Posts filed under ‘Industries and mineral resources’

Revival of ancient pond culture may solve the water problem in western Odisha

Following report is from the Samaja:


May 3, 2012 at 7:25 am Leave a comment

Water, water…nowhere: another water project to quench Balangir thirst

Following report is from the Telegraph:

Balangir, May 2:Water scarcity in this town will soon be a thing of the past with the state government inviting tenders for a second pipe water project.

After members of the Balangir Action Committee, an organisation of civil society in the town, launched a scathing attack on the state government over the erratic pipe water supply and said they would launch an agitation, former minister and local MLA Ananag Udaya Singhdeo came up with the news that tenders had been invited for the new water project for Balangir.

Singhdeo said: “The government was aware about the acute water problem here. We have initiated plan for a second project to address the perennial water problem of the town. We have already invited tenders of Rs 55 crore for the project.”

Executive engineer of the Balangir public health division Bhakta Kavi Das said: “The project estimated to cost about Rs 55 crore will permanently solve the water woes of Balangir. Since water will be drawn from the Tel river near Tarabha, which is a perennial source of water unlike the Mahanadi, there will be no scarcity of water even in summer.”

Das said the project got the technical sanction of the government a couple of months ago.

“Ductile iron pipes will be used instead of concrete ones. This will minimise leakage. Even if there are leakages, they could be easily repaired unlike in the case of concrete pipes. In the second stage, some five overhead tanks will be constructed for better distribution of water in the town,” he said.

Balangir with a population of more than one lakh often reels from acute water scarcity because the existing pipe water project that supplies water to the town from the Mahanadi river in Sonepur, about 50km away from here, hardly serves the purpose. In summer, the problem becomes even more acute.

Sukanta Pani, a local resident, said: “The existing pipe water supply from the Mahanadi in Sonepur is not viable for Balangir. The water supply to the town often breaks down because of problems such as technical snags and natural calamities such as floods. Last year, the town residents had gone without pipe water for 21 days because of the flood in the Mahanadi river that had submerged the intake well and other machineries such as motor pumps and transformers. This year, with the onset of summer the water problem has already compounded. Water supply has been very erratic. Today, after six days, we got pipe water.”

Pani said that a second water project was needed in Balangir. “It is good to know that government has already invited tenders for the new project,” he said.

May 3, 2012 at 1:44 am Leave a comment

Uranium deposits in Jhanj mountain near Ghess, Bargarh

Following is a report from the Sambad:


February 22, 2012 at 5:31 am 1 comment

SAIL to invest on modernization of Rourkela steel plant

Following is a report from TOI:

ROURKELA: The Steel Authority of India Ltd, which is at present on a major expansion and modernization drive, has a long term plan to take its production capacity to 60 million tonne by 2020, said its chairman C S Verma, while talking to the media on Friday last.

“Rourkela Steel Plant is one of the major units to be covered in this modernization package. About Rs 12,000 crore would be spent on RSP modernization alone, with a target to take its production capacity of hot metal to as high as 4.5 million tonne from its existing capacity of 2 million tonne,” Verma said. “Various modernization projects of the Rourkela Steel Plant are on the verge of completion, as the sinter plant III and the new OBBP (ore bedding and Blending Plant) units will be commissioned in the next two months, and the blast furnace V will come up by June 2012,” Verma added.

Verma, who is here on a two-day visit, appeared evidently optimistic about the future of the steel market, and also ruled out the possibility of any adverse market scenario for the steel industry at present. “Despite the global economic slowdown, there is still a big gap between the global average steel consumption and the per capita steel consumption in India, which is bound to go up in near future,” Verma said.

“The per capita steel consumption in India is as low as 55 kg only against the world average of about 225 kg,” Verma said, adding, in rural areas, it is as low as consumption 10 kg only.

“Considering the large gap in the supply and demand of steel in the Indian market, overseas steel majors like Posco and Mittal are making a beeline to set up their unit here in India,” Verma added.

Giving details about the present expansion and modernization drive of SAIL, Verma said, “The modernization work of various units of SAIL has been going on in full swing with placement of orders for about Rs 56,000 crore out of total amount Rs 72,000 crore estimated to be spent on this account.”

“An estimated Rs 10,500 crore has been spent for strengthening our mines and the raw material dispatch system, and modernizing various facilities in different mining units,” Verma said.

