Archive for the 'APPEAL to readers' Category

I am a successful professional; I want to get into electoral politics and help people. What should I do?

APPEAL to readers, Odisha in Elections, SOCIAL SUPPORT, CSR, WELFARE Comments Off on I am a successful professional; I want to get into electoral politics and help people. What should I do?

There are many successful professionals who complain about the current politicians, elected officials, leaders, etc. Some of these professionals are ready to give up their professional career and join politics but wonder how to do that.

The phrase "all politics is local" is now commonly said in the US. Following are some excerpts from the wikipedia entry on "all politics is local".

… coined this phrase which encapsulates the principle that a politician’s success is directly tied to his ability to understand and influence the issues of his constituents. Politicians must appeal to the simple, mundane and everyday concerns of those who elect them into office. Those personal issues, rather than big and intangible ideas, are often what voters care most about, according to this principle. … The concept is contrary to the notion that most people, somehow, in local elections are casting votes to "send a message" to the highest levels; instead, the principle predicts that most people will not vote for local politicians simply as a means to act on feelings about higher politicians, …  The prediction is that most people who vote, or debate issues, are focused on resolving their local issues.

Based on the above principle my suggestion for professionals who want to help people via active politics is to go to the "local level" and run there for posts such as a ward member or sarpanch. From that perspective I admire the following attempt:

What not to do?

Unless one is super famous or is a descendant of the Nehru-Gandhi family or (Biju) Patnaik family one should not think of coming to Odisha from outside, create a party and project himself/herself as the Chief Minister. 

This is a mistake which a recent professional who returned to Odisha after a long stint as an IAS officer in another state did.

One should learn from his mistake.

What has/had he done for Odisha that people in Odisha would vote for him.  As a result this person could not even win his own seat.

He should have first focused on doing something for the people at a local level, run at the local level as a Sarpanch, Ward member etc. and tried to move up from there.

I hope others learn from his mistake and the above article in Sambada highlights the right path being taken by an outsider.

An approach that may work but most likely may not!

An approach that may work is for the professional (coming from outside) to convince a recognized party to field him/her as an MP/MLA candidate. This may work, but often does not because there are already a lot of local people who have done social service at the local level for years and if the party ignores all of them in favor of an outsider then it may result in a revolt within the party. So unless the outsider is really famous this approach will not work, and again the best bet is for the outsider to immerse himself/herself in helping people at the local level before trying for a candidacy at the MLA/MP level.

SER needs to have a division HQ in Odisha (possibly in Rourkela) as more than 22% (and growing) of its route kms lie in Odisha; and without a proper voice from Odisha SER has been neglecting and making blunders in Odisha (work in progress)

APPEAL to readers, Balasore, Balasore-Baripada-Rasgovindpur, Baripada - Bangiriposi (under constr.), Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Rourkela- Kansbahal, Rupsa Jn - Baripada, SER, Sundergarh 38 Comments »

Please help me fill the missing data in the table below. (The important data we need is the route kms for the red states in Column 2 as those states do not have a division HQ of that zone.)

Zones, Zone HQ (Route kms from page 13 of 2009-10 yearbook) States where the zones lie (Route km break up) Division HQs and states they lie in
Central, Mumbai (3905) [wiki,home,map] Maharashtra, Karnataka, MP. Bhusawal, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Solapur (all Maharashtra)
Eastern, Kolkata (2414) [wiki,home,No map] West Bengal, Bihar Asansol, Howrah, Malda, Sealdah (all West Bengal)
East Central, Hazipur (3628) [wiki,home, No map] Bihar, Jharkhand, UP Danapur (Bihar), Dhanbad (Jharkhand), Mughalsarai (UP), Samastipur (Bihar), Sonpur (Bihar)
ECOR, Bhubaneswar (2572) [wiki,home,map] Odisha (1807.25), Chhatisgarh (268.50), AP (570.64)=2646.39 [from map] Khurda Rd (Odisha), Sambalpur (Odisha), Visakhapatnam (AP)
Northern, New Delhi (6968) [wiki,home,map] Punjab, Delhi, UP, J & K, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Chandigarh Ambala (Haryana), Delhi, Firozpur (Punjab), Lucknow (UP), Moradabad (UP)
North Central, Allahabad (3151) [wiki,home,map]  UP, MP, Rajasthan, Haryana Agra, Allahabad, Jhanshi (all UP)
North Eastern, Gorakhpur (3667) [wiki,home]  UP, Uttaranchal, Bihar Izzatnagar (UP), Lucknow (UP), Varanasi (UP)
Northern Frontier, Guwahati (3907) [wiki,home,India map] WB, Bihar, Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh Alipurdar (WB), Katihar (Bihar), Lumdig (Assam), Rangiya (Assam), Tinsukia (Assam)
North Western, Jaipur (5459) [wiki,home,map] Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, MP. Ajmer, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur (all Rajasthan)
Southern, Chennai (5098) [wiki,home] Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Pondicherry Chennai (TN), Madurai (TN), Palghat (Kerala) Trichi (TN), Trivendrum (Kerala)
South Central, Secunderabad (5803) [wiki,home,map]

AP (4348.4), Maharashtra (1115.8), MP (70.2), Tamil Nadu (6.9),  Karnataka (268.7) = 5810
[from map]

Guntakal (AP), Guntur (AP), Hyderabad (AP), Nanded (Maha), Secunderabad (AP), Vijaywada (AP)
SER, Kolkata (2631) [wiki,home]

West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha (589+)

2004 data: West Bengal (894), Jharkhand (954), Odisha (574.6) = 2422.6

Adra (WB), Charadharpur (Jharkhand), Kharagpur (WB), Ranchi (Jharkhand)
SE Central, Bilaspur (2447) [wiki,home,no map]

Chhatisgrh (891.3), Maharashtra (662.3), Odisha (51.1), MP (792.5) = 2397.3 Total [From a 2005 map]

But BG distribution is as follows:
Chhatisgrh (802.3), Maharashtra (482.1), Odisha (51.1), MP (263.6) = 1599.3 [From a 2005 map]

Bilaspur (Chhatisgarh), Raipur (Chhatisgarh), Nagpur (Maharashtra)
South Western, Hubli (3177) [wiki,home,map] Karnataka (2702.6), Andhra Pradesh (224.2), Tamil Nadu (174.3), Maharashtra (27.9), Goa (69.3) = 3198.3 [from map] Bangalore, Hubli, Mysore  (all Karnataka)
Western, Mumbai (6182) [wiki,home,map] Gujarat, Maharashtra, MP, Rajasthan. Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Bhavnagar (Gujarat), Mumbai (Maha), Ratlam (MP), Rajkot (Gujarat), Vadodara (Gujarat)
West Central, Jabalpur (2965) [wiki,home,map] MP, Rajasthan Bhopal (MP), Jabalpur (MP), Kota (Rajasthan)


Why it is important that SER have a division in Odisha?

  • As we will show below SER, without a proper representation in Odisha, has badly messed up in Odisha.
  • SER has neglected stations in Odisha. In particular, it has neglected Rourkela, the second largest metropolitan area of Odisha in many ways. For example, Rourkela is not in the list of world-class stations.

How has SER messed up in Odisha?

  • The Rupsa-Bangiriposi conversion to broad gauge has been messed up badly. See page 8-9 of 2006-may-CAG report.
  • Alignment of Jaleswar – Digha line.
  • The dangling lines
  • etc.


