Archive for June, 2010

Livemint writes about Balangir MP Kalikesh Singh Deo in its article on legislative assistants

Balangir, Odisha personalities 1 Comment »

See for a video interview with Mr. Singh Deo. The following article is by Pallavi Singh.

Status update on water transport and waterways in Odisha: Dharitri

Balasore, Kendrapada, Puri, State river routes Comments Off on Status update on water transport and waterways in Odisha: Dharitri

STPI Berhampur picture

Berhampur- Gopalpur- Chhatrapur, Ganjam, IT 1 Comment »

Thanks to Sunil Sabat for the photograph.

Telegraph to publish a daily edition from Odisha?

Telegraph 3 Comments »

Following is from a front page opinion story in The Telegraph.


Orissa is an ancient seat of culture and The Telegraph is the newest chronicler and analyst of the state’s many achievements and of the activities of its people. This contrast between the ancient and the latest should not, however, be pushed too far because Orissa is today a vibrant province and The Telegraph is wise beyond its years. The contrast carries within it the promise of a fruitful partnership. In the last decade or so, Orissa has rapidly transformed itself from a backward and poor state into one that is seen by most investors, domestic and foreign, as the preferred destination. The chief minister of the state, Naveen Patnaik, has claimed that Orissa has attracted investments of Rs 6 lakh crore. Given the fact that Orissa is rich in mineral resources, it is not surprising that mineral-based resources have attracted the bulk of the investments. But infrastructure, especially power, transport and communication, has also seen substantial inputs of capital and an impressive record of growth. All these suggest that Orissa is poised to be the pace setter of economic development in eastern India, if not in India. The Telegraph comes to Orissa with the eagerness to report and analyse the events of this phenomenal success as it unfolds day to day.

It would be simplistic to view the Orissa success story only through the prism of economic achievements. Education, the most important vehicle to make any growth sustainable, has also felt the winds of change. The fruits are most visible in the field of higher education with the establishment of an Indian Institute of Technology in Bhubaneswar and the National Institute of Science, Education and Research, and many other government and private institutes. With a thriving poverty alleviation programme — according to a World Bank study, Orissa has lifted nearly three million people out of the vicious circle of poverty and debt — it can be expected that primary education will also experience a spurt in growth. The people of Orissa and the political class that represents them are displaying the political will to free the state from the coils of past backwardness. This will is also manifest in the manner in which the people of Orissa attempt to refashion their own proud regional identity with a new and emerging presence in the national scene. This is one reason why Orissa is an exciting place. The Telegraph, by bringing that excitement to its readers, wants to be part of it.

Bollywood playback singer Krishna Beura; well known for singing “sufi” songs

Odisha personalities 4 Comments »

Following is from Samaja.

Some of his famous songs are:

"Maula Mere" from the film Chak De India He won the Stardust 2008 Award for New Musical sensation(male) for this song.

"Soniyo from the Heart" (Raaz-2)

Deewaar (song: "Ali Ali")

His wikipedia page is

Odisha Climate Change Action Plan: Draft available to receive more inputs

ENVIRONMENT, Odisha govt. action 2 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a blog entry in the world bank site.

Lashed by heavy monsoon rains and devastating cyclones with unfailing regularity, the state looked for solutions. In doing so, it also stole a march on the central government, whose National Climate Change Action Plan is still being prepared in fits and starts.

… So, to chart the way forward on development in an era of climate change, the government decided to consult with diverse groups —a participatory approach endorsed by the Bank. The commitment came from the highest levels in the state government. The Bank helped by providing global knowledge and expertise, and mobilizing both national and international experts, as and when needed.

Consultations sought solutions for the coastal areas, tribal regions, mining and industrial areas, urban centers and farming belts. Fishermen, farmers, trade unions, industrial associations, tribal groups and women offered their comments. Not surprisingly, the discussions were often animated and intense.

A diverse set of questions was raised: What should be done to control the growing salination of the coastal belt that is ruining farmer livelihoods? How can we preserve the natural breeding grounds for fresh water fish? And what can be done for the fishermen who, with falling fish stocks, are abandoning their age-old profession and migrating to cities in search of work? Then, what’s the best way to stop fluoride and arsenic from leeching into the drinking water? And, if you’re wondering what happened between the forest officers and the mining ones, let’s just say that the forest officers finally succeeded in extracting a commitment from the mining officials to adhere to sustainable practices and greater environmental monitoring.

The draft plan is now up on the Orissa government’s website to receive more inputs. While the plan may not be perfect, it is innovative and home grown, and open to improvement. And all said and done, by being the first past the post, the little state of Orissa has shown the richer states the way!

Data Centers to provide BC (Business Continuity) and DR (Disaster Recovery) to come up in Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Central govt. schemes, E-governance, IT Comments Off on Data Centers to provide BC (Business Continuity) and DR (Disaster Recovery) to come up in Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar

Following is an excerpt from a report in expresscomputerline.

S.P. Singh, Sr. Director, DIT, Government of India, underscored the importance of support infrastructure in e-governance implementations. The government of India has taken the initiative of providing this infrastructure and its three pillars are State WAN (SWAN), State Data Centers (SDC) and Citizen Service Centers (CSC).

