Archive for November, 2010

IIT Kharagpur to open its second campus at Kolkata; IIT Bhubaneswar should plan for a campus in Western Odisha

Following is a report by TOI:

KOLKATA: Four years ago, the state government had given 10 acres to the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, for its second campus. But the institute has not been able to put up the boundary wall till now as it has not been given possession of the land by Hidco, the housing and infrastructure agency that is developing Rajarhat as a township.

Apparently, the plot that had been allotted to IIT-Kgp has a path through it, which is used by locals, who have reportedly blocked the handover of the land. According to the agreement between the institute and Hidco, the latter would handover the land after walling it. But even after repeated reminders from the institute, Hidco has done little. Presently, with its go-slow policy on land takeover, Hidco is reportedly not willing to push the case too much to avoid another land-related controversy.

“We are in trouble as the Union human resources development ministry had allotted funds to us long back to develop the new campus. We might be asked to return the funds because of this delay,” said AN Majumdar, the deputy director of the institute.

A lot of excitement was generated in 2006, when the land was allotted to the institute. IIT-Kgp had even drawn up a blueprint for the land.

Though regular postgraduate tech programmes will be there, this is not to be its focal area. The institute authorities want the campus to have advanced laboratories, run incubation programmes and become an industry hub which will attract international and national industries to set up their R&D infrastructure here. It shall also be a nodal centre for the larger technology parks being set up around the institute in Kharagpur.

“The Kolkata campus shall be mandated to promote an inter-disciplinary structure to incubation programmes, multi-disciplinary academic programmes, advanced research and development activities. We will also have some PG programmes in the emerging areas. But all this can start only if we get possession of the land!” said PP Chakraborty, dean of the institute’s sponsored research initiatives, who is in charge of drawing up the plans for the new campus.

“We are looking at helping tech professionals who already have a basic degree and do not need to stay on the campus for a full-time programme,” Chakraborty added.

The multi-disciplinary areas being targeted include Information Technology, VLSI & Embedded Systems, Media and Communication Technologies, Information Assurance and Security, Urban and Regional Informatics, Human Resources Management and Business Administration, and, Bio-Informatics.

November 29, 2010 at 10:43 am 1 comment

Hirakud waits for migratory birds

Following is a report by

SAMBALPUR: Unlike previous years, there has been a delay in arrival of migratory birds to the Hirakud dam reservoir (HDR) this winter.

As winter sets in, migratory birds come down to HDR in large numbers.

Thousands of birds of different varieties migrate to this reservoir and stay for four months till February-end before flying back in the first week of March.

The winged guests from far-flung areas including the Caspian Sea, Biakal Lake, the Aral Sea, Mongolia, Central and South East Asia and Himalayan region flock to the reservoir in the first week of November every year for the winter sojourn.

The reservoir is the largest artificial lake in Asia with an area of 746 sq km and a shoreline of over 640 km.

Contrary to the trend in previous years, sufficient number of migratory birds are yet to descend on the reservoir this time.

Only a few migratory birds have come down to the HDR in the third week of this month much to the dismay of wildlife officials and bird lovers.

As per reports, over 21,000 migratory birds of about 27 varieties had flown into HDR last year whereas only a few birds of at least two varieties have reportedly been seen till date during the current year.

Nearly 20-25 species of birds are seen in the reservoir and common among them are Common Pochard, Red Crusted Pochard, Great Duck Bill, Spot Bill (Grey Duck), Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Pond Heron, Painted Stork, Whiskered Tern, Indian River Tern, Gadwall and Red Wattled Lapwing and Black Winged Stilt.

Normally, the winged guests ensconce in Zero Point in Burla, Pitapali, Rampela, Budakanta, Launch Station, Balbaspur in Sambalpur district, Ubuda, Marang, Bhatlikanta, Desar, Ganakhulia, Unneishkhanda Mauza in Jharsuguda and Tamdei Rengali, Govindpur, Barduma in Ambhabhona block of Bargarh district.