Having made the point that SER needs to have a division HQ in Odisha, the best location for such a division HQ would be Rourkela. It would of course need a reorganization of the current division break-up. Below we will give some suggestions on a possible reorganization.



The Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri ancient Buddhist knowledge center in Odisha; has been compared with Nalanda in the art history and archaeology literature

APPEAL to readers, CENTER & ODISHA, Historical places, Jajpur, Kalinganagar- Chandikhol- Paradip, Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri, Odisha history, Universities: existing and upcoming Comments Off on The Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri ancient Buddhist knowledge center in Odisha; has been compared with Nalanda in the art history and archaeology literature

(Appeal to readers: I would appreciate any additional pointers to literature where the knowledge center aspects of the Odisha buddhist monuments have been discussed and/or they have been compared with the well-known buddhist sites in India such as Nalanda, Bodhgaya, Sanchi, etc.)

We all have read about Nalanda and Taxila as ancient learning centers and they are often referred to the as precursor of the present day universities. In Odisha the yet to be identified Puspagiri mahavihara as well as the Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri  have been compared with Nalanda in the art history and Buddhist literature. Following are some slides (in facebook) which compiles that information. In these slides we quote extensively from Mrs. Debala Mitra’s two books. Mrs. Mitra was the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (1975-1983) [Page 448 of this book] and has written extensively on various Monuments of India.


The above slides do not have any pictures. As is mentioned in some of the slides, the Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri Mahaviharas are also comparable to Bodhgaya in certain respects and one slide mentioned how none of the monasteries in Nalanda can compare with the embellishment in one of the monastery found in Ratnagiri. The following pictures, again from facebook, gives one the idea of what has been found in Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri and the beauty and significance of them.

In 2010 the Indian Parliament passed the Nalanda International University Bill. This university is in the making now and this wikipedia page has information on it. We hope that some day more people in Odisha and India will know about Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri and a similar university (perhaps called Puspagiri University, the yet to be identified Mahavihara about which Hiuen Tsang wrote glowingly) will be established in Odisha. Towards that effort some background information has been compiled in a facebook page and a facebook account. Following is a glimpse of the information that has been collected.

Getting educated on the Lokpal issue: Pointers to the Government’s Lokpal bill, the Jan Lokpal bill and the Lokpal – NCPRI approach

ADMINISTRATION & REPs, APPEAL to readers, CENTER & ODISHA Comments Off on Getting educated on the Lokpal issue: Pointers to the Government’s Lokpal bill, the Jan Lokpal bill and the Lokpal – NCPRI approach

The site has a lot of pointers on all these. Following are links from that site.

Again, the site has a lot of pointers.

My appeal to people is to read all three and think for themselves rather than blindly following someone.

CSE’s strong support to set aside 26 percent of net profits from mining to be shared with local communities

APPEAL to readers, ENVIRONMENT, Keonjhar, Mine royalty and cess, MINES and MINERALS, Sundergarh 2 Comments »

Following is from the article at This is for wider dissemination of the article. The highlights are done by us.

Bhubaneswar, June 24, 2011: Mining companies and industry in general have been opposing the government’s recent proposal to set aside 26 per cent of their net profits, to be shared with local communities. Their contention is that this provision, if passed by Parliament, would drastically dent their profitability. A recent analysis by New Delhi-based research and advocacy body, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), proves them wrong.

The Central government has come out with a draft Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) bill, 2010 (MMDR bill) to replace the 1957 Act. The draft bill which has been vetted by a GoM, includes this provision of sharing benefits. The CSE analysis comes out in strong support of this proposal, and clearly establishes how timely and necessary this provision is.

The CSE analysis was released here today in a Public Meeting chaired by Santha Sheela Nair, former secretary, Union ministry of mines. The meeting was attended by Manoj Ahuja, Secretary (Mines), Odisha government, BL Bagra, Chairman and Managing Director (NALCO) and Yashbant Narayan Singh Laguri, Member of Parliament (Keonjhar).

Speaking on the occasion, Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general of CSE said: "It is now well recognised across the world – including in India — that wealth generated by the mining sector comes at a substantial development cost, along with environmental damages and economic exclusion of the marginalised. In fact, the major mining districts of India are among its poorest and most polluted."

He added: "The government’s proposal to share the benefits of mining with local people is an important step ahead in building an inclusive growth model. It is also in line with the best practices being followed in the world. The principles are not new and many mineral-rich countries have been following it for years without impacting the genuine profitability of mining companies."

Profit sharing a global practice
To break this resource curse, a number of countries across the globe have incorporated the provision of benefit sharing in their mining legislations to enable local communities to benefit from mining activities in their region.

South Africa’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 gives communities the opportunity to obtain a ‘preferential right’ to prospect or mine a mineral on land registered under the name of the community.

In Canada, special mining regulations are in place to recognise the rights of the aboriginals. There are some treaties called land claim agreements (LCA) which establish defined area of land for aboriginals and cover issues of mineral rights. These agreements also give specific rights to aboriginals. For example, the Nunavut LCA grants Inuits the title to about 3.5 million ha of land and mineral rights to approximately 0.35 million ha. It also gives rights to Inuits in controlling how mining will proceed on lands owned by them. Usually in such circumstances, mineral leases are given to third party to develop those resources in exchange of signing an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA). Even if both surface and subsurface right belongs to the government then also some rights like consultation are provided to aboriginals.

Papua New Guinea, for instance, has incorporated provisions under which the mine lease holder is to provide compensation to the landholders on whose land mining is to take place, under its Mining Act 1992. The compensation is dependent on the negotiating skills of the community/landholders. For instance, the Ok Tedi copper mines have a special institutional structure to manage and implement the 52 per cent dividends received from the mine operations. This is a legally binding obligation that the company must follow as per the legislation passed in November 2001.

In Australia, the aboriginals have been given special rights in case mining happens on their land. These rights are to be realised by mining agreements. Different parts of Australia, has varying laws regarding aboriginals and mining. For example, the Aboriginal Land Rights Northern Territory Act, 1976 establishes a financial regime whereby affected aboriginal people receive a share of the mining royalties earned from activity on aboriginal land. Australian government guarantee all mining royalty for aboriginal interests except 30 per cent which is reserved for the owners of the affected area.
Companies will lose profits? Hogwash
The CSE analysis clearly shows that the Indian mining sector enjoys huge profits. An analysis of the annual reports of three major non-coal mining companies (Manganese Ores India Ltd, Sesa Goa and National Mineral Development Corporation or NMDC) indicates that in 2009-10, their average profit after tax (PAT) was about 50 per cent of their turnovers. In the case of Coal India Limited, this was about 18 per cent.

Assuming the draft MMDR Act, 2010 becomes a law, the CSE analysis of companies shows that it will not make any material difference to the profitability of the company. After sharing 26 per cent of the net profit with the affected community, the PAT of National Mineral Development Corporation – for instance — will still be 41 per cent of its turnover (from 55 per cent). In the case of Coal India Limited, PAT will become 14 per cent of its turnover from 18 percent.

Rich lands, poor people
Almost all the country’s minerals are located in regions that also hold most of its forests, rivers and tribal populations. Mining and quarrying has destroyed large tracts of forest land in these areas, affecting the ecosystem and the livelihoods of the already impoverished tribals.

The top 50 mining districts of India, that account for more than 85 per cent of the value of minerals produced in the country (Rs. 85,00 crore), have close to 50 per cent of the total mine lease area in the country. These districts also have, on average more poverty, more forest cover and larger tribal population than rest of the country. According to CSE analysis, at least 2.5 million people are directly affected by mining in these districts which include those who have lost their land and livelihoods.

