Archive for May, 2010

Contract awarded for six laning of Bhubaneswar-Chandikhol: includes flyovers at CRP, Acharya Vihar, Vani Vihar and Rasulgarh squares in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack- Kalinganagar, Cuttack, Cuttack, Expressways, Jajpur, Khordha, NH 5 (488 kms: NH No.6 in Jharkhand - Baripada - Baleshwar - Bhadrakh - Cuttack - Bhubaneswar - Khordha - Brahmapur - upto Andhra Pradesh Border) 3 Comments »

Following is from a report in Pioneer:

The six-laning work of the Bhubaneswar–Chandikhol portion of the National Highway-5 will begin from September, after this rainy season. A sum of Rs 1,047 crore will be invested for the project under the NHDP Phase-5. A consortium has been formed with three private companies, and the contract awarded, an official of NHAI said.

The consortium of Srei, Gulfar and Simplex Infrastructure would undertake the project, which is scheduled to be completed in two and a half years’ period. This would be done on the BOT basis. After completion of the work, the consortium would maintain the road and collect toll for a period of 26 years.

After the four-laning work of the NH-5, this is the first stretch within Odisha to have six lanes. The distance from Bhubaneswar to Chandikhol is 67 km, which would have seven flyovers and four major bridges over the river Kathjodi, Kuakhai, Mahanadi and Birupa. Out of the seven flyovers, four would be built over the CRP, Acharya Vihar, Vani Vihar and Rasulgarh squares along the highway in Bhubaneswar.

Lion Safari in Nandan Kanan: a youtube video (not by me)

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Cuttack, Nandan Kanan Comments Off on Lion Safari in Nandan Kanan: a youtube video (not by me)


The international airports and custom airports of India

Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Bringing International Connectivity 2 Comments »

As per the PIB at dated December, 10

So far, seventeen airports in the country have been accorded “International Status”. These airports are Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Calicut, Chennai, Guwahati, Jaipur, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Goa, Port Blair and Srinagar. … Some airports are notified as Customs airports which can also cater to international flights. The customs airports are Varanasai, Tiruchirapalli (Trichy), Patna, Mangalore, Lucknow, Gaya, Coimbatore and Pune (civil enclave).

The following map shows the above airports. As one may notice there is a huge part around Odisha, Northern Andhra Pradesh and Chhatisgarh that is not served by an international or customs airport. To serve those regions it is important that international connectivity is brought to Bhubaneswar airport.

Effort on to bring international connectivity to Bhubaneswar airport

Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Bringing International Connectivity 4 Comments »

Panthanivas at Harishankar (Balangir) inaugurated

Balangir, Gandhamardan Hill Range (needs to be made) 1 Comment »

Following is from a report in

Mr.Singh Deo, Minister Planning & Coordination …

Harishankar is one of the top most tourist spots in Western Odisha. 

Lack of amenities for tourists had hampered the growth of tourism sector. 

Now with a Panthanivas with all the modern facilities, this will serve a major purpose in providing amenities to the large number of tourists to this part of the state, said Mr.Singh Deo. 

Minister inaugurated the panthanivas and said similar amenities are being arranged in other tourist places of the Western Odisha.

Related to this, OTDC has a nice package that has a trekking inthe Gandhamardan hills component. The two entry points to these hills are Harishankar and Nrushinghanath. the package detail from is as follows:

( Nrusinghanath Temple, Samalai Temple, Huma-Leaning Temple, Ghanteswari Temple, Hirakud Dam )

Nrusinghanath in the district of Sambalpur & Harishankar of Bolangir district are two entry points of the hill, which fulfill the desire of the trekker to perceive tranquility. Both have holy shrines, waterfalls and rich flora & fauna.


Hill trekking

Tour Duration :

2 nights 2 days.

Places Covered :

Sambalpur, Samalai temple,Huma leaning temple, Nrusinghanath hill temple, Ghanteswari temple, and Hirakud dam.

Package Cost :

Rs.2,346.00 / Per Head

Package Includes :

A.C. Accommodation, AC Transport by Tata Sumo/ Quails/Bolero.

Does not Includes :

Entry fees for foreign guest & fees for Camera, Video Camera, telephone bill, Any Air/Train fare, Laundry & Food- (Bed Tea, Break Fast, Lunch, Dinner, Afternoon Tea & Snacks)

Condition :

  • Tour shall be operational subject to minimum of 4 person

  • Non/AC accommodation will be provided where AC room is not available.