On the declining trend, Assistant Conservator of Forest (wildlife) Samir Mitra said the cold is yet to completely set in the region which might be one of the reasons behind the delay.

More and more birds are likely to descend on the reservoir in the next 15 to 20 days, he added.

November 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

Will industries suck Hirakud dry?; Report by expressbuzz

Following report is from

SAMBALPUR: Will Hirakud dam dry up? With a number of power plants coming up in the upstream along the Mahanadi river in Chhattisgarh, water wars between Orissa and Chhattisgarh may become a reality. The Orissa Government seems to be unmindful of the way the thermal power plants, which would be mainly depending on the Mahanadi river, are coming up. And if that happens, thousands of acres of land in Orissa will become barren throwing up a host of other problems.

Using Hirakud dam for controlling flood will become a thing of the past.If reports are to be believed, work on many thermal power plants is underway and many are in the pipeline in Raigarh, Jangjir and Champa districts in Chhattisgarh. Most of these plants in their project reports have made it clear that they would be drawing water from the Mahanadi river. And if these projects are approved, it will not take long when water will stop flowing into Hirakud dam reservoir, making it useless.

NTPC is coming up with a 4,000 MW thermal power plant, AES Chhattisgarh projects will set up 1,440 MW plant, Green Infrastructure (1,200 MW unit), Wardha Power Company (3,600 MW plant), Essar Power Chhattisgarh Limited, SKS Ispat and Power have proposals (1,200 MW plant each), Jindal India Thermal Power (1,320 MW), Visa Power (1,200 MW plant), Patni Power Project and Mahavir Global Coal (540 MW plant each). All these projects are located in villages across Raigarh district and are at various stages of commissioning. Similarly, DB Power and Videocon Industries has proposed to generate 1,320 MW thermal power while Ispat Industries, GMR Energies, Athena Chhattisgarh Power, Chambal Infrastructure Ventures and Jain Energy have proposal to produce 1,200 MW of thermal power each.

This apart, Bhusan Power and Steel proposes to generate 1,000 MW, Sona Power, Ind Barath, Suryachakra Power Corporation and Korba West Power Company have proposed to generate 600 MW thermal power each and BEC Power has submitted a proposal to produce 500 MW of thermal power.

November 28, 2010 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

Proposal to use the Rourkela steel plant and Jharsuguda airstrip

Following is a report from

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 22: A private airline today submitted a proposal to the state government to start a daily air service between Rourkela and Calcutta. The company initially proposes to operate an 18-seater aircraft.

The company, which has done a preliminary survey, intends to use the airstrip of Rourkela steel plant but it has urged the government to provide another 64 acres to develop the airstrip. In the second phase, it plans to start anther flight from Rourkela to Bhubaneswar via Jharsuguda. The proposal is under consideration, said sources. Representatives of the airline met the chief secretary Bijay Patnaik and submitted their proposal today.

In a separate development today, the single-window clearance committee of the state government, cleared five proposals worth Rs 1,340 crore. Industries secretary T. Ramchandru said that Orissa-based Konark Kranti Energy would set up a petroleum complex at Paradip and a petroleum storage facility at Dhamra port. “The company will invest Rs 300 crore,” he said.

Britania Industries Limited would also set up a plant at Khurda with an investment of Rs 51 crore.

Around 700 people will be employed by the firm. Everest Industry would set up a corrugated asbestos plant at Somanthpur in Balasore with an investment of Rs 69 crore, Chariot Steel and Power would expand its cement plant at Sundergarh and invest Rs 320 crore while Nababharat Ventures Limited would set up a power plant with an investment of Rs 600 crore, he added.

November 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

Centre includes eight KBK districts in Integrated Action Plan(IAP)

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The Union Cabinet on Friday approved an Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for development of 35 Maoist-affected districts across the country, including five in Odisha.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved commencement of the IAP for Selected Tribal and Backward Districts to cover the identified 60 districts as an Additional Central Assistance (ACA) scheme on 100 per cent grant basis. This is in pursuance of the Union Finance Minister’s announcement in his Budget speech of 2010-11 and the Prime Minister’s address to the National Development Council on July 24, 2010.