…The mandate of the SDC scheme is that data centers are to be set up in all 35 states and union territories. It involves an outlay of 1,623 crores over five years and this takes care of the CAPEX for setting up data centers as well as the OPEX for five years.

The idea (SDC) is to concentrate and migrate IT infrastructure in state governments to a centralized environment that provides 24×7 services.

With regard to BC and DR, Singh said the four data centers of the NIC will provide disaster recovery to individual states. A 64,000 sq. ft. data center will come up in Delhi to begin with. Pune, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar will follow suit eventually.

BC refers to Business Continuity and DR refers to Disaster Recovery.

Vedanta making a multi-speciality hospital in Jharsuguda; Apollo and Fortis may jointly run it

Aluminium, Anil Agarwal, HEALTHCARE and HOSPITALS, Jharsugurha, Vedanta 9 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.

After the successful operationalization of its smelter plant at Jharsuguda, Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) has now decided to set up a state-of-the-art, multi-speciality hospital at the same location at an investment of Rs 50 crore.

… The hospital will be spread over nine thousand sq metres.

Construction work on the hospital has kicked off in June 2010 and it is scheduled to be fully operational by January 2011. Mumbai-based Hosmac India Limited, a noted company in the field of hospital planning and management consultancy, has been roped in for the design and lay-out of VAL’s hospital.

The overall layout of the hospital is designed keeping in view the comfort and convenience of the patients and their attendants. Despite being a high-class hospital in terms of its structure and services, it will serve the people belonging to different socio-economic groups and especially and will be dedicated to timely and affordable medical assistance to the poor.

To ensure a highly professional approach in the running of the hospital, VAL is negotiating with healthcare majors like Apollo Group of Hospitals and Fortis. Both these hospitals are expected to operate the hospital jointly. …

Nine industrial proposals get single window clearance: Samaja

Aluminium, Anil Agarwal, Berhampur- Gopalpur- Chhatrapur, Dhenkanal, Ferro-chrome, Ganjam, Industrial Parks, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Jajpur Rd- Vyasanagar- Duburi- Kalinganagar, Jharsugurha, Kalahandi, Kendrapada, MSE - medium and small enterprises, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Rayagada, Rayagada- Therubali, Samaja (in Odia), Single Window Clearance (SLSWCA), Sonepur, Steel ancilaries, Sugar, Thermal Comments Off on Nine industrial proposals get single window clearance: Samaja

Kendrapada pursues industry and may taste its first success

Kendrapada, Single Window Clearance (SLSWCA), Thermal 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a report in

Jay Panda is very happy today.

Member of Parliament from Kendrapara is in high spirits because finally the NO-Industry District, Kendrapara will have a major power plant.

Thanks to the initiative of SPI Ports Private Limited (SPIPPL), a Tamil Nadu based conglomerate.

The State Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA) has cleared the 1320 megawatt (MW) coal based thermal power plant at village Alailo in Mahakalpada tahsil.

… The Tamil Nadu based company is part of SPI Group involved in Steel, Power Generation, Infrastructure Development, Entertainment, Distilleries and associates are involved in food processing.

A patch of land of 1185 acres of non-irrigated land has been identified for the purpose, which is free from habitat and away from Command Area.

However requirement of land is only 750 acres and 60 cusecs of water is available from adjacent Gobari Canal.

Annual coal requirement for the project is 4.17 million ton for 1320 MW.

An annual contribution of 6 paise per unit of the energy sent out from the plant, but not sold in the state to be made by the developer towards Environmental Management Fund.

… Company has shown interest in setting up agro based industry in the area.

The article is correct. MP Jay Panda has been trying his best to locate industries in Kendrapada. We congratulate him on his success.

State Single Window Clearance Authority approves expansion of Vedanta plants in Lanjigarh and Jharsuguda

Aluminium, Anil Agarwal, Bauxite, Jharsugurha, Jharsugurha- Brajarajnagar- Belpahar, Kalahandi, Single Window Clearance (SLSWCA), Thermal, Vedanta Comments Off on State Single Window Clearance Authority approves expansion of Vedanta plants in Lanjigarh and Jharsuguda

Following is an excerpt from a report in

The State Level Single Window Authority (SLSWA) chaired by the Chief Secretary green signalled projects worth of Rs.37,440 crore.

Expansion of Alumina Refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi from the existing 1 Million Ton Per Annum (MTPA) to 6 MTPA has been allowed.

This project is facing opposition from local people and Union Minister for Forest & Environment, said sources.

Aluminium Smelter at Jharsuguda from the existing 0.25 MTPA to 1.60 MTPA expansion allowed by the Authority, said an official.

Similarly expansion of the Captive Power Plant (CPP) at Jharsuguda from 675 MW to 1350 MW has been allowed, said sources.

These proposals were pending earlier and with the clearance of Single Window Authority, it will go to the High Level Clearance Authority (HLCA) for final clearance, said an official.

Development locations in the three regions of Odisha – in maps

Anugul- Talcher - Saranga- Nalconagar, Balasore- Chandipur, Baripada- Bangiriposi- Similipal foothills, Berhampur- Gopalpur- Chhatrapur, Bhubaneswar and vicinity, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Dhamara- Chandbali- Bhitarakanika, Jajpur Rd- Vyasanagar- Duburi- Kalinganagar, Jharsugurha- Brajarajnagar- Belpahar, Koraput- Jeypore- Sunabedha- Damanjodi, Overall Odisha, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Rayagada- Therubali, Rourkela- Kansbahal, Sambaplur- Burla- Bargarh- Chipilima 1 Comment »

The Coastal Belt.

