Instead of being the
richest state in terms of mineral deposits, enormous fertile farming
land, water abundance, huge man power, vast international coast
line, centuries old rich cultural heritage, surplus underground coal
and petroleum deposit, Orissa could not be properly utilized for
years together. Out of sixty years of independence merely ten years
were adequately governed instate and intellectually represented at
centre. For the rest fifty years our economy was in bedridden,
unconscious, as if in "coma". Fault can be credited to the lack of
proper governance and inadequate & insufficient planning.
Only during the tenures of
a great technocrat and industrial architect Sir Biju Pattanaik and
his son Sri Naveen Pattanaik as chief ministers, that the state has
received & is receiving a royal treatment. Hats of to the two most
handsome chief ministers of Orissa, the father son duo. Father
gifted Orissa a steel plant at Rourkela ( benefiting 10 lakh people
and livelihood), Paradeep Phosphate limited - PPL, ALCO, HAL, REC,
Nandankanan and many more. On the other hand the son gifted Orissa
with 1,37,00,000 crores of foreign investment, 17 steel plants, 4
sea ports ( Dhamara, Gopalpur, Kirtania, New Paradeep ) and so many
If we look back to find
out why the same couldn't happen during other governments, probably
here goes some of the facts and figures. Broadly visualizing the
scenario, Orissa was treated like a step son of central government
because of the insufficient governance at the state and ignorant MPs
representing us at the centre, We lost 50 golden years. Orissa is
now crowned as the third richest state of investment in India, the
most favorite destination of industrialists, Excellent at progress
report and thus a front runner among smart states. This couldn't
happen for the rest 50 years, else Orissa could have been better
than with Germany or Japan. The sharp edge injuries of political
negligence, improper planning and lack of intelligent MPs at centre
has certainly manhandled Orissa for 50 years. Looking at the facts
of impact at a glance :
---- > Extreme negligence
by South Eastern Railways paralyzed Orissa and revenue was looted
from Orissa by other states.
---- > Ever seen the net
like woven rail network in UP, Bihar and West Bengal. And in Orissa
there is only two links ( Howrah - Bombay and Howrah - Madras ),
that too non-electrocuted for decades.
---- > Western Orissa was
kept like an Orphan for years. Never ever been taken care off by any
Govt. The serious blunder which earlier governments have done may
still take time for the recent govt. to compensate.
---- > Orissa Govt. was
loosing 3600 crores per year of revenue to the hands of West Bengal
Govt. due to mineral ore transportation via Haldia Port. Ores and
minerals were looted from Orissa thru following five feeder rail
links to Haldia port thru howrah - Bombay main line. These would
have been the major vital revenue generating rail links for govt. of
Orissa. Haldia port trust was doing major business with goods and
ores from Orisa and our Govt. were sitting ducks. The five feeder
links looting Orissa were
1. Rajakharasuan - Barbil
2. Bandhamunda - Raxi rail
3. Tata - Badam pahada
4. Rajakharasuan -
Bansapani rail link
5. Tata - Goru mahisani
Imagine these 5 railway
link lines were like 5 fingers of a hand that was put inside
Orissa's pot and stealing sweets for years. These railway links were
doing the same, looting our ores and minerals to a port in another
state thus our state loosing export duties and customs worth of 3600
crores per year. Our Governments were sitting like ducks.
---- > MP Sri. Anant Nayak
was the first person to raise an alarm on this issue in Parliament.
In 1973 Sir Biju Pattanaik planned to rail link Bansapani with
Jakhapura to reach Paradeep Port. During 1993-94 Railway minister
Kanhu Charan Lenka executed the project and it got completed with
the catalytic efforts of Sri. Naveen Pattanaik with a green signal
from Railway minister Sri. Lalu Prasad Yadav ( Of course with
another holy intension of connecting Bihar with Puri dham in a
shortest possible rail link) followed by extension of several trains
to Puri. Thus our main objective was partially achieved. Other
potential revenue generating rail links like Bimalagarh - Talcher,
Keonjhar - Badam Pahar, Keonjhar - Barsuan is still to be
constructed and prioritized.
