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Rourkela ( , ) is a city located in the northwestern tip of the Indianmarker state of Orissamarker at the heart of a rich mineral belt. It is the fourth largest city in Orissa. It is surrounded by a range of hills and encircled by rivers. One of the largest steel plants of the Steel Authority of India Limited is situated here. It also has National Institute of Technology, Rourkelamarker, one of the NITs of the country.

History

The name "Rourkela" means "Our Village" in the local dialect of Sadri language spoken by the tribals here. An alternate story asserts that the name has been derived from the indigenous community known as Rautia. Entymologists, however, suggest the place got its name from Ruhr Valley of Germany due to similarity of the region in the minerals found. Lately the city came to be known as the 'Steel City'.

The picturesque and modern twin towns of Rourkela, Steel Township and Fertilizer Township as well as their developed peripheries, are located in areas that were once covered by dense forest. According to the census report of 2001 the population of Rourkela is 4,84,292. As recently as 1921, the population as per the census record was only 382. The then railway station of Rourkela was within the revenue village of Mahulpali.

Some merchants, started settling at Rourkela with business objective, around the village Rourkela and the Railway station was named after the village Rourkela. The erstwhile revenue village of Rourkela is now popularly known as old Rourkela.

The B.N.R. Company (Bengal-Nagpur Railway Company) constructed the Howrah Nagpur railways, which ran through Rourkela. The habituated area around the railway station of Rourkela was declared as an urban town in the year 1931. The census report of 1931 reveals that the number of population was 493. By the time a primary school, an office of the forester, a sub-post office, a handful of liquor shops, tea shops and restaurants were found around the outlying area of the railway station. Gradually a train line was connected to Birmitrapur and Rourkela and it could avail a status of a junction allowing the settlement of more railway employees. Soon another station at the village Panposh was found 10 Kilometres away. The population of Panposh by 1931 was 2, 252 almost five times of Rourkela.

There was a village called Durgapur in between Rourkela and Panposh stations. The construction of the sub-divisional court building was started in 1945 at the village Durgapur, the present Uditnagar. As a result, the two railway stations of Panposh and Rourkela came into recognisation.

Following India's independence, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, wanted to make India an industrialised state in Soviet model of social development. The production of steel was utmost necessity for economic growth, hence search for suitable locations for steel plants began. The mineral rich Rourkela was aptly chosen for the same.

The preliminary survey for the steel plant at Rourkela was started in 1952 and the Government of Orissa issued a gazette notification on 16th February 1954. In accordance with the notification the Government of Orissa acquired an area of about 80 square miles around Rourkela for the purpose of Steel Plant.

A Germany private company called KRUPP and DEMAG Co. came forward to provide financial and technical help for the proposed steel plant at Rourkela. Krupp built Rourkela Steel Plant and town was similar to his own Essen in West Germany. The technical experts of the company advised the Government of India as well as the Government of Orissa for acquiring more land. As a result a further area of 32 square kilometres was acquired out of 31 revenue villages. Almost 13,000 people compromising of 2,424 families had to loose their dwelling. Later further 11,000 acres of land was acquired out of 31 revenue villages for the construction of Mandira Dam, a water embankment. More lands were acquired for the purpose of constructing railway lines to Hatia and Barsuan. The construction of Bondamunda Railway junction required further acquisition of land which resulted 20,000 people's displacement from their habitat. Though there was initial discontentment among the tribals about the land acquisition the authority largely resolved the land dispute as many of the tribals were provided employment and dwellings. The displaced tribals were relocated in places such as Jalda, Jhirpani and Bondamunda. Their new settlement even extended beyond the river Koel.

A string of industrial units and townships such as Rourkela Steel Plant, Fertilizer Plant, Fertilizer Township, Steel Township sprung up. A marshalling yard and a railway junction were established at Bondamunda. Thousands of technical personnel from West Germany came to Rourkela to extend their technical assistance. Some of these Germans came with their family and their small diaspora created 'Germany Club' to socialise. The club exists today with a well-stocked library known as Max Muller library.

There are plethora of local stories of Germans social encounters with tribals (local adivasis) and people from other parts of India who had relocated themselves to Rourkela for employmnet. A large part of this population was from coastal and western orissa who were trained by the German workforce to adopt to the steel plant's technology rigor. The steel plant, which was hugely surrounded by forest, many times witnessed wild animals straying into the plant area. A royal bengal tiger's lugubrious death in the steel plant's massive blast furnace is a part of city's follklore. There were also tales about the disappearance of Germans in the nearby Vedvyas cave and dread whirlpool of river Koel. The river still accounts for human casualty as some day trippers wade into the water blissfully unasware of the maelstrom.