The Western Industrial Belt.

The Southwestern & Central Outposts.

The Central & Southwestern Outposts of Odisha

Balangir, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Kandhamala, KBK Plus district cluster, Koraput, Koraput- Jeypore- Sunabedha- Damanjodi, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Rayagada, Rayagada- Therubali 1 Comment »

Earlier we discussed the coastal belt and the western industrial corridor. However, there is a big part of Odisha outside of these two areas. Although, that area was long neglected except small industrial pockets in Rayagada and Koraput area, things have started happening in the overall area. Following is a map of that.

In the map above Berhampur and Balangir are reference points for the southern tip of the coastal belt and western industrial area respectively. Coming back to the outposts the current industrial areas are:

  • Koraput-Jeypore Sunabeda and
  • Rayagada-Therubali

They are 150 kms apart. Besides industries, both areas have several engineering colleges and a central university (possibly with a medical college) is coming up near Koraput.

North of Rayagada-Therubali is the Lanjigarh operations of Vedanta and its emerging township. How fast this area develops will depend on how quick there is an understanding between the loacls and the Vedanta people.

Further north is the Bhawanipatna-Kesinga-Titlagarh area. Titlagarh is a railway junction. A train line connecting Bhawanipatna and Junagarh to Lanjigarh rd of the Raygada-Titlagarh line should have passenger traffic in a couple of years. Recently, Bhawaniptna is getting some attention from the state government in terms of HRD institutions. A government engineering college and a government agricultural college has started here and the higher education task force has recommended a state university here. A private medical college is under construction. (However, its progress is slow.) I hope the government takes over the medical college infrastructure that has been built and makes it a government medical college and a location in this area is chosen for the announced Railway wagon factory.  However, for the area to further develop and develop rapidly, the locals need to actively chip in. They need to learn how locals in the Koraput area, Rayagada area, Gunupur and Parlakhemundi have created  and/or facilitated private HRD infrastructure. (For example, each of them have private engineering colleges.) In addition they should form a win-win partnership with Vedanta. If people don’t help themselves and don’t stop actively opposing private development instead of facilitating it, there is only so much the governments can do.

On the eastern side Parlakhemundi and Gunupur are slowly emerging as educational mini-hubs. The JITM and CRESM in Parlakhemundi are together becoming a private university and Gunupur has the biggest (in terms of student intake) engineering college (private or government) of the state. The railway line connecting Gunupur and Parlakhemundi to the Howrah-Chennai line at Naupada is about to start passenger service.

The lone central outpust is Phulbani. At present it has nothing much except some negative name recognition. The government needs to pay attention to this starting with pushing for the early establishment of a branch of the Tribal University here.

However, there are still several areas which are being left out. This includes the area south of Koraput (namely the Malkangiri district) and the districts of Nabarangpur and Nuapada. Unless development spreads there, they will be the new KBK of Odisha.

The Rourkela-Jharsuguda-Sambalpur industrial corridor of Odisha

Balangir, Bargarh, Jharsugurha, Rourkela-Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Sundergarh 1 Comment »

Currently the HRD infrastructure in the western corridor are concentrated at two locations (i) Rourkela and (ii) Sambalpur. While Rourkela has a lot of industries, the new ones are more concentrated around Jharsuguda.

In terms of connectivity the second airport of the state is being made at Jharsuguda and Jharsuguda has the best rail connectivity as it is a junction in the Howrah-Mumbai route as well as connected to Balangir via Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar via Sambalpur. Jharsuguda and  Sambalpur, 40 kms apart, if taken together have superb rail connectivity to the rest of the country.

Very soon the western corridor will be connected to the eastern corridor by multiple railway lines:

  • Sambalpur-Angul-Bhubaneswar (exists)
  • Barbil-Keonjhar-Kalinganagr (exists; a more direct connection between Barbil and Keonjhar is being made)
  • Balangir-Bouda-Khurda Rd (under works)
  • Rourkela- Bimlagarh-Talcher (Bimlagarh-Talcher is under works)

This area has some knowledge infrastructure centered around Sambalpur-Burla and Rourkela:

  • There are two universities in Burla (VSSUT and Sambalpur Univ) with two more in the pipeline (Upgradation of GM College and upgradation of VSS Medical College).
  • There is a medical college in Burla.
  • Rourkela has NIT and BPUT and a metropolitan university is planned.
  • HiTech is making a private medical college in Rourkela. (SAIL should be pushed to make a medical college there; ESIC should also establish its medical college somewhere nearby.)

To bring this whole corridor together some focus needs to be directed towards Jharsuguda. The airport coming there; it being the main Railway junction; and Vedanta’s plants there are additional reason to put some focus on Jharsuguda. I suggest:

  • A university be made there with  partnership between the government and the industries there. 
  • The Jharsuguda engineering school be made to an engineering college.
  • A medical college be made there (or in between Jharsuguda and Sundergarh) by the companies that mine from the Rampia block. (They should learn from MCL which is making its medical college in Talcher. MCL HQ is in Sambalpur, but I guess its coal mines are in Angul and hence the medical college in Talcher.)
  • The proposed power management institute of Odisha be established there.

