Letter to Congress at center: Injustice to Kalahandi district

{ Posted on Jul 19 2009 by rutambhara }



Mr. Rahul Gandhi, General Secretary, Indian National Congress Party

Copy to:

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Honorable Prime Minister of India,

Ms. Sonia Gandhi, President of Indian National Congress Party,

Mr. Ghulam Navi Azad, Congress Leader in Charge of Orissa and Union Minister of Health

Mr. Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Human Resource Development

Mr. Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Highways and Surface Transport

Ms. Mamata Benarjee, Union Minister of Railway

Top Congress leaders and office bearers of Indian National Congress Party

Chief Minister of Orissa

Dear Mr. Gandhi,

In a matter of fact since the time of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Kalahandi has been close to Gandhi family. Incidentally, you commenced Bharat Darshan Yatra from Nuapada under Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituency in 2008 and you admitted personally close bonding between Kalahandi and Gandhi family in an election rally in 2009.

But contradicting your claim Kalahandi has been always poorly treated by congress party in post independence congress regime. The present UPA Government claims to bring all round development in backward and rural pockets of India but such development is missing in Kalahandi.

Unfortunately, we did not find any statistics where any central Government establishment was made in Kalahandi when the Government was headed by congress party in the center since 1947. In this period Congress party has ruled India for 50 years and since 1980 the party has been ruling at the Centre for 20 years in different time periods.

Central government has earlier established HAL factory, NALCO factory and recently a Central University in Koraput district from public funds. An ordinance factory was also established in Balangir district. Titilagarh – Jharsuguda, Khordha – Balangir, Rayagada – Koraput and Koraput – Vishakhapatna are some of the railway lines approved in post independence congress periods, unfortunately not a single railway line was approved in Kalahandi district during post independence congress ruling except Lanjigarh road – Junagarh railway line during non-congress Government in 1990-91. Even NH201 passing through Bargarh, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur and Koraput districts were approved during non-congress Government in the center, it is to be noted that both the projects, Lanjigarh road – Junagarh railway line and NH201 are moving sluggishly.

There is a public demand for establishing a Central University in Kalahandi since 1988 because it is centrally located among all the KBK districts and had better rail connectivity to most of the major cities of India from Kesinga station. But Orissa state and central Government again decided to establish it at Koraput keeping political sights.

We request you to establish as soon as possible a branch of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Kalahandi with a medical college attached to it as this backward pocket lacks secondary and tertiary health facilities. For secondary and tertiary health facilities people in Kalahandi has to depend on either Vishkhapatnam about 350 – 450 km or Burla about 250 – 350 km based on the location in Kalahandi district.

Kalahandi has higher unemployment rate and more migrant workers at present. A railway factory in Kalahandi like being established in Rai Barailey, West Bengal, Kerala, or Bihar would be helpful for whole Kalahandi.

Recent report by India Today suggested that both Kalahandi, and Nabarangpur are rated among the bottom five constituencies in socio-economic/infrastructure development among all constituencies in India. Proposed Kantabanji (Balangir dist) – Jeypur (Koraput dist) line via Nuapada, Kalahandi and Nabarangpur districts and immediate approval of a high laying bridge over Hati river on NH201 near Junagarh and improving road conditions of NH201 in Kalahandi, Balangir and Nabarangpur will bring development in the region.

There is already a growing concern in Western Orissa and KBK region that the congress party has ignored the region in the union cabinet as the region has elected 5 congress MPs out of total 7 seats.

We sincerely hope your party and Government will correct the past mistake and take a strong initiative for establishing Indira Gandhi National Tribal University with medical college and railway factory in Kalahandi besides approving Kantabanji – Jeypur railway line and bridge over Hati river on NH201 as soon as possible.

Thank you

With kind regards

Madhusmita Panda

(excerpt from Orissadiary)

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