If the MMDR provision would have been implemented in the current year (2010-11), then the affected population of these districts could have got more than Rs 9,000 crore as share of profit from mining companies. The per capita figure for these districts could have been Rs. 38,000 in 2010-11 as share of profit from mining companies. 
The mining affected people in Odisha would have got about Rs 1,750 crore as share of profit from mining companies. This could have been used to reduce hunger, provide better health and education infrastructure and to ultimately bring people out of poverty. 

CSE examines a few cases in the state: Keonjhar currently produces more than one-fifth of India’s iron ore and contributes more than Rs 7,000 crore to value of minerals produced in the country. Worse, mining has done nothing for Keonjhar’s economic well being. Over 50 per cent of the district’s population is below poverty line (BPL). If the draft MMDR provisions would have been implemented for the present year, the affected people of the district would have money to the tune of Rs 750 crore as profit share (2010-11 figures). Every BPL household in Keonjhar would have got at least Rs 40,000 annually.   

Similarly, Sundargarh with Scheduled Tribes (ST) as about half its population, produces minerals worth Rs 2700 crore. The affected people of the district could get Rs 285 crore as share of profit from the mining companies. Every directly affected person from mining in Sundargarh could get Rs 45,000 annually. 

Says Chandra Bhushan: “This money should be used not only to reduce present impoverishment but also for future well being of the communities like investment in health and education. There is huge opposition to this bill and it may get axed. It is very important for the communities that this bill goes through.”

  • For more information on this, please contact Sugandh Juneja of CSE at or call her on 9953805227

  • For additional information on CSE’s work in this area and subject,

Media Unity for Freedom of Press in Odisha; Should highlight Press Council of India as an outlet to vent grievance against media (if any)

APPEAL to readers, Press Council of India Comments Off on Media Unity for Freedom of Press in Odisha; Should highlight Press Council of India as an outlet to vent grievance against media (if any)

Following is an excerpt from a report in

Editors and News Heads of leading Oriya and English newspapers and television channels have expressed their deep concern over the rising number of attacks on media persons in the state.

… The Editors expressed surprise over the fact that police had not taken any action on an elected member of the ruling Biju Janata Dal despite leading a brutal attack on Pipili-based journalist Rajat Ranjan Dash a week ago. They said it strengthened the perception that the state government was against Media Freedom. 

The Editors and News Heads resolved to join hands to ensure the Media responds as one when faced with such challenges.

I have read many news items on attacks on media persons in Odisha and these (the attacks) need to stop.

However, I think, one aspect is missing from the response.

One needs to analyze the reason behind the attacks and address the root cause. I think one of the root cause behind the attacks is that some people or organization rightly or wrongly feel that they have been unfairly portrayed by some media. Now if someone feels that way, what is their recourse.They can of course go to the courts and sue for libel but the courts in India and Odisha are too slow and by the time they process the case the aggrieved person incurs a lot of damage.

Many do not know that there is another outlet. They could file a complaint at the Press Council of India. See . That is a lawful outlet and thus there is absolutely no reason for people feeling aggrieved by media coverage to resort to violence and become a criminal.

I would suggest the MUFP to highlight this option in their articles and releases so that this outlet becomes well known. It will act as a safety valve and protect them from physical harm.

The media in Odisha does an outstanding job (and in trying circumstances) in keeping various people with power  and influence in check. The threat of media exposure of their misdeeds and/or high handedness constrains the people with power and influence.

However, with "media unity" where media people follow the unwritten code of not exposing each others misdeeds (which may be rare but is not zero), many people and organizations feel helpless against what they think as being victimized by some media.

Sometimes these people and organizations react to this in bad ways:

  • I was told one organization had signs made saying "Dogs and reporters of XYZ are not allowed". (XYZ is a media house in Odisha.)
  • Similarly recently there were reports of some police officials behaving badly with media person of a particular media organization.

My point is that the Odisha media as a group needs to also refelect on their own conduct and publicize venues such as and humbly tell people that they are not above criticism or mistakes and if someone feels that they have been wronged by media then they have an outlet such as which they can approach.

This will greatly enhance the respect of common people towards media and towards the job they do as the fourth pillar of democracy. It will also greatly enhance their safety.

I explored some of the reports of the Press Council of India by googling "Press Council of India Orissa" and found some interesting reports. From reading them it seems that indeed they are a fair organization and their process is impartial. Following are some links to read.

Indian Express article on Polavaram dam

APPEAL to readers, CENTER & ODISHA, Odisha govt. action, Supreme Court 2 Comments »

The following are excerpts from an article by Sreenivas Janyala in Indian Express.

… Polavaram dam, a dream project for the state and a potential flashpoint involving its neighbours, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The idea of the dam was first floated in the early 1940s but it remained a dream for the state government, an ambitious venture that stayed on election manifestos. So for years, the Godavari flowed almost unharnessed, emptying itself into the Bay of Bengal. It was only when Y S Rajasekhara Reddy took charge in the state that the Polavaram project was revived, as part of his Jalayagnam programme.

The 150-feet-high dam, called the Polavaram Indira Sagar Dam, will create a reservoir spreading over the three districts of West Godavari, East Godavari and Khammam. The tail-end of this reservoir is more than 150 km away, touching Bastar in Chhattisgarh and Malkangiri in Orissa. The dam will harness 170 thousand million cubic feet water (tmcft), through two canals that spread out as arms on either side: the right canal which will take 80 tmcft to river Krishna and the left canal, which will help irrigate 7.2 lakh acres in the north coastal Andhra districts and take 23 tmcft to Visakhapatnam, which faces a perennial water shortage. Work on the dam has not yet begun but the cranes are furiously at work on the left and right canals.

The dam, a Rs 11,000-crore project, will be an earth-cum-rock fill structure as the soil isn’t rocky enough for a concrete dam.

The Polavaram dream

For nearly 60 years, Polavaram remained on paper, dogged by controversies of displacement. Now, the state’s neighbours, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, have dragged it to the Supreme Court, saying the dam would inundate several parts of their states. According to government estimates, the dam will submerge villages in the three Andhra districts of West Godavari, East Godavari and Khammam, in Bastar in Chhattisgarh and in Malkangiri, Orissa. Besides, nearly two lakh people will be displaced.

But in a state that’s divided over the Telangana issue, the dam has brought together all political parties, including Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam and Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP. With the Environment Ministry having cleared the project on September 5, the government is in a hurry to start work.

“This is an ambitious project that will solve the irrigation and drinking water problems over a large area. Our relief and rehabilitation package is the best in the country.

… the state government says it wants to finish the project in four years. In its zeal to take the project ahead, the state government has given some lofty assurances to the Centre, including the construction of a 60-km-long, 45-feet-high embankment to prevent flooding in neighbouring states.

The concerns

Like all big dams, Polavaram is dogged by the dam versus displacement problem. Chhattisgarh and Orissa, the two states that are opposed to the dam, say the project will submerge large tracts of tribal and forest land and displace primitive tribals who are dependent on the forests. Both states say that if the project has to go ahead, it has to be redesigned and fresh assessments and estimates made. Both states have also rejected the Andhra Pradesh government’s proposal to construct a 30-km-long embankment at the reservoir’s tail-end to prevent submergence in those states.