The two other ends, Balangir and Joda-Barbil/Keonjhar need also some care.

  • A university has been proposed for Balangir and XIM is interested in opening a branch there. More needs to happen there.
  • Joda-Barbil is grossly neglected. A more direct rail connection between Joda-Barbil and Rourkela needs to be made. In addition HRD institutions need to be established in Joda-Barbil as well as Keonjhar.

One needs to note that NH-6, which at some point will become part of an expressway from Kolkata to Mumbai connects Keonjhar to Sambalpur and Bargarh. Thus one can envision a semi-ellipse with Baragarh-Sambalpur-Keonjhar line making the bottom part while the Sambalpur-Jharsuguda-Sundergarh-Rourkela-Barbil/Joda-Keonjhar making the upper curve. At some point Deogarh (next to the Rengali reservoir) the midpoint of Sambalpur and Keonjhar on NH-6 needs to be further developed.

Approach for the 12th five year plan: Safeguarding Odisha’s interest

12th plan (2012-2017), Planning Commission and Odisha Comments Off on Approach for the 12th five year plan: Safeguarding Odisha’s interest

The current five year plan is from 2007-2012. The next five year plan (12th plan) will be from 2012-2017. From now until until 2013 various details of the 12th plan will be put in place. we need to watch out the discussions and news reports on this and make sure that Odisha gets its due share. Following are excerpts from an Hindu news report on an initial meeting about the 12th plan.

The Planning Commission, Deputy Chairman, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, on Saturday held a meeting with experts from various fields on the approach for the 12th five year plan.

“The meeting was for consultation with experts for the ‘Approach’ for the 12th Plan. We discussed broad issues today.

… On the issue of growth, the Deputy Chairman said, “The Prime Minister has asked us that we should aim for 10 per cent growth in the next Plan.

“Everybody feels and we also think that growth should be inclusive and sustainable. That means without environmental damage.”

The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Mr Nandan Nilekani, the former Nasscom President, Mr Kiran Karnik, and the former Thermax Chairperson, Ms Anu Aga, among others, apart from officials of the Planning Commission.

We should not be only reactive, rather we should be proactive in pushing issues that will help Odisha. Following are some initial thoughts.

  • Odisha should push that India’s Maoist/Tribal/forested belt that includes a large part of Odisha and adjoining states of Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal should have investment amounts and priority (with respect to infrastructure development) similar to what is accorded to the North Eastern states and J & K. This would entail expediting planned Rail connectivity in these areas;
  • Work in Progress

Investment in cement sector in Odisha

Balasore, Bargarh, Cement, Jharsugurha, Malkangiri, Sundergarh Comments Off on Investment in cement sector in Odisha

Following is excerpted from a report in Financial Express by Dilip Bisoi.

  • five units entailing a total investment of Rs 4,162 crore.
  • The state promises 2.224 billion tonne of limestone deposits. Moreover, Orissa is going to generate huge quantity of blast furnace slag and fly ash as a large number of steel units and coal-fired power plants are coming up in the state.
  • Madras Cements, which is known for its popular Ramco brand, is proposing to set up two cement projects in the district of Sundergarh and Malkangiri of the state. While it is planning a 2 million tonne per annum (MTPA) plant along with a 40 mw captive power station at a cost of Rs 750 crore in Sundergarh, in Malkangiri it is going to set up a 2 MTPA unit along with a 35 mw power station at a cost of Rs 700 crore.
  • Madras Cements is also going to invest Rs 35 crore to set up a cement fibre sheet plant in Sundergarh district.
  • Shree Cement, which is known for its Bangur brand, is planning to set up a 3 MTPA unit and a 50 mw power plant at a cost of Rs 683 crore in Malkangiri district.
  • ACC Cement, which acquired the Bargarh Cement Plant of the Orissa government in 2004, intends to set up a 3 MTPA cement plant and a 50 mw power plant at a cost of Rs 1,850 crore in Malkangiri.
  • The Kolkata-based Emami Group is proposing to invest Rs 179 crore to set up a 0.6 MTPA cement grinding facility at Somnathpur in Balasore district. The group has a newsprint manufacturing unit at Balgopalpur in Balasore district.
  • Earlier, the government signed three MoUs in the cement sector. Grasim Cement of the Birla Group signed an MoU in 2006 to set up a 0.90 MTPA cement plant in Sundergarh district at a cost of Rs 1,200 crore, while ASCO Cement is putting up a 0.50 MTPA unit at a cost of Rs 132 crore at Rajgangpur in Jharsuguda district.
  • OCL India, which already has a ement unit in the state, is setting up another unit in Sundergarh district with an investment of Rs 850 crore.
  • Companies like Shiva Cement, Chariot Cement, Sita Cement already have cement manufacturing facilities in the state.

Envisioning the 150 km radius around Bhubaneswar in 20 years

Angul, Anugul- Talcher - Saranga- Nalconagar, Balasore, Balasore- Chandipur, Berhampur- Gopalpur- Chhatrapur, Bhadrakh, Bhubaneswar and vicinity, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Cuttack, Dhamara- Chandbali- Bhitarakanika, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Jajpur Rd- Vyasanagar- Duburi- Kalinganagar, Khordha, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Puri 5 Comments »

In 20 years (i.e., in 2030) the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Khurda population would be around 4 million plus. In addition the area would be surrounded by the following cities/towns within 150 kms radius (i.e., about a hour and half away).