“Besides, SAIL has tied up with the Indonesian government to set up a mine there and couple of mines in some other countries, which will materialize in a year or two,” Verma added.

Regarding SAIL’s interest in taking over Odisha’s Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd. (NINL), Verma said, “SAIL is quite keen on taking over NINL and discussion is on with them and at the government level to take over this unit. If everything goes well, SAIL will be happy to take over this unit.”

January 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment

Pollution whip on sponge units: The Telegraph

Following report is from

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 21: The Orissa State Pollution Control Board has asked 26 of the total 109 sponge units in the state to cut down production to reduce pollution levels in the sponge iron plants.

Sources said the units had been asked to scale down production for failing to stick to the bag filter size prescribed by the pollution control board on the recommendations of IIT, Kharagpur.

Bag filters are meant to filter the ash generated by burning of coal in these units to keep the environment clean.

The Orissa government is keen on reducing the pollution levels in sponge iron plants, which are considered among the most polluting industries in the world.

The units are located in Sundergarh, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Cuttack and Mayubrhanj districts.

This is not the first time the pollution control board has cracked its whip on the erring sponge units. In June, it had served showcause notices to 68 of these units. Six had also been shut down.

Member-secretary of the board Siddhant Das said the IIT, Kharagpur was commissioned to make a study on the pollution control requirements in the sponge iron plants in 2009 when the number of units in the state was 104. The organisation had recommended filter bag capacity for each unit, but some of them complied.

Since ash generation in these units had gone up owing to use of the poor quality coal, air quality in and around these plants was bound to be affected significantly unless the plants used filters of the required size as prescribed by the expert body.

Bulk of coal produced in Orissa was of F and G grade, which has high ash content. Sources said the ash generation was almost to the tune of 50 per cent, when this coal was used in the plants.

In June, showcause notices were issued to 68 sponge iron units for failing to meet the pollution control norms. “Forty two of these have since complied with the norms and enhanced the capacity of their bag filters,” said Das, adding that the board was keen to ensure that the remaining 26 also fell in line.

Orissa is one of the largest producers of sponge iron in the country with plants operating in six big clusters. As a consequence, it also bears the brunt of environmental pollution caused by this industry.

September 22, 2011 at 6:41 am Leave a comment

House committee recommends scrapping of Sindol project

Following report is from

A house committee of the state legislative assembly constituted to take stock of the ground realities of the controversial 320 MW Sindol hydro power project has recommended scrapping of the project.

“We have placed our views relating to the Sindol project before the house committee. Our views reflect the views of the people affected by the project. The house committee has recommended scrapping of the project,” said BJD MLA and one of the committee members, Padmanav Behera.

The speaker of the legislative assembly and the committee chairman Pradeep Amat, however, declined to comment on the matter.

“The committee’s decision will be known after we place our report in the assembly,” Amat told reporters after the committee’s meeting.

Prasanna Acharya, minister for health and family welfare, who is also a member of the committee said, “We have communicated the opinion of the project affected people in the meeting. I share the same view on the Sindol project with the people of my region. The Naveen Patnaik government will never go against the public opinion on any project.”

Commenting on the absence of Congress and BJP MLAs, he said, “There is no justification in boycotting the meeting of the house committee. The absence of the Opposition MLAs can only be construed as politically motivated.”

The house committee on the controversial Sindol project was constituted after the assembly witnessed a stormy adjournment session in the monsoon session that ended on August 27.

The Opposition Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan had demanded scrapping of the MoU signed with National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) on the project.

The state energy minister Atanu Sabsysachi Nayak had maintained earlier that there was no question of going ahead with the project without the consent of the project affected people.

The Sindol project was to affect 43,461 people belonging to 798 families in 60 villages.

NHPC Ltd (formerly National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) and the Orissa government owned Orissa Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) had recently signed an MoU to jointly implement three hydel power projects in the state at an estimated cost of Rs 2,600 crore.

The three hydel power projects- Sindol-I (100 MW), Sindol-II (100 MW) and Sindol-III (120 MW) having a total capacity of 320 MW are expected to be commissioned in 4-5 years. All the three hydel power projects will come up onMahanadiriver.

Following is another report from the Sambad:

September 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment

Single window okays industrial units in Atabira and Jharsuguda

This report is from

BHUBANESWAR: The single window committee (SWC) on Friday approved proposals for four industrial units, two of them power plants, with an investment of Rs 1,286.61 crore.