Orissa is also upset that the environment ministry has cleared Polavaram when its own big-ticket projects, like Niyamgiri, weren’t.

Orissa says 10 villages in Motu tehsil, nine of them dominated by Koya tribes, will be submerged in Malkangiri district. “A population of 6,000 is going to be affected, which includes Scheduled Tribes and Primitive Tribes. Andhra proposes to build an embankment to prevent these 10 villages from getting submerged. But that is unrealistic. The embankment has to be 30 km long and 45 feet high and has to be constructed inside Orissa. Who is going to acquire land to build this wall? What is the environmental impact? Has any assessment been done? A bigger question is, if an embankment is built, where will rain and flood water go from Orissa’s side? It will end up flooding 100 other villages in Malkangiri,” says Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, Commissioner and Secretary, Water Resources Department, Orissa.

In Konta tehsil of Bastar in Chhattisgarh, 23 villages will be submerged. Bastar Commissioner B Srinivasulu too calls the embankment “a far-fetched idea”.

While there is no political opposition to the dam in Andhra Pradesh, environmentalists and human rights activists are opposed to it, saying it will displace more people than the Sardar Sarovar Project on the Narmada river.

In Andhra, 277 villages in Khammam, East Godavari and West Godavari districts, parts of the Papikonda hills and wildlife sanctuary and 3,000 acres of forest land will go down under. The activists say the livelihood of thousands of Godavari fishermen is at stake and the primitive Koya and Kondareddi tribes in Khammam district would be displaced.

… There are other worries too. The Central Water Commission had approved the design based on initial estimates that the spillway (the structure that provides the controlled release of excess water) could withstand 36 lakh cusecs of flood discharge. It was later revised to 50 lakh cusecs. But recent rainfall trends and flood history predict a peak flood of 80 to 90 lakh cusecs and that could wash the dam away, says T Hanumantha Rao, former chief engineer and UN consultant.

Rao says he is not against the Polavaram project but warns against the flooding. “Andhra needs a project like Polavaram. But large earthen dams are prone to breaches. If the dam overflows, it will cause breaches. Polavaram is located at the end of the river where the peak discharge of the river occurs. Only four other rivers in the world have flood peaks more than Godavari and none of them have earthen dams where such peak flood flows occur,” he says.

Last year, two earthen dams in Andhra developed breaches during the monsoons—Gundlavavu in Warangal and Palamvavu in Khammam district.

Then, there is the debate over the height of the dam. While Orissa and Chhattisgarh are objecting to the proposed 150-feet-high dam, Andhra says the purpose of the dam is defeated if it is anything less.

Campaign for International Airport in Bhubaneswar and completion of Jharsuguda airport

APPEAL to readers, Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Bringing International Connectivity, CENTER & ODISHA, Jharsuguda, Rourkela- Kansbahal, Sambalpur-Burla-Jharsuguda 10 Comments »

Following is an email that I and many other are sending to the PM, the Minister of Civil Aviation, the chief minister and other officials. Please consider sending similar emails to them. Feel free to add additional requests (such as air services to Rourkela airport, etc.) that may seem logical to you. The email addresses to send are: "Dr. Manmohan Singh" <>,, Chief Minister <>,,,, "Sonia Gandhi" <>,

To: Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, Government of India

        Mr. Praful Patel, Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India

  CC: Mr. Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Government of Orissa

  Dear Dr. Singh and Mr. Patel:

  Yet again Orissa is being neglected with respect to infrastructure development. While there are news reports [3] that Visakhapatnam airport will soon become an international airport, your government is neglecting the just demands of making Bhubaneswar an international airport even though the later would serve a much bigger population, will be the only international airport in the state, and as per your own data currently has 50% more daily flights than Visakhapatnam.

 Is this because Congress rules in Andhra Pradesh and is in the opposition in Orissa?

 Sir: We would like you to think about even development across India and not just about states ruled by the Congress party. It is your prerogative to establish as many international airports in Andhra Pradesh or any other state of your choice, and we are happy for them, but please do not neglect Orissa in the process.

 We would like to request you to designate the Bhubaneswar airport as an international airport and have Air India (Express) flights directly connecting Bhubaneswar to international destinations, starting with one or more south East Asian destinations such as Bangkok and Singapore. We would also like you to expedite the establishment and operationalization of a commercial airport in Jharsuguda which will cater to the industrial belt of Sambalpur-Jharsuguda-Sundergarh-Rourkela of Orissa and the Ib valley that encompasses Chhatisgarh and Orissa.

 The Bhubaneswar airport caters to the capital area of Orissa and its nearby areas. While the larger metropolitan area of Bhubaneswar [Map1] has a population of 19 lakhs [1], a 200kms radius of around Bhubaneswar consists of 14 of the 21 parliamentary constituencies of Orissa (Berhampur, Aska, Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Jagatsignhpur, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Phulbani) with a population of about 3 crores.

 This area includes several large population centers [Map2] as well as existing and emerging industrial hubs. These centers and hubs are Berhampur to the south, Puri and Paradeep to the east, Angul-Talcher to the west, Kalinganagar, Dhamara and Balasore to the North. The area also includes top tourist destinations such as Puri, Bhubaneswar, Chilika, as well as the Buddhist monuments of Orissa which are of special interest to East Asia. As you may know Buddhism spread to East Asia and beyond when Emperor Ashoka became Dharmshoka on the bank of the Daya river on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

 The area is also ripe for a logistic corridor with existing excellent Rail, Road, and Ports connectivity and with a national waterway under works. Thus an international airport would also make it a multi-modal logistic hub.

 The Bhubaneswar airport has a runway of 9000 feet and it is being extended to 10,500 feet.

 Currently, four airlines have regular flights linking Bhubaneswar, three of which have international operations. They are Kingfisher, Jetlite (of Jet) and Air India. The 4th airline connecting Bhubaneswar is Indigo which commenced operations in India on 4th August 2006 and would be eligible for international flights in 2011.

 The average number of flights operating from Bhubaneswar [2] is 50, which is more than with respect to airports in Calicut – 50,  Nagpur – 48, Coimbatore – 42,  Mangalore – 30, Patna – 27, Srinagar – 27,  Amritsar – 27,   Trichy – 21, Varanasi – 16, Port Blair – 15, Tirupati – 9, Gaya – 1 all of which have been designated as international or customs airports.  In addition, there have been recent reports [3] that Visakhapatnam with an average of 33 flights will soon be an international airport.               

 In [Map3] we map the international and custom airports of India and as anyone would notice there is a big gap around Bhubaneswar.

 With Bhubaneswar emerging as an IT, Knowledge/Education and Tourism hub, and Odisha among the leaders in terms of incoming investments it is imperative that the Bhubaneswar airport be made to an international airport urgently.

 We sincerely request you to shed your partisan attitude of neglecting the non-Congress ruled state of Orissa (in favor of Congress ruled states like Andhra Pradesh) and  take immediate action on that front and declare Bhubaneswar as an international airport and commence international flights to/from Bhubaneswar.