Geography

Rourkela is located at 84.54E longitude and 22.12N latitude in Sundergarh district of Orissa at an elevation of about 219 meters above mean sea level. The area of Rourkela is 200 square kilometres approximately. Red and laterite soils are found here which are quite rich in minerals. The area near Rourkela is rich in iron-ore hence a steel plant is situated in Rourkela. Rourkela is situated in a hilly region which adds to the natural beauty of the city. The Koel and Sankha river meet at Vedvyas, Rourkela and flow as a single river called Brahmani. Hence Rourkela is the confluence of Koel, Sankha and Brahmani.

"The Hands of Steel"( ), designed by Mr J A Acquila, is one of the well known landmarks of Rourkela.

Climate

Rourkela has a tropical climate and receives high rainfall during the southwest monsoon (June-September) and the retreating northeast monsoon (December-January). Average annual rainfall ranges between 160-200 cm. The minimum and maximum temperatures are in the range of 11 C to 44 C with a mean minimum and maximum temperature range of 14.3 C to 39.2 C during coldest and hottest months. Thirty six percent of the geographical area of the district has semi-evergreen or tropical dry deciduous forest.

Civic administration

The steel city is divided mainly into two sections: Old Rourkela (sections of the city near the railway station that were settled prior to RSP coming up) and the much larger Steel township. The Steel township till 1999, was divided into 18 Sectors, Sector 6 being the largest of them.

The Steel township & Fertilizer Township (Sector-22) are under the Steel Plant Administration while the other sections of the city are under the Rourkela Municipal Committee. Some rural areas of South Rourkela are managed by the Jalda Panchayat.

Transport

As Rourkela is the commercial capital of Orissa, it has a developed transportation network.

Rail

It is situated on the Kolkata-Mumbai South Eastern railway line which is a major route connecting the two metros of India. Rourkela is directly connected to numerous cities and town in India. However much is yet to be accomplished as links to certain important places in India especially in the northern, central and north eastern region still are not adequately connected. Rourkela owing to the nature of industry it supports has nurmous railway stations, big and small. They are Rourkela Junction, Bondamunda Junction, Panposh, Kalunga and Kanshabahal.

Road

Rourkela is connected to various towns of the state by State Highway 10 and National Highway 23. National Highway 23 connects it to the nearby city of Ranchimarker which is the capital of Jharkhandmarker state. Interstate buses ply between Rourkela, Ranchi, Bhilai, Jamshedpur. Several buses ply between the major cities and towns of the state.

Local transport

The three-wheeler auto rickshaws and manual rickshaws are the most popular mode of transportation in the city. Taxis also ply on the city's roads but are often rare to find and being used. Sampark City Service buses, introduced in September 2006, connect various areas in the city.

Air

Rourkela was connectd by air to different cities till the 80s mostly by Indian Airlines. Later years found Rourkela itself disappearing off the aviation map of India and the airstrip began to be used only for chartered purposes of SAIL. Very recently, after the advent of the aviation boom in India, AAI undertook a survey for restarting of service from the airstrip but end results of those findings are yet to be made public. In the meantime, air services have again resumed in the city. A private airline known as Sky Airways has launched services in the city since 1 October, thus connecting the steel city with the capital city of Bhubaneswar via Barbil.

Demographics

  • Density of Population - 2,500 per km². Approx.
  • Sex Ratio - 835 Female per 1000 male
  • Per Capita income - Highest in Orissa
  • Population (2001) - 4,84,292 (Township: 206,566, Rourkela:224,601)
  • Main Habitations in Rourkela: Chhend, Basantinagar, Koelnagar, Uditnagar, Jhirpani, Jalda, Fertilizer Township (Sector-22), Civil Township, Eighteen Sectors, Chhend Colony, Shaktinagar, Panposh, Jagda, Bondamunda, Rourkela Town, Industrial Estate, Lathikata.
 India census, Rourkela had a population of 224,601. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Rourkela has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 81%, and female literacy is 69%. In Rourkela, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age. Raurkela Industrialship was considered a separate entity in census 2001.


Culture

Owing to the cosmopolitan nature of the emlpoyment scenario in the Steel Plant and presence of NIT, the city takes pride in projecting itself as a Mini India. People from all over the country can be found working here though, Oriyas are still a majority. It is one rof the reasons why Hindi is a very popular language in Rourkela even though Oriya is a local language. Presence of people from different communities can hence be sen in every walk of life and this has given birth to numerous social and cultural organiations catering to the needs of their respective community.

Famous boating lake at IG Park

Social organisations

  • Bipin Behari Panda (son of Late Radhakrushna Panda, Born in 1935 in Baincha Village in Balasore dist of Orissa), Mahatma Gandhi Award Winner & noted social worker (close associate of noble souls like Mother Teressa, Ramadevi, Nabkrushna Choudhury) lives in this city, who has enormous contribution for the under privileged section of the society & the down trodden of the area. His relentless efforts lead to setting up of a Leprosy Hospital, Home & Hope a institution of Mentally challenged apart from being instrumental in setting up of various social institutions. It is because of his selfless efforts only Rourkela has turned into a Green and beautiful city, as Mr.Bipin Behari Panda was instrumental in mass tree plantation in and around Rourkela and also actively involved in the total literacy movement in Sundergarh District.


