Friday, March 20, 2015

Sushma Swaraj praises Bhubaneswar as best place for business

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and MEA Sushma Swaraj
BHUBANESWAR: Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Friday here praised Bhubaneswar for its unique distinction of having rich history, culture and tradition and providing platform to business houses to do business here.
Quoting the World Bank report, Swaraj said Bhubaneswar is the best place to do business in India. The capital city of Odisha, she continued, one of the modern India’s first planned cities, home to a large number of ancient temples which stand testimony to millennia old uninterrupted flow of its culture.
Swaraj also praised the city for having number of educational institutes and called it temples of higher learning.
The Union Minister while inaugurating an international conference on maritime trade suggested delegates to visit the Sun Temple of Konark to know about the rich maritime history of Odisha. “Please visit Sun Temple, where you can see a boat containing giraffe, which shows linkages with Africa,” said Swaraj.   
She told about the rich heritage of Odisha by giving example of Boitha Bandana Utsav, worshipping of the ships. “It is a practice that has been there since Kalinga days. The ships used to embark on long voyages to Sri Lanka, Bali, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Malaya, Vietnam and also to China,” she added.
Swaraj said the festival of Baliyatra on Karthik Purnima in November is a continuation of this tradition. With commendable efforts of the State Government here, this has emerged as a major connect with our ancient maritime legacy, he added.

India committed to maritime security: Sushma Swaraj

--‘Odisha rich in maritime trade’
BHUBANESWAR: “We are committed to maritime security, freedom of navigation and peaceful settlement of disputes in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR),” said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj while inaugurating the three-day international conference on maritime trade in the IOR countries organised here on Friday.
Swaraj said maritime security is an important dimension of India’s bilateral relations with all Indian Ocean Littoral States and through various formal and informal structures currently in place. “We have been working with like-minded countries to preserve the integrity, inviolability and security of maritime domain which is a global commos,” she added.
As the region is facing problems like piracy, terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal fishing and oil spills, she said the maritime security need to be strengthened to create a path for development of the blue economy.
Taking the names of IOR countries, Swaraj said time has come to work together to promote increased cooperation in trade, tourism and investment, infrastructure development, marine science and technology, sustainable fisheries and protection of marine environment in the region.
In the IOR region, she said, global trade expanded by 3.5 times from USD 1,224 billion in 2003 to USD 4,232 billion in 2012 whereas intra-regional trade increased by more than four times from USD 302 billion to USD 1,230 billion over the same period.
The Union Minister praised Odisha for its rich tradition of maritime trade. She suggested delegates to visit the Sun Temple of Konark to know about the rich maritime history of Odisha. “Please visit Sun Temple, where you can see a boat containing giraffe, which shows linkages with Africa,” said Swaraj.  
She told about the rich heritage of Odisha by giving example of Boitha Bandana Utsav, worshipping of the ships. The festival of Baliyatra on Karthik Purnima in November is a continuation of this tradition, she added.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also said that Odisha or the ancient Kalinga has the rich maritime history by citing the examples of excavated materials ranging from Kushan coins, Roman pottery fragments and other historical things. “The Kalingan merchants exported high value items like diamond, precious stones and spices to Roman Empire, elephants to Ceylon and ivory, betel nuts, pepper, fine clothes and fabrics to China,” said Patnaik.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said India would play a greater role for development of the region.
A postal stamp on ‘Indian Ocean and Rajendra Chola I’ commemorating the conference organised by the Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (ISCS) along with the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). Two books related to maritime history were  also released.
Among others, RN Ravi from Prime Minister’s Office, ISCS secretary Arindam Mukherjee, Chief Post Master General (Odisha) Tilak Dey, RIS director general Prof Sachin Chaturvedi were present.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ola launches services in Bhubaneswar

--Plans to expand operations into Cuttack, R’kela soon

BHUBANESWAR: Ola (formerly Olacabs), India’s leading mobile app for intermediate public transportation (IPT), on Thursday announced the launch of their services in the city.

