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Monday, 08 Sep 2014
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Odisha strives to kick start mega projects

The Odisha government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that most of the mega projects the state attracted, are executed in time. As of end August 2014, the state had 98 mega projects with investment of Rs 1,000 crore or more.


To aid the state governments and ensure that critical projects are not stuck in clearance muddle, the Union government is trying to revive the stalled infra projects through its Project Monitoring Group (PMG). Special efforts are made by PMG to see that large projects in Odisha, Karnataka and Jharkhand start rolling in the near future.


Odisha strives to kick start mega projects | ProjectsToday


Odisha is the first state to introduce "State Project Monitoring Group" for fast tracking industrial and infrastructure projects. This is a major initiative and will be helpful for expediting forest clearance, environment clearance, land acquisition and other statutory clearances for projects.


The e-PMS, an online Project Management System, developed by the project monitoring group of the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI-PMG) for Odisha, was launched in May 2014 for fast tracking investments in the range of Rs 100 to Rs 1,000 crore.


The e-PMS system automates the tracking of all stalled and ongoing projects with regards to bottlenecks. The system includes facilities for online submission of projects, editing and updating them, reviewing the projects and submission of details relating to bottlenecks, if any. Any project developer or government department or Ministry can raise their issues through this platform and get immediate response on resolution of their problems.


The CCI-PMG, which has been set up to fast track the large investment projects in different states, recently reviewed 38 projects in coal, railway, power, national highways, and steel sectors in Odisha.


South Korean steelmaker, Posco’s 12 million tonne steel project near Paradip, was among the projects that were taken up for discussion. Posco has proposed to develop an eight million tonne steel plant in Phase-I and had sought 2,700 acre of land. However, despite land allotment by the state government, the steel plant has been delayed as it is still awaiting the Centre’s approvals.


Another project taken up for review was the 4,000 MW ultra mega power plant (UMPP) to be set up at Bhedabahal, in Sundergarh district. Slow disbursement of compensation to land owners has delayed the power project. The lukewarm response from the private developers, owing to some terms and conditions in the bid document, has delayed the tendering process.


Rail projects like Angul-Sukinda, Paradeep-Haridaspur and Talcher-Bimlagarh were also discussed at the meeting. The 102 km Angul-Sukinda railway line was first envisaged in 2003 but has failed to take off so far due to land acquisition issues.


Other projects that were vetted were thermal power projects of NSL, Lanco Babandh Power, and KVK Nilachal Power. Of the steel projects, VISA Steel, Essar Steel, Jindal Steel and Power, Monnet Ispat and Energy, Bhushan Steel and JSPL were also reviewed.


Since most of the mega projects are coming up in the tribal rich mineral areas, land acquisition and rehabilitation are the two major issues the Odisha government has to tackle to ensure the timely take-off of mega projects. The mining scam has added to its woes. Local opposition to land acquisition has faltered several project developers like ArcelorMittal which abandoned its 12 million tpa steel project. To overcome this issue, the Odisha government is also planning to create a land bank of 50,000 acre.


Odisha is one of the most preferred investment destinations of India in the last decade. The state government has to ensure that the mega projects, especially those owned by private investors, are executed with less hassle and with least time overruns.


Quote of the week:

  Anil Swarup, Additional Secretary Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India
"I think the approach of Odisha in implementation of projects is extremely positive. We are happy that the state has set a timeline for every project."
- Anil Swarup, Additional Secretary Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India


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