Posts filed under ‘Kalahandi-Nuapada’
Green energy corporation seeks land in Kalahandi, Balangir and Boudh districts for solar power projects
The Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Ltd (GEDCOL) has moved the State Government for allotment of land in Kalahandi, Balangir and Boudh districts for development of solar power projects.
The wholly-owned subsidiary of Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) has identified expanses of 500 acre each in Kalahandi and Balangir districts along with 300 acre at Manmunda in Boudh district for the projects that are to be developed on a PPP mode.
“The land in the three districts will have a potential to generate around 170 MW solar power. GDECOL will develop basic infrastructure and also facilitate power evacuation to the nearest grid for the solar plants to be put up by the private players. The detailed project report (DPR) will be prepared as soon as the land is earmarked and made available,” Managing Director of OHPC Sahadeb Khatua said at the Odisha Solar Conference organised by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) here on Friday.OHPC has also firmed up plans to utilise land at its disposal for setting up solar plants. While it has already defined around 700 acre of usable land, a 200-acre patch capable of generating 40 MW at Khatiguda in Kalahandi district has drawn priority.
Besides budding enterprises, many private institutions like hospitals and colleges are approaching GEDCOL for setting up rooftop solar projects, he added.
The GEDCOL is anchoring the ambitious project to bring all Government buildings in the Twin City under the rooftop solar energy project on a PPP mode. The initiative is projected to yield about 10 MW power.
“The Chief Secretary has directed all the department heads to hand over the rooftops for the project. The DPR is prepared by International Finance Corporation (IFC) and would be finalised by year-end,” Khatua said.
Odisha currently generates only around 18 MW solar power, though it has the potential for 14,000 MW. There is an urgent need to tap this energy source to bridge the increasing gap between demand and supply, Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray said.
Chairman of CESU BC Jena, OERC Member (technical) BK Mishra, TiE president JB Pany and secretary Debasish Patnaik spoke.
Bhubaneswar, Dec. 1: The House committee of the Assembly on railway, headed by Speaker Pradeep Amat, today met Union railway minister Dinesh Trivedi and urged him to allocate Rs 2,345 crore to take up expansion of the railway network in Odisha.
Odisha badly needs expansion of railway network to meet the demands posed by growing industrialisation.
“The railway minister listened to our demands and assured us to take up the issues,” Amat told reporters after the meeting inNew Delhi. The Odia MPs also accompanied the committee.
Sources said the committee asked the ministry to allocate money for the ongoing railway projects.
The committee has demanded Rs 60 crore for Lanjigarh-Junagarh railway project, Rs 350 crore for Khurda-Balangir project, Rs 300 crore for Haridaspur-Paradip, Rs 200 crore for Dubri-Angul-Sukinda, Rs 200 crore for Talcher and Rs 100 crore for Jaleswar and Digha railway project.
In the last rail budget, an allocation of Rs 1,168.02 crore had been made for Odisha as against its demand of Rs 2,085 crore for early completion of the projects.
The major ongoing railway projects include Khurda Road-Balangir (289km), Haridaspur-Pardip (82km), Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh (56km),Angul-Duburi-Sukinda Road(90km) and Talcher-Bimlagarh (154km).
To take up gauge conversion of the Nuapada-Gunpur project, Odisha demanded Rs 30 crore and Rs 20 crore for Rupsa and Bangiriposhi railway. The committee demanded Rs 50 crore for setting up model stations inBhubaneswarand Puri.
Sources said the committee asked the ministry to run at least 20 new trains and extend the frequency of 16 trains. The committee put focus on extension of its railway network in western Odisha.
“We have urged the railway authorities to put focus on expanding the railway network in the Maoist-affected districts,” said committee members.
The committee members also informed the minister that Odisha was earning a revenue of nearly Rs 7,500 crore per annum. However, the railway has network of 2,500km in the state.
Kosal Kranti Dal (KKD) secretary general Baidyanath Mishra on Wednesday targeted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as being Bhubaneswar-centric and not at all caring for western Odisha. He said that wester Odisha was not a priority for the CM.
Mishra told reporters here that the progress of work on the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) at Rourkela is still sluggish even eight long years after its foundation. A couple of months back, local MLA and Minister Sarada Prasad Nayak had promised for commencement of the BPUT construction work, but it has been stopped without rhyme or reason, Mishra said.
The BPUT, which is managing more than 150 professional colleges, only has a makeshift office at the UGIE that has become a dumping yard of sacks and trunks of examination paper. The vice-chancellor and a finance officer, along with some junior executives, are running the show.
The university land in the Chhend area is gradually encroached upon by unauthorised persons as there is none to protect the land, Mishra pointed out.
So, he said, an early review of the BPUT’s progress by the Chief Minister is required so that appropriate steps are taken before its head office is finally shifted to Bhubaneswar much to “the delight of a Bhubaneswar-centric Chief Minister,” Mishra said.
On the Western Odisha Development Council; (WODC)-sponsored medical college and hospital, he urged the Government to take steps for getting the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) nod to a hi-tech medical college at Rourkela so that local aspirant students can take admission in MBBS and BDS courses. He also urged the Government to spell out the actual percentage of seat reservation made for the students of western Odisha nativity.
Mishra said Rourkela is deprived of the Commissionerate-II of the Central Excise for the last 14 years. Like the WODC headquarters in Bhubaneswar, some vested interests in the State capital are trying their best to retain this Commissionerate-II office in Bhubaneswar though the July 22, 1997 notification made it clear that the headquarters of the Bhubaneswar-II Commissionerate would be shifted to Rourkela as its jurisdiction is western Odisha.
