Archive for the 'Defence establishments' Category

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 retaliates to DRDO insensitivity to Odisha’s development

Defence establishments, Odisha govt. action 10 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a report in Pioneer.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has made it clear to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Director General VK Saraswat that his Government would not allow use of the State’s coastline for carrying out seaward artillery practice and manoeuvres.

This is the State Government’s reaction to the objection raised by the DRDO to the setting up of three minor ports in Balasore. If the DRDO is not bothered about the State’s development, what is the point in giving permission to use its coastline, Patnaik reportedly told Saraswat when both met here on Thursday.

… The DRDO had been conducting field firing and artillery practice along the seacoast in the districts of Balasore and Bhadrak since long. The State Government was giving permission to the DRDO without any objections. This time, however, the State Government refused permission for the purpose, as a result of which no field firing and artillery practice has taken place since April, 2011.

… “Our appeal to the Centre seeking the DRDO’s no-objection for setting up ports not harming the DRDO activities remained unheard. Even they did not listen to our grievances. It was the only way out for the State not to renew the mandatory permission to the DRDO,” said a senior State official.

With the State Government hardening its stand, Dr Saraswat rushed to the State capital and met the Chief Minister. However, Patnaik, sources said, sounded a “big no” to the DRDO chief.

Besides working together on the port locations that suits both parties, Odisha should push the defense department/DRDO for other contributions such as a medical college and an institute like IIST (Indian Institute of Space Technology) Trivendrum.

Indian Air force wants to develop the Charbatia base near Cuttack into a full-fledged base station

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Cuttack, Defence establishments, INVESTMENTS and INVESTMENT PLANS, Odisha govt. action, State Bureaucrats (IAS, OAS, etc.) 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a report in Telegraph.

The Indian Air force wants to develop the Charbatia base in Cuttack district into a full-fledged base station.

“I want to see an air base at Charbatia,” Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik told reporters after visiting the base. Presently, Charbatia is an aerial reconnaissance post of the Aviation Research Centre.

Charbatia base, spread over 2000 acres, is now with the Union home ministry. The airstrip came up in the area in the 1960s.

Earlier, Air Marshal J.N. Burma had discussed the issue with chief minister Naveen Patnaik in January, 2010. The Air Marshal had also urged Naveen to recommend to the home ministry to hand over the land to air force.

“Unless the state recommends, the Centre cannot transfer land to the air force,” said an IAF official.

Sources in the state government said the IAF had already given a proposal to the Centre to this effect and wants to invest Rs 5,000 crore in the base.

Revenue divisional commissioner Pradipta Mohapatra said he had already directed the Cuttack district collector to arrange the land for the air base. “They require an additional 600 acres of land. Discussion on the matter is going on,” he said.

Naval base to come up in Paradip

Defence establishments, Jagatsinghpur, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga Comments Off on Naval base to come up in Paradip

Following is an excerpt from a report in Indian Express.

… the government has approved the creation of two new forward naval bases at Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu) and Paradip (Orissa), and has accorded priority to the creation of operational infrastructure on the islands of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

The decision was announced by Defence Minister A K Antony at the Naval Commanders’ Conference here on Wednesday.

The two new bases, which will have facilities to refuel and service naval vessels as well as stocking of ammunition, will be created over the next two years. The Navy will use them for operating smaller vessels. While a decision has not yet been taken to permanently deploy warships at the new bases, with several new vessels on order, the ports will be used for future operations of the expanded fleet.

Communication stations will also be set up at the two bases.

Army base to come up in Amarda, Mayurbhanj

Baripada- Bangiriposi- Similipal foothills, Defence establishments, Mayurbhanj, New Indian Express, Indian Express, Financial express Comments Off on Army base to come up in Amarda, Mayurbhanj

Following is an excerpt from a report in

Land has been identified near Amarda in Mayurbhanj district for establishment of the Army base in the State.

General-officer-commanding (GOC), central command, J.K. Mohanty met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here at the Secretariat today to discuss the issue.

Mohanty told mediapersons that it is now for the State Government to acquire the land and hand it over for establishment of the base.

The Centre recently informed the State Government that it had decided in principle to establish an Army base in the State and requested it to provide the required land. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had assured the Centre that it will extend all cooperation including provision of land for this purpose.

Amarda is close  to NH 60 on State highway 61. Its about 15 kms west of from Jaleswar. It is 10 km from Rasgobindpur airport and is about 50 kms from Baripada. There is an Amarda Road station between Basta and Rajghat stations.

The sequence of Railways stations around Amarda Rd are: Balasore, Rupsa Jn (18), Basta (28), Amarda Rd (34), Jaleswar (48).

Center agrees in principle to set up an army base in Orissa and is considering an Air Force squadron or unit in Charbatia: Dharitri

Defence establishments, Odisha govt. action Comments Off on Center agrees in principle to set up an army base in Orissa and is considering an Air Force squadron or unit in Charbatia: Dharitri

Following up on an earlier posting Dharitri reports that the center has agreed in principle to set up an army base in Orissa.

State to propose for an army base in one of the backward and maoist affected districts: Samaja

Defence establishments, KBK Plus district cluster, Malkangiri, Samaja (in Odia) Comments Off on State to propose for an army base in one of the backward and maoist affected districts: Samaja

Indian Navy to have an air enclave in Bhubaneswar and a logistic center in Paradeep

Adventure Sports, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Defence establishments, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Sailing 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a report in on this.

Indian Navy was planning to develop an air enclave at Bhubaneswar for its aircraft, Commodore MVS Kumar, Naval Officer in Charge of Orissa said here today.

The Commanding Officer of INS Chilika, while briefing the press on the Navy Week by INS Chilika, said the Navy had already approached the state government for five acre of land for the purpose and the Chief Minister had responded very positively.

In addition, a plan was also mooted to develop 20 acre of land lying at Paradeep to provide logistic support to naval ships, he said.

The Commanding Officer of INS Chilika said a week long sailing workshop-cum-Chilika Lake Mouth Sailing Expedition would be organised for youths from November 11 to 18 to promote adventure sports in the state.

The state department for Youth Affairs and Sports had selected 100 youths from all over the state to participate in the workshop.

Army medical facilities in Orissa

Balasore, CENTER & ODISHA, Defence establishments, Ganjam, Khordha Comments Off on Army medical facilities in Orissa

Medical facilities for ex-servicement in Orissa are currently available at INS Chilka, INHS Nivarini, Army AD College Gopalpur and the three ECHS Polyclinics at Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Balasore.

As per a report in Pioneer, six more ECHS Polyclinics would be shortly inaugurated at Sambalpur. Dhenkanal, Angul, Puri, Bhawanipatna and Sundargarh.

Airforce Unit in Bhubaneswar and Coastal guard unit in Gopalpur

CENTER & ODISHA, Defence establishments, Ganjam, Khordha Comments Off on Airforce Unit in Bhubaneswar and Coastal guard unit in Gopalpur

Following is Samaja’s report on this.