Industrial Capital of Odisha
"Steel City", "Ispat Mahanagar","Engineering Hub"
|Established||3 March 1954|
|• Type||Municipal Corporation|
|• Body||Rourkela Municipal Corporation|
|• Member of Legislative Assembly||Shri Sarda Prasad Nayak, (BJD)|
|• Administrator of Rourkela Municipal Corporation||Mr. D.V Swamy, IAS|
|• Divisional Forest Officer Cum Wildlife Warden||Shri Sanjay Kumar Swain, IFS|
|• City||90 km2 (30 sq mi)|
|Elevation||218.23 m (715.98 ft)|
|• City||3.6 lakh|
|• Rank||India 80th, Odisha 3rd|
|• Density||6,504/km2 (16,850/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
Rourkela pronunciation (help·info) is a planned city located in the northern part of Odisha, India. It is the third-largest Urban Agglomeration in Odisha. It is situated about 328 kilometres (204 mi) north of state capital Bhubaneswar and is surrounded by a range of hills and encircled by rivers - Koel, Sankha, and Brahmani. The city is also popularly known as Ispat Nagar and also as the Steel City of Odisha. It has one of the largest steel plants of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) known as Rourkela Steel Plant. It also has one of the National Institutes of Technology (NIT Rourkela) of the country. The city has been selected as smart city in the third phase of the smart city list on 20 September 2016. Among all the 27 city list Rourkela ranked 12th position on merit basis. Every year, on 3 March Rourkela Day is celebrated. Rourkela has been declared India's Fastest Moving City (East Zone 2-10 Lakh). Rourkela is third largest city of Odisha state and is categorised as a Tier-2 city.
The name Rourkela originates from the local language of Sadri which means "Your Village"(Rour = Your & kela comes from the word "Kila" which means Village). It comes under Sundergarh district of the Indian state of Odisha.
The twin towns of Rourkela and Fertilizer Township (Sector-22), as well as their developed periphery, are located in areas that were once covered by dense forests. These forests were once a favourite hunting ground for the kings in the past. According to the census report of 2011, Rourkela has a population of 483,038 (Rourkela Industrial Township is 273,217 and Rourkela Town is 210,412) and the urban metropolitan area population is 536,450. The then railway station of Rourkela was within the revenue village of Mahulpali. India's first public sector steel plant facility was established in Rourkela with the help of German businesses Krupp and Demag. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the town was the largest German colony outside Germany.
Some merchants started settling in and around the village of Rourkela, with business objectives, and the Railway station was named after the village of Rourkela. The erstwhile revenue village of Rourkela is now popularly known as old Rourkela.
The B.N.R. Company (Bengal-Nagpur Railway Company) constructed the Howrah Nagpur railways, which ran through Rourkela. The inhabited area around the railway station of Rourkela was declared an urban town in the year 1931. The census report of 1931 reveals that the number of population was 493. By the time a primary school, an office of the forester, a sub-post office, a handful of liquor shops, tea shops, a small health center and restaurants were found around the outlying area of the railway station. Gradually a train line was connected to Birmitrapur and Rourkela and it could avail a status of a junction allowing the settlement of more railway employees. Soon another station at the village Panposh was built 10 km away. The population of Panposh by 1931 was 2,252 almost five times that of Rourkela.
There was a village called Durgapur in between Rourkela and Panposh stations. The construction of the sub-divisional court building was started in 1945 at the village Durgapur. Hence the nearby hills were also known as Durgapur Pahada (Durgapur Hills), today it is known as Uditnagar. As a result, the two railway stations of Panposh and Rourkela came into recognition.
Following India's independence, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, wanted to make India an industrialised state in Soviet model of social development; giving wings to his dreams, Sri Biju Pattanaik convinced Pandit Nehru to consider the location of Rourkela for setting up a steel plant.
The mineral-rich zone of Rourkela intersected by the rivers Brahmani, Koel and Sankha from two sides was aptly chosen for the same.
The preliminary survey for the steel plant at Rourkela was started in 1952 and the Government of Odisha issued a gazette notification on 16 February 1954. In accordance with the notification, the Government of Odisha acquired an area of about 80 square miles around Rourkela for the purpose of Steel Plant.
