PROFILE OF GAJAPATI DISTRICT

INTRODUCTION:

 

 Gajapati district has been named after Maharaja Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deb, the Ex-Raja Sahib of Paralakhemundi estate (the 1st Prime Minister of Orissa State), who is remembered for his contribution in formation of a separate Orissa province and inclusion of Paralakhemundi estate in Orissa.The district headquarters at Paralakhemundi erstwhile a princely estate, has been clustered within a radius of approximately 05 kilometers around the geometric centre of Paralakhemundi.  The District came into being with effect from 2nd October 1992.  Prior to this it was a part (Sub-Division) of Ganjam district. 

 

GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION:

   

LOCATION:

This district is lying between 180.46 North & 190.39 North latitude and 830.48 East & 840.08 East longitude.  The area is abutting the state boundary i.e. Andhra Pradesh towards South. Ganjam district bound this district on the East, Rayagada district on the West, Ganjam and Phulbani districts on the North.

 

CLIMATE & RAINFALL:

Atmospheric temperature varies between   160 to 450 Celsius.  The normal rainfall received in the district is 1403.30 mm.  The average rainfall of the district during the year 1993 to 2008 is as follows.

Year

Rainfall in mm.

Year

Rainfall in mm.

1994

1,415.43

2004

1,280.94

1995

2,080.42

2005

1,452.42

1996

893.36

2006

1,704.50

1997

1,338.42

2007

1,206.31

1998

1,246.91

2008

1,443.04

1999

1,048.12

2009

1,336.04

2000

1,164.34

   

2001

1,281.54

   

2002

707.15

   

2003

1,618.77

   

 

SOIL & ROCK:

            The major part of the district belongs to hilly terrain and undulated topography, which is inhabited by the tribal.  The highest mountain of the district, Mahendragiri lies at an altitude of 4,923 feet above the sea level.  The soil quality is alluvial, brown, land laterites, clay loam, sandy loam and red soil. The geographical formation of the district is Alluvial, brown land Lateriates, Gondowanas, Newer Dolerites and Archon comprising igneous and metamorphic rocks.  The main soil types are clay loam, sandy loam and red soil.

 VEGETATION:

The soil and climate is suitable for plantation crops and there is a great potential of horticulture development in the district.  More than 60% of lands are situated in hilly terrain, which has been treated as high lands, mainly suited for horticulture plantation and other cultivable land belongs to the category of medium lands and low lands.

 MINERAL RESOURCES:

The mountains contain no exploitable mineral of economic value. However, the major economic minerals in the district are granite decorative stones found in some part of the Paralakhemundi Tahasil.

 WATER RESOURCES:

The river Vansadhara and Mahendratanaya are two important rivers of Gajapati district.  The river Vansadhara originated from Lanjigarh area of Kalahandi district and passes through Kashinagar block and flows southwards along the borderline of Gajapati district.  The river Mahendratanaya has originated from the Mahendragiri range and flows in the westward direction through Rayagada block and then to southward direction through Gosani block.  Another river Badanadi flows through western part of Mohana block.

 FOREST:

            The total forest area of 2,301.98 sq. km and area of 437.52 sq. km is reserve forest. The major forest products are Timber, Bamboo, Hill Broom, Patala Garuda, Soap nut, B. Kaliakhali, Marsinga leaf, Dhatuki flowers, Kochila seeds, Genduli gum, Siali leaves and Kathalai etc.

 INDUSTRY:

Except a few agro-processing units, there is no major industry in this district.  However some activities of cottage industries like Horn work, Jaikhadi bag, Cane & Bamboo work, Ganjappa Card & Pattachitra Mukha, Broom work & Siali leaf plate making and Tibetan Woolen Carpet contributes some place in the cottage industries of the district.

 COMMUNICATION:

            Paralakhemundi town is situated on the axis of State Highway No.17 connecting Berhampur at one end and Gunupur and Rayagada on the other.  Berhampur is situated at 120 KMs. from this place and other urban nuclei like Gunupur and Rayagada are distanced at 60 & 120 KMs. respectively.  The nearest National Highway (N.H5) junction is at around 40 KMs. from this place. There was a narrow gauge railway line (called Naupada-Gunupur Rail line) running through this town. The work of conversion to broad gauge is going on.

 ECONOMY:

            Broadly, this town depicts agrarian economy. The geography and the climate are conducive for production of crops like paddy, sugarcane, sunflower, oilseeds etc. This town behaves as a nodal point for accumulation & marketing of such products produced in the hinterland.  The available connectivity to this town needs up-gradation to boost the economy. Paralakhemundi cannot be thought of in isolation without the nearest transport node Palasa (A.P). It connects to the mainstream of state & national economy through Palasa, the major railway junction of East Coast Railway, which plays a catalyst on the economic front.We have experienced, a chaotic mess of urban functions prevail over the space and eroded the quality of life. The population is marching ahead vis-a-vis the pressure on infrastructure like water supply, electricity, roads and housing is in upward trend.