Posts filed under ‘Demand of Koshal state’
NEW DELHI: The HRD ministry has given its nod for an IIT, an IIM and three central universities among other institutes for the Seemandhra region which has witnessed widespread resentment over the Centre’s decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
The ministry has conveyed its decision to the home ministry which had forwarded representations made by different stakeholders to it earlier in response to the GoM on Telangana inviting suggestions on bifurcation of the state.
The decision would be placed before the GoM for consideration, sources in the Ministry said.
The ministry has also cleared an IISER and an IIIT for the region.
The move is aimed at striking a balance between the two regions – Telangana and Seemandhra – as far as establishment of premier institutes are concerned, though the end objective is to ensure that students derive maximum benefit, they said.
Rough estimate suggests an investment in the range of Rs 6000 to Rs 7000 crore for establishment of the institutes in the Seemandhra region.
The ministry’s decision assumes significance as the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh will leave the Seemandhra region without any of the elite higher educational institutes which are mostly concentrated in Hyderabad in the Telangana region.
HRD minister M M Pallam Raju represents the Kakinanda constituency in Seemandhra.
In their representation, various stakeholders had suggested that all central institutions in Seemandhra should be backed by a bill and all national parties should sign it.
“Most of the highly developed educational institutions are going to the state of Telangana. The Centre should immediately grant the above said institutions and they should come into operation within a year,” the representations said.
The spontaneous bandh on August 26 in Western Odisha districts over the demand of a separate Koshala state seems to suggest that the tide is turning away from the BJD. Several senior leaders from the area maintained that the Koshala state demand does not have many followers in the area, but the successful bandh gave a hint on the public anger against the ruling party for ignoring the demand of the Western districts always, including a permanent bench of the High Court.
BHUBANESWAR: The 12-hour bandh call given by various outfits, demanding a separate Koshal state, paralyzed normal life in western Odisha on Monday, even as lawyers in the region continued with their agitation pressing for high court benches.
While road transport came to a grinding halt in most parts, train services were partly affected. Majority of the educational institutions, government offices and commercial establishments remained closed for the day in 10 districts. No untoward incident was reported from any part of the state, police said.
“It was a complete and spontaneous bandh as most social outfits, citizen bodies, caste societies and students in the region extended their support to the bandh,” Kosal State Coordination Committee leader Pramod Mishra told TOI.
Activists were seen picketing in Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Deogarh, Sonepur, Boudh and Balangir districts. Markets, banks and other government offices remained closed while several heavy vehicles were stranded on highways passing through the region.
The Sambalpur-Puri Intercity was stalled at Sambalpur Road station for about two hours as activists blocked the railway tracks. Trains passing in the region got delayed by two to four hours, sources said. In Bargarh, activists blocked the road by burning tyres.
The bandh evoked mixed response in Rourkela. While Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) functioned as usual, movement of private vehicles in the city was normal. However, educational institutions and markets largely remained closed.
In Bhawanipatna, buses remained off the road as the Kalahandi Bus Association supported the bandh. However, government schools and banks remained open. Market and business establishments downed shutters in most parts of Kalahandi.
Meanwhile, advocates continued their stir seeking HC benches in their respective areas. In a meeting convened by Sambalpur Bar Association (SBA), all political parties resolved to boycott the urban election if the State Election Commission starts the nomination process again during the indefinite agitation period. “The political parties have resolved not to field candidates during the agitation period even if the election commission re-notify dates for the civic poll,” SBA secretary S S Sahu said.
(With inputs from Sambalpur, Rourkela and Jharsuguda)
Even as several outfits have launched a full-fledged campaign seeking separate Koshal state following the Telangana development, the intellectuals and academics of Sambalpur remain divided on the touchy issue.
A seminar organised by Press Club of Sambalpur witnessed divergent views with some speakers favouring formation of smaller states, while many others opposing the idea. The seminar was titled ~ Small State and Path of Development.
Well-known economist Prof Dr Dillip Kumar Panda, who was formerly with Gangadhar Meher College, argued that there is no relationship between the size of a state and good governance.
“If it can provide good governance, a bigger state can fulfil the expectations of the people. On the other hand, several smaller states have miserably failed to deliver. The states of the north-eastern region and also those which were carved about a decade ago bear testimony to it,” he said.
“Small size of the state cannot guarantee solution to all problems,” he added.
Dr Panda said that corruption and casteism remain the prime hindrances on the path of development of a state.
“A drastic reform in governance mechanism and change in the mind-set of those at the helm of affairs is the need of the hour as it can bring development to all,” he said.
He pointed out that the primary duty of the government is to maintain law and order, and then to concentrate on development and nation building.
“In a democratic nation, the government needs to be more sensitive towards the problems of its citizens. When it fails to do so, the very purposes gets defeated irrespective of the size of the state,” he noted. Dr Panda maintained that it is not always prudent to blame the government for every ill plaguing the people.
Another speaker Mr Bhagabata Prasad Nanda, however, sought to differ from the views expressed by Dr Panda, while pointing out that smaller states are rather better means for development of the people.
A staunch supporter of the separate statehood movement, Mr Nanda pointed out that several regions continue to languish in negligence and only formation of smaller states can ensure their development. “Have not many localities developed after the bigger districts were divided and smaller districts were formed? The same logic is applied to the case of states,” he said.
Leaders of different political parties including the Congress, BJP and CPI
put forth their views on the matter.
The president of the Press Club, Mr Prafulla Kumar Dash, chaired the occasion. It was attended by the club secretary Mr Rajaram Padhee and former president of Sambalpur bar association, Dr Pramod Rath and others.
Demanding a separate Koshal state comprising western Odisha districts, activists under the banner of Koshal Kranti Dal (KKD) today staged a rail roko agitation here.
As a result, express, passenger and goods trains remained stranded at various railway stations, official sources said.
“We have already requested the state and Union government to take immediate steps for formation of Koshal state,” KKD president Upendra Mohapatra said.
Bhubaneswar-Bolangir Intercity Express and a goods train were detained at Sambalpur Road station for some time by activists along with students here.
Howrah-Jagadalpur Express was stranded for some time at Bargarh as slogan shouting agitationists squatted on the railway tracks.
Similar demonstrations were staged at Bolangir and Jharsuguda railway station affecting the traffic.
“The rail roko agitation was successful and people from all walks of life spontaneously participated in it,” said KKD president.
Earlier on Saturday, rasta roko agitation was held in 10 districts on national highways and state highways linking Western Odisha, said Mohapatra.
This was a lively debate. Expect few leaders everyone spoke within the scope of the topic. Otherwise, now day TV debates are often turning brawl and theatrical stage. I observed that all most all leaders spoke in Kosli language. They should also use Kosli language in assembly; so that people of western Odisha will understand them. The discussion was about health, education and human resource development in western Odisha (Balangir and Kalahandi Medical college, AIIMs and other centrally funded institutes); industrialization; pollution in Sambalpur-Jharsuguda belt; KBK issues, Dadan sramik; malnutrition; starvation death; unemployment; Gadjats; feudal mentality of political leadership; and Kosal state demand.
People of western Odisha feel alienated because their voice is not heard by the mainstream Odia media. Thanks to the Kanak TV for providing a platform to people of western Odisha (although one speaker was accusing the organizers about the choice of the title and divide and rule policy).
Following is report is from the Sambad: