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    The Global Oriya Intellectual Network

    To: C.V. Krishnan


          Vedanta University

    Reference: Mr. Anand Shah’s e-Mail dated 30 March 2007


    Dear Sir,


    At the outset, I introduce OTN (http://www.orissatoday.net) is one of the progressive intellectual group of the state of Orissa, consisting of  eminent professors, engineers, managers, media professionals, community leaders and political leaders etc. etc.


    We are pleased to receive your official communication, through Mr. Anand Shah’s e-mail dated 30 Mar 2007. This letter was indeed very much informative and provided the much awaited official communication from VU. After going through this letter and visiting VU website, we again debated and discussed the Vedanta University (VU). As moderator of this group, I have taken this opportunity to apprise you the supports extended by our several members for this venture. At the same time there are few apprehensions and questions raised by few experienced members, based on their professional experiences which are as under.


    Please note that the majority intellectuals and people of Orissa are keen to see this world class educational Institution become a reality. If land required is 8000 acres – fine – but we are just curious see the draft blue print of this 8000 acre township to visualize the actual utilization of 8000 acres. This curiosity is genuine, as this is going to be first of its kind in India, to have a world class University like Stanford.  We understand that, in such huge land acquisitions, it is mandatory to submit such a land utilization blue print to IDCO and we will really appreciate if the VU can share the same with people of Orissa. This will help us to counter and negate the VU sabotage agenda of certain vested interest group’s deliberate self engineered protest rallies.



    Mr. Viswas Tripathy, suggested a proposal to distribute the VU in to several parts of Orissa with additional campuses in places like Bhawanipatna, Berhampur or Angul, the way California University has. The Delhi University also has a North and South campus. We understand Vedanta must have their own preferences and reasons to opt for a single 8000 acres university, but if possible we urge to consider this proposal as this will indeed a great step and minimize the pressure on the state government to displace people from a large chunk of land. We very much understand that VU , being the investor has the right to take decisions of their own , but still this is a chance to share our opinions with you in true positive spirit.


    Another esteemed member Mr. Jibanendra Mahanty, presented his opinion to have VU near your mining operations site in Western Orissa, instead of Puri. His opinion was based on the current status of Western Orissa, which is backward in the field of education and if the VU becomes a reality in Western Orissa, then it would have served as a 'Beacon' for the Western Orissa.


    We do understand that VU & Vedanta Industrial group are two different entities and can locate as per VU board decisions and VU probably is not obliged to disclose the reason of the preferred location PURI. But in case, if it is possible, we look forward to hear the reason behind the Zeroing site selection “Puri”. Please note that several people are alleging that there may be hidden agenda of VU to acquire the costal land and utilize later for different purpose.  Their apprehensions are based on their past experience – around 12 years back TATA group had acquired 3400 acres of farm land at Gopalpur by displacing farmers of  4 villages,  for a steel plant and now planning to utilize the for some different purpose and our Government is also keeping a blind eye to this. So, in such cases the people are ultimate losers, who are ultimately cheated by TATA group & Government of Orissa - both. The people displaced and lost their land for nothing and 12 years is not a small period to expect some result.

    Also, may we  request you to please share any  information about the total number of families, who are going to be displaced  and how much farm/agricultural land is coming under this proposed 8000 acres of land. Several of our members are worried because the per capita land availability in India is less than 10% of the land per capita available in the USA. As land is a very scarce resource, especially for a country like India, they are anxious to know, whether VU had considered the options to reduce the amount of land to around 2000 acres by planning and spreading the township vertically.

     Our members also keen to know about the Rehabilitate and Resettlement facilities, being provided by the VU for the VU affected families and what progress has been achieved in this direction till date? Is there any time bound Plan of Action for the same. Usually all rehabilitate and Resettlement actions are taken prior to acquiring Land from the farmers. We will appreciate if VU will share the same with us.

    Also, whether VU has any plans to give some special preference for the local people in the matter of Education in the University and in employment? There are several instances, where organizations located in a particular state extend few percent seats/jobs to the local people. We just want to know what VU has in mind.

    We also would be glad to know from you about the total number of Engineers and Staff  
    recruited in the Organization till date for setting up of VU and the Number of Engineers and Staff recruited from the State of

    Our members also noticed that VU has Head Office at Mumbai, where as VU is proposed at Orissa. Since this is an educational Institution and they are just curious to know whether there exists a possibility of shifting the HO from Mumbai to Bhubaneswer in near future.

    Dear Sir,

    To conclude, we expect that the questions and apprehensions raised by OTN members are in true spirit of democracy and hope that you also take up the same in positive spirit. It is fair enough for the people of Orissa, and particularly those, who are going to be displaced for the sake of development of their state, to expect some transparency in the Objectives and Mission of Vedanta University. If VU mission is based on the principle of providing education to the people of Orissa and India, then there should be no reservation on your part to answer the Queries. Indeed, by providing answers to the Questions raised by the Intellectual community of Orissa, VU will earn more trust and good will from the people of Orissa, where as by default, the suspicion/doubts over your Intent will be strengthened and we are afraid that the vested interest groups will make it difficult for the state Government to acquire the 8000 acres of land.

    I also thank the other members of OTN , who participate in this debate and contributed to this discussion.

    Anticipating a positive response.

    Thanking you

    For Orissa Today Network

    Manoj Padhi



    cc: Chief Minister of  Orissa, Chief  Secretary of Orissa

    cc: Mr. Anand Shah

    cc: State & National media as a Press release

    cc: Orissa Today Network

    Contact Details:Orissa Today Network - orissatoday at gmail.com

    Post Date:4/8/2007 1:15:54 AM Validity:36500 Days
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