While considering the proposals for power plants, the Chief Secretary has directed Industries Department to motivate the concerned industries to set up cement plants as additional units so that the fly-ash produced by the power plants can be utilised as raw material and its possible affect on environment can be minimised.

The proposal of M/S Beverages Private Limited to set up a soft drink beverages unit with capacity of one lakh crates per annum at Atabira in Bargarh district with an investment of Rs 59.61 crore was approved in the meeting.

Similarly, the proposal of M/S Essar Power Orissa Limited to set up 4×30 MW captive power plant in two phases at Paradip with an investment of ` 683 crore was also given the green signal.
It is expected that the project will provide employment opportunity to 200 persons.
The proposal submitted by Investa Ventures Limited for setting up a LED manufacturing plant and incubation park at Chandaka near Bhubaneswar with an estimated investment of Rs 190 crore was also approved.

The plant will produce energy saving LED electric bulbs and tubes and is expected to open employment opportunities for 470 persons.
Besides, the proposal of M/S Ultra Tech Cement Ltd for expansion of the existing cement grinding capacity from 1MTPA to 3 MTPA at Jharsuguda Cement Works and bulk terminal in Cuttack district with an investment of ` 354 crore has also got the approval of the committee.

However, it has been said that all these approvals are subject to detailed examination of land and other technicalities.

Development Commissioner RN Senapati, Chairman- cum-Managing Director of IDCO Priyabrata Patnaik along with Secretaries of Industry, Mining, Revenue and Disaster Management, Agriculture, Commerce and Transport, Works, Housing and Urban Development, Tourism and Culture, Energy and Member and Pollution Control Board were present.

September 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

Orissa government to hold public hearing on Sindol hydro-power project

Following is a report from ET:

BHUBANESWAR: Bowing to public pressure, the Orissa government has decided to conduct public hearings before launching the Rs 2,600 crore Sindol hydro power project, which has been facing stiff protest from the affected people and political parties including the ruling Biju Janata Dal. The public hearing will be held at three sites where barrages are proposed to be built.

The three sites of the project- Sindol-I (100 MW), Sindol-II (100 MW) and Sindol-III (120 MW) – are located in Sambalpur, Boudh and Sonepur districts. The Orissa Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) had on July 21 signed a MoU with NHPC Ltd for this project.

“We will take views of the local people before going ahead with the project,” state energy minister Atanu S Nayak told reporters here adding that the state government will ensure that the locals get the optimum benefit out of the project”.

The state government had been claiming that no one would be displaced or no agricultural land be submerged due to Sindol project. However, the locals do not trust the government and have come out openly against the project.

On Wednesday, the people in Sonepur observed a 12-hour bandh at the district headquarters opposing Sindol project.

The ruling BJD MLAs from the three districts have also expressed their concern over the state government’s action of signing MoU for Sindol project without reading public mind. Health minister Prasanna Acharya, food and supplies minister Niranjan Pujari and former minister and sitting Birmaharajpur MLA Padmanav Behera, have meanwhile expressed their displeasure over the state government’s action of going ahead with the controversial Sindol project without consulting the people’s representatives.

August 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm 1 comment

Sindhol Project: Shri Prasanna Acharya, Shri Niranjan Pujari and Shri Padmanav Behera demand “public hearing and guarantee on zero displacement”

Following is a report from the Sambad:

August 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

Proposed Sindhol hydro-electric projects opposed in western Odisha

Following report is from The Pioneer:


The decision of the State Government to construct the three-stage Sindhol hydro-electric project downstream of the Hirakud river to generate 320 mw of power, has evoked strong reaction among the common people, political parties, social organisation in the whole of western Odisha including Balangir, Sonepur, Boudh and Sambalpur.

Forming a joint company between the Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) and the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) an MoU was signed by the Government of Odisha, the OHPC and the NHPC in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday in Bhubaneswar.

A total of Rs 3000 crore would be invested for implementation of the first phase of Sindhol-I, Sindhol-II and Sindhol-III with an installed capacity of 320 MW.

The project envisages construction of a barrage on the Mahanadi to utilise the surplus water of the Hirakud reservoir for production of electricity. In the first phase, implementation of the Unit-I project will be accelerated. The barrage is 40 km away from village Deogaon and 90 km from Chipilima. The second unit is 30 km from village Kapasira and the third barrage will be at Godhaneswar, 40 km away.

