Friday, August 31, 2007

Cholera-diarrhoea toll mounts to 164 in Orissa

Times of India, Aug 31, 2007

BHUBANESWAR: Cholera and diarrhoea, having assumed epidemic proportions in three tribal dominated Orissa districts, have so far claimed 164 lives as officials confirmed five more deaths in worst-hit Koraput on Thursday.

The death toll, which had mounted to 159 on Wednesday, further rose to 164 with confirmation of five casualties in Dasmantpur block of Koraput district, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) R K Agarwal said.

While the toll in Koraput district went up to 73, the situation remained by and large unchanged in Rayagada with 64 casualties as the killer diseases claimed as many as 27 lives in Kalahandi, official sources said.

The water-borne diseases had assumed epidemic form in nine blocks of these three backward districts located adjacent to each other though separated by hills and the waterspread of the vast Indravati reservoir.

Despite state government's claim to have effectively controlled the spread of the diseases, residents of the affected areas alleged that the administration had failed to provide adequate medical facilities to the patients.

Though state Congress president Jayadev Jena and former chief minister Giridhar Gamang, also MP from Koraput, demanded immediate declaration of epidemic in affected districts, state Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal, who visited cholera-hit areas, rejected it claiming the situation was very much under control and there was no need for panic.

Worst outbreak in 20 years, thousands ill

Hindustan Times, Aug 31, 2007

ORISSA IS in the grip of the biggest cholera outbreak to hit India in two decades, with 81 people dying and 3,247 reporting acute diarrhoeal symptoms since July 13. However, state sources put the total number of infected at 3,316 and dead at 103. Most deaths have been reported among tribals living in the Koraput, Rayagada and Kalahandi districts.

“Thirty-one of the 40 human samples collected from two blocks tested positive. Water sources like steams and shallow ponds were also found infected with the cholera bacteria,” said Dr Shiv Lal, director, National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi.

The current outbreak has been caused by the O1 strain, which is milder compared to the O139 strain that had led to an epidemic in Bangladesh. “Though the 01 strain causes milder disease, the death toll has been high due to dehydration brought on by cholera-induced diarrhoea and vomiting,” said Dr Lal, part of the central team that visited the affected districts two days ago.

Cholera is an acute, diarrhoeal disease caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The symptoms are watery diarrhoea and vomiting, which can lead to rapid loss of body fluids. If not treated, dehydration can cause death within hours. The disease does not spread directly from person to person, so casual contact with an infected person is not risky. “The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water. The cholera bacterium may also live in the environment in brackish rivers and coastal waters,” said Dr Lal.

Cholera can be treated by immediate replacement of lost fluids and salts. “Packaged oral rehydration solutions, a mixture of sugar and salt which is to be dissolved in water, have been sent and people in affected areas have been taught how to use them. Now that health centres have been identified for treatment, none of the 500 patients admitted so far have died,” said Dr Lal.

Baidyanathan report adopted

The Statesman, Aug 31, 2007

Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, Aug. 30: The state cooperation department has decided to implement the Baidyanathan Committee recommendations from this year. Some of the decisions are in accordance with the agricultural package announced by the chief minister on 14 August.
It has decided to bring nine lakh agricultural families in the State having no access to institutional credit, under the fold of co-operative credit by providing Kisan Credit Cards to eligible farmers in three years, covering three lakh families per year. It has also decided that during 2007-08, the Co-operative Banks will provide fresh finance to all the balance eligible 2.1 lakh farmers whose arrear loans have earlier been rescheduled.
Also the network of the Primary Co-operative Credit Societies in the tribal areas, whose growth has remained restricted due to the Lamps approach will be expanded, making agricultural credit more accessible for the tribal population and bringing the grass roots level co-operative credit societies nearer to the farmers in the tribal areas. The District Central Co-operative Banks in Bhawanipatna, Koraput, Berhampur, Bo1angir and Aska covering the main cotton producing districts will now provide credit to cotton farmers at the concessional rate of seven per cent for their agricultural operations during the current Kharif so as to prevent their dependence on high-cost loans from moneylenders and the consequent exploitation.
Contract farming in cotton to be encouraged for assured market linkage and remunerative prices to farmers to prevent exploitation. Two special cotton markets, with processing facilities will be established at Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district and at Digapahandi in Ganjam district.
Two special markets for maize will also be established at Umerkote and Raighar in Nawarangapur district. Market yards will also be established by the RMCs in all the 118 blocks without market yards during the next two years. The state government will also set up basic infrastructural facilities like cold storages, cold chambers and godowns.
Modern terminal markets for primary processing and marketing of fruit and vegetable shall be established at Rourkela, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Koraput.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Orissa cholera toll rises to 115

Asian Age, Aug 29, 2007

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 29: Cholera continues to claim more lives in Orissa’s Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region. At least 35 more people have died of the disease in the last two days, taking the death toll to 115, health department officials confirmed. The epidemic, which first broke out in Kashipur in Rayagada district and subsequently spread to Dashmantpur in Koraput and Thuamul Rampur in Kalahandi districts, has been detected in some new block areas in the region.

The disease surveillance wing of the Orissa government said that some cholera-related deaths were reported from at least five new block areas. However, health minister Duryodhan Majhi said many of the reported death cases were not due to cholera but due to gastroenteritis. "Investigations revealed that many of the deceased were victims of gastroenteritis. This fact has been corroborated by the tests conducted by the Bhubaneswar-based Regional Research Laboratory and MKCG Hospital, Berhampur. Microbiological tests conducted in the affected villages revealed the presence of the cholera virus in at least 31 cases," he said.

World Sanskrit Day celebrated

The Pioneer, Aug 30, 2007

Bhawanipatna: On the occasion of the World Sanskrit Day on Tuesday, Mahavir Sanskrutik Anusthan organised a recital of Sanskrit poems by Sanskrits scholars in the premises of the Anusthan here. Lingaraj Mishra was the chief speaker and Harekrushna Meher, HOD of Government Autonomous College, the chief guest. The speaker stressed on the need of strengthening the Sanskrit language. The Anusthan's president Jayanta Kumar Behera and secretary Santanu Behera coordinated the programme.

Raksha Bandhan celebrated in Bhawanipatna jail

The Pioneer, Aug 30, 2007

Bhawanipatna: On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, girls of Tarini ME School tied rakhis to the jail inmates at function here on Tuesday. The programme was organised by Samaj Kalyan Anusthan, which has been celebrating the Raksha Bandhan festival inside the jail for the last 18 years. Jail Superintendent Dasarathi Sadangi, welcoming the Anusthan's volunteers, said that the jail inmates should not feel they are out of the society on such an occasion. Zilla Parishad president Sarat Nayak and Block chairperson Sarita Mahakud, who were the chief guest and chief speaker, respectively, said the basic needs of the inmates would be fulfilled very soon. The president and the secretary of Samaj Kalyan Anusthan also spoke on the occasion.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Man robbed of rehabilitation money

The Pioneer, Aug 29, 2007

Bhawanipatna: In a daring case of robbery, eight miscreants burgled Rs 88,000 from the house of an old man by terrorising the family members in the wee hours on Wednesday.

Tapa Majhi of Hatimunda village under Gunduri gram panchayat in Kalahandi district had withdrawn a sum of Rs 3 lakh from the Allahabad bank which was deposited in his name by the Government under the Ret Project rehabilitation scheme. He had lost his land in the land acquisition of the project near Chhatikuda. The miscreants barged into his house after reaching there on a hired commander jeep and looted the money by frightening the family with deadly weapons.

Meanwhile,the Sadar police arrested eight burglars on Monday and seized the commander jeep and Rs 40,000 from them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

90 dead in cholera epidemic in Orissa

Timesnow, Aug 28, 2007

It's been more than two weeks to the cholera outbreak in Orissa and now with the Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visiting the affected areas on Monday (August 27), the government finally seems to be waking up to the crisis which has intensified over the days.
A hasty visit by the Orissa Chief Minister to the cholera affected tribal areas which came after a rising death toll touched 90. With thousands hospitalised as the outbreak reaches epidemic proportions, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik claims that the situation is under control.

Residents claim that the government is yet to wake up to the magnitude of the cholera outbreak. The State Health Minister, Duryodhan Majhi evaded TIMES NOW camera, a man who has no answers to the woes of suffering people.

