Dear Honorable Chief Minister Mr. Patanik,
Recently Government of India is giving priority for development of Agriculture sector in the eastern part of the country. Earlier former Agriculture Minister Mr. Sharad Power had announced a Central Agriculture University in Bundelhkhand. Recently central Govt. has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Bihar Government to convert the existing Rajendra Agriculture University in Bihar into a Central Agriculture University.
Last year you had appealed to the Prime Minister urging to establish an Agriculture University in KBK region, subsequently, former union agriculture minister Mr. Sharad Pawar had written to Odisha state Government mentioning that despite being a backward area, Kalahandi has emerged as one of the top producers of rice, cotton and pulses in the state and required advanced technology to meet the growing demand in the coming years. Thus, an agriculture university is wanted. Based on that state Government had earlier asked Orissa University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT) to submit a feasibility report to upgrade the current agriculture college at Bhawanipatna to a university.
Fortunately, your Government has taken proactive step and had announced in its election manifesto for second Agriculture University in KBK region. Few months ago Agriculture Minister of Odisha had also announced that an Agriculture University would come in Bhawanipatna. We sincerely thank for your and your Government's initiative in the matter.
There are various reasons why Bhawanipatna is the most suitable place.
(1) Kalahandi is the top most agriculture producer, mainly paddy, pulses, cotton etc. district among the KBK districts.
(2) It is among the 25th largest rice producer districts in India. It is not limited to rice alone, agriculture products in Kalahandi is very diverse unlike many other districts in the region.
(3) The agriculture growth of the district is not yet saturated and it is predicted that it can be one of the forefront district in the nation in agriculture growth.
(4) Bhawanipatna is located centrally among all KBK districts and suits the interest for all the KBK districts. Semiliguda is more than 300 km from Balangir, 340 km from Nuapada and 360 km from Sonepur, whereas the farthest KBK district headquarter from Bhawanipatna is Malkangiri within 250 km. Rest of the KBK district headquarters are in 150 km from Bhawanipatna (4 of them are in 100 km range).
(5) The proximity of Bhawanipatna to all the existing Regional Research and Transfer Technology Stations and Regional Research and Transfer Technology Sub-Stations of OUAT in KBK and Western Odisha region even demands location of the proposed Agriculture University at Bhawanipatna.
(6) By now, Agriculture College at Bhawanipatna is relatively developed. OUAT has already faculty, staff and students to run an institution at Bhawanipatna, which will help in establishing the new Agriculture University and develop subsequent infrastructure.
(7) Water, electricity and road infrastructure is already available in the existing building. No need to build additional road or electricity and water connection to reach out the new University except that current facilities need to be expanded within in the campus.
(8) Agriculture College at Bhawanipatna is located in the township area and neighboring to Bhawanipatna railway station and on Khariar-Bhawanipatna SH 16, which is being expanded to a 4 lanes through World Bank assistance. Schooling, marketing and other urban facilities are available from this site. A Central School (KV), three Govt. high schools, two Government colleges and many private schools and colleges are available for the children of faculty and staff within the township.
(9) The land available under OUAT campus in Bhawanipatna is in the same range of land area where OUAT main campus is located in Bhubaneswar. District collector of Kalahandi has also identified 500 acres of land for this purpose.
Importantly, once an Agriculture University is established in Bhawanipatna, there could be a good reason to ask union Government onf India to convert it into a Central Agriculture University based on the letter of former union Agriculture Minister and looking east policy of central Government for agriculture growth.
Therefore, I request you to kindly establish the Agriculture University in Bhawanipatna as soon as possible, which could possibly open the door to convert it to a Central Agriculture University in near future, based on state Government request by taking advantage of central Government's look east policy in agriculture.
Thank you and best regards