BHUBANESWAR : Rajya Sabha member AU Singhdeo has urged Defence Minister Arun Jaitely to use the Ordnance Factory at Balangir’s Badmal for augmenting production of Pinaka rockets.
Since a major consideration for choosing location of production facilities is availability of land, the Badmal ordnance factory fits the bill. The facility has 12,200 acres of land of which 5,000 acres is lying unused, he said in a letter to the Defence Minister.
The Centre has sanctioned capacity expansion of Pinaka rockets from 1,000 rockets a year to 5,000. Currently, two new variants of the rocket are undergoing evaluation and upon successful completion of the assessment, the requirement would go up to 12,000 rockets annually.
Since Pinaka and Smerch rockets are being inducted by Indian Army, their production will be taken up by ordnance factories.
Instead of taking up capacity expansion in a piecemeal manner, Singhdeo suggested, the whole exercise should be taken up in one go. This would eliminate duplication of facilities and reduction of costs.
The senior BJD leader who represents Balangir said it is one of the most backward regions in the country and apart from the ordnance factory there has been no major investment by the Centre in the district. If the capacity expansion is taken up, it would boost the district’s economic activity.
In a separate letter, the Rajya Sabha member has requested Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take steps for setting up an agriculture university in Balangir.
“Odisha, having just one Agriculture University, needs at least one more. The BJD manifesto promises to set up an agri-university in KBK districts. Balangir, representing the backward and western Odisha districts, is the most suitable place for a second university,” he said adding, in terms of technical education infrastructure, Balangir has no academic institute as yet.