Archive for February, 2012

Charampa to have an inland container depot; one of the many upcoming economic impact of Dhamara port

Bhadrakh, Dhamara port (under constr.) 6 Comments »

Ports have economic and infrastructural impact on the nearby areas.  The recently operational Dhamara Port already has given a highway and railway line between Bhadrak and Dhamara. The proposed container depot (discussed in the Dharitri article below) will be another of its initial contribution.

Excellent plans to expand the visitor center of the Chandaka national forest at the Godibari gate; once done one can bike two kms inside the forest

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chandaka, Khordha Comments Off on Excellent plans to expand the visitor center of the Chandaka national forest at the Godibari gate; once done one can bike two kms inside the forest

Following is from Dharitri.

Some highlights from the Odisha government budget for 2012-13

Budget, State, Odisha govt. action Comments Off on Some highlights from the Odisha government budget for 2012-13

The following highlights are from (This year’s and several previous year’s budgets since 2004-05 are linked from

  • Rs. 5.00 Cr has been provided for management and development of Elephant Corridor in the State during the year 2012-13.
  • Allocation for purchase of medicines for Government run hospitals has been increased from Rs.50.00 crore to Rs.104.56 crore.
  • … decided to enhance the intake capacity of all the three Medical Colleges from 150 to 250 within a period of four years. This project will require investment of Rs.400.00 crore for development of necessary infrastructure and other facilities. Rs.32.30 crore has been allocated for this project under State Plan.
  • Launching of “Emergency Medical Ambulance Services” in the State would be another major intervention for strengthening health security. In the first phase 15 districts will be covered under this new scheme. Rs.10.00 crore from Odisha Health System Project Fund has been allocated during current financial year for purchase of Ambulances. In the present allocation operational cost of Rs.6.22 crore has been provided.
  • Total allocation in School and Mass Education Department is enhanced from Rs.5307.44 crore to Rs.6525.40 crore this year.
  • Rs. 18.60 crore has been provided towards state share for opening of Govt. Colleges in the districts with low Gross Enrolment Ratio.
  • Rs.5.00 crore is allocated under ‘Aam Admi Bima Yojana’ to provide life insurance cover for the landless agricultural labourers.
  • Rs. 4.00 crore has been provided in the budget under State Plan towards establishment of Xavier’s Institute of Management (XIMB) at Sambalpur and Bolangir. This will go a long way in providing quality management education to the students of the State.
  • Rs. 14.00 crore has been provided for infrastructure development of constituent colleges of BPUT. Besides, Rs. 12.56 crore has also been provided for infrastructure and civil works of IGIT, Sarang, Government Engineering Colleges at Berhampur and Bhawanipatna etc.
  • For up-gradation of industrial infrastructure of Plastic, Polymer and Allied Cluster at Balasore under IIUS, a provision of Rs.1.13 crore has been provided.
  • a new Planetarium will be established at Sambalpur for which allocation of Rs.5.00 crore has been provided.
  • Rs.12.00 crore has been provided in the budget for infrastructure development of IIIT, Bhubaneswar, which includes creation of Training Centre, Guest House, Research Laboratories & Staff Qrs.
  • Rs.80.00 crore has been provided for Western Odisha Development Council.
  • Rs.120.00 crore has been provided in the budget for continuance of Biju KBK Yojana for the development of most backward regions like KBK.
  • Rs.28.50 crore has been made for implementation of Biju Kandhamala O Gajapati Yojana.
  • Rs.540.00 crore has been provided in the budget for implementation of Integrated Action Plan in Tribal & Backward Districts.
  • Rs.5.00 crore has been provided for setting of Driving Training Institute at Berhampur, Barbil, Bhubaneswar, Keonjhar & Angul, which will train un-employed youth to earn their livelihood.
  • Rs.6.00 crore out of State Plan has been earmarked for development of air-strips and construction of a new Air- Strip at Malkangiri during the financial year 2012-13.
  • Rs.4.99 crore has been provide in the budget for completion of Hockey complex at Kalinga Stadium.
  • To cater to the training needs of the inmates of Sports Hostel at Panposh, Rourkela a second Synthetic Hockey Turf will be laid. Accordingly, a sum of Rs.6.00 crore has been provided in the Budget for 2012-13
  • Rs.16.25 crore has been provided in the budget for Preservation of Monuments and Buddhist Heritage as per the recommendation of 13th Finance Commission.
  • Rs.1.00 crore has been made for construction of Odishi Dance Museum in Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra Odishi Research Centre, Bhubaneswar
  • Rs.1.00 crore has been provided in the budget for construction of Modern Art Gallery in Bhubaneswar.
  • Rs.2.00 crore has been provided in the budget for construction of Boys & Girls Hostels for Utkal Sangeeta Mahavidyala and B.K. College of Art and Crafts, Bhubaneswar.
  • Rs.9.00 crore has been provided in the budget for acquisition of private land for development of tourist projects like Peace Park at Dhauli and Peripheral Development of Lingaraj Temple.
  • Rs.13.50 crore has been provided in the budget in order to provide adequate basic amenities and other infrastructure in indentified tourist destinations.
  • Rs. 17.00 crore has been provided in the budget for organisation of International Events & Road shows/organisation of State and National Level Fairs and for publicity campaigns.

