The proposal has been made following rapid growth of Bhubaneswar

The State government seems to have deferred its plan for creation of Odisha Capital Region Development Authority (OCRDA), which has been proposed to be set up for providing regional perspective in terms of plan preparation and administration to different urban local bodies in undivided Cuttack and Puri district.

Instead, the State government will turn its focus on emerging economic urban centres such as Paradip, Kalinga Nagar, and Jharsuguda.

A recently held high-level meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik gave thumbs down to the proposal of Housing and Urban Development Department which suggested that there was a need for creating a larger planning authority including the existing development authorities, improvement trusts, and special planning authorities, and urban local bodies within Cuttack and Puri district as a pilot case.

The HUD Department was of the view that most of the urban local bodies had limited capacities in terms of development administration.

The meeting attended by secretaries of finance, HUD, and Law Department decided to enhance capacities of technical manpower of existing planning authorities of emerging economic urban local bodies instead of creating separate OCRDA.

It further resolved to appoint architect members by way of deputation from development authorities.

The OCRDA has been mooted following rapid growth of Bhubaneswar from all directions. Such is the fast expansion, the distance capital city between nearby urban local bodies such as Khurda, Jatni, Konark, Choudwar, Cuttack, Konark, and Puri visibly narrowed in past one decade.

Besides, IIT-Kharagpur in its Comprehensive Development Plan for Bhubaneswar has suggested creation of a regional development authority for uniform growth of the region. By 2030, the population of Bhubaneswar is predicted to cross 30 lakh, while Rs. 30,000 crore could be spent by both public and private sector in the city.

Industrial growth

The higher echelon of bureaucracy turned its focus on Paradip, Kalinga Nagar, and Jharsuguda keeping in mind the industrial growth that has taken place in these places.

A dozen of steel manufacturing projects, including the proposed mega steel mill by Tata Steel, have preferred to cluster at Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur district.

While many of the projects have already gone into partial production, a few are in process of setting up their units. Industrial growth is all set to trigger urban development around Kalinga Nagar, for which a planning body exists, but it is not vibrant.

Similarly, Jharsuguda has witnessed rapid industrialisation due to setting up of steel, power and mining projects. Several new projects are proposed to be established in a distance of 40 to 50 km from this western Odisha town. According to real estate associations, land price in this location has sky-rocketed in recent years. They say if planning is not infused now, the development in the area might go haywire.

Amongst all, the coastal town of Paradip holds huge promise. Odisha has already entered into an agreement with Centre for establishment of Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) hub in and around Paradip. The PCPIR hub will attract investments to the tune of Rs 2.74 lakh crore.

As per State Industries department, both Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts would see urban growth due to the project.

  • A meeting held recently discussed the issue

  • The State government to focus on emerging economic urban centres