MSME tech centre project in limbo over govt apathy

The letter stated that the Union government had decided to set up 20 new TCs as ‘hubs’ and 100 extension centres (ECs) as ‘spokes’ across the country.

Published: 26th November 2022 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2022 06:04 AM   |  A+A-

MSME , Power, Light

(Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

ROURKELA:  The proposal to set up an MSME Technology Centre (TC)in Rourkela has been put in back burner due to the apathy of the Union and state governments.  The proposal to set up the centre was approved three years back and Rs 200 crore granted for the project. Sources said the office of MSME development commissioner in a letter to principal secretary of Revenue department on January 3, 2020 had requested transfer of 20 acre of surrendered leasehold land of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) for setting up of the centre which would be known as ‘technology hub’ at Kantajhar in the city. 

The letter stated that the Union government had decided to set up 20 new TCs as ‘hubs’ and 100 extension centres (ECs) as ‘spokes’ across the country. Basing on criteria set for the proposed projects, Rourkela qualified for TC. For the project, while the Centre was supposed to grant Rs 200 crore, the state government had to provide 20 acre land free of cost. 

As per another communication by the Minister, the TCs (erstwhile Tools Room and Technology Development Centres) would focus on supporting industries particularly MSMEs, providing advanced manufacturing technologies, skill development of manpower and technical and business advisory support to MSMEs. 

Another letter of the Ministry on November 20, 2020 addressed to the then chief secretary Asit Tripathy stated that the proposed TC at Rourkela would act as a ‘technology hub’ and be one-of-its-kind. The centre would be an advanced version of the Central Tools Room and Training Centre at Bhubaneswar and equipped with latest technologies. It said the detailed project report would be prepared in consultation with all stakeholders including the state government, SAIL, industries and MSMEs. 

It is learnt, after the Ministry in 2019 approved the TC for Rourkela and approached the state government, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) initially agreed to surrender 20 acre land near Rourkela airport, but the site was replaced with Kantajharan in view of the airport expansion for the upcoming Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023. 

Subsequently, SAIL in July 2020 surrendered a large stretch of land at Kantajharan under Rourkela Town Unit (RTU)-30 near NIT- Rourkela. The Tehsildar of Rourkela CK Mallick confirmed four months back  that 14.45 acre of encumbrance-free land at Kantajharan was transferred for the proposed TC. The size of the land had to be reduced due to the adjacent Durgapur hill on the site.  

With no further progress on the project, Rourkela unit chairman of NIT-R Alumni Association (NITRAA) and social activist Bimal Kumar Bisi on Tuesday sent a letter to MSME Minister Narayan Tatu Rane reminding him of the project with request to expeditiously implement it. 


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