  • English/Hindi speaking Guide Rs.350.00 per day extra.

  • Hotel Checkout time is 8.00 A.M.

  • Tariff subject to change

 See our earlier articles on Harishankar and Nrusinghanath at:

Handloom and Handidraft museum to come up in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Khordha, Museums Comments Off on Handloom and Handidraft museum to come up in Bhubaneswar

Following is from a report in

A handloom and handicraft museum would be set up soon at Jayadev Batika near Khandagiri on the outskirts of the capital city, Textile and Handloom Minister Anjali Behera told newspersons here.

Ms Behera said four acres of land had already been identified for the Museum and it would be set up at a cost of Rs six crore.

While around 10,000 square feet of the museum would be used for handloom as many as 7,000 square feet would be used for handicrafts.

The Minister said tender process for the museum had already started.

Following is from Samaja.

NSL group interested in investing in food processing and textile sectors in Odisha

Bargarh, Food processing, Jagatsinghpur, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Seeds, Sugar, Sugarcane, Textiles Comments Off on NSL group interested in investing in food processing and textile sectors in Odisha

Following is from a report by Bishnu Das in Business Standard.

Hyderabad based NSL group … has proposed setting up a food processing plant, a sugar refinery and a textile spinning mill in the state with a combined investment of Rs 2340 crore.

Sources said, the company keen to set up a seed processing plant at Bonda in Baragarh district at an investment of Rs 40 crore.

The project is expected to generate direct and indirect employment opportunities for 2100 persons. About 8,000 farmers would also get the benefit of contract farming. Similarly, the company proposes to set up a sugar refinery with a capacity to crush 5,000 tonnes of sugarcane per day at Paradeep.

The project is estimated to cost Rs 800 crore and it would directly and indirectly employ about 1000 persons. NSL also intends to invest Rs 1,500 crore for setting up a spinning mill in the state.

The project is expected to provide direct and indirect job opportunities and benefit about 1 lakh farmers through contract farming.

The company is in the process of submitting the detailed proposals to the state owned Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Orissa Ltd. (Ipicol) in this regard.

Update on RSB Metaltech’s projects in Odisha

Aluminium, Aluminum ancilaries, Bauxite, Dhenkanal, Rayagada Comments Off on Update on RSB Metaltech’s projects in Odisha

Following is from a report in Financial Express.

Work on acquisition of land and obtaining of clearances for the twin-site Rs 9,000 crore RSB Metaltech Ltd’s project involving bauxite mining and setting up an alumina refinery unit at Rayagada and a 0.7 million tonne per annum (mtpa) smelter unit plus a 500 MW power plant to be set up at Kamakshyanagar in Dhenkanal in Orissa, are progressing satisfactorily.

… The company intends to transport processed alumina from its Raigada plant to Kamakshyanagar in railway rakes.

“Work on land acquisition as well as environmental clearance has already started; the Orissa government has given final clearance to 1,520 acres of land for the Raygada project and 1,546 acres for the Kamakshyanagar project”, said RSB Metaltech managing director S K Behera, speaking to FE.

The company had applied to the state government for around 3,000 acres of land for each of the sites.

Initial environmental clearance for the project, as well as clearances from the railways, and for water for the plants from the state government has also been obtained.

…  as per the MoU with the Orissa government, RSB Metaltech has entered into a joint venture with Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) for bauxite mining and an alumina refinery at Rayagada.

Simultaneously, the company is to set up a 0.7 mtpa capacity smelter plant at Kamakshyanagar which would feed aluminium metal to the 50-odd downstream units that are to come up and which would be manufacturing construction products, auto components like cylinder head, cylinder block, gear box, clutch housing, etc.

Both the Kamakshyanagar and Rayagada units which are expected to become fully operational in five years’ time would together be able to give employment to around 12,000 people, said Behera.

“We will like to invite certain companies to use the hot metal (aluminium) available with us, who will immediately process it (the hot metal) to make auto components and other products and thus save on cost”, said the RSB Transmissions managing director, adding that while some of the downstream units would be fully owned by the RSB group, several others including a number of export-oriented units would be on joint venture basis.

Bhushan has become a death factory: Samaja

Bhushan Steel Ltd., Jharsugurha, Sambalpur-Burla-Jharsuguda, Steel Comments Off on Bhushan has become a death factory: Samaja


The government must investigate this.

