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Srikant Jena: Overcoming obstacles at various stages (A Samaja portrait)

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Talcher FCI revival; a good first step for Srikant Jena but he needs to get the Paradeep PCPIR approved and establish a NIPER in Orissa

Angul, Anugul- Talcher - Saranga- Nalconagar, Central ministers from Odisha, Chemicals, Daily Pioneer, Fertilizers, Jagatsinghpur, Odisha and Center, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Samaja (in Odia) 5 Comments »

Following is from Samaja:

Following is from a report in Economic Times:

Union minister of state for chemicals and fertilizer, Srikant Jena on Sunday said the fertilizer plant at Talcher, 126 km from here would be revived with an investment

of Rs 12,000 crore. It provided direct and indirect employment to 30000 people in the area.

“The government will appoint consultants to suggest the modalities to raise finance, identify appropriate technology to revive the closed fertiliser unit at Talcher”, Mr Jena told ET.

The union government already had decided to revive Talcher plant. In fact, last October the Cabinet had set up an Empowered Committee of Secretaries under the chairmanship of Fertiliser Secretary Atul Chaturvedi to come up with possible financial models for the revival of the closed plants at Talcher, Barauni, Haldia, Ramagundam, Durgapur, Gorakhpur, Korba and Sindri.

The Talcher plant had liabilities of over Rs 4000 crore and assets worth of Rs 225 crore. “The liabilities comprise of mostly loans from the government of India and interest on loans. This can be waived once all the modalities of revival are worked out. We propose to expand its capacity to 12 million ton per annum [TPA].

Commercial production of Ammonia and Urea at the Talcher unit commenced in November 1980. Urea and Ammonia plants have been designed with a capacity to produce 4.95 lakh and 2.97 lakh tpa respectively.

However production of Urea and Ammonia was first suspended from April 1, 1999 due to its economic non-viability. In 2002, it came to grinding halt after the NDA government decided to close the unit following BIFR sanction.

Last year, the union government decided to renew Talcher unit and consulted with the companies like the Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers and National Fertilisers. It even decided to put in an investment of Rs 5,000 crore in the project in view of the ambitious target of production of 40 million tpa of urea by 2012.

… RCF is the only profit making public sector fertilizer company which has evinced interest to take over Talcher and Durgapur (West Bengal) Fertilizer plant for revival. In fact, the feasibility report on Talcher had already been submitted to RCF.

The revival plan included proposal to convert Talcher plant from a coal based urea plant to a gas-based urea unit with capacity to produce 2000 ton of ammonia per day. There is no problem of water in Talcher, non-availabilty of gas remains the biggest hurdle in the way of reviving the plant. There is no source of gas nearby.

The proposed gas pipe line to be laid by Reliance Industries carrying gas from Krishna-Godavari basin to West Bengal via Bhadrak in Orissa could be the solution, sources said. However, the ministry will take a final view after the consultants submit detailed report on the financial model and technological options available for the revival of the Talcher unit.

Following is from a report in Pioneer:

Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikant Jena has to push a few major projects for Orissa, feel industry watchers. One of the largest projects waiting for clearance is the Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) project at Paradip.

The State Government has proposed a PCPIR expecting an investment of Rs 2.75 lakh crore.

While PCPIRs have been approved for Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, the fate of Orissa’s proposal for it is still hanging. The PCPIR policy, notified in April 2007, seeks to ensure adoption of a holistic approach to the development of global scale industrial clusters in the petroleum, chemical and petrochemical sectors in an integrated and environment-friendly manner.

The Government of Orissa has taken the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) as the anchor investor. The IOCL is investing nearly Rs 30,000 crore for a greenfield refinery project at Paradip. The PCPIR proposal is, however, gathering dust in the files of the Ministry. So, it is high time Jena pushed the project to the Union Cabinet for approval by convincing the Cabinet-rank Minister MK Ajhagiri.

