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India By State - Orissa - State Overview

State Overview

Economic Snapshot

Capital Bhubaneswar
Domestic Airport Biju Patnaik Airport, Bhubaneswar Airport
Ports Paradeep, Gopalpur
Land Area (sq km) 155,707
Coastline 482 km
GSDP (at current prices 2008-09) US$ 26.6 billion
GSDP growth at CAGR 1999-2000 -2008-09 14.4 %
NSDP (at current prices 2008-09) US$23.06 billion
Winter October to February
Average Rainfall (mm) 1480
Number of Districts 30
Number of Cities/Towns 102
Number of Villages 51,061
Principal Language Oriya

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Orissa, situated in the north-eastern part of the Indian peninsula, covers an area of 1, 55,707 sq km. It lies between 17 degree 49' north to 22 degree 34' North latitudes; and 81 degree 27' east to 87 degree 29' East longitudes. It is bounded by the Bay of Bengal on the east; by Chhattisgarh on the west; by Jharkhand on the north; by Andhra Pradesh on the south; and by West Bengal on the north-east.

The State has been divided into five major morphological regions, namely, the Orissa coastal plain in the east, the middle mountainous and highlands region; the central plateaus; the western rolling uplands and the major flood plains. It has a long coastline of about 500 km, with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The Chillika Lake is a blackish water lagoon located in the southern part of the Orissa's coastal plain, which provides a haven for millions of birds. The lush green forest cover of the Orissa plays host to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the famed royal Bengal tiger. Amidst the picturesque hills and valleys, nestle a number of waterfalls and rivulets that attract visitors from all over the world.

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Population Demographics

  • Population: 36.71 million
  • Density: 236 per sq. km.
  • Urban Population: 14.97%
  • Literacy Rate: 63.61%
  • Male Literacy: 75.95%
  • Female Literacy: 50.97%
  • Sex Ratio: 972 females to 1000 males
  • Decadal Growth Rate: 16.25%
  • Religion(s):594.6% Hindu, 2.4% Christian, 2.1% Muslim, 0.05% Sikh 0.03% Buddhist



One of the key strengths of Orissa is its remarkable geographical potential. Orissa ranks sixth in mineral production in the entire country. With vast mineral deposits, such as coal, iron ore, manganese ore, bauxite and chromite, Orissa attracts numerous investors across the globe to set up business in the state. The Orissa government is putting great emphasis on the growth and development of industry in the state.

At current prices, the total Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Orissa was about US$ 26.6 billion in 2008-09. The average GSDP growth rate between 2000-01 and 2008-09 was about 14.4 per cent.

The high rate of growth has come about due to the strong performance of the metals and mining sector. Specifically, Orissa has attracted significant investment in the steel and aluminium industries. The total Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) of Orissa was about US$ 23.06 billion in 2008-09. The average NSDP growth between 2000-01 and 2008-09, was about 14.29 per cent.

In 2008-09, the tertiary sector contributed the most to the GSDP at 49 per cent (US$ 11.76 billion). It was followed by the primary sector, contributing at 36 per cent (US$ 8.53 billion) and the secondary sector at 15 per cent (US$ 3.5 billion). At 42.5 per cent, the primary sector recorded the highest growth of all three sectors in 2008-09 over the previous year. It was followed by the secondary sector, which grew at 25.1 per cent and then the primary sector, which grew at 14.5 per cent during this period.

Orissa's per capita GSDP in 2008-09 was US$ 663.54. Per capita GSDP has increased at a CAGR of 14.1 per cent between 2001-02 and 2008-09. The per capita GSDP is relatively higher for the district with the state capital, Bhubaneswar

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Physical Infrastructure


The total length of roads in Orissa is over 237,000 km. Orissa's road density of 168.6 km per 100 square km is higher than the national average of 76.8 km.

The total length of national highways passing through the state is 3,704 km, and this includes the highway connecting Kolkata and Chennai, a major transport corridor between east and south India.

Under the on-going National Highway Development Programme (NHDP), 444 km of national highways in the state are being converted into 4-6 lane carriage-ways. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has taken up 4-laning of NH-5 from Balasore to Icchapuram and NH-60 from Balasore to Laxmannath. Besides the up-gradation under the Golden Quadrilateral Project, the state government proposes to upgrade 1,505 km of existing state highways to national highways. The state government is also planning to develop a coastal highway along the coastline of Bay of Bengal linking Andhra Pradesh in the south and West Bengal in the north. The proposed coastline road length is to extend over 674 km from Gopalpur in Orissa to Midnapore in West Bengal and is envisaged to be executed with the assistance from Government of Norway. Within the state, Orissa plans to introduce an 80 km long mass rapid transit system (MRTS) to connect Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, the two biggest cities in the state.