Joint venture (51% Odisha govt. and 49% AES) 10,000 crore Ib valley Thermal Power Station expansion to start by March 2011

INVESTMENTS and INVESTMENT PLANS, Jharsugurha, Jharsugurha- Brajarajnagar- Belpahar, New Indian Express, Indian Express, Financial express, Thermal Comments Off on Joint venture (51% Odisha govt. and 49% AES) 10,000 crore Ib valley Thermal Power Station expansion to start by March 2011

Following is an excerpt from a report in Financial Express.

AES India, a subsidiary of the US utility giant AES Corporation, is proposing to expand the capacity of the 420 MW (2 x210 MW) ITPS by adding two super-critical units of 660 MW each. The Rs 10,000 crore expansion programme includes the development of the captive coal mines and the MGR (merry-go-round) rail link to transport coal to the plant site. In fact, ITPS is owned by Orissa Power Generation Corporation (OPGC), a company where the AES Corporation has 49% stake while the Orissa government has 51% holding. However, the management of the company is with AES Corporation.

… The AES chief said that the 1320 MW (2 x 660 MW) thermal power project would be completed within four years of the award of the contracts. The two units would come up on the site III and IV already developed for the purpose.

… Presently, OPGC is committed to sale the entire 420 MW of power to the state government. As the initial plan was to put up two more units of 210 MW each at site III and IV, the state government insisted that the power generated from the expanded units be allotted to Orissa. However, the AES was of the view that the power be sold in the open market to maximize the revenue realizations. Finally, it has been decided that 50% of the power generated from the expanded 1320 MW project would be allotted to Orissa grid and the rest would be sold in the open.

Rapid Expansion of Health Care Facilities in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, HEALTHCARE and HOSPITALS, Khordha 4 Comments »

The article at by Rita Dutta gives a detailed exposition of the recent boom of healthcare facilities in Bhubaneswar. A few years back a WIPRO VP mentioned the lack of such facilities as one of the main reasons (others being availability of high class housing, high class schools, and good shopping opportunities) why many top IT managers were unwilling to move to Bhubaneswar to manage bigger teams. Fortunately there has been movement in all these fronts.

Following are some excerpts from the abovementioned article.

However, recent industrial, infrastructural and educational development in Bhubaneswar, has made the city, considered to be one of the cleanest and planned cities of modern India and one of the fastest developing cities of India, the epicentre of healthcare revolution in Orissa. Says Bipul K Jha, Industry Analyst, Healthcare Practice, South Asia & Middle East, Frost and Sullivan, "This change has been powered by the huge investment flow, rising employment opportunities, and increasing foothold of service-based sectors, which has in turn led to rise in purchasing power and increased standards of living."

Bhubaneswar, now being dubbed ‘the rising star of the East’, has attracted a whopping Rs 6,00,000 crore investment from across all industries like IT, technology, steel, aluminium, tourism, health and education sectors. Huge capex by the large industrial houses in the core infrastructure sector has witnessed a rise of 11.5 per cent in the last two years. The per capita income of the state has shot up from Rs 10,567 in 1999-2000 to Rs 16,149 in 2007-08. The population has grown by nearly 8 per cent in the last decade; the metro area of Bhubaneswar has mixed culture population base of 19 lakh, housing almost 11 percent of the urban population of the state. "Moreover, one corporate hospital (Kalinga Hospital) has set an example for other players by being an early market entrant and doing good business," says Jha.

It is a highly under-served market with its ratio of beds per 1,000 population being two-thirds of the national average of 0.86. What is attracting corporates like Apollo, AMRI, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Vedanta Aluminium, Asian Heart and Global to set up base here is the untapped potential. Says Dr K Ravindranath, Chairman, Global Hospital, who is setting up a 200-bed hospital in Bhubaneswar, "Our hospitals in Chennai and Hyderabad have always been getting a steady stream of patients from Eastern India, which constitutes one third of India’s population. Eastern India is also frequented by patients from Nepal and Bangladesh. So it makes complete business sense to foray into Bhubaneswar, before anyone else does."

Explains Dr Ramakant Panda, Vice Chairman, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai as why he has planned a hospital in Bhubaneswar. "There is a dire need for hospitals with good infrastructure in Bhubaneswar. Moreover, being from Orissa, I want to do my bit for the State."