  • Berhampur-Gopalpur to the south (with a then population of 1.5 million; about 145 kms away)
  • Puri to the south (with a then population of 700K; only 30kms away)
  • Kalinganagar to the North (with a then population of 500K; only 50 kms away)
  • Talcher-Angul to the West (with a then population of 500K; only 110 kms away)
  • Dhenkanal to the west (with a then population of 200K and almost in the periphery)
  • Paradip to the east (with a then population of 400K and 90 kms away)
  • Dhamara-Chandbali to the Northeast (with a then population of 200K and 140 kms away)
  • Bhadrak to the North (with a then population of 200K and 140 kms away)

A little farther is

  • Balasore-Chandipur to the North (with a then population of 300K and 162 kms away from the Northern end of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Khurda area)

In addition there will be several port towns other than the ones mentioned above and a few smaller towns (For example, Nayagarh)  within 200km radius of greater Bhubaneswar.

Besides individual CDPs for these areas the Odisha governement should start making plans for this larger overall area. It would form a different kind of megalopolis than New Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata with a well planned hub (Bhubaneswar) surrounded by mini-hubs and with rural areas in between. I can not off-hand think of another such area in the world; may be the readers can point me to some. Please suggest what kind of plans need to be made. (Please note that for something to be up and running in 20 years, plans need to be made now.) For example:

  • Commuter trains at frequent intervals and the necessary infrastructure for that. Following are some of the segments
    • Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark-Astaranga (Puri-Konark-Astaranga needs to be built; alternatively if Astaranga port comes up, then there may be a new line from Barang to Astaranga)
    • Bhubaneswar-Berhampur-Gopalpur (Berhampur-Gopalpur needs to be built)
    • Bhubaneswar-Jajpur Rd(Kalinganagar)-Bhadrak-Dhamara (Bhadrak-Dhamara is ready but no trains yet)
    • Bhubaneswar-Jajpur Rd(Kalinganagar)-Bhadrak-Balasore-Baripada
    • Bhubaneswar-Jakhapura(Kalinganagar)-Tomka (on the line to Kendujhargarh)
    • Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Paradeep (ready)
    • Bhubaneswar-Dhenkanal-Talcher-Angul (ready)
    • Bhubaneswar-Khurda-Nayagarh and beyond (being constructed; part of Khurda-Balangir)
    • Angul-Talcher-Sukinda-Kalinganagar (being constructed)
  • Expressways linking these places
  • Fast buses linking these places
  • Fast airport shuttle
  • Some of these places would be connected by waterways including National Waterway 5
  • Express ring road around each of these places
  • Co-ordinated public transport in each of these places
  • ??

Please let your imagination run wild!

Kalinganagar sees light and allows Tatas to build its infrastructure; Paradeep/Kujanga/Dhinikia in the right path with POSCO; Puri and Kalahandi still have their head buried in the sand

Aluminium, Anil Agarwal, Bauxite, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Iron Ore, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Jajpur Rd- Vyasanagar- Duburi- Kalinganagar, Kalahandi, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, POSCO, Puri, Steel, Tatas, TOI, Economic Times 6 Comments »

Following is from an article by Nageshwar Patnaik in Economic Times. Nageshwar is a big critic of the Tatas. So coming from him, I give a lot of value to the article.

Buoyed by successful resettlement of displaced persons after five years, Tata Steel, which is setting up a 6-mtpa steel plant at Kalinga Nagar in Orissa’s Jajpur district, has undertaken massive infrastructure development work at the project site to get support of the local people, especially the tribals.

Under its Tata Steel Parivar resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) programme, the leading steel producer of the country has laid 20 km of quality motorable roads connecting all rehabilitation colonies, besides constructing 32 km of drainage system at adjoining tribal-dominated villages such as Trijanga, Sansailo and Gobarghati.

As many as 300 sodium vapour halogen lamp posts have been installed and pipe water provision made to provide better life to the displaced people living in rehabilitation colonies.

Each colony in the project area has a dispensary, community centre and several education centres offering management and technical courses.

“The Tata Steel Parivar rehabilitation scheme at Kalinga Nagar provides substantially better facilities than the government-framed R&R policy. The government policy provides employment for one member from each core household. On the other hand, Tata Steel Parivar policy provides employment opportunities for each major member of the core house. It also provides training facilities for technical skill upgrade,” a press statement, issued by the company here on Thursday, said.

The release also noted that scholarships were being provided for displaced persons pursuing higher education in professional fields such as medicine, engineering and management.

“An amount of Rs 2.21 lakh is also provided as onetime assistance in lieu of employment. Further, under the Tata Steel Parivar policy, each family is given a monthly maintenance allowance of Rs 2,000-2,300 till they get employment in the plant whereas the policy stipulates payment of maintenance allowance for 12 months only,” it added.

The opposition in Kalinganagar has finally seen light and allowed the Tatas to build the infrastructure of Kalinganagar. Related to this, The Telegraph of UK has apologized to the Tatas for their negative coverage.

