voice vote in April 2008. In the same year, a no-confidence motion against the Speaker of the AP Assembly was defeated in a similar fashion. In 2007, a no-confidence motion against the Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Assembly was defeated by voice vote too. In March 2003, a no-confidence motion against the UP Chief Minister Mayawati was also rejected by voice vote. Where is the recording of numbers that is being talked about? The cosmetic outrage over Naveen Patnaik winning the confidence motion by voice vote is being carried too far. As for the division of votes, let us see what happened to the no-confidence motion moved by Sonia Gandhi in August 2003 against the NDA Government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After the Speaker declared that the no-confidence motion has been defeated by voice vote, Congress pressed for a division. When the division took place, it was defeated by an overwhelming 126-vote margin. In our case, when the Speaker declared that the confidence motion has been passed by voice vote, Congress and the BJP had already left the House protesting against some of the Speaker’s rulings. Nobody from these parties was left in the House to demand a division.

Purabi Das writes on Cuttack

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Cuttack, Odisha history, THINGS ODISHA N ODIA Comments Off on Purabi Das writes on Cuttack

Following are excerpts from her article in DNA.

… Years later reading Suketu Mehta’s paean to Bombay, I was drawn back to the moment, for Cuttack is a 1000 years old, truly a millennium city.

The great Barbati fort whose ancient stone ramparts encircle the city in a broken embrace was built around 989 AD by the Keshari dynasty. …

Squeezed on a tongue of land between the two great rivers, Mahanadi and Kathjodi, like any city worth its salt Cuttack soon outgrew its location and acquired a unique ethos.

… Cuttack is its Sahis and Gallis, its babulok and its rickshaws, its lingo with the tangy undercurrent of irony, its Durga Puja and Bali Jatra, kite flying on the sands of Kathjodi, and mouthwatering Dahi Vada Alu Dum. Cuttack is where Subhash Bose was born, where Hari Prasad tuned his flute and Mayadhar Mansingh found his romantic muse. Its moonlight on the Mahanadi, packed houses to Annapurna theatre and 20-20 at Barbati stadium.

… A Mumbai chawl might be an equivalent of the Kataki Sahi but unlike its mammoth big sister, Cuttack knows no riots. Cuttack Chandi, the city’s patron goddess coexists with Qadam-e-Rasool, the seat of political authority of the Moslems of Orissa in centuries of harmony.

… They say that whoever has not gorged on Raghu’s Dahi Vada Aloo Dum has not yet sampled Cuttack . For these urad dal fritters in yogurt sauce with spicy gravy potatoes can tempt the taste buds to distraction. Come evening cars from around a fifty kilometer radius line up for his fare. Raghu is now the stuff of business school curricula like Mumbai’s dabbawallahs! …

Congress-BJD ad dwells: Does center means Congress?

Elections 2009 Comments Off on Congress-BJD ad dwells: Does center means Congress?

A UMPP at Bedabahal (Sundergarh district) Orissa

Sundergarh, Thermal Comments Off on A UMPP at Bedabahal (Sundergarh district) Orissa

Following is from a report in

Projects Today reported that the union ministry of power has chalked out plans to award 3 UMPPs during the fiscal 2009-10. These UMPPs will come up in Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

Locations short listed for the three mega power projects are Cheyyur in Tamil Nadu, Bedabahal in Orissa and Akaltara in Chhattisgarh.

Power Finance Corporation, the nodal agency for the UMPP is expected to invite request for qualification for the Cheyyur UMPP in June 2009. The RfQs for Bedabahal and Akaltara will follow in July and August 2009.

Biweekly Sambalpur-Nizamabad express to commence March 23rd 2009

Railway Budget 2008, Railway Budget 2009, Raipur..Khariar Rd - Rayagada - Ladda..Vijainagaram, Sambaplur- Burla- Bargarh- Chipilima, Titlagarh - Jharsugurha Jn Comments Off on Biweekly Sambalpur-Nizamabad express to commence March 23rd 2009

Following is from a report in Hindu.

A bi-weekly express between Nizamabad and Sambalpur will be introduced on March 23. The train No.8310 will leave Nizamabad at 6.15 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays, arrive/leave Secunderabad at 9.25 p.m. before reaching Sambalpur at 8.15 p.m. the next day. This service will commence on March 24.

The train no 8309 will depart from Sambalpur at 8.15 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays, will arrive/leave at Secunderabad at 8.20/8.40 a.m the next day. It will reach Nizamabad at 11.50 a.m. This service will commence on March 23.

This train will connect the Sambalpur-Titlagarh-Rayagada part of Orissa with Hyderabad. With this the direct connectivity between Sambalpur and major cities in the southern states will be as follows:

  • Hydearbad: Twice a week
  • Bangalore: Thrice a week
  • Chennai: Daily
  • Kochi, Coimbatore: Daily
  • Vishakapatnam: Fifteen times a week
  • Vijayawada: Twelve times a week

Earlier in February, Ranchi-Varanasi Express was extended to Sambalpur twice a week. With that extension, Sambalpur’s direct connectivity to other parts of India are as follows:

  • Kolkata: Twice daily
  • Delhi, Amritsar: Thrice a week
  • Varanasi: Twice a week
  • Mumbai: Twice (to become Thrice) a week
  • Ahmedabad, Surat: Weekly
  • Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhopal: Weekly
  • Ranchi: Eighteen times a week
  • Tata: Twenty two times a week
  • Dhanbad, Bokaro: Daily
  • Nagpur: Four (to become five) times a week.
  • Raipur: Eleven (to become twelve) times a week.

