Rourkela is a planned city located in the northern part of Odisha. It is the third largest city in Odisha. It is situated about 340 kilometres (211 mi) north of state capital Bhubaneswar and is surrounded by a range of hills and encircled by rivers. 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 smart city list on 20 September 2016.
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 the 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 some heavy rainfall. The above-mentioned factors along with the most stabilized electrical power supply, good administration and industrial nature offers 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 an are a number of industries in and around Rourkela such as Larsen & Toubro Fabrication Plant in Kansbahal.
Rourkela Railway junction is situated in 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 from Howrah & Mumbai. Apart from this the city is directly connected with Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Ranchi, Dhanbad & Pune too.
Although there is an Airport, 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. From September 2017 a no. of flight will start from Rourkela Airport.
Birsa Munda Airport, Hinoo, 250kms is the other earest airport to the city.