Things also seem to be going in the positive direction in the POSCO front and I hope the people there visit Tata’s colonies in Kalinganagar and demand and get similar or better facilities and form a positive partnership with POSCO. In addition the Odisha government should push POSCO in developing a POSTECH like University in Paradeep.

However, there is not much progress with respect to Vedanta Aluminum in Kalahandi or Vedanta University in Puri. Here again it would be wise for the people there to visit Tata’s colonies Kalinganagar and demand and get similar or better facilities and form a positive partnership with Vedanta. But the time may be running out for Puri as Vedanta University Project has indicated that it may give up and move south where it will be welcomed with open arms. If that happens it would of course be a mistake of a century for Puri and Odisha.

In regards to the Arcelor-Mittal and Keonjhar the company really has not made much visible effort to woo the people.

Apeejay plans an industrial logistic park in Kalinagnagar by year-end

Apeejay, Industrial Parks, Jajpur, Jajpur Rd- Vyasanagar- Duburi- Kalinganagar Comments Off on Apeejay plans an industrial logistic park in Kalinagnagar by year-end

Following is an excerpt from a report in Hindu Business Line.

Apeejay Infralogistics Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between Apeejay Surrendra Group and Eredene Capital Plc, UK, hopes to commission the first phase of its two integrated logistics parks at Haldia (West Bengal) and Kalinganagar (Orissa) towards the end of this year.

… Mr Sourav Daspatnaik, Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group, said, “We have just received the Commerce Ministry’s approval for setting up an inland container depot (ICD) at Kalinganagar …”

The Haldia integrated logistics park, estimated at Rs 200 crore in phases, would come up on over 90 acres while the one at Kalinganagar, costing Rs 60 crore, over 30 acres.

The Kalinganagar logistics park, he said, would be different from the one at Haldia because it would cater to the requirements of the steel units coming up in the area. “The big names in steel such as Jindals, the Tatas, and the Visa Group are present at Kalinganagar,” he said.

… In the first phase, the Haldia outfit would be complete with an ICD, warehousing facilities – both covered and open, truck terminal and trade facilitation centre and other facilities. Similar facilities, though on a smaller scale, too were being created at Kalinganagar, he added.

Eastern zonal Cultural center has all its infrastructure in West Bengal

Central govt. schemes, Demanding equitable treatment, Jatra, Odia music, Odisha artists, Odisha Culture, Odisha dances, Odisha govt. Inaction, Palla and Daskathia, Puppetry 1 Comment »

Following is from the PIB which brought our attention to the zonal cultural centers funded by the Ministry of Culture, Government in India. By looking at the web page of the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center in Kolkata, it seems like all of the infrastructure of this center is in West Bengal.

The aims and objectives of the Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) are to preserve, promote and disseminate the arts, specially folk/tribal arts of the country. The ZCCs endeavour to develop and promote the rich diversity and uniqueness of various arts of the Zone and to upgrade and enrich consciousness of the people about their cultural heritage.  

There are only seven ZCCs in the country. Though no ZCC has its headquarters in Karnataka, the state of Karnataka is a member of the South Zone Cultural Centre (SZCC), having its headquarters at Thanjavur and also of South Central Zone Cultural Centre (SCZCC) having its headquarters at Nagpur. 

The details of ZCCs, location-wise and the schemes/programmes organised/executed by each centre, ZCC-wise are annexed.


Government has set up seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) having headquarters in various part of the country as per the details given below:-


Sl. No.

Name of the centre


Member States


North Zone Cultural Centre


Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Union Territory of Chandigarh


West Zone Cultural Centre


Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli


South Zone Cultural Centre


Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Union Territories of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Puducherry.


South Central Zone Cultural Centre


Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra


Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre


Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Orissa, Sikkim, Tripura, West Bengal and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


North Central Zone Cultural Centre


Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan,  Uttarakhand and NCT of Delhi.


North East Zone Cultural Centre


Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.



  The ZCCs have been carrying out various activities in accordance with their aims and objectives:-  

                   I.            National Cultural Exchange Programme: With a view to present art forms of one region to another and expose the diverse cultural heritage of each region to the rest of the country, the folk/tribal artistes are sent on exchange manner to participate in the programmes organized by the seven Zonal Cultural Centres.

                II.            Guru Shishya Parampara Scheme:  The Scheme was introduced in 2003-04 with a view to promote development of new talents in the field of music and dance, folk and tribal art forms, under the able guidance of Gurus. 

             III.            Young Talented Artistes Scheme:  The Scheme was introduced during the year 2004-05 to recognize and encourage young talents in the various Folk/Tribal arts forms in different regions in the country.

            IV.            Documentation of Vanishing Art Forms:  Under the Scheme, documentation of various folk and tribal art forms is undertaken, especially of those which are seen to be vanishing.

               V.            Shilpagram Activities:  ZCCs have set up Shilpagrams at Chandigarh, Khajuraho, Udaipur, Guwahati, Allahabad and Shantiniketan to encourage various forms of folk/tribal arts and crafts from rural India. These Shilpagrams are attracting a large number of domestic as well as foreign visitors. Through these Shilpgrams, a number of artistes and artisans are benefited and a large number of people are made aware of our rich cultural heritage.

