Lays the foundation stone for the Odisha Bhavan

A definite and very high level of inter-dependence [among States] is emerging in a situation wherein they need to act together and prosper together by a “well understood system of bilateral relations under which the outcomes would lead to a larger collective benefit,” Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said on Friday.

Laying the foundation stone of the Odisha Bhavan [that will come up in Velachery] at a function here in the presence of Odisha Chief Minster Naveen Patnaik, Ms Jayalalithaa said: “In the present system of multi-level governance, operating within a federal structure like that of India, harmonious relations with other States are indispensable.”

The function also marked the 76 anniversary of the foundation of the State of Odisha.

Indicating that the areas of inter-State cooperation would include water, environment, transport, tourism, agriculture and law and order, the Chief Minister said “law and order, especially, becomes an important matter, in the wake of terrorist activities, drug trafficking and general maintenance of public order.” The regional inter-State co-operation had been the ‘touchstone' of development indices and the States were not isolated from each other's growth impulses.

Announcing that the State government had given five grounds of land in Velachery for the project of Odisha Bhavan, Ms Jayalalithaa assured Mr Patnaik of her government's cooperation for the expeditious construction of the Bhavan.

Tracing the ties between the States of Tamil Nadu and Odisha, she said the Cholas had left behind a lasting legacy in the two States and their patronisation of art, architecture and literature extended as far as Cambodia and Indonesia. “Odisha has maintained her political vigour with successive powerful ruling dynasties and achieved a distinction of her own, within the wider intricacies of Indian civilisation.”

Receiving the first copy of a souvenir published by the Utkal Association of Madras from his Tamil Nadu counterpart, Mr Patnaik spoke of how the two States occupied places of pride in the country and referred to their glorious traditions in the fields of art, music and dance.

Quoting recent studies on the growth of his State, he said the high growth was not limited to coastal areas, which were comparatively better off, but also in other parts of the State. The increase in longevity of people was witnessed among tribals too, who accounted for a quarter of the State's population. He also said his State had the maximum number of tribes – 62 – in the country.

Thanking Ms Jayalalithaa for the decision to give land for Odisha Bhavan, Mr Patnaik said the Bhavan would fulfil the long-felt desire of people of his State who were visiting Chennai for various purposes. Debendranath Sarangi, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, who hails from Odisha, said even now, the administrative set-up in the southern part of Odisha resembled the administrative hierarchy prevalent in Tamil Nadu. He recalled how Rajendra I, the great son of Rajaraja Chola, came to be known as “Gangaikonda Chola” or the Chola conqueror of the River Ganga after crossing Kalinga (corresponding to the modern Odisha) and Bengal and defeating two local kings.

The Eastern Ganga rulers strengthened their dynasty by marrying Chola princesses. Anantavarma Chodaganga Deva, the grandson of Vijarajendra Chola, began building the great Jagannath temple at Puri at the end of 11 Century. The term Chodaganga alluded to the dynasty's Ganga and Chola heritage, Mr Sarangi said.

Ms Jayalalithaa honoured Aruna Mohanty, renowned Odissi dancer,and Sudarshan Patnaik, sand sculpture specialist, while her Odisha counterpart felicitated Vani Jayaram, musician and Ilayaraja, film music director. Among those who spoke were Khirod Kumar Jena and N. R. Patnaik, president and secretary of the Utkal Association.