Jharsuguda Junction is only 50 kms from Sambalpur. If one takes into account trains throughJharsuguda then the connectivity to Mumbai and Kolkata skyrockets, to Delhi and Ahmedabad increases significantly and to Pune is added.

Congress-BJD ad-wars on who deserves the credit for selling rice at Rs 2/kg to poor people

Elections 2009 Comments Off on Congress-BJD ad-wars on who deserves the credit for selling rice at Rs 2/kg to poor people

Such ad-wars involving debate on issues indicate some progress of the democratic tradition in Orissa and India.

Two coal-to-oil projects, costing $6-8 billion each, to come up in Orissa

Angul, Anugul- Talcher - Saranga- Nalconagar, Coal to diesel, Gasification (from Coal), Jindal, Tatas, Thermal 2 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a report in Telegraph.

The government has awarded the country’s first two coal-to-liquid-petroleum projects to the Tatas and Jindal Steel and Power.

Both the projects, estimated to cost $6-8 billion each, will come up in Orissa.

The Union coal ministry has allotted the Ramchandi block to Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) and the north Arkhapal block to Strategic Energy Technology Systems Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Sons and Sasol of South Africa.

…Jindal Steel will use the technology of Germany’s Lurgi, while the Tatas will depend on Sasol’s expertise.

In each project, annual production is estimated at four million tonnes based on the daily production of 80,000 barrels.

The process involves the gassification of coal to produce synthetic gas, which is then converted to crude through different technologies.

Given the quality of Indian coal, crude from this process will cost $55-60 a barrel, about 50 per cent more than the current price of $40 a barrel.

However, the project will take at least six years to take off, and crude prices are likely to rule higher than the current levels.

“When a project of this magnitude is being conceived for 25-30 years, one does not only look at current economics,” a JSPL official said.

The process also involves the washing of coal, and the waste thus produced will be used to produce power. JSPL said the project would help it generate 1,350MW of power.

The crude oil produced from coal is expected to be low on sulphur. The bulk of the fuel will be diesel, which is consumed 5 times more in India than petrol.

JSPL’s proposed unit will be located at Kishore Nagar in Angul district of Orissa. The site has been selected keeping in mind the availability of water and rail and road connectivity.

…  JSPL is also building a 6mt steel plant at Angul. Tata Steel, too, plans to set up a unit in Orissa. JSPL said it had already placed the order for two coal gassifier units for the upcoming steel plants at Angul and in Chattisgarh.


Pradeep IOC refinery contract awarded

IOC, Jagatsinghpur, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Refinery 1 Comment »

Following is from a report in Oil and Gas journal.

Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. has awarded a contract to Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd. and Foster Wheeler (GB) Ltd. for a grassroots refinery to be built in Paradip, Orissa state, India.

Foster Wheeler will manage the project for the major part of the development of the new 15 million tonne/year refinery and will also execute the engineering, procurement, and construction management for 15 of the key refinery process units, plus offsites, utilities, and infrastructure.

Foster Wheeler’s scope includes the crude distillation units, reforming, alkylation and butane isomerization units, plus significant offsites, utilities, and infrastructure. Commissioning of the project is expected during 2011-12.

Water projects for Berhampur

Berhampur- Gopalpur- Chhatrapur, Drinking water projects, Ganjam, URBAN DEV. & RENEWAL 2 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business standard.

The World Bank is likely to fund the Rs 303 crore drinking water project for Berhampur in South Orissa. The scheme envisages bringing water from Surada reservoir, located about 100-km from here.

The detailed project report (DPR) was submitted to the World Bank team which had visited the city recently to study the feasibility of the project.

… With a population of over 3.5 lakh, the city needs 45 million litres of water daily. However, the city gets only 33 million litres per day, which goes down to 20-24 million litres during the peak summer, sources said.

The water to the city is being supplied from the Rushikulya water supply system at Madhapur, about 30 km from here and the Dakhinapur Impounding Reservoir located on the outskirts of the city.

…  Meanwhile the government is mulling to tackle the situation with assistance from the World Bank by bringing water from the Surada reservoir through pipes. At present, the water supply is through the canal.

"We feel that sufficient water can be drawn from Surada reservoir when it comes through the pipe", sources said.

This apart, the government is also planning to implement the Ghatakeswar medium irrigation project with an investment of Rs 24 crore. National Bank for Agriculture and rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned the project.

Following the completion of this project, about 8 million litres of water would be supplied to the city every day.

Meanwhile, a project for water treatment at the Dakhinapur reservoir is underway, involving an investment of Rs 5.20 crore. The project is being executed under the Urban Infrastructure Development for Samll and Medium Towns (UIDSMT) to treat about 20 million litres of water daily.

Global Hospital plans a 250-300 bed unit in Bhubaneswar: Sambada

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, HEALTHCARE and HOSPITALS, Khordha 1 Comment »