Now city users would have access to the large network of cars present on the Ola platform to travel within the city. Customers could book a cab at a click of a button and track its location in real time. They can also book a cab by logging on to the Ola website or giving a phone call.

Ola senior manager Piyush Gupta said they were excited to launch the Ola app in Odisha, with Bhubaneswar as the first city in the State. “We have signed for 250 cabs for the city so far and are planning to increase the number of cabs on its platform to 750 within the next six months,” he added.

The company also said it would expand its operations into Cuttack and Rourkela on the coming days.

Odisha BJP hails Rail Budget

BHUBANESWAR: State unit of the BJP on Thursday hailed the Railway Budget and praised Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for presenting a pro-people budget in the Lok Sabha. 

Party’s State vice president Pratap Sarangi admired the Centre for not hiking passenger fares and announcing several people-friendly facilities in the trains and stations.   

Terming the Rail Budget a brilliant, Sarangi said Prabhu’s maiden budget has given emphasis on modernisation, speed of train, electrification of long routes, addition of general compartments for poor passengers, cleanliness in trains and stations, bio-toilet system, e-booking from trains along with easy booking system, SMS alert to passengers about train timing and surveillance system in bogeys for security of women passengers. 

Sarangi said the NDA Government has allocated over Rs 1664 crore for development of the Railway sector of Odisha which much higher than the allocation of the previous UPA Government. 

BJP leader Rudra Pani criticised the BJD Government for sending its MPs with memorandum only three days before the presentation of the Railway Budget in the Lok Sabha. 

“It’s really funny to see that only nine BJD MPs out of its total strength 27 in the Parliament went to the Railway Minister (three days before the budget) to request him for adequate allocation of fund for Odisha,” said Pani, adding, “It shows that how the BJD is concerned about the welfare of the State.”      

Rs 1,000 cr for Sitalapalli wagon factory disappointing: Naveen

BHUBANESWAR: In his reaction to the Railway Budget, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday expressed unhappiness over the token allocation of Rs 1,000 crore only for the proposed railway wagon factory at Sitalapalli in Ganjam district. 

When there is a package for North East and Kashmir regions, Patnaik said, no such special package has been given for Odisha’s inaccessible and backward districts with zero railway network despite State’s commitment to provide land free of cost along with 50 per cent of the project cost.

However, the Chief Minister feel relaxed for some of the traditionally neglected railway sections like Sambalpur-Titilagarh and Sambalpur-Talcher which has been given due weightage in the budget.

He said there is an overall increase of about 53 per cent in the Budget outlay of Railways. Odisha has also been correspondingly given an increase in allotment. “Further, due allocations have been made for our ongoing major projects like Khurda-Bolangir, where State Government has committed to provide land free of cost and bear 50 per cent of the project cost,” he added.

Centre allots Rs 3112 cr for ECoR in Rail Budget

Centre allots Rs 3112 cr for ECoR in Rail Budget
The Centre has allotted Rs 3112.48 crore for the East Coast Railway (ECoR).
Railway projects in Odisha
Name of project
Budget allotted (in crores)
Angul-Sukinda New line, 98.7 km
Daitari-Bansapani New Line, 185 km
Haridaspur-Paradeep New Line, 82 km
Khurda Road-Bolangir, 289 km
Jharsuguda-Rengali Doubling
Sambalpur-Rengali Doubling
Khurda Road-Barang 3rd line
Sambalpur-Talcher Doubling
Delang-Puri Doubling
Sambalpur-Titilagarh Doubling
Brundamal-Jharsugura Fly Over connection for joining down line
Barang-Rajathagarh Doubling
Bhadrak-Nirgundih 3rd Line
New Works
Jharapada-Budhapank 3rd & 4th line
Budhapank-Salegaon 3rd & 4th Line
Bhadrak-Vizianagaram 3rd line
Koraput-Singapur Road
Khurda-Vizianagaram Bye Pass
Grand Total
(A) Total Plan Outlay of ECoR
 (B) Extra Budget Resources
Total Plan Outlay inclusive EBR (A+B) for ECoR