BHUBANESWAR: Noted industrialist and founder of Indian Metal and Ferro Alloys (IMFA) Ltd Bansidhar Panda passed away at his residence in the city on Tuesday. He was 87 and predeceased by his wife Ila Panda.
A research scientist Panda had envisioned the industrial growth of the State by using its huge mineral resources after his return from the United Sates. He choose Therubali, a remote outpost in the
undivided Koraput district to embark upon his dream. IMFA was realised in 1961.
His desire to bring a change in the society led him to philanthropic activities in the field of education,
vocational training, basic healthcare, water and sanitation and infrastructure development.
He had received Degrees from Benaras Hindu University, Harvard University and Michigan Technological University. He was conferred with honoris causa by the National Institute of Technology (NIT) at
Rourkela in 2015.
Panda was instrumental in instituting Sarala Award for literature and Ekalabya Puruskar for sports which are now recognised as highest awards in the respective fields.
Although Panda was very close to former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik, he stayed away from politics. However, his wife was elected to Rajya Sabha from 1992 to 1998.
Panda is survived by two sons and two daughters. His elder son Baijayant Panda is a member of Lok Shaba while the younger one Subhrakant Panda is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed his grief over the demise of Panda and conveyed his deep sympathy to the bereaved family.
Apart from the CM, Union Ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan, former Chief Minister Hemanand Biswal, Odisha Pradesh Congress president Niranjan Patnaik, BJP state unit president Basanta Panda, leader of BJP legislature party K V Singhdeo and several others have expressed their condolence.
A large number of people from all walks of life also paid their last respects to the departed soul.