Laxman (a relative of a patient) " My sister is not showing any signs of recovery after 3 days. After 6 saline bottles, when her condition didn't improve we brought her to the hospital. "

Another villager, Sabar Majhi “One person is dying everyday in our village. We all are very much scarred of the epidemic."

Koraput, Rayagada and Kalahandi are the worst affected districts of the state. To compound matters further the state has been struck by severe cases of dysentery and diarrhea as result of monsoon floods in these areas.

The government has now stepped up its health services in the region. The urgent need of Private doctors in hospitals have forced even retired doctors to assist at public health centres.

Cholera continues to play havoc in KBK region

The New Indian Express, Aug 28, 2007

BHAWANIPATNA: The deaths due to cholera and gastroenteritis in Thuamul Rampur block in Indravati basin have gone up to more than 50 in the last 20 days, according to unofficial sources.

However, the Health Department puts the toll at six. CDMO Srinibas Naik said they have so far received only six death reports. However, he admitted that they were unable to communicate with the team operating in the affected areas.

The CDMO said three deaths were reported on Sunday in Kerpai gram panchayat and a team has been sent to the area.

Meanwhile, following allegations that the storage agent of Supply Department working for Gopinathpur, Maligaon, Adri and Talnagi gram panchayats misappropriated rice under BPL and Antodaya Annapurna Yojana, an inquiry was conducted by Sub-Collector Ranjit Mohanty.

District Civil Supply Officer Rajendra Kumar Dehuri said appropriate action will be taken against the agent and the marketing inspector of the block for negligence of duty.

Cholera kills 80 in Indian state

BBC, Aug 28, 2007
By Sanjay Jena
Bhubaneswar, Orissa

Health officials in the eastern Indian state of Orissa say 80 people have died from an outbreak of cholera in three tribal districts in the past 15 days.
The outbreak has affected Rayagada, Koraput and Kalahandi districts where more than 2,000 people have been admitted to hospitals.

Doctors say consumption of contaminated food and water by people in this backward area is behind the epidemic.

Unofficial sources say the death toll could be as high as 200.

Kashipur, in Rayagada district, nearly 310 miles (500km) from the state capital, Bhubaneswar, is the worst affected area.

A senior health official in the district, Benudhar Nayak, said at least 48 people had died there.


Six deaths have been reported from Thumula Rampur in Kalahandi district, while 26 people have died in Dashmantpur, in Koraput district.

The disease, which was initially suspected to be diarrhoea, was confirmed to be cholera by the microbiology department of MKCG Hospital in Berhampur and Regional Research Laboratory in Bhubaneswar.

Health officials say microbiological tests conducted on 43 samples collected from patients in the affected villages had revealed the presence of the cholera virus in at least 31 cases.

The affected areas are some of the most backward districts in India

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik says the affected people are being treated by special medical teams at various government hospitals.

Of the 2,000 affected people, at least 200 are said to be in a serious condition.

Mr Patnaik, along with Orissa Health Minister Duryodhan Majhi and specialist medical teams, has toured the affected areas and reviewed the situation.

Health Secretary Chinmay Basu, along with 12 medical teams, has been in Kashipur since Friday helping to try to contain the disease from spreading further.

An official said the disease surveillance unit in Bhubaneswar was monitoring the situation around the clock.

Consumption of contaminated water and rotten food by the people is suspected to have led to the epidemic.

The areas affected by the cholera outbreak are in the Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region - some of the most economically backward districts in the country.

Most of the victims are believed to be tribes people, say officials.

Distt water bodies in 10 days in cholera-hit areas: CM

The Pioneer, Aug 28, 2007
Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday directed Health Department officials to disinfect all water bodies within 10 days in the cholera-affected areas of Kashipur and Dasmantpur blocks. Patnaik, along with the Health Minister Duryodhan Majhi, extensively toured the affected areas.

Patnaik directed the officials to supply medicines free of cost to the patients and foods to their attendants. It has been decided that labour-intensive work would also be started in these areas.

Though the State Government has not yet declared that cholera has taken the shape of an epidemic, the killer diseases have already claimed about 100 lives in the tribals-dominated areas of Koraput, Kalahandi and Rayagada districts. Kashipur and Dasmantpur are the worst-hit areas.

The expert teams of Regional Medical Centre (RMC) and the MKCG Medical College, which have extensively toured to collect the sample of the dysentery cases, admitted that they have already found the bacteria of cholera. They also pointed out that 70 per cent of the water bodies have been contaminated.

Meanwhile, the State Government has deputed 16 mobile health units to Dasmantpur and 14 to Kashipur. A Central team, led by Siblal of National Institute of Communicable Disease (NICD), also reached the affected areas to study the outbreak of cholera.

Monday, August 27, 2007

‘Banana village’ tells a success story

The New Indian Express, Aug 27, 2007

BHAWANIPATNA: It is a story of rags to riches. Budhia brothers have turned banana cultivation in Kanakpur village near Bhawanipatna into a money-spinner and inspired others to replicate it.

Now, the village is called banana village. They are four brothers - Murali, Prahallad, Subala and Thabira. As they had only 2 acre 26 decimals of rainfed agriculture land which was not adequate to sustain the family, all of them were forced to work as daily labourers to add to their income.

They were staying in a small cottage and struggling to make ends meet. 1992 proved to be watershed year for them as they became government beneficiary for a dug well.

By the guidance of Horticulture department, they started banana cultivation on trial. This was the beginning of their rise. Gradually with the profits gained from banana farming, they purchased 13 acres of land.

On nine acres, they grew different dwarf varieties of banana and paddy and pulses on rest. From banana cultivation on each acre they are getting Rs 1 lakh.

Inspired by the success of Budhia brothers, more and more farmers of Kanakpur village as well as of nearby villages have now taken to banana cultivation.

In Kanakpur village alone in more than 100 acres banana has been grown. It is certainly profitable to get about Rs 1 lakh from one acre of banana cultivation, Deputy Director, Horticulture, Dharanidhar Patra said.

The success has transformed the lives of Budhia brothers. Now all the four brothers have pucca buildings, children are studying in private schools and their houses have amenities like TV and phone. They also own power tillers and diesel pump sets for agricultural operations.

The eldest among the Budhia brothers Murali Budhia said perseverance and dedication made them turn the corner.

Kalahandi lawyers demand HC bench in west Orissa

The Pioneer, Aug 27, 2007
Bikash Khemka | Bhawanipatna

A meeting was organised on Sunday in the court premises by the Kalahandi Bar Council demanding the establishment of a Circuit Bench in western Orissa.

President of the district Bar Council Jagannath Mund said that a call for bandh on August 31 has been given in western Orissa demanding the Circuit Bench.

All political parties and elected members of western Orissa have been supporting the cause since long but it still remains to be materialised. So the Bar Associations of western Orissa have decided to observe August 31 as Chetawani Diwas, Mund said.

It was decided in a meeting on August 19 at Sambalpur that the Bar Associations of western Orissa will boycott the court works on the last Wednesday of every month till the demand is fulfilled.

In the coming Assembly session all the western Orissa Bar Associations will demonstrate in front of the Assembly and a memorandum will be submitted to the Speaker.

All the MLAs and Ministers would be requested to be present in the rally, Mund added.

"Poor people of western Orissa hesitate to file a case in the High Court only because it is expensive," Mund said.

Cholera toll rises to 84 in south Orissa

The Pioneer, Aug 27, 2007
Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

... Central team in State, CM to visit affected areas today

At least 84 persons have died of cholera and several thousands affected by the killer disease in the three tribal-dominated districts of Koraput, Rayagada and Kalahandi. The epidemic has threatened to grip the entire Southern Orissa.

However, State Health Secretary Chinmoy Basu on Sunday confirmed that the death toll had been restricted to 70. He further said as many as 1,000 people have been affected by cholera and diarrhoea. "The diarrhoea has taken the shape of cholera," he admitted, adding that all efforts have been put into press to contain the spread of the killer disease.

"Some of these cases which have claimed lives are due to cholera," Basu said, adding the administration was facing constraints as the affected tribals were not willing to be treated in hospitals. "Now they are being forcibly lifted to hospitals in vehicles for treatment with the help of local panchayat representatives," he said, adding that public announcements were being made through loudspeakers in these areas urging people to take precautionary steps. 22 mobile health units and 12 medical teams have been put into service.