The joint venture company will set up the project Sindhol-1(100MW) in Sambalpur Sindhol-II in Sonepur and Sindhol-III in Boudh district on the downstream of Mahanadi.

“The project will displace large number of people in the entire Kosalanchal region. In the past, people of this region rose in stiff opposition to the Manibhadra dam project which had to be shelved. This time also, people will oppose the Sindhol projects tooth and nail,” said Kohal Kranti Dal president Promod mihsra.

General secretary of the regional outfit’s Yuva Morcha Priyabata Sahu pointed out: “If the project is executed, it would submerge large areas of Birmahajpur and Sonepur in the Subarnapur district. According to a preliminary survey, in 1990, it would submerge 118 villages and 37,000 hectares of total land including reserve forests, village forests and residential areas in Sambalpur, Sonepur, Boudh and other parts in western Odisha.”

Similar reactions have come forth from Boudh too. “At least 30 villages under 8 gram panchayats of Kantamal constituency in Boudh district are going to be submerged besides large tracts of land including historical monuments,” said Congress leader Kanhei Dang. He expressed concern over the inevitable situation.

In Samablpur, the MoU also evoked sharp reactions among the people. The claim of the Government that there would be no displacement of people in the project areas is nothing but an eyewash, people say.

Meanwhile, former MP Bhavani Hota addressing mediapersons on Friday in Sambalpur observed that the Sindhol hydro power project is nothing new. Earlier it was known as stage III of Hirakud Dam. When the Government tried to construct a dam at Tikarpada and Manibhadra over the Mahanadi, it had to be shelved due to opposition from the entire western Odisha. The claim of generation of 320 mw power is also questionable, Hota said.

Former Balangir MP Balgopal Mishra said, “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is in the habit of neglecting and betraying the people of western Odisha. In 2003 he had assured that there would be no further construction over the Mahanadi. But by signing the agreement with NHPC and OHPC hurriedly without taking the people of this region into confidence, it proves that he has again betrayed the people of this western region.” Mishra called upon the people to resist this arbitrary and anti-people decision of the Government.

Even though the Government is going to construct the power projects at Degaon, Kapasira and at Godhaneshwar, the height of the dams has not been mentioned. The Government should clarify the position, said Rajnan Panda of Water Initiative Odisha (WIO).

WIO demanded total public consultation in the concerned areas before execution of the projects. Rather than going for big power projects, Government should go for other measures to provide assured irrigation to farmers from micro irrigation and other methods, Panda advised.

Meanwhile the All Koshal Students Union, in an emergency meeting here, threatened to launch an agitation demanding scrapping of this project, as they perceive this project as anti-people which would bring more disaster in practical terms to the people of this area than any development.

Here is another report from express buzz: Sindol project opens old wounds

BHUBANESWAR: The decision of the State Government to go ahead with the Sindol project has sparked strong protest from the Opposition political parties and people of Sambalpur, Boudh and Phulbani districts as it would submerge a large tract of land.

 This has also opened a very old issue with a potential for a long drawn-out agitation against the State Government having support cutting across party lines. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik won the Rairakhol byelection in 2003 by making an issue of it. Now, he has made a volte-face by allowing the project, former minister and senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra said.

 The State BJP unit also adopted a resolution in its just-concluded State Executive against the proposed project.  Though the Sindol project has been in discussion for the last 20 years, in the recent past the matter was raised during the campaign for the Rairakhol Assembly byelection in 2003.  Naveen and other BJD leaders had then maintained that the project was not under consideration anymore.

 But soon after winning the bypoll, the State Government again started the process for setting up the project.  The then BJD MLA from Rairakhol Sanatan Bisi had opposed it and even written a letter to then Energy minister Surjya Narayan Patro. Sources said Patro had also assured that there was no proposal to go ahead with the project. Even no detailed project report has been prepared so far.   Along with Hirakud Dam, there was a proposal to build a dam at Tikarpada on theMahanadiand a barrage at Naraj to control flood.  However, Tikarpada dam would have submerged Sonepur and Boudh towns and hence it never saw the light of the day. The Naraj barrage was constructed.

 During the ‘80s, proposal for Manibhadra dam was floated. The State Government again tried to revive the Sindol project in the name of Hirakud Stage-III. But the proposal never took a concrete shape due to strong opposition from the locals.

 According to available estimates, the project is likely to submerge more than 118 villages, including 30,000 acres of fertile agriculture land, reserved forests and homestead land.

July 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

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