The scheme will be implemented over two years — 2010-11 and 2011-12 with several components: The existing KBK plan under BRGF will continue as before with annual allocation of Rs 130 crore for all eight districts put together. The eight KBK districts have also been included in the IAP and will get an additional block grant of Rs 25 crore each in the current year and suitable additional amount under both State and district components of the IAP in the subsequent years.

November 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

New drinking water project for Balangir

Following report is from

Balangir, Nov. 19: The state government has initiated the process to have a second drinking water project for Balangir town that has been facing acute drinking water shortage throughout the year. Minister for planning and coordination Ananga Udaya Singhdeo is personallymonitoring the proposed scheme.

The new project would make provisions for drawing water from Tel river, 30km from Balangir.

The project includes creation of underground water reservoirs and overhead water tanks in several localities of the town including Hatpadapada and Malpada.

Bhakta Kavi Das, executive engineer of Balangir PHD division, said that the project, which was estimated to cost Rs 55 crore, would help solve water problems of the town. “Since water will be drawn from the perennial river Tel unlike Mahanadi, there will be no scarcity of water even in the summer months,” Das said.

Das said that the project would take at least three years to complete. “Ductile iron pipe will be used instead of concrete ones which will minimise leakage. In the second stage of the project, five overhead tanks will be constructed for better distribution of water in the town,” he said.

“At present, about 10 manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) water is supplied to the town which is sufficient. But the distribution is unequal as some areas don’t have enough pipe connections,” he added.

According to government sources, 9.62 MLD water is supplied to the town. Only 3,527 households have been connected to the supply network.

The town has an additional 298 public taps and 427 government tube wells. PHD officials maintain that with a supply capacity of 9.62 MLD, it is able to provide 100 litres per capita per day (LPCD) to its consumers.

However, local residents disagreed with the authorities’ claims. “Pipe water comes once or twice in a week and that too for just an hour or so. They don’t stick to a fixed time for a particular area,” Sarat Mishra, a local resident said.

At presently, pipe water is being supplied to the town from Mahanadi near Sonepur, 50km from Balangir.

Pramod Mishra of the United Action Committee, a local organisation, said that the new project would not solve the drinking water problem as it is no different from the existing project.

“Efforts should be made to revive the old pond system,” Mishra said.

November 20, 2010 at 8:10 pm Leave a comment

Gangadhar Meher College, Sambalpur to get unitary varsity status

Following is a report from the

BERHAMPUR: The State Government has decided to elevate Khallikote Autonomous College here and Gangadhar Meher College at Sambalpur to unitary university status, said Higher Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra here today.

A government appointed task force on higher education reforms had suggested upgrading these two premier autonomous colleges to university status, the Minister said while addressing a function of the Students’ Union of Khallikote College.

Mishra however stressed the need to develop necessary infrastructure facilities before the second oldest college of the State was declared a unitary university.

While at least 50 acre was required, Khallikote Autonomous College had only 16.74 acres of land in its possession.

“There is a proposal to get another 2.50 acres from transport departments garage adjoining the college”, he said.

The Minister asked the local MLAs to locate another 50 acres in the town for the college’s expansion. He also assured the students to fill up the vacant posts soon. Around 50 out of 90 posts of teaching staff are vacant in the 132-yearold college, where over 3,600 students are pursuing studies in 19 different departments, 15 of them having post-graduate departments.

The proposal for a foot bridge from KKC to Junior college is under consideration and funds have been released for renovation of Jhansirani ladies hostel, Swami Vivekananda boys hostel of the college.

Among others, Berhampur MP Sidhant Mohapatra, MLAs EC Choupatnaik, P Panigrahy, BMC Mayor SS Dash and BDA chairman Kailash Rana spoke.

November 20, 2010 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

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