Odisha Expenditure budget for 2012-2013 at 37302.3 crores; 17.5% of it to go to mass education

Budget, State, Odisha govt. action Comments Off on Odisha Expenditure budget for 2012-2013 at 37302.3 crores; 17.5% of it to go to mass education

Following is from Samaja:

Feasibility study begins for coastal highway connecting upcoming ports: Business Standard

Coastal highway, Coastal highway - beach preservation, Ports and waterways, Railways Comments Off on Feasibility study begins for coastal highway connecting upcoming ports: Business Standard

Following is from a Business Standard article by Jayajit Das.

“We had submitted a Rs 1,200-crore connectivity plan for minor ports to the Government of India. In response, they have roped in a Gurgaon-based consultant- Louis Burger Consulting Pvt Ltd and they have already started the feasibility study. In 3-4 months, the consultant will be submitting its report to the Central government after which we can expect flow of funds”, a top official source told Business Standard.

It may be noted that there would be a major focus on road connectivity to major ports and airports in the country in the 12th Plan.

A Planning Commission Working Group on Central Roads Sector has demanded special package for this so that it is implemented on priority basis, separating it from overall National Highway planning.

While two-lane connectivity for 50 minor ports have been envisaged at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore, the cost of constructing roads to connect 24 airports has been estimated at Rs 1,800 crore. The proposal has been approved by the Steering Committee on Transport Sector for the 12th Plan held under the Chairmanship of Plan Panel Member BK Chaturvedi.

Earlier, the Orissa government which has identified 14 potential sites for the development of minor ports had requested the Government of India to formulate a policy to provide rail and road connectivity to these ports from the national network on the lines of major ports.

The Union ministry of shipping and highways is understood to offer 50 per cent funding for road and rail connectivity for these upcoming ports.

The state has witnessed grounding of investment of Rs 4,262.44 crore from non-major ports in the past 10 years.

The investments have come from four minor port developers- Dhamara Port Company Ltd (DPCL), Gopalpur Port Ltd (GPL), Creative Port Development Ltd and Navayug Engineering Ltd from 2002-03 up to the end of September last year.

Odisha benefits from several trains that connect Howrah to the west or the south

Railway Budget 2011, Railways 3 Comments »

Odisha benefits a lot from trains that connect Howrah with the south and with the west. In the last few days announcements for the initial operation of five such trains have been made. These trains are:

  1. Howrah – Mysore (via BBS)
  2. Santragachi – Mangalore express (via BBS)
  3. Santragachi – Nanded Exprees (via ROU and JSG)
  4. Shalimar – Udaipur (via ROU and JSG) Express
  5. Shalimar – Secunderabad (via BBS) Express.

Of these five, the first four bring new connectivity.

Interestingly the recent articles in the Odisha media (both English and Oriya papers; see for example, here and here.) about these new trains do not mention 3 and 4. I suspect they did not realize that most (not all) trains from Howrah to the west take the Rourkela – Jharsuguda segment. In other words most trains from Howrah to Mumbai, Pune and Maharashtra in general, to Gujarat and some of the trains to Rajasthan take the Rourkela – Jharsuguda segment. However, there are a few trains from Howrah to West that do not take this segment.

The Darbhanga – Hyderbad Express and the Patna – Durg express also go through the Rourkela – Jharsuguda segment.

Similarly several trains from Jharkhand to the south go through Odisha taking the Rourkela – Jharsuguda – Sambalpur – Titlagarh – Rayagada – Vijianagaram route. Main among them are the daily Dhanbad – Allepey express and the Ranchi/Tata – Yesvantpur express.