Adds Harihar Rath, Deputy General Manager, Marketing, Apollo Hospital, Bhubaneswar, "Lacunae of healthcare services and the rising disposable income of people of the regions are the main reasons for healthcare investment in the area. With more IT and BPO firms setting up offices in Bhubaneswar, the paying populace has also increased."

Government Impetus

The present Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, has played a crucial role in giving the much-required thrust, according to Dr Bidhan Das, Managing Director, Octavo Solutions, a consultancy firm that has done some projects in Orissa. "The Government’s efforts to improve infrastructure in the city have induced private realtors like DLF to invest. The entry of retail chains like Reliance, Big Bazaar, and Pantaloons has helped the Government to support the economy of Bhubaneswar. The uplift of the economy has attracted corporates to invest in healthcare," says he.

The Impact

From a city that lagged behind in diagnostic procedures, today hospitals in the city have radiology procedures like 64 slice CT, 1.5 Tesla MRI, 3-D ultrasound and digital mammogram. The cath labs are flat panel, while OTs have laminar air flow and HEPA filters. All 50 speciality and super speciality treatments are available now in the leading hospitals. The city’s first corporate hospital, Kalinga Hospital, now offers kidney transplantation, LV Prasad Eye Institute has taken the lead in dealing with complicated ophthalmic cases, while high risk cardiac cases are dealt with by Kalinga Hospital, Aditya Care and Apollo Hospital. With Hemalata Cancer Hospital now providing all three branches of oncology treatment, especially linear accelerator with IMRT and CT stimulation, the high cancer burden of the state has been taken care of.

In the current scenario, while existing hospitals are introducing cutting edge technology, scaling up and even planning larger hospitals, corporates are rushing in to grab a pie of the market. Diagnostic giants like Dr Lalpathlabs, Ranbaxy and Piramal Diagnostics have set-ups there. Even stem cell banking, a relatively new concept, is picking up here. Cryobanks International India, which deals in umbilical cord blood stem cell banking, has opened a collection centre in Bhubaneswar. As many as three private medical colleges (Hi-Tech Medical College, Sum Medical College and Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences) have come up in Bhubaneswar in the last few years. Even a slew of nursing colleges have also been set up to fulfil the skyrocketing demand. The healthcare boom has paved the path for many NRI doctors (both Oriya and non Oriya) to show willingness to work in Bhubaneswar, a trend that is a recent phenomenon.

Here’s a look at the players who powered the change.

Kalinga Hospital: It would be no exaggeration to say that it was Kalinga Hospital that took the first initiative to change the healthcare firmament of the state. The hospital was conceived and promoted by 62 non resident Oriyas, who are mostly doctors by profession, based in the US and the UK. With an aim to provide the latest medical technology to the people of the state and to stop them from going outside the state seeking treatment, the doctors pumped in Rs 30 crore to start Kalinga Hospital located at Chandrasekharpur area of Bhubaneswar, with 160 beds in 1998.

Today, the 250-bed Kalinga Hospital spread over 10 acres is the first hospital in Orissa to do regular cardiac cath, open heart surgery, dialysis and kidney transplant, advanced neuro surgery, gastro-intestinal surgery and cosmetic surgery. It is the only recognised centre in the State for kidney transplantation. …

LV Prasad Eye Institute: This hospital, set up in July 2006, has taken the city’s ophthalmology care several notches higher. This not-for-profit institute, that conducts 35 per cent of all care at no cost to the patients, has a unique ocular prosthesis laboratory that offers cosmetic eyes tailored to the patients’ needs. The institute started the state’s first community eye bank for corneal retrieval and transplantation. Named ‘Drusti Daan’, the eye bank is housed on campus, but serves all of Orissa. Several surgeries that it has pioneered in Orissa are Infiniti cataract surgical system, constellation vitrectomy system and radio frequency devices offering bloodless eye plastic and orbit surgery. …

Aditya Care Hospital: Hyderabad’s Care Hospital started this 100-bed cardiology hospital on a leased property near Municipal Kalyan Mandap at Chandrasekharpur in September 2007. The list of procedures that the hospital has pioneered in Orissa include EP study and RFA, Paediatric Cardiology Intervention and CRT. Besides, the hospital has taken a lead in doing PTCA with stenting and ICD in cardiology, CABG multiple grafts and paediatric cardiac surgery like VSD closure, ASD closure and PDA in cardiac surgery, haemodialysis, laparoscopic surgery and joint replacement surgery.

