How Dharmendra Pradhan fuelling Odisha’s development
The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha has often accused the Narendra Modi government at the Centre of apathy. In sharp contrast, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre maintains that it never discriminates between states and it always keeps policy at arm’s length from politics. It is not just words, but work which suggests the very fact that Odisha has become the new laboratory of Modi government’s welfare policies. This is in tune with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statecraft – When states develop, the nation will develop. A slew of reform initiatives in the state by the Centre, in the last four years, clearly underline Modi government’s modest endeavor to build a nua (new) Odisha. In a clean break from the UPA era, today Odisha stands tall as a beacon of prosperity in the eastern India region. The Modi government has launched a galaxy of initiatives to usher in the development of Odisha. The state has recorded a new high in the energy sector, thanks to Dharmendra Pradhan. Uday India is presenting the list of initiatives, meant for fueling Odisha’s development, taken by the Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas.
- Ujjwala Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY):
the ambitious social welfare scheme which provides free LPG connections to women from BPL households, is a success in Odisha. Ever since the launch of the flagship scheme – two years ago – a whopping 62 lakh LPG connections have been released in the state, of which 25.5 lakh were released under PMUY. Moreover, out of the 25.5 lakh LPG connections released under Ujjwala Yojana, 12.8 lakh belong to the Schedule Tribes (STs) and Schedule Castes (SCs).
- LPG Panchayat: Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat, the government to people interface for Ujjwala beneficiaries, is a ground breaking success in Odisha. A sum total of 1131 LPG Panchayats have been conducted in Odisha since the beginning of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
- Urja Ganga: The highly ambitious Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga (PMUG) project, which aims at providing piped cooking gas to the households and commercial premises, has made strong inroads into Odisha. Also known as City Gas Distribution (CGD) project, a natural gas pipeline in the state – with a length of 769 kilometre – is constructed with an estimated investment of Rs 4,000 crore. The project, which will connect all major industrial clusters of Odisha, will traverse as many as 17 districts of Odisha – Angul, Dhenkanal, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Bargarh, Deogarh, Sambalpur, Gnajam, Nayagarh, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Jajpur and Keonjhar.
The Petroleum Minister has launched the CGD project at the twin city Bhubaneswar-Cuttack with an investment of Rs 1750 crore. While CGD at Bhubaneswar has already been commissioned, CGD at Cuttack is ready for commissioning. The 9th round of CGD bidding is currently underway.
- Clean fuel: Figures clearly suggest that Odisha is moving fast towards clean fuel. In 2014, there were only 20 lakh total LPG consumers in the state. Now the total number of LPG consumers in Odisha has reached 62 lakh. While only 20 per cent household of the state used to have LPG connections in 2014, the number has reached a whopping 58 per cent this year. In 2014, only 7 per cent rural households had LPG connections. Now a record 45 per cent of rural households have LPG connections. The annual LPG bottling capacity in Odisha has increased from 148 lakh cylinders in 2014 to 280 lakh cylinders in 2018. While in 2014 there were only 367 total LPG distributors in the state, now the number has increased to 775.
In a bid to meet the LPG need, Paradip-Balasore LPG Pipeline has been commissioned in April, 2017. Three new LPG Bottling Plants and one LPG Import Terminal are under constructions.
- Paradip refinery: Envisioned as the Energy Gateway to Eastern India, the 15 million metric tonne per annum (MMTPA) state-of-the-art greenfield refinery in Paradip has been set up at an estimated investment of Rs 34,555 crore. The refinery has 11.6 lakh cubic meter of concreting, which is equivalent to three times volume of Burj Khalifa, Dubai. The refinery capacity will be increased to 21 MMTPA with an additional investment of Rs 20,000 crore.
This is one of the most modern refineries in the world which can process cheaper high sulfur heavy crude oils. The Petroleum Ministry has earmarked Rs 3150 crore for Polypropylene, Rs 4, 221 crore for Ethylene Derivative, Rs 9,137 crore for Paraxylene and Purified Terephthalic Acid (PX-PTA) and Rs 11,000 crore for Pet Coke Gasification and Downstream Synthetic Ethanol.
- 2G ethanol bio-refinery Bargarh: With an aim to reduce India’s fuel import dependence, a second generation ethanol bio-refinery has been set up in Bargarh with an investment of Rs 750 crore. The project will produce ethanol to the tune of 3 crore litre annually. The refinery will help reduce the CO2 and CO emission by 111 thousand metric tons (TMT) in a year. The project will go a long way in promoting agri-business in Odisha and reach new markets across the globe. Apart from making a net forex saving of Rs 82 crore annually, the 2G ethanol bio-refinery will accrue additional income of Rs 8 crore to farmers. The project will generate as many as 1000 jobs in the region. The refinery has long-term environmental benefits for Odisha.
- Dhamara LNG terminal: A liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal is being set up in Dhamara with an investment of Rs 5,940 crore. The LNG terminal, with a regasification capacity of 5 million metric tonne per annum (MMTPA), will convert liquid gases imported from the US, Australia and Quatar into gaseous form and supply them through the pipelines. The gas imported through this terminal will feed city gas distribution in seven cities in the region, four fertiliser plants and a host of other industries. According to Indian Oil Corporation, which is implementing the project, the long distance gas highway will fetch at least Rs 51,000 crore investment into Eastern India. The LNG terminal is expected to complete by 2020-21.
- Talcher fertiliser plant:
Country’s maiden coal gas-based fertliser plant with petcoke blending technology has been set up in Talcher with an investment of Rs 11,611 crore. The plant will envisage urea production of 1.27 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and natural gas production of 2.38 million metric standard cubic meter per day (MMSCMD). The plant will help reduce India’s LNG import bill by Rs 1620 crore per annum. The project will generate 4,500 direct and indirect employments. The project is expected to complete by December, 2021.
- Record investment in Petroleum sector:
In the last four years, Petroleum Ministry has made a total investment of Rs 1,34, 780 crore in Odisha. While Rs 39,298.50 crore was spent in completed projects, Rs 33,661 crore has already been spent in the ongoing projects and Rs 61,820.50 crore has been earmarked for the projects on the pipeline.
Postscript: Odisha features prominently in the Modi government’s scheme of things. Undoubtedly, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, a proud Odia who has emerged as one of the best performing ministers in the Modi government, has his fingers on the pulse of the people of Odisha. His effort to transform Odisha will go a long way in the road map of state’s development.
By Saswat Panigrahi