Alarmed at the outbreak of cholera, the Centre has rushed a high-level team to take stock of the situation. A three-member team led by Siblal of the National Institute of Communicable Disease (NICD)) has reached here. The team will undertake a visit to Kashipur and Jaswantpur where the disease has taken the shape of an epidemic. The team also held a detailed discussion with the State Health Secretary and Director of Heath Service Usha Patnaik.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will also pay a visit to Kashipur to take stock of the situation. Sources said he would be accompanied by State Heath Minister Duryodhan Majhi. Leader of Opposition JB Patnaik will also visit the area on Monday. He will be accompanied by Union Minister of State for Rural Development Chandrasekhar Sahu.

Meanwhile, Regional Medical Centre (RMC) on Sunday submitted its inquiry report on the Kashipur incident. In its report, the officials admitted that about 70 per cent of the water sources of the Raygada district have already been contaminated. "Serious steps should be taken to disinfect the water," the report suggests.

Official sources said, a total of 70 villages spread over three districts have already come under the grip of the killer disease during the past 40 days and several thousand people have been affected by it. State Agriculture Minister Surendranath Naik has already paid a visit to Rayagada district.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

80 die of cholera in Orissa

The Hindu, Aug 26, 2007

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 26 (PTI): Eighty people have died of cholera and several thousands affected by the disease in three tribal-dominated districts of Rayagada, Koraput and Kalahandi in southern Orissa.

The Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) of Rayagada district, R Sitaram, Saturday confirmed 50 deaths. Koraput CDMO, N K Choudhury, said 24 people had died of the epidemic in the district, while Kalahandi's Additional District Medical Officer, Sushil Rath, put the toll in the district at six.

A total of 70 villages spread over the three districts had come under the grip of the killer disease during the past 40 days and several thousand people had been affected by it, sources said.

Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, yesterday asked Agriculture Minister, Surendranath Naik, to visit Rayagada district.

The Chief Minister, who spoke to reporters here, said the government was taking all possible steps to combat the situation.

However, Health Secretary, Chinmay Basu, who is camping in the area since Friday, told PTI over phone that all deaths were not due to the outbreak of cholera.

"Some of these cases which have claimed lives had been due to cholera," he said.

Basu said the administration was facing constraints as the affected tribals were not willing to get treated in hospitals. "Now they were being forcibly lifted to hospitals in vehicles for treatment with the help of local panchayat functionaries," he said.

The Health Secretary said so far 3,500 affected people had been treated in hospitals.

"The treatment is simple, as saline drips are being administered along with antibiotics, but the people perhaps are not convinced," he said adding, they were resorting to "black magic" or depending on quacks.

All the private hospitals in the area had been asked to treat cholera and diarrhoea patients on priority, while retired doctors had been summoned to assist at public health centres, the Secretary said.

The sources said while cholera had been identified in 14 villages under Dasmanthpur block in Koraput district, 40 villages under Kashipur and Chandrapur blocks in Rayagada district had been affected along with 16 villages under Thuamul Rampur block in Kalahandi district.

The entire area comprising the villages was contiguous with natural-barriers like hills and water bodies.

At least 12 teams of doctors and 18 mobile medical teams were pressed into service to contain spread of the disease in Rayagada district.

A team of doctors from the VSS Medical College Hospital at Burla visited the 19 villages surrounded by Indravati reservoir in Kalahandi district.

43 people die of diarrhoea in Kashipur block of Orissa

Times of India, Aug 24, 2007

BHUBANESWAR: At least 43 people have died of diarrhoea which broke out in epidemic form in Kashipur block of Orissa's tribal-dominated Rayagada district, health department sources said on Friday.

"Death toll due to diarrhoea that broke out last month has mounted to 43 in Kashipur block while more than 50 patients are undergoing treatment at different hospitals," Additional District Medical Officer Benudhar Nayak said.

Health Secretary Chinmay Basu, alongwith 12 medical teams, rushed to Kashipur block where diarrhoea had assumed epidemic form, sources said.

The 12 medical teams had already reached the affected area and the Health Secretary is also monitoring the situation at Kashipur, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.

Eight mobile health units were going round villages in Kashipur area and six more such units were expected to reach the affected area from neighbouring Balangir district, sources said. The disease surveillance cell has been monitoring the situation round the clock, an official said.

"The deceased were mostly tribals who were reluctant to take medicines being provided by the government," sources claimed Consumption of contaminated water and food by the people was suspected to have led to the epidemic, Health department sources said.

A team from the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) has collected urine, blood, stool and food samples from over half a dozen villages of the area.

Meanwhile, a report from Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district said diarrhoea had claimed several lives in tribal-dominated Thuamul Rampur block of the district. While local MLA Puspendra Singhdeo put the death toll due to diarrhoea at 32, the government confirmed only three diarrhoea deaths in Kalahandi district.

Cholera spreads, KBK areas quarantined

The New Indian Express, Aug 26, 2007

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Saturday rushed medical teams and senior health officials to Rayagada as samples collected from the patients in Kashipur and Dasmantpur confirmed the presence of ‘vibrio cholera bacteria.’

The MKCG Medical, Berhampur on Friday confirmed the presence of the deadly bacteria and sought immediate steps to contain cholera from spreading.

As a precautionary measure, the Government sealed the area as unofficially over 100 deaths were reported from the two blocks and more than 2,800 people were being treated at various hospitals. Considering the gravity of the situation, 18 medical teams were rushed to the blocks.

Agriculture Minister S N Naik rushed to the area to take stock of the situation. The Government alerted all the KBK districts to take precautionary measures to prevent the disease from spreading. The affected areas have been quarantined to ensure that the disease did not assume an epidemic proportion.

All the chief district medical officers of KBK districts have been asked to mobilise doctors and medicine to the affected areas.

Official sources so far claimed that 46 people had died in Rayagada district. Neighbouring blocks in Koraput, Nabarangpur and Kalahandi districts reported diarrhoea and gastroenteritis creating panic among the tribals.

Reports of spreading of cholera have been pouring in. About 300 tribals are undergoing treatment for acute diarrhoea and vomiting in Dasmantpur block.

Rayagada Collector Bhasakar Jyoti Sharma is camping in Kashipur and Koraput Collector B K Sahu is in Dasmantpur block to monitor the situation. Ten years ago, cholera had assumed epidemic proportion at Borrigumma block in Koraput district claiming 200 lives.

Flood victims deprived of relief in Thuamul-Rampur

The Pioneer, Aug 26, 2007
Bikash Khemka | Bhawanipatna

Due to non-functioning of a motor launch, Health Department personnel have failed to provide services in the flood-affected gram panchayats, including Maligaon, Talnagi, Gopinathpur and Ardi, under Thuamul-Rampur block in Kalahandi district. As a result, the number of deaths due to malaria and diarrhoea is on the increase since last 15 days. Though official reports say that six people have so far died of these diseases, the unofficial figure is as high as 33.

Since last nine months, the villagers are also deprived of Government-supplied rice and the problem was discussed at the District Planning Committee meeting held on August 20. The Civil Supplies Officer of Kalahandi and BDO of Thuamul-Rampur admitted the non-availability of rice.

Additional District Medical Officer Sushil Rath told The Pioneer, "We have sufficient medicines to provide, but the main problem is lack of communication to the remote areas. Deprived of getting Government rice, people are taking unhygienic food and drinking polluted water in these areas. When one dies in the village, the people tie his body with sticks and ropes and then throw it into the nearby pond. Fishes inside the pond eat the body and then the villagers eat these fishes. This leads to spread of the epidemics. The people are also taking spurious liquor, which should be checked immediately," he added.

Meanwhile, Koksara MLA Puspendu Singh Deo visited the flood-affected villages and demanded that a minimum of three motor launches be pressed into service to provide immediate healthcare. He has drawn the attention of the State Government, Special Relief Commission and district administration to the problems.

Blood donation camp at Women College held

The Pioneer, Aug 26, 2007

Bhawanipatna: A blood donation camp was organised on Saturday by the Youth Red Cross Wing of the Women's College. The camp was inaugurated by Prakash Kumar Pattnaik. Eight students and four lecturers donated 12 units of blood. District Blood Bank's Red Cross Officer Dr Dhiresh Chandra Nanda, lecturer Ajay Mishra, Dhiren Kumar Nayak and others were present in the camp.