"The hospital will be scaled up to 300 beds, for which 3.92 acres of land has been obtained from the Government of Orissa," adds Dr Mishra.

Hemalata Hospitals and Research Centre: This super speciality hospital focusing on oncology is the state’s only comprehensive cancer hospital in the private sector that offers medical oncology, radiation therapy and cancer surgery under one roof. This 100- bed unit, with a built up area of 80,000 square metres, was set up in 2005. The project was conceived by Dr Arabinda Rath and funded by TDB. This is the only hospital in Orissa with a linear accelerator….

Apollo Hospital: In March this year, Apollo Hospital inaugurated the city’s largest tertiary care hospital in Bhubaneswar with 150 beds, expandable to 350 beds. This Rs-150-crore project is spread over two lakh square feet in a sprawling campus of 7.5 acres, providing over 50 specialities. The hospital has installed the State’s first 64 slice CT and paediatric cardiology unit. It also has a telemedicine facility. …

In the Pipeline

There are many more hospitals in the pipeline.

AMRI Hospitals: A joint venture between Emami and Shrachi Group of Industries, Kolkata-based AMRI Hospitals is coming out with a multi-speciality hospital at Khandagiri Square, a prime location in Bhubaneswar. This is AMRI’s first project outside Kolkata.

Says DN Agarwal, Executive Director, AMRI Hospitals, "This Rs-120-crore project with 300 beds spread over five acres would have an FSI of 3,50,000 square feet. This is likely to be commissioned by August 2010."

Sparsh Hospital: Sparsh Hospital, which runs an 80-bed hospital and claims to have pioneered procedures like Chemoport insertion and Hicman’s catheterisation in Bhubaneswar, has planned a 250-bed set up in the Chandrasekharpur area of the city. The new project, built at a cost of Rs 40 crore, would house all super speciality facilities under one roof. Says Dr Ghanashyam Biswas, Director, Sparsh Hospital, "The construction for the new project will start by 2011 and will be completed by 2013."


Care Hospital: After achieving success with the JV project Aditya Care, the Care group has planned a multi super speciality hospital of 200 beds in Chandrasekharpur. The 4.5 acres were acquired around 18 months back, but due to trespassing, construction has not begun yet.

Ayush Hospital: This group, which runs a 120-bed hospital at Acharya Vihar Square in Bhubaneswar, has drawn up a plan for its second multi-speciality hospital in the city at an investment of about Rs 200 crore. The proposed hospital would be equipped with over 500 beds and it is expected to be operational by 2012. Says Dr Ashok Acharya, MD, Ayush Hospital, "The land is being identified for the project and construction work for this hospital is expected to start from next year."

Global Hospital: Hyderabad-based Global Hospital is building a 200-bed hospital. This project, built at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore on a leased building, would be focusing on tertiary and quaternary care (specially renal transplants). Says Dr K Ravindranath, Chairman, Global Hospital, "This is a JV project with a local group, whose founders are my patients. This is their first venture in healthcare. The hospital would be known as Global Hospital." He added that the cost of equipping the hospital would be borne by Global Hospital. Construction is expected to start by November this year and commissioning is likely by the end of next year.

Narayana Hrudayalaya: Bengaluru-based Narayana Hrudayalaya is coming up with a 750-bed health city at Dum Duma at Khandagiri Square. The hospital, spread over seven acres, would provide multi super speciality treatment. Says Dr Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, Vice Chairman, Narayana Hrudayalaya, "The first phase of the hospital with 250 beds is being built at a cost of Rs 80 crore. We would start construction of the hospital after the monsoons, this year. We would commission the first phase by 2012."

Desun Hospital: Kolkata-based Desun Hospital and Heart Institutive has planned a hospital on Bhubaneswar Cuttack Road. The 250-bed green field project is slated to be commissioned by 2013. Says Sajal Dutta, CMD, Desan Hospital, "This multi super speciality hospital is being set up at an estimated cost of Rs 80 crore."

Vedanta Aluminium: Fulfilling the need for a full-fledged trauma centre, Vedanta Aluminium is setting up a 100-bed state-of-the-art trauma care centre near Gangapada on National Highway 5. This Rs-75-crore project is coming up on 10 acres of land.