Private sector participation is being encouraged in the construction of around 3,704 km of National Highways in Orissa. More specifically, the following projects are being contemplated through the BOT route:

  • Talcher-Gopalpur (Via Narsinghpur, Nayagarh, Purushottampur).
  • Direct connectivity between Bhubaneswar and Paradeep - A 90km road is being planned on a new alignment to connect the state capital to the emerging industrial hub.
  • Palashpanga Bamebari Road - development of 28km of road at a cost of Rs. 35 crores. This project is critical for iron ore transportation. It is being implemented through SPV (KIDCO) with mining companies and industries who are major users of the road. The SPV is envisaged to look after the maintenance of the road.
Road Length 2.38 lakh Km
National Highways 3,595 Km
State Highways 5,102 Km
State Expressways 29 Km
Others 229,681 Km

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The ports of India form a critical infrastructure for exports and imports. Orissa, a principal maritime state, has a coastline of 480 km and is endowed with conducive, unique, strategic and natural port locations. Among the 12 major ports in India, one major port, Paradeep, is in Orissa. The port offers tremendous opportunities for International trade.

Paradeep Port is the main port for trade from the Eastern part of the country - serving the states of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. The natural resources and industrial products in this rich hinterland are immense and the value of the ore trade of the country passing through the Paradeep Port is considerably higher than many other major ports of India. The port was opened to traffic for iron ore in 1966 but after three decades, the cargo profile has undergone a complete transformation.

Besides iron ore, the current cargo mix includes:

  • Chrome ore, Manganese ore
  • Semi-processed ore cargo like charge chrome, ferro chrome, ferro manganese, limestone, hard coke, ingots and moulds, billets and steel materials, dead-burnt magnetite, scrap
  • Fertilizer
  • Food grains
  • Reefer cargo
  • Fertilizer raw materials e.g. phosphoric acid, ammonia, sulphur, rock phosphate

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The port is located 210 nautical miles south of Calcutta and 260 nautical miles north of Visakhapatnam.

Key Features of Paradeep Port:

  • Paradeep Port is capable of handling almost all types of cargo. The facilities available are:
  • Iron & Ore Berths
  • Cargo Berths
  • Container Handling Equipments
  • Storage

Competitive Advantage of Paradeep Port:

  • Major Port with natural draught of 13 meters., capable of handling Panamax vessels, 14 berths : 2 captive for fertiliser & 1 oil jetty
  • Private investment in pipeline for development of dedicated berth
  • DAP plants of PPL and IFFCO, Cargil International, CP Coke of Goa Carbon existing
  • IOC refinery cum petrochemical complex of 15 million MTpa capacity with investment of $6 billion under implementation
  • POSCO & associated industrial complex under implementation
  • ESSAR, Deepak Fertilisers, & LHOIST (Belgium) are proposed
  • Adequate land available in proximity to the Port
  • Air connectivity at Bhubaneswar - 119 km from Paradeep
  • Excellent road, rail, telecom connectivity existing
  • Adequate fresh water available
  • New rail link is being planned through PPP. Roads to Paradeep are being widened to 4 lane

Other Ports/Minor Ports:

Sites, which have been identified for minor ports developments are given below:

Gopalpur port

Gopalpur port in Ganjam district has been operating as a minor port but it operates only during fair weather. Considering the requirements of port-based steel plants and other industries which are coming up near the port, it has been decided to develop Gopalpur port into an all-weather port through private investment. Accordingly, the state government has signed an MOU with a private company to develop this port. There are possibilities for the development of some other minor ports in the Orissa.

Salient Features of Gopalpur Port

  • Deep Draught Port is being developed with private sector investment
  • 1300 hectare land close to Port readily available
  • Connected to Kolkata-Chennai National rail grid. Rail connectivity to mine hinterland of south Orissa proposed 200 MW of power system available
  • Gopalpur Airfield for small aircrafts available
  • Air connectivity at Bhubaneswar - 179 km
  • 18 MGD water supply system under development
  • Technical Education & Training Facilities available
  • 200 MW of power system available
  • Gopalpur Airfield for small aircrafts available
  • Air connectivity at Bhubaneswar - 179 km
  • 18 MGD water supply system under development
  • Technical Education & Training Facilities available

Advantages of Gopalpur Port:

  • Lower tariff for port usage
  • Lower freight movement charges with a user-SPV being formed (Similar to Paradeep-Haridaspur) to develop Therubali-Gunupur rail line: higher axle load capacity can also be planned.
  • Lower turnaround time at new port vis--vis Vizag port
  • Higher tonnage vessels at Gopalpur because of superior draught as compared to Vizag

