Paradip (LocalWire) July 12: Trade union leaders in Odisha have sought intervention of the central and state governments for rapid industrialisation and employment generation to drive overall development of the Odia population.
While the trade unions have urged the government to set up a ship building yard in Paradip and another steel plant in the state, they also demanded extension of the Chennai-Visakhapatnam industrial corridor till Baleswer so that it can cover all the ports in Odisha.
According to Paradip Port Workers Union working president Sudhakar Mantry, the association has sought the government’s intervention for speeding up industrialisation and infrastructure development, including rail links, national highway, and coast corridor.
The union has reached out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Petroleum and Steel minister Dharmndra Pradhan, and minister of state for MSME Pratap Sarangi. “The Prime Minister’s office has responded and given assurance to expedite these projects after consultation with the state government,” Mantry said.
During the 1970’s and 80’s, there was lots of hype and hooplas on the proposal of the Government of India for setting up a large ship building yard at Paradip port but it did not materialise.
A shipyard with facilities to build large cargo carriers, dredgers, LNG, and crude carriers, research vessels, tug and barges, fishing trawlers would not only generate revenue for the state but also create massive employment opportunity for skilled youths.
At present Odisha has three ports, one each in Paradip, Dhamra, and Gopalpur while two more ports have been planned at Mahakalapada in Kendrapada district and at Subaranrekha in Baleswer. “One port at Astaranga between Paradip and Gopalpur will be beneficial for the state and the government may also consider building another port near the Bahuada river mouth on Ganjam coast,” he said.
After withdrawal of the Posco steel project, local trade union leaders had sought central government’s intervention to expedite setting up of the proposed JSW steel plant in Paradip to compensate for its loss.
The union leaders have also demanded that SAIL should set up an automobile grade steel plant in Rourkela by sourcing hot metal from Raurkela Steel plant, and setting up of more numbers of ferro alloy plants by using iron ore, chrome, nickel, manganese, vanadium titanium available in the state.
The trade unions have also demanded development of new railway lines and facility to manufacture rail coaches and wagon along with railway components like wheels, axles, and springs using the steel and aluminium components produced in Paradip and other areas of the state.