Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Plea of not getting land for Central varsity in Kalahandi false

The Pioneer, Sept 24, 2008
Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

To divert public demand of a Rs 350-crore Central University in Kalahandi since two decades, the State Government is rather generating false propaganda saying that the district does not have land for a Central University though there are plenty of lands available in Kalahandi, alleged leading non-resident Oriya Digambara Patra.

Patra, who is Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the American University in Beirut, in a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has stated that if the State and Central Governments could use forestland, unused land and even agricultural land for IIT, Central University, industries in other parts of the State and country, it is foolish to argue that such a step cannot be taken in Kalahandi.

The State Government is providing thousands of acres of lands to Posco, Arcelor-Mittal, Vedanta, Tatas, Jindal and Bhushan, across the State which are not only agricultural, private and Government lands but also large section of the lands acquired for industrialisation in the State comes under forest lands.

Kalahandi has a geographical area of 7920 sqkm out of which 2538 sqkm (32 per cent) are forest land (private independent sources claim in actual only 10-18 per cent are left over as forest land in Kalahandi by now due to deforestation and rest of the forest lands are only unused land by now (though officially it belongs to Forest Department).

Despite high population and congestion major cities like Pune, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Chennai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Mumbai, Delhi can find land for establishing new Central institutes, universities in their vicinity for development, then it is useless to repeat Orissa Government cannot find land in Kalahandi and it can find in Koraput when Kalahandi has plenty of land like but not limited to forest and unused lands in Karlapada and Jaring near Bhawanipatna and agricultural land near its vicinity, stated Patra.

The population density of Kalahandi is 169 per sq km, much less than the State (236 per sqkm) than Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Cuttack. Vedanta Alumina could easily acquire 2000 acres of land in Kalahandi for its refinery therefore arguing Kalahandi does not have 500 acres of land for a central University is based on false propaganda, political ill motivation and ignorance towards Kalahandi rather than factual data by the State Government, alleged Patra.

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