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Ramakanta Biswas

The Odisha Assembly on Saturday passed the Odisha University of Technology and Research Bill, 2021, upgrading the State Capital Bhubaneswar-based College of Engineering and Technology (CET) into a non-affiliating unitary university. 

The State Cabinet in July this year had approved the proposal for upgradation of the institute into an unitary university. 
With the passage of the bill, the four decade old premier technical institute in the State will now be called Odisha University of Technology and Research

The main objective of the university will be to develop education, research and training in the fields of engineering, technology and information technology, act as a centre for enhancing mutual cooperation and cooperation among teaching, research community and industries. 

This apart, it will also organize exchange programmes with reputed institutions in India and abroad with the aim of becoming aware of modern development in education and research.

The State Assembly also cleared the Odisha Town Planning and Improvement Trust (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The Odisha Town Planning & Improvement Trust (OTP & IT) Act, 1956 was enacted 65 years ago and the urban planning and development norms have undergone drastic changes in the meanwhile necessitating certain amendments to make it practical, progressive and relevant to the contemporary times, a statement read by the government read.

The Odisha Town Planning & Improvement Trust (Amendment) Act, 2021 has been passed in order to achieve the following objectives: 

  • Achievement of goals set under the ST Charter of Government of Odisha and the guidelines of Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) devised by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Government of India. 
  • Removal of the archaic and redundant provisions like reference to the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and limited financial powers of the Chairman relating to signing of contracts. 
  • Introduction of modern concepts of planning namely Transferable Development Rights. 
  • Introduction of Common Application Forms to ensure uniformity and single window disposal system. 
  • Relaxation of procedures for approval of Low Risk Buildings. 
  • Introduction of enabling provisions for the State Government to make Rules on the subjects relevant to the amendment and contemporary times. 
  • Standardising the planning norms across the State by bringing the Odisha Town Planning & Improvement Trust Act, 1956 at par with the Odisha Development Authority Act, 1982. 
  • Introduction of the state-of-the-art Online Building Plan Approval system across all the Urban Local Bodies of the State. 
  • Delegation of Town Planning function to all the Urban Local Bodies in accordance with the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act 
  • Ensuring better enforcement mechanism by introducing the provisions of demolition of unauthorised construction and ceiling provision for violation of the provisions of the Act. 

Moreover, the Odisha Appropriation Act (repeal) Bill, 2021 was also passed in the State Assembly today. The Odisha Appropriation Acts passed between 1950 and 2011 have been included in the repealing bill. 

The State Law Commission in its report on September 24, 2020 had recommended repealing of Odisha Appropriation Acts from 1950 to 2011.

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