---- > In Howrah - Madras
coast line Vijayanagaram - Kharagpur section that covers whole of
Orissa was deliberately ignored till 1993. All trains have to run on
diesel engines in this section inside Orissa and rest part of
eastern railway was electrocuted. This was like an insult to Orissa.
In 1993 then railway minister Sri. Kanhu charan Lenka under guidance
and supervision of his majesty Sir. Biju Pattanaik planned and
started Electric - traction work and completed the same in 2005.
---- > Mines were leased
not to Industries, rather to relatives and cousins of ministers with
complete leverage over tax and royalty. thus our state loosing a
huge amount of revenue from mining.
---- > Paradeep Port was
intentionally not connected to any of the mines or Industries in
Orissa, to ensure Orissa govt. loose the custom export duties.
Recently it got connected to Howrah - Madras main line ( after 30
years of the port been built )
---- > Internal rail links
were neither connecting major cities of Orissa to each other nor to
our only port Paradeep.
---- > Major city railway
station were maintained like "C" grade stations due to lack of
funding. Bhubaneswar being the capitol of Orissa, was having only 3
medium sized platforms, underdeveloped comparative to any rail
junctions in AP or WB.
---- > Our MPs were
neither sincere nor regular to Parliament. If few of them went to
parliament they were sitting at far corners and sleeping for times.
Back home they were kept ignorant of all these and were even in some
cases told by party state head office not to raise such issues in
Parliament. Even some MPs were unable to read and analyze the
railway time table and map.
---- > Due to lack of
proper rail line network inside Orissa, each day around 20 to 25
thousand heavy vehicles were running thru the state. Result was high
risk to citizens and terrible condition of highways.
---- > Jagannath Dham,
puri one of the most popular hub of world cultural heritage was not
properly connected with other parts of India with rail and road
lines. 20 pairs of trains run to puri on a daily basis, but
surprisingly on a single line. Puri railway station lacks sufficient
platforms, passenger amenities and even a central terminal facility.
On the contrary Tirupati railway station is well connected to
Chennai, Gudur, Hyderabad, Bangalore. As like Tirupati, Puttaparthy
& Madurai, Puri neither has a helipad nor airport. Thanks to Naveen
Pattanaik government at least that due to his repeated efforts POSCO
is going to construct Puri - Konark - Paradeep rail line for 100
---- > Places of tourist
importance like Udayagiri, Ratnagiri, Lalitagiri and thousands
others were neglected to the core. Should have been procured like
tourist hubs with well connected road and rail links, entangled with
tourist resorts, amenities and security provisions. Rather these
places were kept abundant and thus lost their heritage.
---- > Talking about
education and IT, Orissa was having a mere three Govt. engineering
colleges only out of which only REC was a bit well at infrastructure
and standard at education and good at placements. This reasoned to
absence of Oriya engineers in IT world. Thanks at least to the
recent government for liberalizing technical and professional
education which resulted in formation of private colleges like KIIT,
NIST, RIT and many more. The result is amazing
1. Now in every software
industries 10 to 15 percent are Oriyans.
2. Every tenth person
coming out with a smile from Visa consulate is an Oriya.
3. Every 20th sale of a
flight ticket for inland or to abroad journey is by an Oriyan.
4. Huge inflow of foreign
currency streams in side Orissa.
5. Out side Orissa, every
50th owner of a flat in a pos apartment is an Oriya.
So on so forth ……Thanks to
the recent liberalization policy of recent government. IT companies
can also be established in Orissa as the state possesses all the
eligible criterion for nurturing an IT hub. Govt. Representatives
and experts should be sent across to other IT cities of India like
Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Noida to learn IT governance and
Wish if Orissa government
can also put an attention over the following points.
1. While preparing for any
project plans Orissa govt. should consult all researchers in the
relevant line, Experts, Retired chief engineers, directors of major
engineering colleges, bureaucrats, Eminent personalities like Dr.
2. Central representatives
for the state shouldn't be chosen on the scales of political
influence, rather should be chosen on the merits of relevant
expertise and technical proficiency. Technocrats, bravos of
different communities. They should also be well fed by state experts
in the same disciplines.
3. All govt. ministers and
high ranked employees should have proper Email Ids and should be
instantly accessible to Emails.