Asian Heart Institute: Mumbai’s Asian Heart Institute (AHI), established by Dr Ramakant Panda and a few other cardiologists, has also announced plans of opening a state-of-the-art multi speciality hospital in Chandrasekharpur. Spread over 1,50,000 square feet, the 400-bed hospital is expected to come up with an investment of Rs 150 crore. Says Dr Ramakant Panda, Vice Chairman, AHI, "We have a start-up plan for 200 beds at an estimated cost of Rs 70 crore. We would eventually expand it to 400 beds, spending Rs 150 crore." About the significance of the project, he says, "AHI has set a benchmark in providing quality care in the country. Our project in Orissa would be built on the same principles as AHI, Mumbai and would offer the patients the same treatment and care at world class standards."

It will have 12 ultra modern operation theatres, 100 intensive care units, fully equipped modernised pathology services, radiology, imaging services, blood bank, 24-hour pharmacy services and cardiac ambulance services with mobile cathlab. Though the foundation stone of the hospital has been laid, progress was stalled by some dispute regarding the land. "As the land being sought for the project is a Government land, hence acquiring it is a little issue," says Dr Panda.

UIMS: A group of non-resident Oriyas have joined hands to set up Orissa’s first nuclear medicine centre- Utkal Institute of Medical Sciences (UIMS).

AIIMS: The upcoming All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bhubaneswar will have a 978-bed hospital. Besides, 15 super speciality and 18 speciality wards have also been proposed. The State Government is supposed to provide 100 acres of land free at Sijua on the outskirts for the prestigious institute. According to a review meeting, while 93 acres have already been transferred for construction, the rest will soon be handed over. The State Government had already provided road connectivity. The much-hyped project is scheduled for completion by 2012.

The Road Ahead

As more hospitals are being set up, more state-of-the-art technology will be introduced and more choices will be offered to patients. To address the dearth of paramedic and nursing staff, hospitals are keen on starting paramedical and nursing colleges. During inauguration of Apollo Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Dr Prathap Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospital Group, pleaded to the Government regarding land for a medical and paramedical college. Kalinga Hospital, which started GNM nursing school in 2004, is scaling up its intake from 50 to 100 students a year. Some are optimistic that the city would become a Mecca for medical tourism for countries like Bangladesh and Nepal. With big moolah pouring in, a steady infrastructure and active support from the Government, it can only be sunshine!

Astha International of Gujarat has several plans for Odisha: Textile mill near Bhubaneswar, Astha city near Berhampur, Hotel in Puri, etc.

Berhampur- Gopalpur- Chhatrapur, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Food processing, Ganjam, Hotels and resorts, Khordha, Puri, Textiles 2 Comments »

Update: Following are excerpts from a report in Business Standard.

Astha International Limited, one of India’s leading direct selling companies based out of Surat (Gujarat), would invest Rs 5000 crore on a slew of business ventures in Orissa by the end of 2012.

The investment which is to be raised through a mix of debt and internal accruals as well as from its 4.5 lakh odd distributors across the country, will be made on developing an integrated township project called ‘Astha City’ near Berhampur, a star hotel in Puri and a textile mill in Bhubaneswar.

Besides, Astha International would set up a dairy production unit, a multiplex and a hyper mall in the city.

The company has opened an office in the city and this would serve as the zonal office for the states of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.

Together, all these projects will generate direct employment for over 10,000 people in the state.

All these projects are expected to be commissioned by the end of 2012.

"… The company would first begin with the integrated township project for which it has already identified around 200 acres of land near Berhampur.”

The company is betting big on the Orissa market which currently accounts for about 50 per cent of its overall revenues.

Astha International which has operations in 12 states of the country, clocked a revenue of Rs 300 crore in the last fiscal.

Out of 4.5 lakh distributors of the company, 1.5 lakh are based out of Orissa.

Astha International, which has more than 10,000 products in 26 different segments, also plans to float a bank called Astha Bank by 2011-12.

“We have already got the license of the Reserve Bank of India for starting banking operations and our bank will commence operations from 2011-12”, Chauhan claimed.

The website of this company is In that site they mention an Astha city in Gujarat. Following is from Samaja.

More solar power projects coming up in Odisha

Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Hydro, Solar and other renewable, Khordha Comments Off on More solar power projects coming up in Odisha

Following is from a report by Bishnu Das in Business Standard.

The Orissa government has approved nine more solar power projects with an aggregate generation capacity of 57 Mw.

The State Technical Committee (STC), headed by the secretary in the science and technology department, cleared these projects recently.

With this, the total envisaged solar power capacity in the state has gone up to 351 Mw from 294 Mw earlier.

