Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Few wonderfuly suggestion for development of Orissa including KBK region by Mr Purna Misha in his letter to Elected Officials in Orissa

Dear Elected Officials,
How long we will keep exporting low tech chaprasi, cook, gardener, brick
laying, and similar jobs from Orissa? What is our strategy to start
exporting higher or better skilled jobs from Orissa?

As Newton's third law suggests until we keep exporting low tech jobs we will
be keep importing lower skill jobs also. Once we start exporting higher
skilled jobs we will start importing higher skilled jobs also.

With all the industrialization (assuming all the MOUs are for real), where
do we have skilled people in Orissa?

I am sure you and many of the administration people are lot smarter than me
so you probably have plans to initiate many wonderful ideas back in Orissa.
Here are a few more and I am sure you will consider some of these ideas:

1. Government of India is asking the states to open quality ITIs in the
states. Orissa has taken a lead and is starting 7 new ITIs under this
program. We have many qualified students who could not afford to go to
colleges. At least open 23 more of these quality ITIs so that we have 30+
quality ITIs in the state mostly funded through the Central Government.

2. We easily find Oriya plumbers and most of them are from Pattamundai. It
is a good news that the state is starting a hi-tech plumbing institute at a
cost of Rs. 5 Crores in Pattamundai. Unfortunately the institute due to
administration reasons has opened the campus (temporary) in Cuttack. Many
of these plumber wannabees cannot afford to get the training until the
institute is relocated to Pattamundai. I will strongly urge you to take
immediate steps and relocate the institute to Pattamundai. Like this one,
let us at least open 29 more (one in each district) to help the local people
get a skill. Some of these institutes can be for imparting skill in modern
cooking, marble and other flooring, auto mechanics, plumbing, carpeting,
carpentering, etc.

3. We need at least 5 more good government engineering colleges. Except a
few in private sectors, most of the engineering colleges mushroomed in the
state are more interested in selling education than imparting education.
While the private initiative is definitely a welcome and ultimately the
competition will weed out the questionable ones, the state government's
responsibility to impart a quality technical education should be
maintained. We should get these government engineering colleges in places
like Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Bhawanipatna, Raygada, Jeypore, Angul,
Berhampur, Bhadrak. We should follow the examples of states like Kerala.

4. We need at least 5 more government medical colleges. The projected
health care sector would be higher than several billions in Indian rupees
just for the state of Orissa. With the rise in consumerism and middle class
there is a demand for more medical professionals in Orissa. At the same
time, Orissa provides very little healthcare to most of her citizens who are
farther away from towns and cities.

5. Of course the government needs funding to support these additional
institutes. I propose an additional cess of 2.5% on the industrial sectors
in Orissa. As a business man, I believe the industry should support this
additional cess as hiring qualified skilled professional (and retaining the
professionals) is the biggest challenge facing the industries in India and
Orissa right now.

6. We should designate one of our senior IAS officer who has previously
worked in the Human Resources Department to be designated as the gate keeper
to coordinate to make sure we get an IIT, IIM, and one of the 14 additional
Central Universities beyond our regular quota of a Central University as
each state will get at least one. Tamilnadu and Karnataka have started
offering premium land to attract one of these additional central
university. Let us offer land in Rourkela and get this additional central
university in Rourkela. With NIT, BPUT, and a medical college, this Central
University will build a complimentary knowledge center similar to

7. Before we demand an additional national highway, let us make sure the
existing highways are repaired and maintained. Many of these national
highways are death traps. We cannot support a 7% year over year growth with
sub standard infrastructures. The Vijaiwada-Ranchi highway should be a
priority also.

8. Many times we have demanded speedier implementation of the rail lines
that are getting built at such a rate that if this rate is not accelerated,
there would be serious lack of communication into many of the hinterlands.

9. We need to make sure the tracks between Bhadrak to Laksmanath that is
currently under South Eastern Railway moves under East Coast Railway. The
deepest sea port in the country is getting built at Dhamara. This sea port
will be a cash cow and we must make sure that the feeder rail line from
Calcutta-Chennai mainline to Dhamara should be operational under the East
Coast Railway. In addition the state should push for the Angul-Sukinda and
Angul-Gopalpur rail line as it will be extremely profitable and in addition
to the movement of goods many underprivileged will get the benefit of modern

10. None of these measures will make a much dent unless we move a
significant percentages of our typical farmers away from paddy cultivation
to more cash corps. From my limited research, most of these farmers with
small acreage typically loose money in paddy farming. We need to implement
some of the initiatives of this government such as goat farming, fruit
orchards, jojoba farming, banana plantation, etc be pursued with a vigor.

You have all the powers to make a change and please pursue these and others
initiatives that will transform Orissa to one of the better states in India.


-- Purna

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