With this single clearance, Paradip will be in a position to attract huge investments in the petroleum, petrochemicals, fertilisers and other related areas. Similarly, Jena can push for the establishment of a NIPER (National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research) in Orissa.

List of central ministers and their portfolio

Central ministers from Odisha, Elections 2009 4 Comments »

The following list is based on data from:

Dr. Manmohan Singh Assam Prime Minister, also in charge of
Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions; Ministry of Planning; Department of Atomic Energy; Department of Space; and Ministry of Culture
CABINET MINISTERS                           
Pranab Mukherjee West Bengal Finance
P. Chdambaram Tamil Nadu Home affairs
Sharad Pawar Maharashtra Agriculture, Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution
A K Antony Kerala Defense
Mamata Banerjee West Bengal Railways
S M Krishna Karnataka External Affairs
Ghulam Nabi Azad J & K Health & Family Welfare
Sushilkumar Shinde Maharashtra Power
M Veerappa Moily Karnataka Law and Justice
S Jaipal Reddy AP Urban Development 
Kamal Nath MP Surface Transport & Highways
Vayalar Ravi Kerala Overseas Indian Affairs
Meira Kumar Bihar Water Resources
Murli Deora Maharashtra Oil & Petroleum
Kapil Sibal Delhi Human Resource Development 
Ambika Soni   Information & Broadcasting
B K Handique Assam Mines, Development of North-Eastern Region
C P Joshi Rajasthan Rural Development & Panchayati Raj 
Anand Sharma HP Commerce & Industry
Virbhadra Singh HP Steel
Vilasrao Deshmukh Maharashtra Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises
Dr. Farooq Abdullah J & K New & Renewable Energy
Dayanidhi Maran Tamil Nadu Textiles
A Raja Tamil Nadu IT & Communication
Mallikarjun Kharge Karnataka Labour & Employment
Subodh Kant Sahay Jharkhand Food Processing Industries
Dr M S Gill Punjab Youth Affairs & Sports
G K Vasan Tamil Nadu Shipping
Pawan Kumar Bansal Chandigarh Parliamentary Affairs
Mukul Wasnik Maharashtra Social Justice & Empowerment 
Kantilal Bhuria MP Tribal Affairs
M K Azhagiri Tamil Nadu Chemical & Fertilisers 
Kumari Selja Haryana Housing, Urban & Poverty Alleviation, Tourism
Praful Patel Maharashtra Civil Aviation
Prithviraj Chauhan Maharashtra Science & Technology; Earth Sciences and MoS in the Prime Minister’s Office; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Parliamentary Affairs.
Sriprakash Jaiswal UP Coal; Statistics & Programme Implementation 
Salman Khursheed UP Corporate Affairs; Minority Affairs
Dinsha Patel Gujarat Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises 
Jairam Ramesh AP Environment and Forests
Smt Krishna Tirath Delhi Women and Child Development 
E Ahamed Kerala Railways
V Narayanasamy Puducherry Planning and Parliamentary Affairs 
Srikant Jena Orissa Chemicals and Fertilizers
Mullappally Ramachandran Kerala Home Affairs 
Smt D Purandeswari AP HRD
Smt Panabaka Lakshmi AP Textiles 
Ajay Maken Delhi Home Affairs 
K H Muniyappa Karnataka Railways 
Namo Narain Meena Rajasthan Finance 
Jyotiraditya Scindia MP Commerce and Industry 
Jitin Prasad UP Petroleum and Natural Gas 
A Sai Prathap AP Steel 
Gurudas Kamat Maharashtra Communications and Information Technology
M M Pallam Raju AP Defence 
Mahadev Khandela MP Road Transport & Highways 
Harish Rawat Uttarakhand Labour and Employment 
Professor K V Thomas Kerala Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution 
Saugata Ray West Bengal Urban Development 
Dinesh Trivedi West Bengal Health & Family Welfare
Sisir Adhikari West Bengal Rural Development 
Sultan Ahmed West Bengal Tourism
Mukul Roy West Bengal Shipping 
Mohan Jatua West Bengal Information and Broadcasting
S S Palanimanickam Tamil Nadu Finance 
D Napoleon Tamil Nadu Social Justice & Empowerment 
Dr. S Jagathrakshakan Tamil Nadu Information & Broadcasting
S Gandhiselvan Tamil Nadu Health & Family Welfare 
Smt Preneet Kaur Punjab External Affairs 
Sachin Pilot Rajasthan Communications and IT 
Shashi Tharoor Kerala External Affairs 
Bharatsinh Solanki Gujarat Power 
Tusharbhai Chaudhary Gujarat Tribal Affairs 
Arun Yadav MP Youth Affairs & Sports 
Prateek Patil Maharashtra Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises 
R P N Singh UP Road Transport & Highways
Vincent Pala Meghalaya Water Resources 
Pradeep Jain UP Rural Development 
Agatha Sangma Meghalaya Rural Development 