The average number of flights operated in a day from each of the International Airports in the country is as under: Mumbai(MIAL) – 654, Delhi (DIAL) – 666, Chennai – 306, Banglore (BIAL) – 280, Kolkata – 231, Hyderabad (GHIAL) – 219, Cochin – 112, Ahmedabad- 107, Guwahati – 90, Trivandrum – 71, Goa – 64, Calicut – 50, Jaipur – 66, Nagpur – 48, Port Blair – 15, Srinagar – 27, Amritsar – 27, Pune – 66, Indore – 61, Juhu – 60, Bhopal – 59, Lucknow – 56, Vadodra – 54, Bhubaneswar – 50, Coimbatore – 42, Visakhapatnam – 33, Ranchi – 32, Raipur – 31, Mangalore – 30, Patna – 27, Jammu- 23, Agartala – 23, Trichy – 21, Chandigarh – 21, Udaipur -21, Imphal – 19, Madurai – 20, Bagdogra – 19, Varanasi – 16,Aurangabad – 14, Silchar – 11, Tirupati – 9, Jodhpur – 7, Leh – 6, Rajkot – 6, Gaya – 1.




So far, seventeen airports in the country have been accorded “International Status”. These airports are Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Calicut, Chennai, Guwahati, Jaipur, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Goa, Port Blair and Srinagar. Of these, eight airports, namely, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Calicut, Chennai, Guwahati, Jaipur, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram belong to Airports Authority of India (AAI) and three Civil Enclaves, namely, Goa, Port Blair and Srinagar are maintained by AAI. AAI provides CNS / ATM services for five airports managed by Joint Venture Companies at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai and Nagpur and for one private airport at Kochi. At Goa, Port Blair and Srinagar, which belong to Defence, AAI only maintains Civil Enclaves and CNS/ATM services are provided by Defence. In addition, Tirupathi airport has been declared as an international airport subject to the condition that the international airport may be made operational only after requisite facilities have been put in place.

Some airports are notified as Customs airports which can also cater to international flights. The customs airports are Varanasai, Tiruchirapalli (Trichy), Patna, Mangalore, Lucknow, Gaya, Coimbatore and Pune (civil enclave).



Favourable reply to Rosaiah’s letter to Union Ministry likely next month

International flights may very soon begin to land at the Visakhapatnam airport with the State Government taking firm initiative to get permission from the Union Government to formally declare it an International Airport.

The Department of Investment and Infrastructure now with Chief Minister Konijeti Roshaiah has written to Ministry of Civil Aviation to accord the requisite permission for the airport and a favourable reply was likely in July.


MAP 1: Greater Bhubaneswar area as per the CDP made by IIT Kharagpur



MAP 2: Population centers and industry hubs around the Bhubaneswar area (within about 200kms)


MAP 3:  International and Custom Airports of India (showing the big gap around Bhubaneswar)

Postscript: Again, if you would like to campaign for whatever else, Do it. No one is stopping you. But don’t act like the proverbial crabs and thwart efforts that are going on. Unfortunately, as evident from some of the responses (see for example the comments at , some people are not even reading the content carefully (otherwise they would notice the mention of Jharsuguda) and instead of doing something positive, they have a knee-jerk negative reaction.

Central Government Industrial Package for KBK could be the answer

APPEAL to readers, Balangir, CENTER & ODISHA, INDUSTRY and INFRASTRUCTURE, Kalahandi, KBK Plus district cluster, Koraput Comments Off on Central Government Industrial Package for KBK could be the answer

To get KBK out of backwardness governments at the center and states have had packages for KBK, but they have not helped that much. The following suggestion by Jibanendra Mohanty in Orissa Today is a very good suggestion. Our government should pursue it.

Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal  have made significant progress on Industrialization during the last few years, via the Special Industrial Package provided by the Government of India. Most of the Industries set up in recent times  are in  Manufacturing/Engineering/ Agro-products/ Drugs & Pharmaceuticals/ Computer Hardware, etc  not dependent upon mining operations.  The high lights of these Industries are  a) they need small land parcels i.e.  areas of 1 to 10 acres, b) they provide  employment ranging from 50 to 1000 persons/unit.  These Industries do not need mining operation, do not need  high  water consumption nor do they create  major problem for Ecology and Environment. These Industries have made significant impact on the  employment & economic front and on  all round development of the States.

 The existing  special  package is valid up to end of 2010 and the States have already started lobbying for extension of the said package up to 2020.

Now the Question is why such special Industrial package is not being provided  for the KBK region of Odisha??

The above is a very good idea. Some links on special industrial package for Himachal Pradesh is here. Links for special industrial package for Uttarakhand is here and here

The Orissa state government should pursue this. In Koraput and Kalahandi the focus can be on downstream industries and Balangir which is very well connected by Rail as well as by NH the focus could be on all kinds of industries.

Baidyanath Sing for the Karanjia Assembly seat

APPEAL to readers, Elections 2009, Mayurbhanj 3 Comments »

Baidyanath Sing is from a poor tribal family of Aswakuti (Hudisahi) village near Similipal of Mayurbhanj district. Since his school days he had to struggle financially for his studies. He got admission to NIT Rourkela in Electrical Engineering. Lacking financial resources, he was supported by his friends for his study. After that he did his M.Tech at Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. About his early days, this is what he has to say:

Since from my school days, I struggled for existence, had to work to support my education. After getting admission into Engineering Institute, my friends supported me financially for entire four years as I was in no position to support by my own, nor my parents were. During those days, when I visited my native place, I saw lot many talented students not being able to complete their studies due to poverty, like mine. This moved me so much and forced me to think again and again. This, I realized is not an isolated case and there is a need to look at the bigger picture. From that day onwards, I realized that I have a bigger role to play than any of my friends and thought of doing something for the poor people like me. My determination was multiplied by several other problems such as deforestation by jungle mafias, ignorance of the fellow villagers about their rights and resulting exploitations. I realized that people in here needed somebody to lead them and show them ways to create a better life for themselves and the generation next. Situation demanded that, I spend my valuable asset, my times, as I myself don’t have enough funds to spin on development of my fellow sufferers. 

During his days at NIT Rourkela and IISc Bangalore he cultivated friendships with his classmates, juniors, seniors, and alumni working across India and abroad. About this interactions and how it shaped his future agenda this is what he has to say:

During our electronic e-conference all my intellectual troupes suggested insisting upon taking legitimate care of the education from the grass root level. We concluded that we will start with education i.e. we will interact with primary school teachers, guardians by arranging meeting in regular time interval and we will support attractive accessories to kids to attract them so that we can avoid drop out in the primary levels. Then I personally realized that visibility of development would take much time if we will start first with education, in the most deprived area where education is a distant dream, and our effort would be useless. They dearth in living standard and they are not at all in a position to think of education, and mostly they are busy arranging for their per day foods. So, we have to observe their weakest point, through which we can attract them more easily and we can change their mentality to bring them towards the mainstream of developed path. Then I proposed if we can start education and parallel with some income generating activities like agriculture, agricultural related activities, managing locally available natural resources by local people and villagers empowerment porgrammes. then there may be possible in “sustainable rural development” and finally my proposal was accepted by all others.

 With those agenda in mind Baidyanath Singh left his job in an IT company in Bangalore and embarked on several projects in and around his villages. In pursuing those projects the procedure he adopted is outlined as follows in his own words.

Step 1: We are having local tribal educated mass, arranging farmers’ awareness programmes in targeted village and forming FSHG (Farmers Self Help Group) and WSHG (Women Self Help Group), which consist of 15 to 20 no of members. In each village there are minimum 5 to 8 no of SHG depends on strength of the targeted village. There is no discrimination in cast, religious, BPL and APL during group formation. Landless villagers are also included in the groups so, that they can take advantage out of it. And we are trying to create competitive mind among the groups.

