Monday, May 14, 2007

Possibilities in Bringing Industries to KBK+ Region

Mining and Metal: KBK+ region is rich in bauxite, gemstone, and other minerals. State government has made a special tax benefit for industrialists to establish industries in KBK. However, it is not enough to bring investment to a backward region like this where infrastructure is in bottleneck. Emphasis should be given by the state government in such a way that industrialists are convienced to invest in KBK+ region.

State government has already signed 43 MOUs only in the steel sector; if these are actually implemented then it is quite enough for a state like Orissa. Therefore, now the state government should modify a bit the exiting rule for steel industry putting a new clause that any new proposal to establish steel industry in the state will be considered only if it would be located in KBK+ region or Mayurbhanj district, otherwise mining rights would not be provided.

For growth of down stream industries in KBK+ region NALCO, Vedanta Alumina Ltd, and Utkal Alumina Ltd should be encouraged to establish industrial park at Koraput, Bhawanipatan and Rayagada respectively.

Irrigation and Hydroelectric Project: KBK+ region has the higher potential for generating electricity through hydroelectricity project that needs construction of new dams. The state government should encourage private players to establish dam for hydroelectricity generation and irrigation purposes in this region.

Information Technology, BPO, and KPO: IT and BPO generate lots of employment in India recently. Bhubaneswar is already emerging as an IT and ITES destination in the country. In the next step the state government should expand these industries to other parts of the state. There are already plan for Rourkela, Berhampur. Keeping geographical location, distance and future growth of KBK* region in mind, the state government should establish at least three IT parks in Koraput, Bhawanipatna and Balangir for the whole region for IT, BPO and KPO. Establishment of three real universities as proposed earlier in the region would benefit these industries.

Biotechnology Park: As such KBK+ region has great potential for biotechnology, especially for agricultural biotechnology, herbal biotechnology and medicinal biotechnology. Plantation of herbal plants and agricultural biotechnology in this region would be much beneficial.

KBK+ region could be a very good source of ethanol from not only agriculture but also the forest. Mahul (a locally known forest flower that is used to make local wine) could be a good source for ethanol and methanol. Though wine is locally discouraged, nevertheless it can be used for industrial growth to export out side the country. The export market of Indian made wine and beer is flourishing recently. Orissa should encourage such activity by inviting major industrialists to invest in wine and food processing market to explore the possibility of local made products for export market so that it will benefit both the state government and local people that included tribal people who collect Mahul from the forest for local making local wine. As realized by the state government the region would also be a source for bio-diesel and bio-fuel production.

Therefore, the state government should establish biotechnology parks in the three major towns such as Bhawanipatna, Koraput and Balangir to explore all the above possibilities in KBK+ region.

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