Some of the earlier reports (here and here) mentioned Bhakta Das and Oscar Fernandes, but the later reports do not mention them.

J. B. Patnaik’s contribution to Orissa – in his words

Central ministers from Odisha, Odisha history, State Ministers 4 Comments »

Following are excerpts from a Kalinga Times article where former union minister and former Chief Minister of Orissa J. B. Patnaik talks about his contributions to Orissa.

… I had shifted the naval training centre from Visakhapatnam to Chilika. And the Army Air Defence College was shifted from Deorali in Maharashtra to Gopalpur where a cantonment was established in fulfillment of a long-standing demand over several years. An ordnance factory was set up in Titilagarh in Balangir district. An arms factory was set up in Koraput. …

There were no direct train services from Bhubaneswar to New Delhi . There was also no direct air connectivity as well. In 1980, Nilachal Express was stared between Delhi and Bhubaneswar . Direct flights were also introduced. A long railway track initiated to connect Jakhapura-Bansapani and bring benefits for vast tracts of Keonjhar district has been completed this year. To link western Orissa with coastal Orissa, Talcher-Sambalpur railway track was undertaken. Rayagada-Koraput railway line was built to connect Rayagada–Koraput with Visakhapatnam . A new railway division was established at Sambalpur and a new zone (East Coast) was created.

…When I was Union Minister, I had demanded that tourism be declared an industry. When it was not granted, as Chief Minister of Orissa I declared the hotel business as an industry. Later the Central government accepted my decision. As a result, many quality hotels were built in the state. Hoteliers like the Oberois came to Bhubaneswar …

Adjacent to Bhubaneswar city, the Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary was established. For the protection of wildlife, Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary was established along with many other sanctuaries in the state. Puri-Bhubaneswar and Konark were declared a Golden triangle for tourism and Konark-Puri Marine Drive ‘s construction also made this entire area very attractive for the tourism sector. Many such programmes were undertaken to boost tourism in the state.

The state capital of Bhubaneswar was a small city of government employees and its population was one lakh only. The area and nature of the city was transformed. Bhubaneswar became a hub of industrial development and a prominent business and trade centre. Chandaka, Mancheswar, Rasulgarh industrial estates and the newly developed Nayapalli-Chandrasekharpur areas were in for rapid expansion. Parks such as Indira Gandhi Park , Mahatma Gandhi Park and Forest Park were developed in the capital city. Kalinga stadium, construction of a deep lake for water sports in it, the expansion of roads, the beautification of the city with electric lamps, Samanta Chandrasekhar Planetarium, Nabakrushna Choudhury Centre for Development Studies, Harekrushna Mahatab State Library, Kalinga Studio, Odissi Research Centre for development of Odissi song and dance, Xavier Institute of Management for high quality management education, National Institute of Physics, massive plantation programmes to make a green Bhubaneswar, a plant resource centre park for cultivation and propagation of rare cacti were the efforts taken to turn Bhubaneswar into a modern and attractive city. Earlier it was like a small village and without proper attire, it would not attract attention. The state capital should be wholesomely beautiful.