  • SOS Children's Village is another very famous and notable institution working towards the service of detitute children by giving them proper food, shelter and education. Lions Club and Rotaract Club are two of the other well known social organization working for a more meaningful society.


Festivals

Rourkela celebrates almost all festivals. The most awaited festival is Durga Puja. It is celebrated in every sector and various other areas in the township. The 'pandals' are beautifully decorated with lights and decorations for the grand occasion. Other festivals that are celebrated with equal fervor and zeal are Holi (Dola Purnima), Basant Panchami, Diwali, Ganesh Puja and Vishwakarma Puja.

Education

Rourkela is not only a steel city, but also the educational, technical and research hub of Western Orissa. It houses many English and Oriya medium schools which have for decades provided quality education to people from all strata of the society. Some of these schools are national brands in itself and some have always been a benchmark of excellence for years together. Rourkela also houses one of the premier institutes of the country, NIT Rourkelamarker. Students of Rourkela have often made their country and state proud by representing India at various international level Olympiads, Conferences, Contests and Exhibitions. A medical college in the city is also in the offing. Rourkela also houses the regulating technical university of the state, Biju Patnaik University of Technologymarker. Rourkela also has numerous management and pharmacy institutions that are churning out quality graduates every year. Notable among them is the Rourkela Institute of Management Studies or RIMS as it is better known. In January, 2008 Denny Michael and Dip Shankar Das (Management Students of RIMS) became the proud face of the Steel City when they bagged the first runner - up trophy in Leaders@Campus -a national level B-Schools crisis management competition, organized by ICICI Prudential at their Headquarters in Mumbai.Not just professional colleges but even polytechnics to support the industrial workbase is generated by the reputed poltytechnics in the region , with some such as UGIE as old as the city itself.

Sports

Rourkela has produced some of the best hockey players for India at the international level including present day India team captain Dilip Tirkey and deep defender Lazarus Barla. Orissa's Arjun Awardee Mrs. Minati Mohapatra is from the city. Olympians of repute like Paralympian Roshan and Rachita Mistry are from this city. Indian national cricketer Sanjay Raul and the Under-19 world cup representative Atish Jena play from this city. Former National 'B' champion in chess and second only to Viswanathan Anand in national 'A' Mr Pabitra Mohan Mohanty is a proud sporting son of the city.

The Ispat Stadium, a Ranji Trohy quality ground and astro-turf laden hockey stadium are located in Sector-6. There is an indoor stadium in Sector 2 that houses a basketball ground, a chess hall, and a well maintained volley-ball ground in the same area. The indoor stadium hosts the badminton players and TT stars. There are numerous other playgrounds throughout the city and stadiums as a part of separate establishments like in NIT. Notable among them are:

  • Sports Hostel, Chhend
  • Ispat Stadium, Sector-6
  • Biju Pattnaik Hockey Stadium, Sector-6
  • Sports Hostel, Panposh
  • IG Stadium,sector-22 Fertilizer Township)
  • Dilip Tirkey Cricket Stadium, NIT Rourkela


Famous Personalities

Birsa Munda (1875–1900) was a tribal leader and a folk hero, belonging to the Munda tribe who was behind the Millenarian movement that rose in the tribal belt of Jharkhand during the British Raj, in the late 19th century making him an important figure in the history of the Indian independence movement. His freedom movement was closely linked to Rourkela. A giant bronze statue of Birsa Muna at a major traffic junction in the Rourkela city stands as a symbol of his bravery.

Mira Nair, born in Rourkela, is globally known for her movies such as Mississippi Masala, Salaam Bombay!, Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, Monsoon Wedding, and The Namesake.

Harish Hande, co-founded SELCO INDIA., a social venture to promote sustainable technologies in rural India. Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States of America, awarded Hande the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy 2005 followed by Green Energy award from Prince Charles in 2005. In 2008 India Today named Hande as one of the 50 pioneers of changein India.

LATE SHRI DHANU MOHANTY

Politics

Current MLA from Rourkela Assembly Constituency is Sarada Prasad Nayak of BJD, who won the seat in State elections in 2004. Previous MLAs from this seat were Ajit Das who won this seat representing BJD in 2000, Prabhat Mohapatra of INC in 1995, Dilip Kumar Ray representing JD in 1990 and representing JNP in 1985, Gurupada Nanda of INC(I) in 1980, and Braja Kishore Mohanty of JNP in 1977. In spite of the heavy weights from Rourkela making it big in the national and state scene Rourkela, has often been a neglected region in the state and country in developmental politics, partly due to its township culture and self sustained development. This has often bred ill feelings on a social basis among people of Rourkela and other regions.

Rourkela is part of Sundargarh .

References

and also maharana pratap


External links




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