The German private companies Krupp and Demag came forward to provide financial and technical help for the proposed steel plant at Rourkela. Krupp built Rourkela Steel Plant drawing from experience from its own works in Essen, Germany. The technical experts of the company advised the Government of India as well as the Government of Odisha for acquiring more land. As a result, a further area of 32 square kilometres was acquired out of 31 revenue villages. Almost 13,000 people in 2,424 families lost their dwelling. Later further 11,000 acres (4,500 ha) of land were acquired out of 31 revenue villages for the construction of Mandira Dam, a water embankment. Moreland was requisitioned for the purpose of constructing railway lines to Hatia and Barsuan. The construction of the Bondamunda Railway junction required the further acquisition of land which resulted in 20,000 people's displacement from their habitat. Though there was initial discontentment among the tribals about the land acquisition the authority largely resolved the land dispute, as many of the tribals were provided employment and accommodation. The displaced tribals were relocated to places such as Jalda, Jhirpani, Bisra, and Bondamunda. Their new settlement even extended beyond the river Koel.
A string of industrial units and townships such as Rourkela Steel Plant, Fertiliser Plant, Fertiliser Township, Steel Township and for water facility Mandira Dam in Ushra sprung up and for the establishment of these townships and Steel plant government has to take land from the residents of more than 50 revenue villages who got displaced and were resettled in different colonies like Jhirpani Resettlement Colony and Bondamunda Re-settlement Colony. A marshaling yard and a railway junction were established at Bondamunda. Thousands of technical personnel from West Germany came to Rourkela to extend their technical assistance. Some of these Germans came with their family and their small diaspora created the 'Indo-German Club' to socialise. The club exists today with a well-stocked library known as Max Muller library. There are a plethora of local stories of Germans social encounters with tribals (local Adivasis) and people from other parts of India who had relocated themselves to Rourkela for employment. A large part of this population was from coastal and western Odisha who were trained by the German workforce to adapt to the steel plant's technology rigour. The steel plant, which was hugely surrounded by forest, many times witnessed wild animals straying into the plant area. A royal Bengal tiger's lugubrious death in the steel plant's massive blast furnace is a part of the city's folklore. There were also tales about the disappearance of Germans in the nearby Vedvyas cave and the dread whirlpool of river Koel. The river still accounts for human casualty as some day-trippers wade into the water unaware of the maelstrom.
Since 2015 Rourkela has seen many modernizations as well as infrastructural developments. In 2017 the Railway ministry announced the operations of a new Rajdhani train that would go via Rourkela.
Rourkela is located at 84.54E longitude and 22.12N latitude in Sundergarh district of Odisha at an elevation of about 219 m (719 ft) above mean sea level. The area of Rourkela is 200 square kilometres approximately. Being situated on the Howrah-Mumbai rail track, Rourkela had an added advantage of the steel plant being set up there. Red and laterite soils are found here which are quite rich in minerals. The area near Rourkela is rich in iron-ore hence a steel plant is situated in Rourkela. Bolani and Barsuan are the two most prominent mines situated near the town. Rourkela is situated in a hilly region. A small hill range named Durgapur Pahad runs through the heart of the city dividing it into plant area and the steel township. The name "Durgapur" comes from an old village that existed at the foothills long time ago before the plant was set up. The South Koel River and Sankha rivers meet at Vedvyas, Rourkela and flow as a single river called Brahmani.
The Rourkela Township is divided into two separate townships under the Census of India as Steel Township and Civil Township. The Residential quarter's colony of Rourkela Steel Plant having 21 sectors on record (while in reality the Sector – 10, 11 and 12 do not exist, though the area for the same is earmarked) is called Steel Township and the other part is called Civil Township. One smaller township Fertiliser was renamed sector-22, as this township is within the purview of SAIL.
The 16 km long Ring Road, connects 19 sectors and some other parts of the steel city including old Rourkela. Other layouts include Chhend Colony, Basanti Nagar, Civil Township, Station Road (Bus and Railway), Koel Nagar, Jagda, Jhirpani, Panposh, Udit Nagar, Fertiliser Township, Hamirpur, IGH Road, Vedvyas.
