The demand for setting up Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Sambalpur is gaining momentum after the Centre asked the State Government to suggest three suitable locations for the purpose.
The missive from the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has charged up politicians, intellectuals, pressure groups and voluntary organisation of the district.
On Saturday, a delegation comprising Sambalpur MP Nagendra Pradhan, Sambalpur MLA Raseswari Panigrahi, Deputy Chief Whip and Rairakhol MLA Rohit Pujari and Rengali MLA Ramesh Patua called on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Bhubaneswar and requested him to consider Sambalpur as a location for establishment of the premier management institute.
They told the Chief Minister that Sambalpur has the requisite infrastructure and facilities including temporary place to run IIM besides upcoming airport at Jharsuguda. The Chief Minister assured the delegation of looking into the matter.
On Friday, a BJD delegation led by State Secretary of Biju Yuva Janata Dal Sanjit Mohanty submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister at Bhubaneswar requesting him for establishment of proposed IIM in Sambalpur.
The memorandum stated that though Sambalpur is considered an important hub of Western Odisha, the district is yet to have any national level institute.
It also stated that while all other cities of the State including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Rourkela have been endowed with national institutes, Sambalpur has been neglected in this regard.
Meanwhile, Hirakhand Nagarik Parishad, a pressure group of Sambalpur town resolved on Friday to send a delegation comprising intellectuals and eminent citizens of Sambalpur to meet Prime Minister, Chief Minister and Chief Secretary of Odisha shortly.Members of Utkantha, a voluntary organisation met Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at Sambalpur railway station on Thursday while he was on his way to Bhubaneswar from Ranchi and pressed the demand for setting up the IIM at Sambalpur.
Earlier, former State BJP president Suresh Pujari had called on Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani to raise the demand. While Pujari is confident that his demand will get priority, the fact that the Government has to provide 200 acres of land for the institute will give it an upper hand over any political consideration.