Projects with an aggregate generation capacity of 45 Mw were approved under the Bundling Scheme for Solar Power Plants of the Union ministry of New and Renewable Energy Sources (MNRE). Similarly projects of 12 Mws were approved under the Generation Based Incentive Scheme for Roof Top and Small Solar Generation of the Central sector utility major, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

The projects approved under the Bundling scheme included Skygen Infrabuild (P) Ltd (5 Mw), Rajratna Energy Holdings (10 Mw), MGM Minerals (5 Mw), Konark Kranti Energy (P) Ltd (5 Mw) and Sunark Solar (P) Ltd (20 Mw).

Skygen Infrabuild plans to set up a 5 Mw solar power project in Khurda district. Similarly, Rajratna Energy Holdings is interested to set up 10 Mw solar power plant in Dhenkanal district.

While the solar plants of MGM Minerals and Sunark Solar would come up in Khurda district, Konark Kranti Energy proposes to locate its unit Dhenkanal district.

On the other hand, four projects cleared under the Roof Top and Small Solar Generation scheme of NTPC included 3 Mw plant of Sunark Solar (Khurda district), 3 Mw project of Abacus Holdings (Ganjam district), 3 Mw project of Orion Solar Projects (Cuttack district) and 3 Mw plant of Skygen Infrabuild (Khurda district).

Odisha signs MOU with JSL for a 1320 MW powerplant in Dhenkanal

Business Standard, Coal, Dhenkanal, Jindal, Thermal 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.

The Orissa government today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ratan Jindal owned JSL Ltd (formerly Jindal Stainless Ltd) for setting up of a 1320 Mw super critical plant with Independent Power Producer (IPP) status at Luni in Dhenkanal district.

The project envisages an investment of Rs 7375 crore and it is expected to generate direct and indirect employment for 2600 persons.

The company has sought allotment of 2000 acres of land through the Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Orissa (Idco).

… This would be the second major project of the company in the state. The company is currently setting up a 1.6 million tonne integrated stainless steel plant at Kalinganagar. With this, the total projected power generation from the projects for which the state government has singed MoUs has increased to 32,420 Mw.

…Energy minister, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said, the government expects the IPPs to be able to generate 2400 Mw by the end of this year and 6450 Mw by the end of 2012-13.

Ratan Jindal, vice-chairman and the managing director, JSL Ltd said, the group is producing about 4000 Mw power at present. This is likely to increase to 12000 Mw by 2012-13, which would put the company among the major power producers in the country.

Referring to the 1.6 million tonne per annum integrated stainless steel project being set up at Kalinganagar, he said, the first phase of 0.8 million tonne would be commissioned by the end of this year. Chief secretary Tarunkanti Mishra and other senior officials were present on the occasion.

One concern I have is the land requirement of these power plants. They should reduce this as much as possible. In this regard some pointers are:

Bhubaneswar – Rameswaram express to start on May 2010; more than three years after it was announced in the 2007-08 Railway budget

Railway Budgets, Railways 1 Comment »

Following is from an East Coast Railways press release:

Ministry of Railways will introduce the new Bhubanewar-Rameswaram-Bhubaneswar weekly express with effect from 21st May 2010 from Bhubaneswar and from 23rd May 2010 from Rameswaram.

8496 Bhubaneswar-Rameswaram –Bhubaneswar weekly express will leave Bhubaneswar at 12.00 noon on every Friday and will arrive Rameswaram at 11.55 pm on every Saturday.  In the return direction, 8495 Rameswaram-Bhubaneswar weekly express will leave Rameswaram at 6.30 a.m on every Sunday and will arrive Bhubaneswar at 6.40 pm on every Monday.

8496/8495 Bhubaneswar-Rameswaram-Bhubaneswar weekly express will have stoppages at Khurda Road , Brahmapur, Vizianagaram, Duvvada, Vijayawada, Gudur, Chennai Egmore, Villupuram, Mayiladuthurai, Kumbakanam, Thanjavur, Tiruchirapali, Koraikuddi and Manmadurai stations between Bhubaneswar and Rameswaram having one AC-2 tier, one AC-3 tier , 10 Sleeper Class coaches , 04 General 2nd Class coaches, two Guard-Cum-Luggage vans and one Pantry Car in its composition.