Rourkela has a tropical climate and receives high rainfall during Southwest monsoon (June – September) and retreating Northeast monsoon (December – January). Average annual rainfall ranges between 160 and 200 cm. The minimum and maximum temperatures are in the range of 5 C to 49.7 C with a mean minimum and maximum temperature range of 12.0 C to 31.5 C during coldest and hottest months. Thirty six percent of the geographical area of the district has semi-evergreen or tropical dry deciduous forest.
|Climate data for Rourkela, Odisha|
|Average high °C (°F)||27.0
|Average low °C (°F)||8.2
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||13
Rourkela is the industrial capital of Odisha (Formerly Orissa). Rourkela, with a population of 6 lakhs and the first place in India to house the 1.8 million ton integrated steel plant, joins the IT world through STPI. The city is popularly known as the engineering heartland of India. STPI has already set up a dedicated earth station in Rourkela. It is set to welcome the IT entrepreneurs for their uprising destination. It is truly cosmopolitan in nature and enjoys high-class international infrastructure, modern amenities, and skilled professionals for software development and exports. Odisha (Formerly Orissa) being the latest addition in E-Governance applications, creates enthusiasm for software development companies to explore the domestic business also. Location-wise it is truly a hill station, with integrated infrastructure such as rail, road, air, abundant natural resources such as land, water, and power, rich pool of skilled people, top-rated social and civic infrastructure for reposing, and Universal friendliness. These factors have attracted many industrialists outside the state to choose Rourkela as their destination. Rourkela enjoys the pride of being the knowledge hub in the state due to its academic records. The geographical location is another blessing. In history, it has never faced any sort of natural calamity whatsoever, except for some heavy rainfall. The above-mentioned factors along with the most stabilised electrical power supply, good administration, and industrial nature offer ample opportunity for Rourkela to impress the IT World.
As Rourkela has been a Steel City and Big Core Sector in case of Iron, Steel, heavy blast furnace, etc. there are a number of industries in and around Rourkela such as Larsen & Toubro Fabrication Plant in Kansbahal.
OCL Industrial Township in Rajgangpur and many others in Kalunga Industrial Estate.
The steel city is divided mainly into two sections: Old Rourkela (sections of the city near the railway station that were settled prior to RSP coming up) and the much larger Steel township. The Steel township till 1999, was divided into 18 Sectors, Sector 6 being the largest of them.
The Steel Township and Fertiliser Township are under the Steel Plant Administration while the other sections of the city are under the Rourkela Municipal Corporation. Some rural areas of South Rourkela are managed by the Jalda Panchayat. Central Water Commission has its sub-divisional headquarters near Panposh.
As of 2011[update] India census, Rourkela had a population of 536,450. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Rourkela has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 81%, and female literacy is 69%. In Rourkela, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
- Density of Population – 6,696 per km2. approx.
- Sex Ratio – 835 Female per 1000 male.
- Per capita income – Highest in Odisha.
- Population (Census 2011) – 552,970 where as Rourkela Industrial Township (210,412) & Rourkela Town (273,217).
- Main Habitations in Rourkela – Civil Township, Koelnagar, Chhend Colony, Uditnagar, Steel Township (Eighteen Sectors), Fertiliser Township, Industrial Estate, Basanti colony, Railway colony, Jhirpani, Jagda, Panposh, Vedavyas, Bondamunda, Bisra and Kalunga.
Towards the end of 1946, most of the existing roads of the Sundargarh District were constructed. One National Highway i.e. (NH-143) passes through Rourkela which runs from Chas-Ranchi-Rourkela-Barkote-Banarpal – Junction with (NH-55). About 30 km of this highway passes through in and around Rourkela. Though the finalization of the project is awaited the planning for four linings of this highway is under consideration. One more National Highway i.e. NH – 215 which runs from Rajamunda (in Sundergarh district) to Panikoili in Jajpur district.
