About Rourkela and its History
Rourkela the Modern Steel Township is located on 22.12N’ Latitude and 84.53’E Longitude on Howraha-Mumbai section of South – Eastern Railway. The largest Industrial Township of Orissa, Rourkela was under the administrative boundaries of the NAGARA sub-division under Ex- princely state of Gangapur state during British rule. In the year 1945 the Head quarter of Nagara sub-division was established at Panposh by the then ruler Raja Udit Pratap Shekhar Deo. Since ancient time Vedavyas which is in the other side of Panposh & river Brahmani is famous mythologically. It is also called as the second sangam as the confluence of two rivers named as Sankha and Koel with hidden river Saraswati creates Brahmani here. It is a mythological believe that the great epic “The Mahabharat” was written by Maharshi Vyash at this place. The river Brahamani is created from this sangam. The said name of the river is perhaps due to the birth place of Maharshi Vedavyash. During the later part of nineteenth century a big festival was organized by then Jamindar of Kuanramunda on the eve of SHIVRATRI or JAGAR which still in existence and organized in the month of March.
On the other hand, the construction of railway line between Nagpur and Howrah by BNR Railways passes through the present day Rourkela station which was under Mahulpali village at that time. In 1891 the opening of Railway line between Goilkera – Jharsuguda section helps the growth of the old Rourkela in a small way due to Panposh Station. Subsequently Rourkela Station came into existence near the village Mahulpali which is presently known as Old station area. Due to the establishment of Bisra Stone Lime Company at Biramitrapur, 35 kms away from Rourkela, the new Railway line was utterly required and the Railway Line between Rourkela and Biramitrapur having junction at Rourkela Station became operational in 1926.
The first ever integrated steel plant under public sector ‘Rourkela Steel Plant’ came into existence in 1954-55. The Rourkela Steel Plant became reality under the name of M/s Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL) in 1959 after the operational of its first blast furnace in 1959. With this the development of Steel Township at Rourkela creates growth of Rourkela in a big way.
The Rourkela Township of present day is divided into two separate townships under Census of India as Steel Township and Civil Township. The Residential quarters 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. Of course since 1995 two civic bodies under the state govt. were operational in Rourkela as NAC (ST), Rourkela 9now industrial town) and NAC (CT), Rourkela (now Rourkela Municipality). Apart from these two townships one smaller town ship is in existence i.e. Fertilizer township. As this township is within the purview of SAIL, the management decided to rename it as Sector-22 and became within Steel Township now.
On the reorganization of districts of Orissa in 1948, Sundargarh District came into existence with three sub divisions named as Bonai, Panposh and Sundargarh. The greater Rourkela of present time is under this Panposh subdivision since then. After the functioning of few government offices in 1950’s at Uditnagar the head quarter of Panposh Subdivision, the Rourkela Civil Township was developed. Presently it is under Rourkela Municipality. The name Uditnagar came into existence after the name of the then ruler of Gangpur state Raja Udit Pratap Shekhar Deo who ruled till 1948.
Apart from this city has also some peripheral areas named as Kalunga, Jhirpani , Jagda, jalda etc. which are treated under Rourkela though these places have its own administrative system of governance i.e Panchayatiraj system.
In other word Rourkela is called as Mini India as it is cosmopolitan city. Here the people of different languages, cultures from different states of India reside.
Though in revenue map the geographical area of Rourkela is as above but from administrative, legislative and other point of view its area is quite different. Earlier the Rourkela District police was confined within the sphere of its revenue map. But couple of years ago with the decision of State Home department its area is extended to Bonai subdivision too. Similarly earlier the Rourkela Civil Township and Steel Township were within Rourkela assembly segfment. But after the delimitation the Steel Township has come under Raghunathpali Assembly segment.