Step 2: When we are arranging awareness programmes in targeted village we are making survey of

  • What are their livelihoods?
  • What are their traditional crops?
  • Any person in the village doing other crops pattern?
  • Any crops they were cultivating previously but they stopped now, if yes when and why?
  • After getting all data there will be a mutual discussion with them and they will give proposal what can possible so that everyone can accept it with great interest by which no one will feel as a burden and probability of success for proposed crops should be 100% with any weather conditions so there will be no frustration among the farmers. With this our aim is to attract more and more no of farmers not only that village but also in consecutive villages.

Following are some of the activities that he has been involved in, in and around his village, after he left his job in Mumbai and came back to his village to help develop his village and its surroundings. They are in his own words.

Activities 1: My village Aswakuti (Hudisahi) is located very close to Similipal    reserved area. During my B.E. time there was lot of timber business used to happen by Jangle mafia from out side. They were taking advantage of villager’s illiteracy, innocence and poverty. The mafia groups motivated the villagers up to such extend that, instead of traditional farming their hobby became supplying timber.  Which became easiest income source in a short time period.

I personally realized that if a thing goes so then just after 5 years there may be vagaries of nature. Then we motivated some people to understand the reality and arranged one meeting in our village and formed one "Jangle Surakhya Committee". This committee formed four groups and each groups was assigned to do duty in jangle once in a week. As a result it hampered mafia and motivated villagers, which became a great problem for our committee. They became our great enemy and we got life threatening from them. At last we took help of our Sarat local forester who supported us. He became our advisor now our village committee is renamed into J.F.M (Joint Forest Management). This JFM is working so effectively that we are also getting financial support from Forest Department. Interesting thing is that now maximum villagers are having Committee.

Activities2: Year 2004-05 we promoted Niger cultivation as an experimental basis in the village of Dangadhia, Khukundu and Paterpada of Thakurmunda block in Mayurbhanj district among the 100 beneficiaries, but seeds were not perfect even though it was a great success for us, farmers accepted it very easily. maximum farmers earned minimum of Rs 3000/- just for four month.

Activities3: Year 2005-06 we distributed same seeds in my sarat area of Kaptipada Block among the three villages named Keshpada, Kadabahali and Kutumundi with four FSHG as a foundation seeds for this area. This activity was so popular for this area and also they earned very god amount. I will feel proud to inform you that this year agriculture department people (Udala ADAO) visited our field and he appreciated it.

Activities 4: Last year’s Niger activity was so popular and year 2006-07 (this year) we distributed 5 quintal Niger seeds which covered more than 100 acars of free land, vegetables seeds, 1 quintal of mustard seeds which has covered more than 20 acars of land and 60 no of vegetable kits from Horticultural department in different villages. I think this Niger project was a biggest activity in whole Mayurbhanj. This years Niger activity was so excellent and attractive. I will be proud to inform you that last 25th Oct. during flowering time we organized one Agricultural Awareness Programme.

Activities 5: This year on 24th Sept. We organized Mathematics Olympiad Test Called Rural Mathematics Talent Search Test (RMTST) for 6th class, which was state level Exam. and supported by Institutes of Mathematics, BBSR and NRO’s USA. Qualified students will be awarded Rs 1500/- per annum for five years and they will be eligible for National level (for national level they will get Rs 1500/- per month) and then for International level.

Activity 6: From this year I became a lifetime member of Foundation for Excellence (FFE) USA based Organization through which we can be able give scholarship to students from BPL/antardoya/arnapurna card holders with good marks in High School, +2, +3, Diploma, Medical (rank within 280) and Engg. (Rank within 2050) from Rs 5000/- to Rs 40,000/-. Per annum until to complete their course. This year I have provided scholarship (Rs 5000/-) to Mr. Manash Mallick from BPL family who has secured 667 marks in HSC-2005, Kumini Prava Panigrahi (Rs 19000/-) who is doing Diploma in Rourkela but yet to come.

Activity 7:  From next month we are going to start Masses for Rural Computer Education Institute in Sarat for school and college level students with minimum price. Which is also going to support by NRO’s USA.

Activity 8: We are running one non-formal school for students from class 1 to 5th in my village Aswakuti itself (class timing is 6.30 am to 8.30 am and 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm) this is just a special class and volunteer teachers from village itself, salary for them is donated by parents themselves. This school is running so effectively and we are planning to do in other villages also. Some NRO’s from USA are also going to support these special schools very soon.

He has the following proposals for the near future; again in his own words.

    1. All activities as mentioned above will be continued in future and multiplied into large scale till turned into sustainable activity.
    2. As farmers’ interest is multiplying drastically, which is a positive symbol for this area, within next two years we are trying to cover all nine Gram Panchayat, which includes more than 80 villages with more than one lakhs people. Our mission will be to form as many as no of FSHG and WSHG. All groups will make saving account in near by Baitarani Gramyan Bank.
    3. Last year we encouraged only for Niger, mustard and some area for vegetable cultivation but this year we are preparing to promote mixed horticulture farming which includes Turmeric, Zinger, Sun flower, Sweet Potato, Drumstick, Hybrid Banana, Mango, Amala with very large scale.
    4. Beneficiaries list is increasing. If these activities go in this way then within very short span of time this area may be able to give huge amount of Agro-product. But main problem is market potential. As per Orissa is concerned Agro-Industries are very rare so agro market potential is not supportive for farmers. Farmers are not getting proper justice for their product, which is tending to create frustration among the farmers.
    5.  According to our vision, if there will be a processing unit just like a Small Scale Agro-Industries (SSAI) in the local area there will no question of mediators in between grass root level farmers and SSAI by which maximum benefits goes towards grass level framers only. Which can influence financial status of farmers directly.

Few weeks back he contemplated getting into electoral politics and run in his constituency. Following is an excerpt from an email he sent to Sandip Dasverma on his thoughts on why he should run and his chances.

… whole area is requiring one good leader for them so I am thinking that I may not be a good leader for them but I will try to be a good leader for them. I am thinking that as election in Orissa is very close and I am thinking to contest from my constituency (KARANJIA) as a MLA …

Since I am a highly qualified tribal guy who has been involved directly with social problems since from long days so, why shouldn’t I enter into politics in order to deliver my capabilities and my dreams for my areas. People of my area love me very much and I have excellent chances to win from my constituency.

Yesterday Baidyanath Sing went to file his nomination for the Karanjia Assembly seat as an independent and we support his candidacy whole heartedly. 

Following is a map of the Karanjia constituency. We encourage readers with ties to that area to help Mr. Sing.