Other than this the SH-10 which runs from Rourkela to Sambalpur is another good road used in a large way particularly after its renovation and up gradation in 1995. This highway has recently been upgraded to a four-lane highway under the Biju Expressway project. There are a number of other departmental roads in and around Rourkela stretched in different parts.
From a civic point of view, the Steel City consists of two parts i.e. Steel Township and Civil Township. While the ring road constructed by Rourkela Steel Plant Authority which has surrounded the Steel Township the other part of the ring road is Civil Township. The Steel Township roads are also maintained by the RSP authority.
There are a number of daily Bus Services from Rourkela to different parts of Orissa and also, a few, to neighboring states like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. There are a number of city buses plying daily on different routes in the city.
The new Bus Terminus at Uditnagar, Rourkela constructed by Rourkela Development Authority caters to various demands of Bus services to different parts of the states. Other than the New Bus stand, there are a number of ticket booking counters in different parts of the city for the public to book tickets for various destinations. In 2014, Government of Odisha decided to build Biju Expressway stretching from Rourkela to Jagdalpur 
Rourkela Railway junction is situated on the Howrah-Mumbai line under South-Eastern Railway. Apart from Rourkela Station, the other stations in Sundargarh District are Bondamunda, Rajgangpur, Kalunga, Kansbahal, etc. The Steel City is well connected through Railway to Howrah & Mumbai. Apart from this, the city enjoys direct connectivity to Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Ranchi, Dhanbad & Pune too.
Many goods train also pass through Rourkela every day. Rourkela is a profit-generating junction of South-Eastern Railway. From Rourkela junction, one line also goes to Biramitrapur whereas two from Bondamunda. One more line goes from Bimalagarh to Kiriburu.
|Station name||Station code||Railway zone||Total platforms||Important trains|
|Rourkela Junction railway station||ROU||South Eastern Railway zone||5|
After inception of Rourkela Steel Plant, the Govt. of India built up an Air Strip at Rourkela in 60's and till 1991 it was under Government control. In 1991 the management and control of this Air strip was transferred to Steel Authority of India, Rourkela Steel Plant. As per the license agreement of Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Government of India, Rourkela Airport comes under Private License category.
Time to time some of the important dignitaries and VVIPs boarding flights are landing here but so far the regular flight has not flying from this air strip for public conveyance. The dialogue with Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India is on for using it for public purpose, specially when many low cost operators are operating from small towns. Now this Airport is being used by some private company and industrialists for private use by paying the required charges.
Airlines and destinations
There are a number of hospitals in Rourkela
- Ispat General Hospital
- Rourkela Government Hospital
- Shanti Memorial Hospital
- ESIC Model Hospital
- Sub Divisional Hospital, Panposh
- Lifeline Hospital
- Community Welfare Society Hospital, Rourkela
- Vesaj Patel Hospital
- KTH Hospital
- Ambica Munda Hospital
- Super Speciality Rourkela
- Rajasthan Seva Sadan Hospital
- Lions Eye Hospital
- Hi-Tech Medical(College)
- Jaiprakash Hospital and Research Centre, Uditnagar, Rourkela
- Jaiprakash Hospital (Main Campus), Dayanand Nagar, Vedvyas, Rourkela
Recreation & Tourism
Rourkela has three major recreation parks in Steel Township area. These are Indira Gandhi Park, Jubilee Park, and Ispat Nehru Park Udyaan along with the recently inagurated Community Park at Civil Township.
Bhanja Bhaban (comprising the Bhanja Kala Kendra and the Library) and Civic Centre hosts the State level and National Level Drama, Fashion and Dancing competitions throughout the year. The city has several cinemas, including Konark, UMA, Apsara, Deepak and Razzaq (presently all of them being turned into multiplex). A couple of multiplexes however have started recently, namely PSR Cinemas, Panposh Road and Cineplex, Shanti Towers. Pantaloons and a host of other brand stores have made their presence in newly inagurated CROSSROAD MALL (Railway Station Road). Several food courts like Ambagan Food Court, Sector 5 VIP Market, Koel Nagar NAC Market, Khana Khazana, 7 AM & Max Restaurant and Bakery, The Cakery Bakery and Paris Bakery in New Rourkela, Green Chillyz behind Ambagan are some of the most visited places. Many Malls are under construction or in the completion phase like Fe2 Arcade (Sector 5), Forum Galleria (Civil Township), Pluto Plaza (Chhend Colony)(The Biggest Mall of Western Odisha and 2nd Largest Mall in Odisha) and many more in the pipeline.