… In 1980, Orissa was the most backward state in the field of agriculture. It is the same way even now. In 1980, a massive effort was undertaken. For a long time, per hectare yield of paddy in Orissa was a mere one tonne, in 1980 it rose by 40 per cent and the yield became 1.4 tonne. The groundnut yield per hectare was two tonnes and from the productivity point of view, it was the highest in the country. The fertilizer yield was improved from only 6 kg per hectare to 22 kg in the year. Of the agricultural land, only 19 percent could benefit from the irrigation system and it rose to 28 percent and by 2000, it grew up to 33 percent. Canal irrigation, tube wells, lift irrigation facilities were increased and creek irrigation facilities were introduced for the first time. Like this, 15 percent additional land could be irrigated and Orissa could be brought into a state of self-reliance.

For the first time, agriculture was accorded the status of an industry in the state and revolutionary agriculture policies were adopted. This enables aid and cooperation to flow in for the farmers just like the industrialists could avail various kinds of benefits and cooperation. Like IPICOL for the industrial sector, APICOL was formed for the agricultural sector. A sum of Rs 20 lakh was allotted for cold storage facilities by the state government.

… In 1980 when the Congress party came to power, the electricity yield capacity in Orissa was very low; it was only 373 megawatts. To improve the scenario, many hydro electricity projects and thermal power plants were constructed. The Orissa Power Generation Corporation and Ib thermal power unit were formed to produce 820 MW in the state. And the Union government also established a 3,000 MW Super Thermal Power Plant. In the later years, India’s the first ever power sector reforms were undertaken in the State. This resulted in putting Orissa’s name as a ‘surplus electricity generating’ state and within 20 years the rate of electricity production became more than six percent higher than in 1980.

There was no environment for industrial development in Orissa then. Except a handful of industries, no one came forward to become an industrialist. That is why attractive industrial plans were formulated to bring about a revolution change in the field. “Rs 1000 crore in 1000 days and 1000 industries.” Whatever was promised came true. Big industries like NALCO in Damanjodi and Angul, Paradeep Phosphates in Paradip, Birla Tyres in Balasore, and FACOR in Bhadrak are some of the big industrial houses apart from numerous small and medium sized industrial units. Chandaka and Rasulgarh in Bhubaneswar , Jagatpur in Cuttack , Balasore, and Kolunga in Rourkela , Jharsuguda, and industrial estate in Balangir were the new industrial units set up. Nine spinning mills, five sugar mills, two oil mills, and many agricultural product mills were prominent among them. Sewa Paper Mills in Koraput, Mangalam Timbers in Nawarangpur, Nicco Cables in Baripada, Powmax Steel in Titilagarh, Orissa Sponge in Keonjhar, Ipitata, Utkal Asbestos in Dhenkanal, Nilachal Ispat Nigam in Jajpur, Oswal fertilizers, Paradip Oil Refinery in Paradip and Software Technology Park in Bhubaneswar, Fortune Towers were also established.

Most of the industrialists who have established themselves in the small and medium industries are Oriya. The creation of a favourable environment for industrialisation in the state has made this happen and a strong team of Oriya industrialists have created a suitable environment for rapid industrialisation in the state. The reports prepared by the Nabakrushna Choudhury Institute and the Planning Commission of the Union Government indicate that during that time Orissa made spectacular advancement in the industrial sector and by 2000 Orissa had became an important destination for capital investment.

For the development of sports, many sports schools were also established in the state from football to hockey. Those sports personnel who earned laurels for themselves and international fame for their state have emerged from the sports institutes.

My Comments: Mr. JB Patnaik definitely has made some good contributions to Orissa. But I wonder if he is being clever in the above piece and indirectly claiming a lot more to be his contributions. Earlier we had listed some of Biju Patnaik’s contribution to Orissa during 1961-67.