            VI.            Loktarang – National Folk Dance Festival and OCTAVE – Festival of the North East: All the ZCCs participate in these National level festivals organized every year in New Delhi and/or other places. A large number of folk/tribal artistes from all corners of the country performs during these festivals to showcase the diverse folk/tribal arts of our country.



Following is from the "About Us" page of the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center.


The idea for Zonal Cultural Centers germinated in the mind of our late Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. At his instance, several centers were set up. They represent the effort on the part of the Government and the people to preserve and protect our rich cultural heritage and to bring it closer to the lives of the people. With each State or Union Territory belonging to at least one Zonal Center, the objective is to foster amongst the people within each zone and among zones, much greater cultural exchanges and understanding. This not only results in a better understanding of our heritage but also brings out the underlying unity of our diverse cultural traditions.

A self-transforming civilization that defies any attempt to freeze it in space and time, living India is a mosaic of varied cultures, layer upon layer, tempered in a history of a common vitality.

Since independence, it has been the concern of the Government of India to encourage the evolution and consolidation of Indian culture by bringing its different streams closer and by making people of various regions know and understand each other’s distinctive traits in a spirit of appreciation and acceptance of the unity in diversity within this country.

The establishment of the Zonal Cultural Centers, in collaboration with the State Governments and Union Territories, is one of the measures taken by the Government of India to achieve this objective.

The Eastern Zonal Cultural Center (EZCC) covering the states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Orissa, Sikkim, Tripura, West Bengal and The Union Territory of The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is one of the seven such Zonal Cultural Centers set up by the Government of India with a view to culturally integrate the states and Union Territories as a part of the program of national integration.

Since its inception in 1985 the EZCC has been functioning as a cultural nerve center, between and among the numerous ethnic cultural centers/groups of excellence of the eastern parts of the country. The Center strives through its various activities to enrich, promote and strengthen these traditions. The Center is totally dedicated to the promotion, projection and dissemination of our traditional culture.

Over the past several years, the EZCC has been able to infuse among people a conscious appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of its own zone as well as other parts of the country through its manifold programs of folk, tribal and classical dance music and dance, documentation and publication, workshops, as well as its exhibitions on arts and crafts.

The numerous fairs and festivals, seminars and symposia organized through out the year are efforts to combat the constant onslaught of the electronic media.

The Center is under the overall supervision of the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India and is headed by the Director. His Excellency the Governor of West Bengal is the chairman of the EZCC.

The more we try to unravel the mysteries of our own many splendoured culture, the more we perceive the underlying strength of unity and harmony that rises above all differences and distinctions and enmeshes us in its inherent bonds. This is what we are committed to project and promote.

The following is from the Infrastructure page of the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center.

A. The Bharatiyam Cultural Multiplex is situated at IB-201, Sector III, Salt Lake City, Kolkata 700106.

The facilities available at the Bharatiyam Cultural Multiplex include


  • Purbashree (Main Auditorium)
    Air conditioned auditorium measuring 7850 square feet, having a capacity for over 900 persons.

  • Rangmanch (Open Air Theatre)
    Open Air Theatre measuring 4000 square feet has been built with a seating capacity of about 400 people.

  • Naat Ghar (Studio Theatre)
    Air conditioned studio theatre measuring 1200 square feet has a seating capacity for 100 persons.
  • Sobha Ghar (Art Gallery)
    The air-conditioned art gallery measures 3280 square feet. The exhibition wall is provided with track lighting.
  • Karmashala-I and II (Workshop Rooms)
    The air-conditioned workshop rooms measuring 610 square feet each are used by the EZCC to hold a variety of workshops on instrumental/ vocal music, performing arts, doll making, painting etc.
  • Kala Mandap
    The open air space measuring 4270square feet is ideal for holding crafts fairs and other festivals. Beautiful sculptures made by eminent artists give the place a perfect ambience.
  • Food Court
    The open air Food Court measuring 2000 square feet with its ethnic background is an ideal place for hosting food festivals etc.


B. The Aikatan Cultural Center is situated at IA-190, Sector III, Salt Lake City, Kolkata 700097.

The facilities available at the Aikatan Cultural Complex include

  • Air conditioned auditorium which has a seating capacity for 110 persons. It is ideal for seminars, workshops, lecture demonstrations and cultural programs.
  • Dormitory facilities for men/women in two halls with 32 beds in each
  • Dining hall


C. SRIJANI, the Shilpagram Complex of the EZCC is situated in Santiniketan, Bolpur in Birbhum District of West Bengal.


This unique cultural center provides a conducive and infrastructure to nurture our traditional arts and crafts.

The complex comprises of huts, representative of EZCC’s member states. The huts incorporate traditional architectural features and design.



The question is if the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center is supposed to cater several states in the Eastern part of India, including Odisha, why is all of its infrastructure in West Bengal.

This means the system of zonal cultural center is not working. The GOI must exapnd it to all major states and establish a similar center in Odisha. Odisha CM must lobby for it and make sure it is included in the next five year plan starting from 2012.


Dharitri picture of a major street and rain clouds in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri 1 Comment »

Update on the proposed mega food park project at Khurda; ILF&S may be roped in

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Food processing, Khordha Comments Off on Update on the proposed mega food park project at Khurda; ILF&S may be roped in

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard by Jayjit Dash.

The Orissa government is likely to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), one of India’s leading infrastructure development and finance companies, for the proposed mega food park project at Khurda.