"The Hands of Steel" or the "Ten Million Monument" was designed by Vijay Acquilla and made at the initiative of Dr. P L Agarwal. Rourkela is surrounded by hills.
Major Tourist Destinations in Rourkela are as follows :
- Hanuman Vatika, Civil Township
- Mandira Dam
- Kanshbahal Dam
- Sarafgarh Dam
- Vaishnodevi Temple, Rourkela (Replica of Vaishnodevi Temple )
- Shri Chandrashekhar Mahadev Mandir o Vyas Gumpha(Cave), Vedvyas
- Shri Ghogareshwara Baba Mandir, Ghoghar
- Blue Stone Picnic Area
- Darjing Picnic Spot
- Indira Gandhi Park
- Ispat Nehru Park
- Ispat Jubilee Park
- Khandadhar Waterfall
- Lagoon Park
- Maria Pahad
- Nehru Traffic Park
- Pitamahal Dam
- Badalgiri Waterfall
- Ramakrishna Mission, Hamirpur, Sector-19
- Rani Sati Mandir, Biramitrapur
- Shri Jagannath o Baidyanath Mahaprabhu Mandir Parisar, Ahirabandh, Sector-3
- Shri Baidyanath Mahadev Mandir, Jhirpani Re-Settlement Colony
- Shri Dhabaleswar Mandir, Deogaon
- Koel Sangam Ghat, River Koel - River Dev, Jhirpani Re-Settlement Colony
- Shri Niladri Bihari Jagannath Temple, Jhirpani Re-Settlement Colony
- Palace of Keshari Rajvansh, Jhirpani Re- Settlement Colony, Jabaghat
- Sri Sai Mandir, Vedvyas
- Tarkera Dam
Rourkela City has a radio station of All India Radio (A.I.R) on FM Band 102.6 MHz since 24 June 1995. AIR Rourkela has one transmission from 0600am to 1110pm daily. Other privately owned radio channels include Radio 92.7 BIG FM, Choklate 104 FM, 98.3 Tarang FM and 91.9 Sarthak FM. These channels broadcast Hindi and Odia film and non-film songs, talk shows and other entertainment programmes. Web Media channels such as 'Odisha Shines' and 'Rourkela Shines' provide local news and information through various portals.
Major Odia Festivals are celebrated such as Utkala Dibasa, Ram Navami, Pana Sankranti(Odia new year), Devasnan Purnima, Raja, Rath Yatra, Raji Karma Puja, Nuakhai, Sarna Puja, Durga Puja, Kartik Purnima, etc. along with other festivals such as Ganesh Puja, Laxmi Puja, Kali Puja, Vishwakarma Puja, Deepawali, Dola Yatra, Holi are celebrated.
The City Fest named as 1st Brahmani River Festival in its first edition was from 1 to 3 February 2019. It showcased the rich tribal heritage that is present in and around Rourkela and Sundargarh District.
Rourkela is the educational, technical and medical research hub of Western Odisha and even students from all parts of Odisha and some parts of neighboring states Jharkhand and West Bengal come here to pursue higher education. It houses many English medium schools which provide CBSE and ICSE certificates to their students.
There are ICSE-ISC board schools like Sri Aurobindo's Rourkela School, St. Paul's School, Mt. Carmel School, St. Joseph's Convent School, Ispat English Medium School, Indo English School, Chinmaya Vidyalaya(E.M.), MGM English Medium School, DeSouza's School, St. Thomas School, St. Mary's School, Loreto English School. Most of them are missionary based organizations run by licensee trustees. The CBSE board schools include Deepika English Medium School, Delhi Public School, Saraswati Vidya Mandir, Dayanand Anglo-Vedic (DAV) School and St.Arnold school. The Central government has its own Kendriya Vidyalaya in Sector-6 and in Bondamunda. It also has notable Odia medium schools like Chinmaya Vidyalaya;
The National Institute of Technology, Rourkela (NIT-R) ranks 2nd (NIRF Ranking 2018) in terms of education and placement quality in India. The students of various schools in Rourkela represent their schools in various national and international level competitions including IMO, IChO, and NASA.
