Naveen meets Central Ministers, presses for IIT, JNURRM funds

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New Delhi, Jan 23 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today met Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh and requested him to give sanction for setting up of a Greenfield IIT in Orissa during the 11th Five Year Plan period.

Since Orissa is on the verge of an upsurge not only in the industrial sector but also in the sphere of technical education, it has enormous potential for research and development activities, he said.

''Establishment of an IIT in Orissa will greatly facilitate in intensifying this process, which is of critical importance to make the industry globally competitive,'' he told the Minister.

Stressing that it is necessary to bring in professional culture and management, Mr Patnaik said the IIT shall be the incubation centre for quality managerial professionals required for the various sectors of the economy.

The Chief Minister also demanded for setting up of a Central University in the KBK region offering disciplines such as basic sciences, humanities, law, medicine, agriculture, horticulture and others.

Mr Singh assured the Chief Minister that Orissa's demands will be considered and indicated that decision in this regard will be taken by the Centre soon.

The Chief Minister also met Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy and requested him to allocate at least Rs.2500 crore to Orissa under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and Rs 1000 crore under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for the Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT).

He said Orissa is committed to undertake various mandatory and basic reforms in order to strengthen the resource base and delivery system of the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the state.

He informed the Minister that the Centre has sanctioned so far only Rs 504 crore under the Urban Infrastructure Governance (UIG) component of JNNURM and Rs144 crore under UIDSSMT.

The State has been awarded only Rs 231.09 crore, which is quite inadequate to meet the minimum investment demand of Rs 2500 crore required under the JNNURM.

Dr Reddy gave his assurance to the Chief Minister to extend maximum possible financial assistance to make Bhubaneswar and the pilgrim city of Puri as world class. He further promised to support urban infrastructure development in the small and medium towns of Orissa.

UNI MMG RL RK1956

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