The mega food park which is coming up on 250 acres of land at Khurda has the potential to attract investments to the tune of Rs 2000 crore.

“… The Centre is planning to float tenders for this project by August and the project is expected to attract many noted developers in the food processing sector”, Saurabh Garg, industries secretary, Orissa government told Business Standard.

Besides offering its expertise to help boost investments in the food processing sector, IL&FS will also offer its inputs to the state government in finalizing the food processing policy which would be notified soon, he added.

Garg admitted that the lack of adequate storage facilities was impeding the growth of the food processing sector in the state. To overcome this, he stated that the state government had a preliminary round of talks with Fresh and Healthy Enterprises Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Container Corporation of India Limited for setting up cold chains in different locations of the state.

The details in this connection, however, are yet to be finalized.

It may be noted that IL&FS had carried a study on raw material availability for the food processing sector in different locations of the state. It had identified paddy, mango, tomato, coconut, cashew, ginger and brinjal as the products with a huge potential for processing but had pointed out that the major bottleneck to the growth of the sector was the inadequate cold storage facilities in the state.

To give the much desired fillip to the food processing sector, IL&FS had suggested the Orissa government to offer a package of incentives to attract big players in the sector like ITC, Britannia Industries and Parle Agro Ltd.

Hemant Sharma, director, industries department, Orissa government said, “IL&FS has suggested us to offer a host of incentives like capital investment subsidy of at least 30 per cent, make provisions for seasonal electricity tariff for the food processing units, offer these units exemption from Value Added Tax (VAT) and provide interest subvention of five per cent. While Bihar offers a capital investment subsidy of up to 40 per cent for maize processing, there is no such scheme in Orissa.”

All the big players- ITC, Britannia Industries, Parle Agro Ltd and Indo Nissin Foods Ltd have evinced interest in investing in the food processing sector in the state.

Among these, Parle Agro’s unit has been cleared by the State Level Single Window Clearance Authority while the site selection is underway for the proposed projects of Britannia Industries and Indo Nissin Foods, the noodles maker.

ITC has so far remained non-responsive after initially evincing interest to invest in the food processing sector.

LMJ International, a Kolkata-based export firm had also proposed to set up a maize processing complex in south Orissa’s Nabarangapur district at an investment of around Rs 150 crore.

SLSWCA clears proposals for five cement units, 2 aluminum conductor units, a maize processing unit and a petroleum coke plant

Aluminium, Aluminum ancilaries, Anil Agarwal, Balasore, Cement, Jagatsinghpur, Jharsugurha, Maize Processing, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Petrochemicals, Single Window Clearance (SLSWCA), Sundergarh, Vedanta 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a report in

The State Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA) today cleared nine new investment proposals worth Rs 4920.26 crore. Out of these, five are in the cement sector, two aluminium conductor units, a maize processing unit and a petroleum coke plant.

Out of the five new cement projects, two are of Madras Cement which will set up its units at Sundergarh and Malkangiri.

The company’s Sundargarh plant will have two million tonne per annum (mtpa) cement capacity along with 40 MW of captive power generation facility. The project is estimated to cost Rs 750 crore. Madras Cement, known for its Ramko brand of cement, will also have a cement fibre sheet plant at the same location at an investment of Rs 35 crore.

The company’s second cement unit in the state, also with a capacity of two mtpa, will come up at Malkanagiri. It will have a 36 MW Captive Power Plant and the combined cost of the project is pegged at Rs 700 crore.

Apart from Madras Cement, Ajmer-based Shree Cement, known for its Bangur brand of cement, has proposed to set up a three mtpa cement unit and a 36 MW CPP, also at Malkangiri, at an investment of Rs 683 crore.

ACC Cement intends to set up a three mtpa cement unit and a 50 MW CPP at Malkangiri, involving an investment of Rs 1850 crore.

Similarly, Emami Group which has a newsprint making plant at Balgopalpur in Balasore district will invest Rs 179 crore at Somnathpur in the same district for setting up a 0.6 mtpa cement grinding unit.

… Among the other investment proposals cleared by SLSWCA is the Seashore Group’s plan to set up a maize processing unit at Papdahandi block in Nabarangpur district at a cost of Rs 160 crore. The facility will come up on 123 acres of land and will require two lakh litres of water per day. The project will create 96 direct jobs besides creating indirect employment opportunity for around 6000 people.

Sterlite Technologies Ltd, a Vedanta Group firm, will invest Rs 51.26 crore on establishing an aluminium conductor plant as well as an aluminium alloy rod unit at Brundamal near Jharsuguda. This plant will be a downstream unit of the company’s existing aluminium smelter at Jharsuguda.

Kalinga Calciners has proposed to set up petroleum coke plant near Paradeep at a cost of Rs 80 crore. The plant will have an overall capacity of 2,20,000 tonnes per annum which will be achieved in two phases.

The SLSWCA also cleared the proposal of Hindustan Vidyut Products Ltd which has evinced interest in setting up an aluminium conductor plant at Jharsuguda, entailing an investment of Rs 389 crore. This project which will come up on 75 acres of land will create direct employment for 153 people and creating indirect jobs for around 400 others.

Its good to see that some of the above units are proposed for remote backward districts such as Malkangiri and Nabarangpur.