Thursday, September 18, 2008

Better connectivity - to Kandhamal & KBK districts

Dear Mr. Chief Minister and MPs of Orissa:

In light of the recent sad events in Kandhamal and earlier Maoist massacres in Malkangiri and Nayagarh, may I request you again, to go for the long term solutions to problems in Kandhamal and KBK districts? By this I refer to CONNECTIVITY, both physical (Road & Railways) and via Internet/Cell phone.

Imagine if you could get instant info via internet and CRP from BBSR reached Kandhamal in 3 hours via Khurda - Bolangir Railway? Or via Road in 2 hours via Ranchi - Vijaywada National Highway from Angul?

Proper connectivity to these places would create the foundation of a long term solution to the problems of deprivation and access.
May I suggest that the NREGA funds may be used in this regard, to create the permanent resources? When we met Sri Kalyan Jena, the first Oriya Chairman of Railway Board, he was in fact pleading for it.

In that regard, may we request you to please pursue the following:

(i) Push for the faster implementation of the Vijaywada - Ranchi highway that passes through these areas.

(ii) Push for widespread availability of broadband Internet connectivity in these districts. Today's, The Telegraph, states that GOI(Govt of India) has directed VSNL to install 8000 towers this year and 11000 next year for full rural connectivity of Broad Band and Cell phones to all villages with population of 1000 and above.

Would you kindly Sir, first make the concerned DMs aware and active, and then find time in your next visit to New Delhi to talk to the Union communication minister A. Raja and tell him that Orissa administration & you are ready & prepared for related action?

(iii) Push for the completion of the various rail corridors in these areas, in particular:

(a) Khurda- Nayagarh - Balangir

(b) Lanjigarh Rd - Junagarh - Nabarangpur - Jeypore - Malkangiri - Bhadrachalam Rd in Andhra Pradesh

(c) Lanjigarh Rd - Phulbani - Talcher

Thus connecting Kandhamala to Bhubaneswar via the Khurda-Balangir line and creating a shorter path from KBK to Bhubaneswar. Can you sir, not imagine, what will happen if Koraput to BBSR travel takes between 8 to 10 hours? I envision that the regionalism will disappear.
50 to 60 percent of Western and South Orissa people who have never visited Cuttack, Puri and Bhubaneswar, will be visiting them.
And the punishment posting of least efficient and delinquent officers to KBK, will also become, history of the past, because every one will be willing, if selected to GO.

Sandip K. Dasverma

A Special Note to Esteemed MPs of Orissa: M
ay I request all, our respected MPs, for once to go to the Railway minister, Lalu Jadav, with this one agenda & above demands. JUST ONCE, this year? You can come back to: a train stop here and a route extension there, again next year. For once, please please, make party 2nd and Orissa 1st - JUST ONCE.

PS: May I append, what a fellow NRO, Prof. Chitta Baral had written,
few months back, to justify the Indian Railway's action in connectivity, to rehash your memory?


A recent PTI news ( ) says that "All the railway projects in Bihar stipulating an investment of Rs 52,000 crore, would be completed by 2011,+ Girish Bhatnagar, General Manager of East Central Railway (ECR) said."

We have been urging the chief minister and the MPs to make the case that all the Orissa projects should also be finished by the end of the 11th plan; but to no avail.

The irony is that to finish the scheduled Orissa projects, no extra money is needed. It is estimated that Indian Railway will make about 2,800 crore/year profit from Orissa which in 5 years will be 14,000 crores. ( )

That is more than enough for the completion of the following projects:

(i) Khurda Rd - Nayagarh - Balangir (1000 crores taking into account inflation)
(ii) Lanjigarh Rd - Junagarh - Nabrangpur - Jeypore - Malkangiri - Bhadrachalam Rd (1500 crores)
(iii) Raygada - Gopalpur (1000 crores)
(iv) Gunupur - Theruvali (400 crores)
(v) Talcher - Bimlagarh (1000 crores
taking into account inflation)
(vi) Baripada/Buramara - Chakulia (400 crores)

The above adds up to only 5300 crores.

So if Bihar can aim and achieve the spending of 52,000 crores by 2011, why can not Orissa just ask that profit from Orissa be put in Orissa for the duration of the 11th plan, especially when we are referring to connectivity to the most backward areas of the country (not just the state).

With 5300 out of 14000 spent in the above, and with the following lines done via PPP costing very little to the Railways (say about 1700 crores total)

(vii) Haridaspur - Paradeep
(viii) Angul - Sukinda
(ix) Bhadrakh - Dhamara
(x) Rupsa - Kirtania

Orissa will have another 7000 crores and it can target lines such as:

Puri-Konark (under survey - Est. cost 300 crores)
(xii) Phulbani-Berhampur (Under survey - Est. Cost 1000 crores)
(xiii) Talcher/Hindol Road -Gopalpur/Berhampur (Under survey - Est. Cost 1000 crores)
(xiv) Bargarh-Nawapara Road (Under survey - Est. Cost 800 crores)
(xv) Lanjigarh Rd - Phulbani - talcher (Est. cost 1000 crores)
(xvi) Lanjigarh Rd - Gopalpur (Est. cost 1000 crores)
(xvii) Khurda - Naraj circular Railway (Est. cost 400 crores)
(xviii) Barang - Astaranga port - Konark (Est. cost 1000 crores)