Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

That Orissa Government is incompetent needs no proof. Nasty casting of Bengali eyes on Kanika Sand Anchorage taking advantage of Orissa being run by a lingua-non-Oriya Chief Minister has established it without any ambiguity.

I had put it on records in these pages on November 01, 2005.

If you are an Oriya or if you are an Indian without any ill-feeling for Orissa or anybody belonging to any part of the globe who believes in peaceful living of man within his native territory without being betrayed by his own government, you should visit that page to know how a Government run by a man who does not know and belong to the mother-tongue of the people of Orissa has provided a congenial climate to sections of Bengali chauvinists who, in order to overcome inferiority complex lying dormant in their subconscious, have been searching for newer avenues to misappropriate anything belonging to the Oriyas, be that cultural or geographical.

In that write-up, I had cited how Kanika Anchorage was and is an integrated and inseparable part of Orissa.

Till the Bengalis, who were native servants of the British, used their yeomanhood to misguide their masters for using methods of subterfuge against Orissa’s maritime excellence, Kanika was a famous shipbuilding center. (Report of A. Sterling, 1846, p.38)

E.Watson, 4th Judge, Calcutta Court of Circuit, in his report dated 3 may, 1817 to the secretary to Government in the Judicial Department, had mention of the matchless ships of Orissa. They were “by far the best that I ever saw in any part of India”, he had said.

These ships were being built at Kanika anchorage, where, even today, as mentioned in the admiralty chat, a depth of 15 mtrs, (according to KPT estimation 23 mtrs) is available which, being in the sheltered zone, remains “calm during southwest monsoon”.

In The “Despatches, 1686-1692” at page 24, it is noted, “Kanika road afforded a convenient base for loading and unloading of ships. In 1687, the Dutch carried out a good trade in boiled rice at this road. They exported this commodity to Maldive and Ceylone. Afterwards the English traders also showed inclination to enter into the rice trade at Kanika with the assistance of the Balasor merchants”.

There is no better a place than the Kanika Anchorage for shipbuilding, transloading and other maritime activities. Therefore, the Bengalis have been conspiring to usurp it up.

And, Naveen Patnaik government has been helping them.

When Minister of State for Commerce and Transport Jay Narayan Mishra, in a recent reply to Netrananda Mallik of Congress, has informed the Assembly that the Director General of Shipping, Government of India, has been moved to send a survey team to determine ownership of the “sand Island”, he has served just the mischievous purpose of the Bengalis. By requiring the DG of Shipping to determine the “ownership” of this unique property of Orissa, Mishra has proved that the Government he belongs to has no ability or acumen to protect the interest of Orissa. By its act, (Is the non-Oriya Secretary of Commerce and Transport responsible for this?), the Naveen Patnaik Government has kept on records that it recognizes the locus standi of Bengalis to raise a ‘dispute’ over Kanika Sand Island. Nothing could be more harmful for Orissa than this.

Minister of Revenue Manmohan Samal, in reply to questions during debate over his departmental budget has of course boasted of protecting Orissa territory “at any cost”.

But is the government serious about it?

Going through official records, one does not find any reason to rely upon Samal. The State Government has framed a Port Policy aimed at establishing a single window agency to be “vested with authority and powers to plan, direct and implement the maritime development in the State with private sector participation”. In the policy document, it has identified 12 “Greenfield sites for development as minor ports” which would be of immense use “to decongest the existing major ports on the eastern coastal region so as to cater to the needs of increasing volumes of international and domestic traffic”. They are: (1) Gopalpur in the district of Ganjam, (2) Dhamara (Bhadrak), (3) Palur (Ganjam), (4) Bali Harachandi (Puri), (5) Astaranga (Puri), (6) Bahuda Muhana (Ganjam), (7) Chudamani (Ganjam), (8) Inchuri, (9) Chandipur, (10) Subarnarekha Mouth or Kirtania and (11) Bahabalapur (Balasore) and (12) Jatadhar Muhan (Jagatsingpur).

Is there any mention of Kanika Sand Island / Anchorage in this list? I had asked this in my earlier discussion. Attention of the Chief Minister as well as the Chief Secretary was drawn to this discussion. And to this lacuna. Has the government rectified the mistake that it has made by omitting the name of Kanika? No. Not so far.

Kanika is crying helplessly.

I am inclined to infer that my motherland has fallen in incompetent hands.

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