The Samata express from Vizag to Delhi and the Bilaspur – Tirupaty Express go through the Rayagada –  Titlagarh – Raipur segment. The Vizag to Amritsar Express takes the Palasa – Berhampur – Bhubaneswar and Bhubaneswar – Angul – Sambalpur – Jharsuguda segments.

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik vents against UPA and NDA; Beginning of a sustainable third front?

CENTER & ODISHA, Chief Minister's actions, Defence establishments, Demanding equitable treatment, Mine royalty and cess, Railway network in Odisha 6 Comments »

This is interesting. Naveen Patnaik has a strong election winning record in Odisha and based on the current ZP and Panchayat elections, it seems he will also win big in the next elections in Odisha. He is suave, gentle, has a good natinoal image, not prone to histironics (like Mamata Banerjee), not an ayaaram-gayaram (i.e., does not change alliances often like AIADMK and hence reliable), speaks good English, and Odisha being a smaller state other state leaders will not think he is too powerful. So he may be an acceptable PM candidate for a third front consisting mainly of various regional parties. He is right about the problems with the two national alliances in India. The big problem with UPA is its multiple power centers, especially with the all power no responsibility position of the Yuvraj. He and his cronies have single handedly stopped major development in Odisha; especially the Vedanta University. The other problem with national parties is that their leadership in Delhi control the states where they rule. As a result, while those states do get some extra benefits, they are manipulated by the center to agree to their wishes, even if it may be detrimental to the state’s interest. In the context of Odisha a UPA govt in Delhi can push a Congress govt. in Odisha to give mining leases to companies of its choice.

At present the Odisha government is able to defy them to some extent. Even in case of coal blocks where the center unilaterally allocates the blocks, the state is able to put its terms, sometimes vocally, as the companies need the help of the state in getting the land and various clearances. That is the reason MCL and NTPC have agreed to establish medical colleges in Odisha. If there was a Congress government they would not be as vocal and may have just signed on the dotted lines as dictated by the central leadership. Of course one has to also think of the country as a whole. But in the past what has happened is that in the name of "national interest" Odisha has suffered greatly, some of it partly overcome by the non-Congress leadership in Odisha.

Examples of this are:

  • The freight equalization policy that harmed the industrialization of Odisha.
  • The low royalty rates of minerals.
  • Lack of port development. (There is folklore about how Biju Patnaik unilaterally went ahead to establish Paradeep port)
    • Also related is the disregard of the military about accommodating port development near their sites.
  • The opposition of Rahul Gandhi and his cohorts to industrial development in Kalahandi and Vedanta University.
  • Lack of development of Railways in Odisha.

Some of the above were overcome when there was a third front type government at the center. The ECOR zone was one of them. Since the ECOR zone was established things have looked up in the Railways sector in Odisha, but there is lot more to be done.

In the mining and metal based industry sector, since the BJD government in Odisha has become very discriminative in giving leases and installed the value added policy there has been a beeline of investment (some of it yet to come to fruition). The government has seen through the past games of Tatas and now have forced them establish a plant in Odisha (hence their upcoming Kalinganagar plant) and yet have not given them any new leases. SAIL and NALCO are not having an easier time either. 

So the point is that in our current set up where leadership in Delhi (true for both UPA and NDA) often dictates the state leaders of the same party to do what it wants, the state may lose out in the name of national interest. On the other hand *honest* regional parties can guard the state’s interests as has happened in Odisha. More and more states are going that way.

However, its not clear what kind of central government a coalition of regional parties will be able to form and how well will that work at the national level.

More ramblings later. … (See for related thoughts.)


Odisha has attracted investments worth Rs 12.08 lakh crore across sectors till the end of 2011: ASSOCHAM

Investment ranking, INVESTMENTS and INVESTMENT PLANS Comments Off on Odisha has attracted investments worth Rs 12.08 lakh crore across sectors till the end of 2011: ASSOCHAM

The following is from an article in Business Standard based on an ASSOCHAM report.

Continuing its investor friendly momentum, Orissa has attracted investments worth Rs 12.08 lakh crore across sectors till the end of 2011, grabbing 10.04 per cent share of the overall investment pie standing at Rs 120.34 lakh crore.

