BHUBANESWAR: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday proposed the Centre to upgrade the Biju Patnaik National Steel Institute (BPNSI) in Puri to a full-fledged national institute on the lines of Indian Institute of Technology.Naveen made the proposal during a discussion with Union steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh here, said an official statement issued by the chief minister's office.The BPNSI was set up by the Union ministry of steel in 2002 to cater to the technical manpower need of the steel industry in the eastern region of the country. It is functioning from a rented building.Though the Union Cabinet had decided to upgrade it to an autonomous body for providing certificate courses in BTech, M Tech and PhD, the proposal is yet to be implemented. The chief minister, during the meeting, urged the Union minister to immediately implement the Cabinet decision.While the institute was proposed to offer courses relating to education and training, research and development, and consultancy to boost the steel sector in the entire eastern region of the country, at present it only offers a diploma course with limited faculty members, an official source said.Naveen also urged the Union minister to direct the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to start mining two limestone and dolomite blocks and set up a cement factory in Sundargarh district. Mining has been stopped in the two mines since March 2003 over various reasons.According to the statement, the chief minister also requested the Union minister to direct SAIL to handover five hectares of vacant land in Rourkela to the state government.The state housing and urban development department has proposed a sewage treatment plant on the land.Briefing reporters after the meeting, the Union minister said the Centre's plan is to enhance the country's steel production to 300 million tonne (MT) by 2030 according to the national steel policy of which Odisha has the potential to contribute 100 MT.On the state government's proposals, Singh said he will examine the proposals and take appropriate steps.
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