Open letter to the Prime Minister

Angul, APPEAL to readers, Balangir, Bouda, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Kandhamala, KBK Plus district cluster, Khordha, Khurda Rd - Balangir (under constr.), Koraput, Lanjigarh Rd - Junagarh, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nayagarha, Sambalpur, Talcher - Bimlagarh (under constr.) 9 Comments »

"Dr. Manmohan Singh" <>, "Chief Minister" <>, "Orissa Governor" <>,
<>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, "" <>

cc to journalists: <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, "braja k mishra" <>, "manorama" <>, "Prasanta Kumar Sahoo" <>, "Shishir Bhate" <>

cc to Orissa NDA mps: <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, "B J Panda" <>, "Balbir Punj" <>, "jual oram" <>, "Tathagata Satpathy" <>

cc to Orissa opposition biggies: "janardan pati" <>, "rohit pujari" <>, "Srikant Jena" <>, "Chandrasekhar Sahu’s OSD" <>

cc to BJP bigwigs: <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>

cc to UPA bigwigs: <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, "Dr. Manmohan Singh" <>, "Jairam Ramesh" <>, "Kamal Nath" <>, "Ram Vilas Paswan" <>

 FAX: PMO at 23016857 , 23015603 (Delhi STD code is 11), CMO at 674 2590 833 (home) 674 2535 100 (office) and Planning Commission at 23096699



Dr. Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister of India

Cc: Mr. Naveen Patniak, Chief Minister of Orissa

Cc: Shri Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, Governor of Orissa

Subject: Solving the greater Kandhamala problem – going after the root cause in a war footing


Dear Dr. Singh: 

While the civil society in Orissa, the nation and the world is disturbed by the  communal violence in Kandhamala, I would urge you to take steps to eradicate the root cause of the violence in Kandhamala and the nearby tribal, hilly, forested, awfully connected, poor and backward districts of Orissa (and its neighboring states). In this regard, please note that the violence did not spread to the major towns and cities of Orissa (such as Bhubaneswar, Puri, Cuttack, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Berhampur, Balasore etc.)  that are well connected (by Rail and roads), decently developed and have a civil society. 

While the violence involving the murder of Swami Laxmanananda on August 23rd 2008 and the subsequent communal violence that has taken about 40 lives is most deplorable and is in the forefront of the media, please also recall the following events that also took place within the last year in these areas:


  1. February 15 2008:  400 to 500 armed Naxals raided the Nayagarh armory and killed 15 people including 13 policemen.
  2. June 29 2008: 30 elite anti-insurgency policemen were killed by Maoists near Malkangiri.
  3. July 16 2008:  21 Orissa policemen were killed in a land mine explosion and firing by the ultras in Malkangiri.
  4. Dec 27 2007: Eleven churches were ransacked and torched in several areas of Kandhamal district.

Please note that these events happened in places in Orissa (Nayagarh, Malkangiri and Kandhamal) that are badly connected, near or within forests, have a large tribal population, and are among the most backward districts of India. The following map shows these districts are surrounded by large tracts of dense and open forested areas, and partly explains why the naxalites and Maoists are able to make them their base and why it has been difficult to deploy adequate police there in a timely manner.

(NOTE: Phulbani is now called Kandhamala)

(Note: The lines in red are the ones that are needed to bring rail connectivity to the Kandhamala, Nayagarh and Malkangiri districts and criss-cross the big connectivity gap in the heart of Orissa. The crossed segments are already approved but progressing very slowly.)


Sir: As an economist and a world leader you must know that lack of connectivity, lack of development, lack of a civil society, entrenched forest and mountainous areas together with a different population base is a recipe for the sprouting of troubled areas. This is true all across the world; from J& K and North eastern areas of India to caucuses in Asia. While one cannot and should not get rid of the mountains or the people, the problem can be solved by making the areas well connected and bringing development. The Indian government is doing that in J & K and in the northeast; but has mostly forgotten about the similar areas in Orissa, Chhatisgrah, and Andhra Pradesh, which are the favorite bases of the Naxals and Maoists.

Sir: We would like you to pay the same attention to these areas in terms of connectivity, development, and creation of civil societies, as you do to the North east and J & K. In particular we would request that following be done in a war footing during the 11th plan.

(i)                  The Vijaywada-Ranchi highway that passes through many of these areas be completed.

(ii)                Broadband connectivity be brought to these districts with adequate access locations.

(iii)                Two Railway lines, parts of which have already been sanctioned by the Railways but are progressing slowly, are completed and made operational. Those lines are:

a.       Khurda Rd – Balangir (passes through Nayagarh and Boudh) – This line was sanctioned in 1994-95 is progressing very slowly.

b.      Bhadrachalam Rd (Andhra Pradesh) – Malkangiri – Jeypore – Nabarangpur – Junagarh – Lanjigarh Rdpassing through Kandhamala – Boudh – Angul – Talcher – Bimlagarh: Several segments of these lines are approved but progressing slowly. Those segments are Junagarh – Lanjigarh Rd and Talcher – Bimlagarh. Angul – Talcher is operational.

(iv)              With the above lines operational, development should be brought into Kandhamal, Boudh, Gajapati, and KBK districts (including Kalahandi and Malkangiri) through 1-2 Rail factories and public sector units that can use the steel and aluminum and power produced in abundance in Orissa.

(v)                Orissa govt. should be encouraged and aided to establish a university in Kandhamala and another in Kalahandi.

(vi)              A branch of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University be established in one of these districts.

(vii)             Orissa govt. should be encouraged and aided to establish a government medical college and nursing college in Kandhamala or Boudha district.

Sir:  In regards to the cost of establishing the Railway lines, please note that as per the calculation in Indian Railways is scheduled to make a profit of 2679.72 crores/year from its operations in Orissa. If 1500 crores of this money (the rest may go to Indian Railway’s current plans for Orissa) is put into Orissa, in just 2-3 years the above mentioned lines could be completed.

Sir: We sincerely hope that you will translate the great concern you have shown towards the recent violent events to the above mentioned action items that address the key issues of lack of connectivity and development in these areas and thus provide a long term and real solution.




1. Estimated profit Indian Railways will make from Orissa in 2008-09:

Zone in Orissa

Total Route Kms

Route kms in Orissa


2008-2009 profit (in crores)

Orissa’s proportional share of the profit in 2008-2009





(next page)

2034.97 crores





(next page)

80.69 crores





(next page)

564.06 crores





2679.72 crores


2.  One of the earlier planning commissions has noted in

“Railways have always played an important role in economic development and rapid social transformation in all parts of the globe. It is one of the key economic infrastructures. However, it is most unfortunate that in a poor and backward state like Orissa, development of rail networks has received much less attention of the Central Government in the post-independence period. There are as many as seven districts like Boudh, Kandhamal, Deogarh, Nayagarh, Kendrapara, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur out of the 30 districts of the state, which do not have any railway line passing through them. In the year 1998-99, the density of railway route length per 1000 sq. km of area in Orissa was only 15.03 km as against 42.66 km in West Bengal and 19.11 km. at all-India level”.

3. The tribal population percentage of the KBK districts are as follows:  Malkangiri  58.36% ST  (+19.96% SC),  Rayagada 56.04% ST  (+14.28% SC),  Nabarangpur 55.27% ST (+15.09% SC), Koraput 50.67% ST (+13.41% SC), Nuapada 35.95%  ST(+13.09% SC), Kalahandi 28.88% ST (+17.01% SC), Sonepur 22.11% ST (+9.5% SC), Balangir 22.06% ST (+15.39% SC). Two adjacent districts also have high tribal population. They are Kandhamala 51.51% ST (+18.21% SC) and Gajapati 47.88%  ST(+8.77% SC). 


4. The literacy rates in the KBK districts are abysmally low. Malkangiri 31.26%, Nabarangpur 34.26%, Rayagada 35.61%, Koraput 36.2%, Nuapada 42.29%, Kalahandi 46.2%, Balangir 54.93%, Sonepur 64.07%. Two adjacent districts also have low literacy: Gajapati 41.73% and Kandhamala 52.95%. The state average is 63.1%.

5. Population below the poverty line in southern Orissa (of which KBK is a part) is reported to be 89.17% of the people according to the 1999-2000 NSS data and 72% of the families according to the 1997 census.