Friday, August 24, 2007

31 die of diarrohea in Thuamul Rampur block

Samaja, Aug 24, 2007

Agricultural pilot project in Ganjam, Kalahandi and Balangir

Samaja, Aug 23, 2007

Varification of Clinical and Pathological Laboratories at Dharamgarh, Kalahandi

Dharitri, Aug 23, 2007

Flood in Udanti River, Kalahandi: 20 villages distrupted

Dharitri, Aug 23, 2007

Officials extend Kendrapada flood relief operation

The Statesman, Aug 24, 2007

Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, Aug. 23: The relief operation in Kendrapada has been extended for three more days, as the flood situation has not yet improved in the district. The decision was made by a high-level meeting presided over by chief minister Naveen Patnaik. The flood waters in Bhadrak, Jajpur, Balasore, Kalahandi and Sundargarh have started receding.
The chief minister ordered the health department to initiate steps as water-borne diseases are spreading. He also emphasised supplying safe drinking water in those areas.
The water resource department was directed to take necessary steps as Rushikulya and Banshadhara rivers are frequently changing their route. Mr Patnaik also asked to repair the bridges on a priority basis and advised to take utmost care in selecting sites and designs, while new constructions are undertaken. It was also decided to lay concrete roads in flood-affected areas. Barrages will also be constructed at Akhuapada and Kochila to control flood in Baitarani river.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Annual Plan for Kalahandi approved

The Pioneer, Aug 23, 2007
Bikash Khemka | Bhawanipatna

...Rs 19.5 crore earmarked under Biju KBK plan, Rs 9.24 cr under BRGF plan
A District Planning Committee meeting held at DRDA conference hall here to prepare the Annual Plan of Biju KBK Yojana and Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) Plan of Kalahandi district for 2007-08.

Energy Minister and chairman of District Planning Committee Surya Narayan Patro addressed the meeting.

Under Biju KBK Plan Rs 1,950 lakh and BRGF Plan Rs 924.45 lakh was approved for the 13 blocks of Kalahandi by the committee.

The main thrust area of Biju KBK Plan is to provide electricity, drinking water, irrigation and roads. It was decided in the meeting that one village in each Gram Panchayat would be identified for electrification; block is to be taken as one unit for distribution of funds as per number of Gram Panchayats, the total funds earmarked for electrification is Rs 5.49 crore, and approximately Rs 2.50 lakh per Gram Panchayat will be provided for electrification of 220 villages.

Similarly, 30 tube wells will be dug up in Bhawanipatna Municipality for water scarcity pockets, five tube wells have been sanctioned for Kesinga NAC , five for NAC Junagarh, Rs 88 lakh will be provided for piped water supply to Bhawanipatna Municipality to un-covered areas, 10 RCC Drinking Water Storage facilities for the floating population areas like bus stand, hospital and Rs 24 lakh will be provided for construction overhead tanks in Dharmagarh.

141 tube-wells will be dug up under Biju KBK Plan at the cost of Rs 41,000 each.

For improvement of irrigation facilities Asha Sagar Minor Irrigation Project is to be renovated at cost of Rs. 2 crore. Presently, the irrigated area is 41 hectares. After renovation it will provide irrigation facilities for another 40 hectares to stabilise the Ayacut, Fatamunda MIP (Golamunda block) which is defunct, is programmed for renovation which will irrigate an Ayacut area of 200 hectares with total estimated cost of Rs 132 lakh, 50 defunct LI points of different Block having an Ayacut area of 1,000 hectares are to renovated with an estimated cost of Rs 100 lakh.

For improving communication facilities, four CD structures by RW Division, Bhawanipatna on District Life Line Roads are planned at a cost of Rs 128.46 lakh.

Rs 379.90 lakh have been earmarked for all blocks to construct CD works in Gram Panchayats and Samiti Roads at a cost of Rs 1.39 lakh per Gram Panchayat.

Works to be taken up under BRGF 2007-08 are purchase of barrels for SHG Groups to deal with kerosene, electrification of villages, sub-centres, boundary wall for girl's hostel, purchase of voltage stabiliser for SC and ST hostels, sinking of tube wells, stream based pipe water supply to villages, construction of Indira Awas House, solar power to SC and ST hostels through OREDA.

In the meeting, misappropriation in NREGS works and PDS were also discussed. All the MLAs and public representatives flayed the CSO.

Minister Patro directed Collector Pramod Chandra Pattnaik that the concerned departments would detect all the works under NREGS works and stern action against the members involved in the misappropriation should be taken immediately.

Patro also declared to establish a 132 KV Grid Station at Bhawanipatna immediately. The funds would be provided by the State Government.

Among others, MLAs Balabhadra Majhi, Pushpendu Singhdeo, Pradipta Naik, Bira Sipka, Dhaneswar Majhi and Himansu Meher and Zilla Parishad chairman Sarat Chandra Naik, all block district officers , Zilla Parishad members, block chairmen and heads of all Government departments were present.

KBK high on RDC agenda, Aug 23, 2007

For Satyabrat Sahu KBK is high on his agenda.

Mr.Sahu the 1991 batch IAS officer has taken over as the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) Southern Division on August 22.

Just after taking over he talked to media and said top priority will be given for the developmental activities of KBK.

The southern division controls six out of eight districts of KBK. Those are Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Nuapada.

Mr.Sahu said that transparency in the grass root administration will be maintained.

He said that all the field officers will have to cover the villages and accordingly monthly visit plan will be prepared.

Now a day few officers are moving out of their office to visit the villages.

Mr.Sahu has a reputation of a hard working and touring officer.

True to his reputation after taking over he left for Koraput in the afternoon.

Reports from Koraput say that on reaching the district headquarters the new RDC held discussions with the Koraput Collector Balakrishna Sahoo and SP U Rama Rao.

The RDC impressed upon both of them to make field visits to the Maoist prone areas, where development is a casualty, said sources.

Mr.Sahu will be reviewing the developmental activities at Koraput along with the Chief Administrator KBK, Ms.Rajalakshmi on August 23.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


PIB Press Release, Aug 21, 2007
In a unique experiment to reach out to beneficiaries directly Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Union Minister for Rural Development linked up to over 1100 Panchayats in Orissa through the “Gram SAT- An ISRO Satellite” and interacted on the rural development schemes under operation in Orissa with about 75,000 rural development functionaries/ PRIs/ villages directly.

The Ministry of Rural Development stands committed to bring about transparency and efficiency in implementation of its various schemes all over the country. As a part of this effort the Ministry has of late been initiating different proactive measures like online monitoring, social auditing, etc. In yet another measure in this direction the Ministry organized a direct interaction with the beneficiaries of Rural development schemes in Orissa spread in 30 districts, 314 blocks and 1179 Panchayats through Gram SAT.

Addressing the beneficiaries of various rural development schemes, the field level implementers of rural development schemes, the elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh told that this experiment would go a long way in taking the Government machinery to the doorsteps of the beneficiaries and mitigating their problems and issues. Dr. Singh also gave a detailed account of the financial and physical achievements of rural development schemes in Orissa in his address through the satellite. Dr. Singh informed that stern measures will be taken to stamp out any attempt at any level to deprive the beneficiaries from their rights and corruption shall not be tolerated in implementation of the rural development schemes. He urged the State Governments to ensure that benefits of the schemes are reached to the masses without any hindrances. The Minister had a face to face interaction with about 75,000 rural development functionaries/ PRIs/ villages directly. Also present in the occasion was Shri Chandra Shekhar Sahu, Union Minister of State for Rural Development. Sh. Sahu emphasized on the need of cooperation between the State and the Central Governments for effective implementation of rural development schemes.

The event which is first of its kind evoked tremendous enthusiasm and response from participants down up to the Panchayat level and nearly one lakh people were present at the Gram SAT centres. Some of the districts from where questions were asked are in the remote areas like Malkangiri, Nuapara, Kalahandi and Phulbani. This effort of the Ministry is also aimed at enhancing the awareness of the beneficiaries about their entitlement and various processes involved for getting the benefit of schemes. Through interaction, Ministry could get insight into field level problem, which shall help, in further planning and drawing up strategy in future.

Gram SAT pilot projects are being run in some select states of the country and are being utilized very effectively to reach out development messages directly to the villagers by ensuring community listening, viewing and linking up large body of villagers. In view of the high potential of this media the IEC Division of MoRD has initiated this unique experimentation. Appreciating the initiative, Dr. Singh directed to arrange for such conferences once in a month on rotational basis. The Minister shall discuss other technical options with ISRO to reach to the common masses including exploring the possibilities of creating a dedicated television and radio channel for rural development.