Rourkela has a Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital Rourkela and is the only city in Odisha to have a private medical college outside Bhubaneshwar. The local leaders have demanded a government medical college in Rourkela. There are over 15 colleges for arts, science, and commerce streams under the Sambalpur University. Some of the famous ones are Government Autonomous College, Rourkela Municipal College, Ispat College, SG Women's College. There are also private engineering & management colleges like Rourkela Institute of Management Studies (RIMS), DAMITS, Rourkela Institute of Technology (RIT), Kanak Manjari Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences(KMIPS), Padmanava College of Engineering (PCE) and Purushottam Institute of Engineering and Technology these colleges come under the jurisdiction of Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) and the head office is located in Chennd, Rourkela.
India's former captains Dilip Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey and Prabodh Tirkey, deep defender Lazarus Barla started their careers in Rourkela. Rourkela has special hockey hostels for kids, upbringing the next generation players with some of the best amenities. It has produced a few Arjuna Awardees, including Minati Mohapatra. Olympians of repute like Paralympian Roshan and Rachita Mistry are from this city. Former hockey player and 1972 Summer Olympics Bronze medal winner, Michael Kindo, also happens to be a current resident of the city. Indian national cricketer Sanjay Raul and the Under-19 world cup representative Chandrakant Barik play from this city. Pabitra Mohan Mohanty, the former national 'B' champion in chess and second only to Viswanathan Anand in national 'A' category is a resident of this city.
The city has a sports hub of two stadiums and few other sports grounds located in sector-6. The two stadiums are Ispat Stadium and an AstroTurf hockey stadium. The AstroTurf hockey stadium was built by SAIL. There is a basketball ground, a chess hall, and a well-maintained volleyball ground nearby. The indoor stadium at sector-20 hosts the badminton and Table Tennis events.
Rourkela has an International hockey stadium with synthetic astroturf which has been host to World Junior Hockey Championship and been a training centre to most of the international Hockey players of India. Ispat Stadium has been host for several Ranji Trophy matches and youth ODIs. The city has produced many reputed Ranji players in the recent times. RSP does promote various different sports like - Cycling, Boxing, Archery, Soccer and lots more.
- Sports Hostel, Chhend
- Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium (Sector-5)
- Ispat Stadium (Sector-6)
- Indoor Stadium (Sector-20)
- Sports Hostel, Panposh
- Ispat Mini Stadium, Fertiliser Township (Sector-22)
- Chhend Mini Stadium, Chhend
- Jalda Mini Stadium, Jalda
- Binita Toppo (female hockey)
- Dilip Tirkey
- Lazarus Barla
- Ignace Tirkey
- Prabodh Tirkey (younger brother of Ignace Tirkey)
- Birendra Lakra
- Lazarus Barla, Indian hockey player
- Natraj Behera, former Odisha cricket team captain
- Samir Dash, entrepreneur
- Harish Hande, Magsaysay Award winner
- Michael Kindo, Indian hockey player and Olympic medalist
- Ramendra Kumar, award-winning children's fiction writer
- Rachita Mistry, Olympiad
- Bibhu Mohapatra, fashion designer, USA
- Mira Nair, film director and author
- Jual Oram, Current MP from Sundargarh, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence and Former Union Minister for Tribal Affairs (2014-2019)
- Govinda Poddar, current Odisha cricket team captain
- Dilip Ray, MLA (Rourkela), founder of Mayfair group of hotels
- Biswapati Sarkar, writer and director
- Dilip Tirkey, former captain, Indian National Hockey Team
- Ignace Tirkey, former captain, Indian National Hockey Team
- Prabodh Tirkey, former captain, Indian National Hockey Team
- Amish Tripathi, author
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