Calculating Indian Railways’ estimated profit from Orissa in 2008-09

APPEAL to readers, Railway network in Odisha, SECR, SER 1 Comment »
  Total Route kms Route Kms in Orissa

Total estimated Profit in 08-09 (in crores)

Orissa’s portion of the profit (in crores)
ECOR 2430 1607 3077.15 2034.97
SECR 1599 51 2529.89 80.69
SER 2577 589 2467.88 564.06
    2247   2679.72


Orissa Society of the Americas writes about KBK Rail Connectivity to the CM and PM: Various reports

APPEAL to readers, Balangir, CENTER & ODISHA, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Kandhamala, KBK Plus district cluster, Khordha, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Odisha and Center, Planning Commission and Odisha, Railways, Rayagada, Sonepur Comments Off on Orissa Society of the Americas writes about KBK Rail Connectivity to the CM and PM: Various reports

This has been reported in, Kalinga Times, and so far. Odisha. in has the two letters.

We appeal to the readers with interest in Orissa to contact their local organization (Outside Orissa, the local Orissa/Oriya/Kalinga organization) and through them send a similar letter to the PM and CM at the earliest. The planning commission has been asked by the PM on September 14th to make the location decisions in two months. So time is running out on this.

Dear PM: Drawing your attention towards KBK and tribal area Rail connectivity

APPEAL to readers, CENTER & ODISHA, ECOR, Railway network in Odisha, Railways, SER 13 Comments »

Following is the letter I sent to the PM with copy to Orissa CM, MPs, planning commission and chairman of the railway board. Please consider sending a similar letter to them. If possible please fax the letter to the PMO rather than emailing him.

PM’s fax numbers are 23016857 , 23015603 (Delhi STD code is 11)
Lalu’s fax number is 23387333

To: Dr. Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister


Cc: Mr. Arjun Singh, Minister of HRD, Government of India

Cc: Mr. Lalu Yadav, Minister of Railways, Government of India

Cc: Mr. Chandrasekhar Sahu, Union Minister of State, Government of India

Cc: Mr. Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Orissa

Cc: Members of Parliament from Orissa

Cc: Media

Subject: KBK and other adivasi areas of Orissa and India can not be left behind while rest of India marches forward with high speed rail; metro rail and freight corridors

Dear Dr. Singh:

First we would like to convey our heartfelt thanks for your recent higher education initiatives that you outlined in the last Independence Day speech; in particular, the announcement regarding 8 new IITs, 7 new IIMs, and 30 new central Universities with 16 of them going to states that do not have any central university. We sincerely hope that in picking the locations for these institutions you will keep in mind that for 60 years no IIT, IIM or central university have been established in Orissa. As a rapidly industrializing state, our highest priority is a new IIT. Following that, since there already exists 23 central universities, and you plan to have 30 more, and Orissa has none yet, our next priority is to have two new central universities in Orissa. We also request that the central university that is proposed to be in the KBK region should have multiple campuses so that it can cover the vast and tribal areas of KBK and because of the very high tribal and backward population in that area this university should be treated at par with the central universities in the north east. Again, we thank you from our heart for your initiatives and thank the HRD minister Mr. Arjun Singh for his role in this.

The above initiatives have restored in us some of the faith that we had earlier lost in your government. Now we would like to point out another burning issue with respect to Orissa that needs to be urgently addressed.

That issue is Rail connectivity to the hinterlands of Orissa, such as the KBK and other tribal districts of Orissa. As you are very well aware these areas are the most backward and poor areas of India; they have a very high tribal population; and are also infested with extremists. One of the important steps in uplifting these areas is making them well connected to the rest of India. That is where Rail Connectivity comes to picture.

As one of the earlier planning commissions has noted


“Railways have always played an important role in economic development and rapid social transformation in all parts of the globe. It is one of the key economic infrastructures. However, it is most unfortunate that in a poor and backward state like Orissa, development of rail networks has received much less attention of the Central Government in the post-independence period. There are as many as seven districts like Boudh, Kandhamal, Deogarh, Nayagarh, Kendrapara, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur out of the 30 districts of the state, which do not have any railway line passing through them. In the year 1998-99, the density of railway route length per 1000 sq. km of area in Orissa was only 15.03 km as against 42.66 km in West Bengal and 19.11 km. at all-India level”.

The Railway ministry has grand plans for the 11th plan period that includes two freight corridors, high speed rail, and metro rail in several areas and it has a budget of Rs 251,000 crores. While none of these high flying plans (2 freight corridors, high speed rail segments and metro rails) are in Orissa, we are not in a position to rue over that; rather we request that while the rest of India marches forward with 2 freight corridors, high speed rail segments and metro rails during the 11th plan, KBK and other adivasi areas of Orissa and India be not left behind. The particular lines we are referring to are:


1) Khurda – Balangir

2) Gunupur-Theruvali

3) Lanjigarh Rd – Bhawanipatna – Junagarh – Nabarangpur- Jeypore – Malkangiri – Bhadrachalam Rd (Andhra Pradesh)

4) Talcher – Bimlagarh

5) Bangiriposi -Gurumahishasini and/or Buramara-Chakulia.

6) Badampahar-Keonjhar

Often the Railway ministry and Railway board has labeled some of the pending lines in these areas as unprofitable and has given them such a low priority that at the current rate of funding (annual allocation less than the inflation) these lines may never be completed.

While the railways calculation may show these lines as unprofitable; they are not unprofitable if one considers how much Indian Railways earns from these areas. For example, the ECOR GM Shri Surendra Singh Khurana in his Independence Day address (available at while talking about ECOR, said: “With only 4% of the track of Indian Railways, we cater for about 12% of total loading of Indian railway and about 7% of total earning of IR.” In regards to profitability, for the 2003-2004 and 2004-05 the working expense as part of gross earnings of the ECOR zone is the second best at 66.64% and 61.75% respectively. The profit making zones in those years were South east central (62.8% and 56.1%), ECOR (66.64% and 61.75%), North central (76.33% and 66.71%), Central (80.29% and 82.48%), South eastern (81.24% and 83.51%), South Central (85.72% and 83.62%), West Central (80.99% and 84.08%), South Western (91.35% and 86.15%), Western (93.21% and 90.85%), Northern (91.08% and 92.89%) and East Central (93.65% and 98.9%). The loss making zones were: metro Kolkata (247% and 264.38%), North Eastern (151.93% and 160.88%), Northeast Frontier (147.98% and 159.45%), Eastern (161.3% and 152.84%), Southern (118.55% and 120.79%) and North Western ( 106.26% and 104.98%).

So, if the Indian Railway is making 7% of its earning from ECOR and a much higher percent of its profit from ECOR is not it unfair to give only 4% of its track to ECOR? This means profit and revenue from ECOR is being ploughed into rest of India. Nothing wrong with that per se, except that the part of ECOR that is neglected is the most backward part of India, and has a high tribal percentage. Some of these tribals, without proper connectivity, risk their lives and travel on the roof of freight trains. Does India and Indian Railways want to take money and investment away from the tribal and backward areas to enrich its metro residents?

Dr. Singh: Is that the India of your dreams? Is that the equality and inclusiveness that you talk about in your speeches?

We don’t think so!

Perhaps this has not come to your notice. Perhaps your current planning commission has not brought this to your notice. It is our sincere request that you look at this issue and include in the 11th plan the completion of the earlier mentioned lines and the establishment of a few rail factories in the backward and tribal areas of India, possible 1-2 in the KBK districts.

(Additional data points are in the attached document.)


Chitta Baral


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