Sreelatha Menon: Title is everything

Business Standard, Aug 18, 2007

Sreelatha Menon / New Delhi August 19, 2007
Who owns the land for which there is no title? It should be like asking who owns the Ganges or the Arabian Sea? Though Russia recently staked a claim on the North Pole, this cannot apply to all.

In India, where land acquisition for industrial and real estate development has been widespread, the Land Acquisition Act makes the government the master of all that it surveys, except the land for which people have ownership records.

Nothing belongs to the community. It either belongs to individuals, industry or the government. The government is free to acquire land and give it to whoever it likes. A group of ministers (GoM) is studiously exploring the possibility of the government acquiring at least 30 per cent land required for special economic zones. So where does this leave the community?

Phulme Majhi, a Dungria Jharna tribal from Lanjigarh in Orissa’s Kalahandi district, had a title for two acres. He, however, used to grow millets, tubers, pineapples and other crops on six acres that was shared by the community. When Vedanta Alumina set up its refinery in the Niyamgiri hills — which the tribals there consider sacred — it bought his two acres for Rs 2 lakh. The remaining, for which no one had any title, was lost. The government just gave it to Vedanta.

Now, Phulme, who was living amid plenty all these years has to survive on less than Rs 2,000 a month, the interest he gets from the Rs 2 lakh he got for his land.

Besides community land, what he and the 112 villages in the Niyamgiri hills in the Lanjigarh block have lost is the sacred mountain, which also houses rare plants and animals.

The Gods of Niyamagiri have no title deeds, just like the tribals who worship them, and cannot escape evacuation, at least till the Forest Dwellers Act gets enforced in states by next year.

But villagers in Haryana are not roaming tribals and have title deeds for the land that they own. In Jhajjar and Gurgaon districts, Reliance Industries Ltd is acquiring land for an SEZ, which company executives proudly say will be a township like Chandigarh.

The villagers here should not be complaining like Phulme Majhi for they are getting Rs 22 lakh per acre. Yet no one is celebrating. In Narsinghpura village in Gurgaon where all 3,000 acres of farm land has been acquired, villagers are sad as the land outside the zone is selling for several crores.

In Chandu village, people have refused to sell for this reason. They are, however, resigned to the inevitable — that their land will be acquired by the government. In the village, a school teacher, Rajender, has entered into an interesting deal with the company. He has given his land on lease for five years. He gets around Rs 1 lakh a month as rent. He is happy.

The GoM, which is losing sleep over the government’s inability to help industry acquire land for SEZs while keeping the people happy, might as well consider something like this. Let panchayats and individuals give land on lease. Of course this won’t prevent adverse cultural and environmental impact of the present industrial expansionism, a corporate revival similar to the expansionist aspirations of the medieval dynasties. For that, the environment ministry and state governments should start enforcing the law of the land.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My being of Tribal - I realised very late: Mr Rajendra Dishri

Orissa is one of the ten states in the country covered under the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB). According to the latest report of NNMB , Orissa continues to have second highest level of under nutrition among the ten states. When compared with the aggregate figures for chronic energy deficiency (BMI < 18.5) in adult men and women in these states the level is higher in Orissa ( Kalahandi Region). The prevalence of chronic energy deficiency (CED) in adult men in the state is 38.6% compared to aggregate of 37.4%, whereas the CED prevalence in the adult women is 46% against 39.3% aggregate figure16. As malnutrition is known to potentiate susceptibility to death due to infectious diseases, the high mortality rate amongst the primitive tribes may be attributed to this cause.

In spite of the tremendous advancement in the field of preventive and curative medicine worldwide and particularly coastal Orissa, the health care delivery services in Kalahandi District is defunct and primitive tribal people are still poor and need to be strengthened.

Cuttack District alone count 1431 Hospitals where as Kalahandi statistic is like below
No. of District HQ Hospital 1
No.of subdivisional Hospitals 1
No.of Primary Health Centre (PHC) 3 Block level 39 Others
No.of Mobile Health Units 13
No.of Community Health Centre (CHC) 10
No.of Other Hospitals 4
No.of Taluk Hospita 1
No.of T.B. Hospital 1
No.of Homeopathic Hospital 13
No.of Ayurvedic Hospital 13
No.of Beds in Hospitals 483

Monday, August 20, 2007

Diarrhoea scare in Indravati area

The New Indian Express, Aug 20, 2007

BHAWANIPATNA: Panic button was pressed in Thuamal Rampur block of the district with the outbreak of diarrhoea in the villages of Adri, Maligaon and Gopinathpur gram panchayats.

Since the areas continued to be water-logged after the rains and the only motor boat in the Indravati reservoir is lying defunct, the health officials received the reports late. However, a medical team led by the ADMO, Public Health, left for the affected areas on Saturday.

Contacted, CDMO Srinibas Naik said four persons had succumbed and over 60 persons affected by the disease in the block as per reports. He said it was getting difficult to contact the team members due to communication problems.

Meanwhile, MLA Pushpendra Singhdeo after visiting the block, told this website's newspaper that over 100 persons have been affected by the disease and 15 have died in the last 10 days.

College teachers stage rail roko

The New Indian Express, Aug 20, 2007

BALANGIR: Railway traffic was disrupted for more than two hours when at least 400 college lecturers and staff from undivided Kalahandi, Balangir and Koraput (KBK) districts staged rail roko at Titilagarh railway station, about 65 km from here on Sunday.

The protesting teachers of private colleges of the area alleged that the State Government was depriving them of government aid even after serving for more than 15 years.

The agitators stopped the New Delhi-bound Samata Express at Kesinga while several goods trains remained stranded at various stations on the Sambalpur-Titilagarh railway route. Service resumed after two hours when Titilagarh police intervened and took the agitators into custody.

Secretary of the Unaided Teachers and Staff Association of KBK districts Aswini Meher said, ‘‘The KBK area is one of the educationally backward areas in the country but the Government has always been apathetic to their demands.’’

Association president Chhabilal Sahu said while most of the private colleges of the coastal districts had received government aid, the KBK districts were ignored.

Malaria, diarrohea claim 10 lives in Thuamul-Rampur

The Pioneer, Aug 20, 2007

Pioneer News Service | Bhawanipatna
Following heavy rains since August 10, malaria and diarrhoea broke out in the villages under Thuamul-Rampur block in Kalahandi district claiming lives of 10 persons.

The deceased included Tankadhar Bishi (40) and Kumbhabalani Naik (35) at Brahmani-Chanchara village under Gopinathpur Gram Panchayat, Abhiram Majhi (23) in Muskuta, Sahadev Naik (60) at Poiguda, Raghu Majhi (55) at Teresingasil, a baby of Daman Majhi at Kumudabahal under Gopalpur GP, Kuhumae Majhi at Uperjhapi, Nua- Dei (42), a two-month-old child and two others at Phutkimahul.

About 100 other people are being treated at the block hospital. The district health authorities seem to be callous towards urgency of providing health services. Two months ago, 10 persons had died owing to the non-functioning of the motor launch, as a result health personnel failed to reach Maligaon, Talnagi and Gopinathpur.

Bhawanipatna college students stage demonstration

The Pioneer, Aug 20, 2007

Bhawanipatna: Hundreds of irate students demonstrated on Saturday in the premises of their Government Autonomous College here demanding fulfilment of vacant posts of lecturers, supply of library books and provision of drinking water, electricity and canteen facility. Principal Prabhudatta Mohapatra assured the students to meet their demands. Local MLA and former minister Pradipta Naik, who was going outside the college, was stopped by the students and urged to solve their problems. Naik said he would intimate the matter to the district Collector soon. The students also marched on the college road shouting slogans in support of their demand for a new bridge on Pipal Nala.

Gramya Bank launches Utkal Gold scheme

The Pioneer, Aug 20, 2007

Bhawanipatna: The Utkal Gramya Bank with its headquarters here, has introduced a deposit scheme, Utkal Gold. Under the scheme, a minimum of Rs 1,000 would have to be deposited for a period of above one year up to three years. The interest rate for the general category of people is 9.5 per cent per annum, while it is 10.25 per cent for senior citizens. To mark the occasion, a rath yatra was inaugurated by UGB general manager Laxmi Narayan Das and treasurer of Sikshya Vikas Parishad Krushnabatar Deo. The yatra, which started from the bank's evening branch here, will cover all other areas under the bank's jurisdiction in Kalahandi and Nuapada districts and a part of the Balangir district.