If these demands are not heeded by the Government, the KKD would have no other option than to launch agitation, he threatened.
Mishra also demanded passenger air line facility for Jharsuguda and Rourkela and an ESIC Medical College in Sundargarh district. He said the State Government should demand another rail coach factory to be set up at Narla, Kalahandi, as promised by former Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee. This was hijacked by Naveen Patnaik elsewhere. Similarly, the Government must take early steps to start a medical college at Balangir at its own initiative.
Mishra said that from July 8 to15 a fact-finding team of the KKD would be touring various parts of western Odisha. Among others, KKD working president Sagar Singh Manki, Rourkela unit president Rama Chandra Amat and founder-member Surama Mishra were present at the news conference.
Following are some recent reports on this issue:
The railway authorities after inspecting number of places in KBK districts and not finding them suitable have identified Santipalli at Berhampur in Ganjam district to set up the proposed rail wagon factory.
According to sources, a rail wagon factory is to be set up in KBK districts of Odisha as per the 2010-2011 Railway Budget. Accordingly, the railway authorities visited Kalahandi, Kesinga, Narla Road, Lanjigarh Road, and Bhawanipatna Railway Station area to find out 100 acres of land adjacent to the rail track and submit a feasible report to the Government of Odisha for acquisition of land. However, the railway administration could not find a suitable place for the purpose and moved to coastal districts for feasible locations for wagon factory.
The Ganjam district administration and rail officers made a joint inspection in the district and found a place at Santipalli near Jagannathpur Railway Station of Berhampur. The State Government has approved to provide the 100 acre of land at Santipalli and the proposal has been sent to Railway Ministry, for their final consent for further plan of action. The project would be taken up in public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
Contributor: Kailash Tudu
“Dongria Kondh Community want development and mining from Niyamgiri will bring a lot socio-economic development opportunity for the tribals,” says Jitu Jakasika, one of the few English Speaking youths in the Kondh Community. However, few days before, He was well known for his hardcore and stiff opposition for Vedanta and its mining project.
He had visited almost all Dongria Kondh villages to organize people to oppose the mining plan. Continuous feeding of misleading facts and systematic brainwash made him to believe that industrialization and development would dilute the originality and culture of Dongria Kondh tribe. He left his education mid-way to join activists and vehemently opposed industrialization and associated development in the locality.
However, one incident opened eyes of Jitu. He was in Bada Denguni village to organize people against industrialization. The village has no motorable road. A pregnant lady suddenly became critical and was required to be taken to the hospital. However, in absence of any ambulance or vehicle, she was portered to the hospital. Jitu was also with her. On the way, she delivered a baby, who died just after birth. Jitu was shocked by the incident. At that time, the lady told Jitu that due to opposition to industrialization and development linked with it, her child died. If he would not have opposed industry and development work carried out by it, there would have been motorable road to the village and she could have gone to hospital in time. “This was a great learning for me. It forced me to think, whether I am doing the right things by blocking development,” said Jitu Jakasika.
He explored more on industry and development. He visited other industrial sites in the locality and mainly the ongoing bauxite mining sites. He saw for himself that neither Bauxite mining is ecologically hostile, nor it dries the spring and underground water. He also realized that ‘industrialization and development do not dilute tribal culture or lifestyle’.
“We did not want mining at Niyamgiri. We were misguided by different NGOs and groups,’ admits Jitu. He reveals that different NGOs from different countries and political parties, who are working only to fulfill their interests, were claiming that Vedanta’s mining at Niyamgiri would destroy the hill and would adversely affect the environment of the area and the lives of the tribals. Of late, he realized that all these were false claims which were intended to instigate the poor and ignorant tribals against Vedanta. They never want the development of the Dongria Kondhs.
Now, He has stopped to help the outsiders who campaign against industrialization and development of tribal children. After seeing the social development initiatives of Vedanta in periphery villages, he was convinced that development through industrialization can bring development for Dongria kondh people by providing them basic services like, health, education, infrastructure and sustainable livelihood. “I always wanted development of Dongria Kondh community and I believe industrialization can bring rapid development for tribal people,” says Jitu.
He also expressed his desired to resume his studies, so that he could know the mainstream world better and work for development of his community. Vedanta Aluminium Limited, under its Scholarship program provided support for his education. Jitu, a dongria kondh tribe, is now studying at a reputed management college at Bhubaneswar in Bachelor of Business Admission (BBA) program. In holidays, he comes to his villages and encourages fellow community members for education and other development initiatives. He is now playing a key role in facilitating education of tribal children from his villages in formal schooling and Colleges. To him “education alone can remove superstition, reduce vulnerability to contamination and can bring empowerment and in turn development”.
Vedanta’s venture into the aluminium sector of Orissa with signing MoU for an alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi and an aluminium smelter at Jharsuguda was an important event in the aluminium industry of the State. After 25 years, Vedanta set up the first Refinery in the state, which is having more than 55% of India’s Bauxite. And also, Vedanta is the only company that has rolled in its project in Orissa as per its agreement with the State Government and has already started its production partially from its Lanjigarh refinery. The company, which has placed itself in a significant position in the global aluminium industry, is very well concerned towards carrying out its Corporate Social Responsibility and has taken up several initiatives with the aim to bring qualitative improvement in the lives of the community surrounding its plant. VAL has expressed and reiterated its commitment towards socio-economic transformation has now reached ‘the society at large’. And fortunately, the particular society, to which it aimed to transform, has now realized the real intention and motive of Vedanta and has now accepted it. This is very much evident from the positive vibes coming from the statements of some tribal leaders including Jitu.