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Dhamra Port

Salient Features of Dhamra Port

  • Being developed as the deepest port with 18 meter draught capable of handling 1,80,000 DWT vessels
  • Expected to be completed by September, 2008
  • Adequate land, fresh water & power available in proximity to the Port
  • Air connectivity at Bhubaneswar - 200 km
  • Dedicated road connecting NH-5 on the Golden Quadrilateral
  • Dedicated rail link connecting to Howrah-Chennai national rail grid
  • Nearby to the proposed national gas grid being planned by GAIL

The government has already formulated a Port Policy which lays down the path for the development of ports and other associated infrastructure, for promoting industry, trade and commerce.

Paradeep is the largest port in Orissa. It handled 38.52 million tonnes of cargo. In 2006-07 of which 24.85 million tonnes were exports and 13.65 million tonnes were imports. The Port is connected with Broad-gauge Railway system of the south-eastern Railway and is also served by National Highway No. 5A.

The Government encourages private firms to create infrastructure for several upcoming metallurgical projects. Gopalpur Port in Ganjam district and Dhamra in Bhadrak are other important ports in the state being upgraded.

The port implements the single-window service facility through its Central Documentation Centre (CDC). Besides housing the Traffic, Marine and Finance & Accounts departments, The CDC also extends customs and banking service facilities. Paradeep port handles various commodities, such as chrome ore, coking coal, fertilizers food grains, fertilizers, food grains, iron ore and thermal coal. Other important ports are Gopalpur Port in Ganjam district and Dhamra in Bhadrak.


Orissa is well-connected with the national rail network. It has rail lines of 2287 km, including 91 km of narrow gauge. The Orissa railway network is a part of the East Coast Railway, which is the largest carrier of commercial load in both freight as well as passenger traffic in the country.

  • Orissa is a critical link between eastern and western India through the railway network of South-Eastern and East-Coast Railways.
  • With the commissioning of the Talcher-Sambalpur railway line, a vital link has been established between Coastal and Western Orissa.
  • While construction of the Koraput-Rayagada line has been completed, work on the Daitari-Banspani (expected completion is by 2006) and Khurda Road-Bolangir railway links are in progress.
  • Development of Haridaspur-Paradeep and Angul-Duburi-Sukinda Road rail links, currently being planned, will connect the resource base to the industries.

The government of Orissa has signed a memorandum of understanding with Rail Vikas Nigam Limited for the Haridaspur-Paradeep link. The project cost is finished since 2008. Out of the total of 942 acres, 770 acres have already been handed over to the railways.

An integrated Railway Modernisation Plan 2005-10 is envisaged as under:

  • Improving operational efficiency of the railways i.e. by better wagon utilization, increased speed of freight trains and improving reliability of assets
  • Introduction of high axle load operation on select mineral routes including Daitari- Banspani and Haridaspur- Paradeep
  • Introduction of stainless steel body wagons and light weight aluminium wagons
  • Development of roll-on-roll-off door-to-door service
  • Introduction of self-steering bogies
  • Mechanised cleaning of stations and coaches
  • Modern and environment friendly toilets in coaches


Orissa has a domestic airport located at the state capital of Bhubaneswar in Khurda district. The airport has been modernized. The airport connects the state with Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Nagpur, Mumbai and Hyderabad. There are also 13 airstrips and 16 helipads

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Social Infrastructure


The State of Orissa has a strong network of educational institutions which train a steady pool of qualified professionals for businesses and industries in the state.

The state has 9 universities, 88 engineering / MCA colleges and 18 medical colleges, as well as 700 Universities of higher education. More specifically, these include technical institutes, 47 colleges offering post graduate courses in computer applications, an agriculture university, 20 management institutes, 4 medical colleges (including a dental college), 3 nursing colleges and 14 pharmacy institutes.


Orissa has about 1,701 government allopathic medical institutions with 13,886 hospital beds in the state. In 2005, there were 174 hospitals, 231 community health centres, 120 primary health centres (PHCs) 1,162 PHCs (with new facilities) and 14 mobile health units in Orissa. The state has launched a Sanitation Campaign to provide sanitation to all households in all the 30 districts by 2009-10.

Industrial Infrastructure

Telecom and IT

As of August 2007, the state had 3.8 million wireless connections and 770,000 wireline subscribers. The development of telecom infrastructure within the State has been a key objective of the State in assisting businesses and attracting further investment. This has been a key factor in establishing a largely growing IT and IT enabled Services base in the state and has resulted in the development of various IT Parks and towers.

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More Information on Orissa

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