Missing person found dead

The Pioneer, Aug 20, 2007

Bhawanipatna: One Sonu Swain (30) was found dead on Saturday in the river near Labed village under Kalam Gram Panchayat. He was missing since Saturday last week when the truck, in which he was going, skidded off into Hati River at Junagarh following heavy rains. His body was recovered by the Sadar Police, Bhawanipatna, 40 km from the spot of the mishap.

Five held for gambling

The Pioneer, Aug 20, 2007

Bhawanipatna:Five persons were arrested on Sunday while gambling near Vimala Convent School here. A special squad and town police jointly raided the spot at the direction of SP Sarat Chandra Chaupattnaik. The police seized cash of Rs 745 and two mobile phones from them.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Flood-control measures sought

The Indian Express, Aug 19, 2007

BHAWANIPATNA: Kalahandi district has suffered heavy damage due to two consecutive floods in August within a span of seven days, but restoration work is lacking.

This was alleged by former minister and Congress leader Bhupender Singh at a press meet here on Wednesday.

He said floods have sand-cast more than 10,000 hectares rendering them unsuitable for cultivation.

Singh suggested that the sand-cast lands should be reclaimed by the Government.

He demanded construction of embankments on both banks of Hati, Tel and Udanti rivers and barrage over Tel and Udanti rivers to check flood. The high bridge over Hati river at Junagarh should be constructed early, he demanded.

Will crumbling bridges survive the deluge?

The New Indian Express, Aug 18, 2007

BHAWANIPATNA: While Hati river bridge is being ravaged by continuous floods over the years, a proposal to construct a high bridge at Junagarh is pending since long. Also several other dilapidated bridges over NH-201 in Kalahandi are matter of concern for local populace.

Hati is used as the main discharge channel of the Indravati irrigation system. After generation of power, water is discharged into Hati through Mangalpur barrage and finally the water reaches Tel river. Thus Hati and Tel rivers have become perennial. Heavy rain in the catchments causes flood in Hati leading to inundation of the roadlevel bridge at Junagarh and disruption of vehicular traffic along NH-201. It is a regular feature.

Even a total washout of the bridge cannot be ruled out. It was proposed during 1991-92 to transfer the then PWD road from Jaipatna to Kesinga to Indravati Project so that the road, including the high bridge over Hati, could be constructed.

However, it could not be materialised. This bridge is now the responsibility of NHAI. The proposal for construction of a high bridge is pending before the Centre since 2002.

MECON Limited was awarded with consultancy work and it submitted the detailed project report (DPR) in 2004 to the Ministry. Executive Engineer (NH) Surendra Purohit said the land acquisition estimate of Rs 5.41 crore was sanctioned by Ministry in December, 2006, and land acquisition process has been started. After land acquisition, the bridge work will be taken up, he said.

Apart from Hati bridge, there are at least six narrow guarder bridges on NH 201 which are at least 70-year-old and are in dilapidated condition.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

College union polls deferred in Kalahandi

The Pionner, Aug 11, 2007

Bhawanipatna: In Kalahandi district, elections to the students unions have been postponed for an indefinite date in Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna, and colleges of Kesinga, Dharmagarh, Madanpur-Rampur, Golamunda, Junagarh, Karlapada and Mukhiguda. This followed a letter from the Higher Education Department issued on August 14 to the Collector Kalahandi stating that union polls in all +2 and degree colleges would be postponed. Accordingly, the Collector intimated this to the principals of all colleges.

Rural job funds misappropriated in Kalahandi

The Pioneer, Aug 18, 2007
Bikash Khemka | Bhawanipatna

Special Project Director, Panchayati Raj Department, Saswat Mishra, visited a few blocks of Kalahandi district in July to oversee the implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS)) and directed the district Collector for further study in the matter.

Accordingly, Collector Pramod Chandra Pattnaik visited Sikerguda of Chancher Gram Panchayat under the Bhawanipatna block on August 2, 2007 and brought to the fore the misappropriations in the allotted Government funds. He took the statements of 23 labourers while reviewing the case recorded as number 193/2005-06 of the project "Improvement of Road from RD road to Sikerguda." The estimated cost for this project was Rs 4 lakh.

Investigations revealed that a few labourers, who had never worked for the project, had been paid as per the muster roll. The thumb impressions of the labourers were present in the muster roll but signatures were put in the statement.

Nevertheless, excess money was shown as paid, in the muster roll against work done, although the labourers received less pay against the total number of working days. The workers never held a job card and the work done was shown by their names. The dead were shown alive and as per the muster roll, they too had received their wages. The names of women who had been married long back and had been away from the village were also seen on the muster list.

The BDO filed a FIR on August 3 under the NREGA Act 2005 for deliberate fabrication of the muster roll of NREGS works and misappropriation of Government money by forgery in the name of Secretary of Chancher GP.

Chanchal Harijan, ex-VAW and PEO, Jagajiban Naik, VLL, Ajit Kumar Pradhan, ex-Sarpanch, Chancher GP, ex-JE Shyam Prasad Panda.

In Kalahandi, out of 2, 00,852 families, 4, 90,532 persons had registered themselves for work under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

The administration had provided 1, 98,298 job cards. Out of the 2, 12,303 people who had applied from 1, 02,272 families, 2, 11,380 persons were provided jobs.

According to official reports, 9967 families were provided jobs for a period of 1,300 days in the year 2006-07.

The different blocks and the amounts spent are listed as follows: Bhawanipatna Rs 11,97,43,838, Dharmagarh Rs 6,98,46904, Jaipatna Rs 4,62,94,252, Junagarh Rs 5,26,30,545, Kalampur Rs 3,38,43,685, Karlamunda Rs 2,13,85,486, Kesinga Rs 4,73,41,636, Koksara Rs 4,05,46,893, Lanjigarh Rs 2,13,85,486, Madanpur-Rampur Rs 3,09,91,296, Narla Rs 17,15,554 and Thuamul-Rampur Rs 3,80,3567. A total amount of Rs 70,70, 38, 922 was spent in all the blocks of the district, according to Government records.

Official records show that during the year of 2007-08, an amount of Rs 30, 60, 5743 has been spent till June 2007.

The question that arises is that if in a single visit the concerned officials from the completed project of NREGS, 23 records were found, how many would still surface if all the village works are properly audited and how much of the funds would have actually been misappropriated in the district.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Indravati project loses Rs 15 cr due to rain

The Pioneer, Aug 17, 2007

Pioneer News Service | Bhawanipatna
Power production at the Indravati Power Project was stalled for five consecutive times following heavy rains on the upper catchments of the Indravati river that put the project's loss at Rs 15 crore.

National Highway-201 was submerged disrupting road communication between Jaipatna, Mukhiguda, Dharmagarh, Junagarh, Jaipatna, Nabarangpur and Koksara.

Every year, surplus water from the project is released through the Mangalpur Barrage into the Hati river.

Sources said the Indravati river flowed at 641.5 meters against the danger mark of 642 meters. Water in the Muran dam flowed at 445.172 K.V per second.

As two gates were opened, water flooded the roads disrupting links between Boriguma and Kotpat and further down between Bastar and Dantewada in Chhattisgarh.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

BPL rice siphoned off in Kalahandi

The Pioneer, Aug 14, 2007

Bhabanipatna: In a major breakthrough, the District Procurement Committee (DPC) of Kalahandi and a special squad from Bhubaneswar jointly raided godowns and rice mills in different blocks and found that BPL rice amounting to 191.84 quintals in Madanpur-Rampur block and 98 quintals in Narla block were siphoned off by storage agents.

Following complaints that poor people are being deprived of rice under the Central schemes, the Collector of Kalahandi formed different squads to raid the godowns in Junagarh, Charbahal, Kesinga, Koksara, Jaipatna, Dharamgarh and Narla blocks. The Civil Supplies Department targeted to purchase 12,12,127 quintals of paddy and 8 lakh quintals of rice from Kharif and Rabi crops. However, it has purchased 13,53, 315.70 quintals of paddy and 5,99,594.51 quintals of rice from the millers, sources said.