This makes three exclusive trains between Bhubaneswar and Chennai. (By exclusive, I mean they will not be already occupied by passengers from/to Howrah thus having more quota for Odisha passengers.) They are:

  • 2829/30 Bhubaneswar-Chennai
  • 2897/98 Bhubaneswar-Pondicherry
  • 8495/96 Bhubaneswar-Rameswaram

Also the newly proposed Haldia-Chennai train may have more room for Odisha passengers as compared to Coromandel and Howrah-Chennai mail.

In general the east coast of Odisha has very good exclusive connectivity to the main Southern cities; Prashanti to Bangalore and Visakha and Konark to Hyderabad.

See for the other announced trains that are still pending.

Four laning of Sambalpur-Orissa/Chhatisgarh section of NH-6 and Bhubaneshwar-Puri Section of NH-203 in the State of Orissa under NHDP Phase III approved: PIB

National Highways, NH 6 (462 Kms: Chhattisgarh Border - Lobarchatti - Bargarh - Sambalpur - Deogarh - Kendujhargarh - Jashipur - Bangriposi - Jharkhand Border ) Comments Off on Four laning of Sambalpur-Orissa/Chhatisgarh section of NH-6 and Bhubaneshwar-Puri Section of NH-203 in the State of Orissa under NHDP Phase III approved: PIB

Following is from

The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure today approved the implementation of the project of four laning of Sambalpur-Orissa/Chhatisgarh section of NH-6 and Bhubaneshwar-Puri Section of NH-203 in the State of Orissa under NHDP Phase III on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT ) pattern.

The total project cost of Sambalpur-Bargarh-Orissa/Chhatisgarh Border is estimated at Rs.909 crore under the DBFO pattern. The concession period of the project shall be for 30 years including a construction period of 30 months.

The total project cost of Bhubaneshwar-Puri section is estimated at Rs.505.29 crore under the DBFO pattern. The concession period of the project shall be for 29 years including a construction period of 30 months.

The project will reduce the time and cost of travel of the traffic, particularly heavy traffic running between Sambalpur to Orissa/Chhatisgarh border and the traffic running from Bhubaneshwar to Puri. It will also increase the potential of employment to local labourers for the project activities.

The project of Sambalpur to Orissa/Chhatisgarh border is major link to the Chhatisgarh and the project of Bhubaneshwar-Puri is major road to link the pilgrim place.


The Cabinet had approved four/six laning of 4000 Km. of National Highways under NHDP Phase IIIA on BOT basis in March, 2005. Subsequently, approval for additional stretches was granted in May, 2006, October, 2006 and April, 2007 for implementation of four laning for a total length of 12109 Km. at an estimated cost of Rs.80626 crore.

See the previous postings on this topic to get a broader picture of highway plans with respect to Odisha. In particular, see the following:

Many openings at the Acharya Harihar Cancer Center, Cuttack, Odisha

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Cuttack, HEALTHCARE and HOSPITALS Comments Off on Many openings at the Acharya Harihar Cancer Center, Cuttack, Odisha

Short Biography of former Indian Hockey Captain Dilip Tirkey: Samaja

Men's hockey, Odisha personalities Comments Off on Short Biography of former Indian Hockey Captain Dilip Tirkey: Samaja

SAIL proposes a port in Odisha

Ports and waterways, Railways, SAIL 3 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.

With expansion of its units in eastern India in pipelines, public sector steel major, SAIL today evinced keen interest in setting up a port in Orissa, official sources said.

A delegation of Steel Authority of India’s (SAIL) top executives today met chief secretary T K Mishra and other senior officers here to seek the state government’s assistance for the proposed port by the steel giant.

We have assured the SAIL officials of all help if they are keen for a port project," Chief Secretary T K Mishra told reporters, adding that the proposed port would help the public sector to transport coal for its requirement. The proposed port having a capacity of handling 20 million tonnes of cargo would be located anywhere in the state’s 480 KM coastline, Mishra said.
The state government had asked SAIL to find any of the 13 places already identified by the state’s transport and commerce department for setting up a port.

The interest in ports in Odisha is due to the mining belt and the related industrial belt in Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal. These ports will help the growth of the coastal parts of Odisha. Odisha should leverage these ports to develop communication channles (especially railway lines such as Talcher-Bimlagarh, Khurda Balangir, Gopalpur-Rayagada, Chakulia-Buramara) as well as some logistics hubs in appropriate places in the western parts of Odisha such as Titlagarh and Jharsuguda.