Dear Honorable Chief Minister Mr. Patnaik,
I am very glad and like to congratulate that you have written back to Minister of Human Resource Development, GOI, recommending establishment of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Sambalpur under relaxed guidelines. This proves that you and your Govt. were honest in identifying site as per MHRD direction.
There are many intellectuals across the state who are in favour of locating IIM outside Bhubaneswar region. Besides people of Sambalpur region, Professor Gopabandhu Behera has often written to establish IIM in Sambalpur region. Personally I am happy that Odisha Government has started looking beyond Bhubaneswar-Cuttack region for the development of higher education.
Being the capital city Bhubaneswar will also continue to attract people for work, business and administration. There are at least 10000 people who settle in/around Bhubaneswar after retirement every year, which makes lots of real estate demand and bring business.
Though NGOs and activists work for rural development, human right, environment, water, climate change, tribal right, etc across the state, large share of them live in and around Bhubaneswar and visit field time to time. Often they have two offices, one in Cuttack-Bhubaneswar (where the head lives) and other in the field where actually local employee/labourer live. India has more number of NGOs per person than number of police per person, their number can't be ignored. These groups further increase demand and business in Bhubaneswar.
Most of the mining and mineral based industries in Odisha, use Bhubaneswar as gateway and will continue to have their main offices located in Bhubaneswar, which creates further demand. Journalists and TV channels are other service industries which will continue to grow in Bhubaneswar. As infrastructure in Bhubaneswar is better than any other place in Odisha, private educational institutions will continue to come around Bhubaneswar.
Therefore, focus should be made to improve quality education in Bhubaneswar and on the other hand establish Government higher educational institutions outside 150 km radius of Bhubaneswar.
Besides IT industries, educational institutions, tourist destinations in Bhubaneswar, there is lots of potentials in 150 km radius of Bhubaneswar, such as Paradeep port (by now 2nd in handling cargo in the country), Puri (among top tourist and religious destination), Konark (other tourist site), Chilika (another tourist site), Cuttack, Jajpur (Kalinganagar, industrial corridor), Dhenkanal (power industries), Khordha, etc. All these industrial and tourists place will continue to depend on Bhubaneswar as gateway. In 150 km radius of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack, development will reach Berhampur, Kendrapada, Dhamara, Bhadrak and Balasore in future.
For the state capital region state Govt. priority should be in in metro rail, road, water, sanitation, quality education etc. Few important necessary things for Odisha Government are to:
(1) Make direct train and road connections for Bhubaneswar-Paradeep (not existed now), Paradeep-Konark-Puri, and Bhubaneswar-Konark and having local train connections in every couple of hours to Paradeep, Puri, Konark, Jajpur (Kalinga nagar), Dhenkanal (in long run to reach Berhampur and Bhadrak/Balasore)
(2) Have metro train network for Cuttack-Bhubaneswar-Khordha
(3) Establish new central and state Govt. major establishments in Sambalpur-Rourkela and Bhawanipatna-Koraput regions. There are sufficient number of top Govt. higher educational institutions like IIT, AIIMS, NISER, etc around Bhubaneswar. Now such Govt. institution should go to North-West Odisha, such as Sambalpur-Rourkela and South-West Odisha, Bhawanipatna-Koraput region. IIM can be located in Sambalpur region, similarly IISER in Bhawanipatna, Govt. medical colleges in Balangir, Koraput, Baripada, Balasore and Puri.
(4) Make Jharsuguda airport and another airport should be around somewhere Bhawanipatna-Rayagada belt. Focusing Jharsuguda/Sambalpur as the base will develop 150 km radius comprising Sundergarh, Brajaraj Nagar, Bargarh, Sonepur and will reach upto Rourkela, Keonjhar and Angul. Similarly, focusing Bhawanipatna as base will develop 150 km radius Rayagada, Balangir, Titilagarh, Nuapada, Nabarangpur, Jeypore, Boudh, Phulbani and Paralakhemundi.
(5) Establish direct train connection from Bhubaneswar to Balangir including Boudh, Nayagarh and Sonepur (Khordha-Balangir line), Kalahandi (Talcher-Lanjigarh road line), Koraput (Rayagada-Gopalpur line), Nabarangpur (Junagarh-Jeypore line) and Malkangiri (Jeypore-Malkangiri line), Kendrapada (Paradeep-Haridaspur line) by providing free land and sharing 50% of the cost by the state Government.
KBK-Kandhamal is the only region in Odisha, which is left far behind compared to rest of Odisha in higher education and industrial development. Like Cuttack-Puri-Bhubaneswar-
Khordha and Sambalpur-Jharsuguda-Rourkela, one corridor in KBK such as Koraput-Bhawanipatna-Rayagada has the potential to develop in higher education and industries. Location of Bhawanipatna is also suited for whole KBK-Kandhamal because Bhawanipatna is central town for all locations between Koraput and Balangir, Nuapada and Rayagada, Umarkote and Phulbani, Sonepur and Malkangiri, etc.
Bhubaneswar region has already multiples number of national institutions. Along with National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Rourkela, IIM in Sambalpur will boost number of national institutions in Sambalpur-Rourkela region.
Similarly, along with central university at Koraput, location of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Bhawanipatna would boost number of national institutions in Bhawanipatna-Koraput region.
Therefore, I urge you to also consider establishing newly proposed IISER for Odisha in Bhawanipatna region to further develop higher education in KBK region.
Thank you and best regards