Maoists spreading network, police worried

The Statesman, Aug 14, 2007

Statesman News Service
SAMBALPUR, Aug 13: If the news doing the rounds in Bargarh, a part of the old Sambalpur district is true, then there is every reason to believe that Maoists are spreading their network in this district also. There were rumours earlier that Maoists had launched an effort to capture Barpahar forest region on the bank of Hirakud dam reservoir covering both Sambalpur and Bargarh districts. This would be helpful for them to establish a corridor to Koraput and Kalahandi.
Police was also aware of the matter. They had also detained a Christian pastor from Barpahar forest suspecting him for having Maoist links last year, but later released him after a thorough investigation.
But, Saturday night’s incident have shaken both police and public in this district since Maoists entered an explosives godown in Bageibira village under Bargarh police station of the district, overpowered two chowkidars (guards) Mr Udhhab Bhoi (50) and Mr Manglu Seth (65) and instructed them to tell the owner of the godown to pay Rs two lakh, and hand over explosive materials within a week. The Maoists also pasted a poster on the wall of the godown before leaving the place. It is further learnt that the owner of the explosives godown, a resident of Angul district hasn’t lodged any FIR. The reason might be that the owner is either afraid of a Maoist backlash, or that he doesn’t have a valid licence to run the godown. While junior police officers of the district confirmed the incident, the S P of Bargarh Mr Sanjiv Panda said: “I am going to the spot to verify everything personally since it is a sensitive issue. Things will become clear tonight.”

Black Day
Maoists in Malkangiri district are gearing up to observe the coming Independence Day as ‘Black day’ throughout the district. Naxal hits are likely to be affected at large.
Posters and banners are seen in Kurmanur, Papulur, Vejangiwade panchayats of Andhra-Orissa border. Maoists are on a whirl-wind tour to Chitrakonda, Kalimela, Motu, MV-79 police station limit villages. The Maoists have decided to hoist black flags on offices and schools protesting against the government that has done nothing for the tribals in last 60 years. Schools in interior villages are reported have been closed in the afternoon onwards. Last Republic Day Maoists had blocked the state highway-25 by feeling trees at village MV-126 and one CRPF jawan was killed while clearing the log.
This time, similar incidents, may not be ruled out. The district SP Mr. Satish Kumar Gajbhaia has personally overseen the arrangements and have tightened the security arrangement.

Central Tribal Varsity Being Planned In Orissa

Newspostindia, Aug 13, 2007

Thousands of tribals in Orissa's poverty ridden Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput (KBK) districts may soon have access to better higher education with a central university being planned there.

The human resource development (HRD) ministry Monday said it was weighing a state government proposal to set up such a university in the region.

'Orissa being one of such states (without a central university), its request for establishment of a central university in the tribal-dominated KBK region shall receive due consideration,' Minister of State for HRD D. Purandeswari said.

'Further, a bill for setting up a central tribal university is in the process of being introduced in the current session of parliament,' Purandeswari informed the Rajya Sabha.

The proposed university shall have power to establish its regional centres in areas inhabited by tribals.

The HRD ministry had earlier said there was a proposal for setting up 16 central universities in states where there was no such university.

Several PIB releases on new central universities can be found at Orissalinks

Monday, August 13, 2007

Orissa in Rain and Flood: Kalahandi and Rayagada Disrupted

The Samaja, Aug 13, 2007

Water over Hati River Bridge

Dharitri, Aug 13, 2007

Koshali Ekta Manch for engineering college in Kalahandi

The Pioneer, Aug 13, 2007

Bhawanipatna: A meeting of the Koshali Ekta Manch has decided that a memorandum would be submitted on August 24 to Vedanta Alumina limited in order to establish an engineering college in Kalahandi. It was also decided that an all-party meeting would be convened on August 14 to discuss the various problems of the district. Manch leaders Jagannath Mund, Govind Chandra Rath and Padma Kishore Pujari were present at the meeting.

Truck falls into river, one missing

The Pioneer, Aug 13, 2007
Pioneer News Service | Bhawanipatna

A truck skidded into the Hati river at Junagad on Saturday following heavy rainfall. While two persons were rescued, another is still missing.

Due to heavy rains since Friday, two gates of the Indravati project was opened and the water was diverted into the Hati river of Junagarh. Despite the locals request not to cross the river's bridge at Junagarh the truck driver tried his luck with the vehicle and skidded into the river following a heavy current.

However, the locals succeeded in rescuing the driver Santosh Kumar Lenka, helper Gautam Barik. But Sonu Swain (30), son of Prafulla Swain, the owner from Banki, is still missing. The truck bearing no OR14M 3700 was on its way from Visakhapatnam to Rajgangpur. Collector Pramod Pattnaik and SP Sarat Chandra Chaupattnaik rushed to the spot, soon after the incident occurred.

Communication links to Junagarh, M Rampur, Kalampur, Narla, Jaipatna, Bhawanipatna block are being severely affected following rainfall every year since independence.

Rains & rivers flood vast areas

The Telegraph, Aug 13, 2007

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 12: Flash flood caused by heavy rain in upper catchment wreaked havoc in several places of southern and western parts of the state, while heavy rains are likely to lash the northern and central Orissa, as a deep depression formed over the Bay of Bengal.

The government has alerted all the districts to keep in readiness to face any eventuality and swing into action wherever relief and rescue operations are necessary, disaster management minister Manmohan Samal said this afternoon.

S.C. Sahoo, the director of meteorology centre here, said heavy to very heavy rains were likely to occur at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over Orissa during the next 48 hours under the influence of the depression.

By this evening, the Vanshadhara, Rushikulya and their tributaries were rising and flowing close to danger mark following the rains since past two days. Around 500 residents of Gudari in Rayagada district were evacuated as the town was submerged by the flood water for the second time in a week, Samal said, adding that similar steps were taken in a ward in Bolangir town.

Rayagarh collector Bhaskar Jyoti Sharma, who visited Gudari and Gunupur yesterday, said the marooned people were shifted to safer places. Sharma said two bridges were washed away by the Nagabali in Kalyan Singhpur block, while the road communication in Chandrapur area, bordering Gajapati and Phulbani districts, was cut off.

In Kalahandi district, which bore the brunt of the Hati, Tel and Udanti, one person was killed by electrocution, while another person, who was swept away by flood, was feared killed, said district collector Pramod Patnaik. A coal-laden truck was swept away while crossing a bridge over the Hati near Junagarh last night. While the truck driver and helper were rescued, one Sonu Swain, the son of the truck owner, was missing, said Patnaik.

The district headquarters of Bhawanipatna was cut off as a high-level bridge over the Bhawanipatna-Khariar state highway and a culvert over the Pipalnala were washed away.

Normal life was thrown out of gear in north and central Orissa due to incessant rain triggered by depression.

Met officials here said rainfall had occurred in many places across the state during the past 24 hours. In the next 48 hours, strong wind at a speed of 45-55kmph is likely to blow along and off Orissa coast. Sea condition would be rough to very rough. Cautionary signal no. 3 has been hoisted at Paradip, Chandbali, Puri and Gopalpur while fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea, said Met officials.

Several places in north Orissa, including Balasore and Bhadrak districts, have been experiencing heavy and incessant rain since last night. Balasore collector Alekh Padhiary said the Kanshabansha and Jalaka were in spate and flowing close to danger level while the Subernarekha and Budhabalanga were flowing below the warning level.

Flood situation eases in Bihar, UP; 700 evacuated in Orissa

Times of India, Aug 11, 2007

NEW DELHI: With rain-fed rivers receding and a merciless sun beating down, the flood fury in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh abated further even as 700 people were evacuated today from an Orissa town where Vansadhara river flowed close to the red mark.

Though the death toll from the deluge touched 178 in Uttar Pradesh, the situation in the eastern region, where over 2,300 villages were inundated, eased thanks to practically no rains in catchment areas.

The water level of major rivers, which rose menacingly affecting nearly five lakh hectares of land in 22 districts, also receded even as relief operations continued to provide succour to the marooned.

In Bihar, where up to 15 million people in 7,225 villages were hit by the nature's fury, the situation steadily improved with the sun shining brightly in the past few days.

IAF choppers and over 5000 boats were still engaged in relief and rescue operations in the state where the death count due to the flooding topped the 200 mark.

As many as 700 people were evacuated from Gudari town in Orissa's Rayagada district as Vansadhara river swelled.

It was flowing near the red mark and was constantly rising, officials said adding a bridge had been washed away by surging waters at Bijapur.

Gusty winds restricted Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's aerial survey of some flood-hit districts.