… While Gujarat has emerged as the numero uno state, bagging investments to the tune of Rs 16.28 lakh crore, Maharashtra is at the second slot, drawing investment of Rs 14.13 lakh crore. Neighboring Andhra Pradesh leads Orissa by a slender margin with investment proposals of Rs 12.09 lakh crore in its kitty.

“Out of the 20 industrial states, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Karnataka have clearly emerged as the preferred investment destinations by attracting 53.56 per cent of the total live investments,” said D S Rawat, national secretary general of Assocham.

Of the overall investments that have flowed to different states, Orissa leads the pack with top slots in manufacturing and mining sectors with a share of 17.5 per cent and 31.2 per cent respectively of the total investments.

In electricity sector, Orissa with a share of 11.3 per cent is next only to Gujarat. The state has clocked 3.4 per cent share in services sector and two per cent in irrigation while its meagre share of 0.7 per cent in the real sector is among the lowest of the 20 states surveyed by Assocham. Of its own investment basket of Rs 12.08 lakh crore, manufacturing is the top draw with a whopping share of 44.2 per cent, drawing parallels with neighbouring states like Jharkhand and West Bengal where manufacturing has been the key investment driver as well, accounting for 63.1 per cent share and 43.1 per cent share respectively.

Electricity is the next biggest contributor to Orissa’s investment portfolio with a share of 40.4 per cent followed by services at 7.4 per cent and mining sector at 6.5 per cent. The state’s residual investment basket is filled by sectors like irrigation and real estate with a share of 0.6 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.

Indigo brings new connectivity between Bhubaneswar and Coimbatore/Vizag

BBSR-Bangalore, BBSR-Chennai, BBSR-Delhi, BBSR-Hyderabad, BBSR-Kolkata, BBSR-Mumbai, BBSR-Vizag, Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Khordha 4 Comments »

As S. Pani points out Indigo is going to have the following new flights through Bhubaneswar:

Starting 16th Feb:
6E 293 Kolkata-Bhubaneswar-Mumbai-Coimbatore
6E 294 Coimbatore-Mumbai-Bhubaneswar-Kolkata

Starting 7th March
6E 511 Chennai-Vizag-Bhubaneswar-Kolkata
6E 512 Kolkata-Bhubaneswar-Vizag-Chennai

With these and other recent changes following is a glimpse of the flight connectivity between Bhubaneswar and other cities. We only show direct flights or flights with one stop (but no plane changes).


Delhi: (Note – The Jetlite flight does not show up in the left.)Mumbai: (The Jetlite and Jet Konect flights below refer to the same flight.)

Bangalore: (The Jetlite and Jet Konect flights below refer to the same flight.)
Hyderabad: (For some reason the above Jet Konnect/Jet Lite flight to  Hyderabad does not show up below.)Chennai: (The Air India flight below is five days a week.)Visakhapatnam:      Port Blair: Coimbatore:

The new flights that Indigo introduced has the hopping schedule that South West airlines in USA has. Such a hopping schedule allows for additional 1 or 2 stop connections without plane changes. I hope in the future similar connectivity is added to places like Cochin, Pune, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Indore, Guwahati, Lucknow/Kanpur etc.

I also noticed that on some days the price to fly between Bhubaneswar and Mumbai is more than flying from Bhubaneswar to Coimbatore via Mumbai on the same flight.

Food for thought: India may have 50 states in 2040

CENTER & ODISHA 23 Comments »

(Thanks to Sanjib Karmee for the pointer.) The following graphics is from an article in Outlook.

This may happen much sooner than 2040. I think if this is done through a nationwide initiative all over India then it could turn out to be good. Of course, for this to work some additional steps need to be taken. For example, the supreme court strength has to increase so as to deal with inter-state disputes that will be caused by this; A big chunk of money has to be allocated to the new states (the states that will lose their capital area or main city) to build infrastructure; etc.

In the context of Odisha I have had brief discussions with some people on splitting of Odisha suggesting that this will lead to more areas of Odisha having better infrastructure. For example, if there are two states, then there will be two capital areas with associated infrastructure that come with most capitals of the country (an airport, good train connectivity, etc.). One of the reason that is often given to counter this is that if Odisha is divided, each part will have even lesser clout at the center and as it is Odisha has fewer number of MPs than many other states and thus has less clout than those states.

If the divisions happen all across the country, then the above reason may be less applicable.

Also, since the states will no longer be on linguisitic basis the issue of Kosali vs Odia language will not be a factor.

Puri – Bansapani Express extended to Barbil from 8th February 2012; Slowly but steadily rail connectivity is increasing in the interior areas of Odisha

Railway Budget 2010, Railway Budget 2011, Railways 4 Comments »

Not so long ago Puri and Bhubaneswar were the only initiating and terminal stations in Odisha with trains plying only on a few major routes: (i)  Kharagpur – Bhubaneswar – Berhampur (ii) Tatanagar – Rourkela – Jharsuguda – Bilaspur (iii) Khurda Rd – Puri. (iv) Jharsuguda – Sambalpur – Titlagarh – Raipur (v) Titlagarh – Rayagada – Vijianagaram ; with only the first three having significant number of trains.

Over the last 10-15 years things have been changing steadily and the following (from Samaja)  is a welcome announcement. It will connect the Bardbil – Joda mining towns to the Odisha heartland.

With this extension Barbil will have a daily train to Puri and a daily train to Kolkata.

Following is a list of the other stations (besides the main line stations of Bhubaneswar, Puri, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Berhampur, Balasore, Jharsuguda and Rourkela) which now have emerging connectivity.

  1. Barbil: Daily express train to Puri and a daily express train to Kolkata. A daily passenger train to Tatanagar.
    1. Kendujhargarh: The train to Puri passes through Kendujhargarh. In addition there is a fast passenger between Kendujhargarh and Bhubaneswar 5 days a week.
  2. Baripada: Six days a week express train to Bhubaneswar and 3 days a week express train to Kolkata; three passenger trains (two of them 6 days a week; another 3 days a week) to Rupsa.
  3. Koraput: Daily express train to Bhubaneswar and Jagdalpur, Daily express train to Kolkata, Daily express train to Rourkela, Daily passenger to Rayagada, Daily passenger to Vizag and Kirandul, and  a 5 days a week express train to Vizianagaram and Vizag has been announced.
  4. Paradeep: Daily express train to Puri (via Bhubaneswar) and three passenger trains to Cuttack.
  5. Gunupur: A daily passenger between Gunupur and Puri (via Bhubaneswar).
  6. Rayagada: There are many trains that pass through Rayagada linking Rayagada with Vizianagaram and beyond (Vizag, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kochi, Berhampur, Bhubaneswar), with Titlagarh and beyond (Raipur, Nagpur, Bhopal, Delhi, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Tata, Dhanbad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata) and with Koraput and (Jagdalpur)  Among them are a daily express train between Rayagada and Sambalpur and daily passenger trains between Rayagada and Vizag, Rayagada and Vijaywada, and Rayagada and Koraput.
  7. Titlagarh: There are many trains that pass through linking Titlagarh with Raipur and beyond (Nagpur, Bhopal, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat, Gandhinagar), with Sambalpur and beyond (Rourkela, Dhanbad, Tata, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Kolkata), with Vizianagaram and beyond (Vizag, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi), and with Koraput and beyond (Jagdalpur). Among them are a daily express train between Titlagarh and Kolkata, and daily passenger trains between Titlagarh and Raipur and Titlagarh and Jharsuguda.
  8. Balangir: There are many trains that pass through linking Balangir with Titlagarh and beyond (Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat, Gandhinagar, Rayagada, Koraput, Vizag, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi) and Balangir with Sambalpur and beyond (Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Dhanbad, Tata, Kolkata). Among them is a daily express train between Balangir and Bhubaneswar.
  9. Bhawanipatna: With the Lanjigarh Rd – Bhawanipatna – Junagarh line coming to a completion within a year it is expected that we will have new trains to/from Bhawanipatna in a year or two. Currently, Kesinga and Titlagarh stations serve this area.

Initial Steps towards a CDP for Puri: From Dharitri

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Puri, Puri Comments Off on Initial Steps towards a CDP for Puri: From Dharitri

Some dimensional information about the Bhubneswar airport

Bhubaneswar, Bringing International Connectivity 3 Comments »

Following is some data from


Land Area
816.79 Acres
146 above MSL

Terminal Capacity






Boarding Gates

Ground Floor

Terminal Area and No. of Counters

Area in Sq. Meters
No. of Counters
Check In


The new airport terminal that is being constructed will be much bigger.


Nevertheless, it is clear that the new terminal is about 4-6 times bigger than the current terminal.

The article at mentions that the new terminal is expected to be ready by June 2012 and then the current terminal is planned to be used as an international terminal.