A report from Bhawanipatna said that heavy rains lashed Kalahandi district since Friday, paralysing normal life as rivers Tel, Hati and Udanti were in spate.

The flooded Hati once again disrupted road communication on NH 201 as the water, flowing above the river bridge near Junagarh town, was rising further, officials said.

The culvert over Pipalnala on the outskirt of Bhawanipatna town, which was repaired on Friday after being damaged in the flash floods on August five and six, had again suffer damage in the fresh deluge.

Entry and exit to the town from that route had been stopped as police guarded the damaged culvert.

The Tel had inundated vast cultivated areas in Amathola, Nandol, Kalam, Paria, Turchi, Cheliamal, Turkel, Kasurpada, Nunmath, Belkhandi, Rajapada and Digsara.

A 150-metre breach in the approach road to the Tel river bridge at Turkel on state highway number 16, linking Bhawanipatna with Raipur in Chhattisgarh, had disrupted the road traffic, the officials said.

We Clicked. They Clicked

Outlook, Aug 11, 2007

We Clicked. They Clicked
At the stroke of the midnight hour, as the world slept, a thousand flashbulbs popped to capture that moment which was to become the most defining one in the history of independent India...

Bishwadeep Moitra
Special Issue: India At 60

At the stroke of the midnight hour, as the world slept, a thousand flashbulbs popped to capture that moment which was to become the most defining one in the history of independent India. The next morning, August 15, 1947, India and the world woke up to pictures of Pandit Nehru taking over the reins from the Empire. An ancient civilisation was giving birth to the world's largest democracy. For photographers around the world, India was at the time the most fertile ground for news and documentary filming.
Partition had uprooted nearly 14 million people from either side of the newly created border between India and Pakistan.

[Any lensman worth his salt would have shots of Kalahandi, Dharavi and widows of Vrindavan.]

The stories of people desperately fleeing from the wrath of sectarian violence; the stories from the resettlement colonies that housed the new citizens of India; the stories of riots and wreckages; the stories of survival against the most severe odds, were captured

more vividly in stills than in words.
The independence movement had brought mega-personalities to the fore and the world press clicked away with extraordinary interest and vigour. Nehru was perhaps the most photogenic of these leaders and his portraits adorned covers of leading magazines around the world. A transforming nation was witnessing people’s movements across her landscape and the images captured on the lenses of thousands of cameras illustrated the mood of her people. As the years rolled, Nehru’s vision of a modern India moved from the drawing board to bricks and mortar; a new class of confident and self-reliant Indians came out of years of slavery and subjugation, yet the demons of poverty, hunger and caste discrimination would not go away. Disasters, man-made and natural, would thwart India’s dream repeatedly, and would give an image-hungry world a glimpse of our darkest recesses.

The world still looked at India as a mystic land crippled with poverty. Pictures from India the world saw were of starvation deaths, of famines, of floods, of violent riots, of destruction. Once in a while, a mystic man would pop up, uttering some mumbo-jumbo, or a debauched royal would pose with his wealth to seek the world’s attention. Any photographer worth his salt would have in his portfolio pictures of starving families in Kalahandi, or the miseries of Dharavi’s migrant labour or the destitute widows of Vrindavan. India was Destination Misery for the world press.

Six decades, fourteen general elections, economic liberalisation, the emergence of a confident new Indian middle class, the IT revolution...we have come a long way. And so has the way the world likes to look at us. Photographs are still clicked of the grieving families of farmers who have committed suicide by consuming pesticides in Andhra Pradesh.... But also clicked is a portfolio of an Indian tycoon with half a dozen global companies on his shopping list. Every time the camera captures a portrait of a family feeding on mango kernels in Bolangir, Orissa, it also trains its eye on the family that had created a thousand millionaires in its company in Bangalore. If the lives of the Vrindavan widows are documented on film, so also are of those members of the ‘only for women’ Salsa Dance School in neighbouring Mathura.

The two Indias trudge along. We live a pitiable existence in the slums but we also have moved to modern urban homes. There is not enough to feed all of us yet we are on the verge of a veritable boom in the hospitality industry. We still cannot guarantee the life of a newborn girl child, yet we could sneak in a woman president. India will continue to be in the most-favoured list of destinations for the lens-people of the world. Because, in India, for whatever is true, the opposite is also true.

In the following pages we have tried to essay India’s journey since her independence. Some of the pictures we have selected are iconic, others are lesser-seen photographs. They all tell our story poignantly.

Fresh floods claim four lives

The New Indian Express, Aug 13, 2007

BHUBANESWAR: Fresh floods in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts claimed four lives while over 1.3 lakh people remained marooned after incessant rains triggered by monsoon, and powered by a low pressure off the coast, lashed the State on Sunday.

A number of rivers rose while Banshadhara was flowing above the danger line. With the Met office predicting more rains during the next couple of days, the rivers could cause more damage. In the last 24 hours, Kalahandi was lashed by torrential rains with Junagarh receiving over 33 cm rain followed by Bhawanipatna with 18 cm.

Floods in Hati river which was in spate following heavy rains gripped 51,000 people in 13 blocks of Kalahandi. Over 467 villages in 203 GPs were in the clutches of the swirling waters.

One Somu Swain drowned after the truck he was driving was swept away by the floodwater along National Highway No 201 on Saturday evening. Similarly, a 30 year old man was electrocuted during the heavy rains in the district.

The Special Relief Commissioner (SRC)'s office said public property worth Rs 9.5 crore were damaged by the floods in the district. In Rayagada, two persons were swept away in floods that gripped a population of 80,000 in 48 villages of 11 blocks.

The office of Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) said 400 villagers had to be evacuated as Bandhadhara was flowing one meter above danger mark of 83 meter. Four relief camps have been set up.

Meanwhile, the met office has said that the well marked low pressure off the Orissa coast is likely to concentrate into a depression. Under its influence, rain will occur at most places while extremely heavy falls - over 25 cm - too are likely at a few places during the next 48 hours.

While local cautionary signal number three has been hoisted at Paradip, Chandbali, Puri and Gopalpur, strong surface wind reaching a speed of 45 km to 55 kmph is likely to blow along and off Orissa coast. Sea condition will be rough, the weather office said.

Truck swept off by flood waters, one person missing

The Hindu, Aug 12, 2007

Bhawanipatna (Orissa), Aug. 12 (PTI): One person was missing after a coal-laden truck was swept off the bridge over flooded Hati river near Junagarh town in Kalahandi district last night, police said.

Though traffic on the bridge had come to a grinding halt, the truck driver was trying to pass through when the mishap occurred.

The truck was on its way to Rairangpur.

The driver and helper of the vehicle were also swept away but were rescued by the local people.

Friday, August 10, 2007

JK Paper ties up with UN to sell carbon credit of farmers

Money Control, Aug 10, 2007
New Delhi, Aug. 9

Farmers in six districts of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa would be able to receive money in the form of carbon credit through the LULUCF (land use land use change in forestry) programme of the United Nations.

Claiming to be the first project of its kind in the country, domestic paper manufacturer JK Paper has tied up with the UN to sell carbon credits of farmers. The valuation is estimated in terms of carbon dioxide absorption by the plants over a period of five to seven years.

The farmers would undertake plantation of eucalyptus trees in their lands in Raygada, Kalahandi and Koraput districts of Orissa. In Andhra Pradesh, farmers will set up cajurina plantations in their unused and shallow lands in the districts of Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram and Vishakapatnam.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Mahanadi river rising menacingly

The New Indian Express, Aug 8, 2007

BHUBANESWAR: Mahanadi river is on the spate following heavy rains on the upper catchment area.

However, the deep depression, that lay centred in interior parts of the State on Monday, has crossed over to Chhattisgarh and will weaken gradually.

The water level at Naraj was 23.22 m at 6 pm and showed a rising trend. The danger level is 26.41. As the deep depression was active over Chhattisgarh, heavy to heavy rainfall is likely at several places of the upper catchment and lower catchment areas of Mahanadi river during the next 48 hours.

The south-west monsoon, which got reactivated by the system, lashed major parts of southern and south-west Orissa during the last 24 hours causing floods in Rushikulya river. However, the flood water in the the river is receding.

While a bridge in Rayagada district collapsed, road communication was disrupted at several places due to overflowing of flood waters on State and National Highways in southern districts.

Flood waters also flowed over Bhubaneswar-Bhanjanagar road at Nuagaon disrupting traffic. National Highway-217 at Khadabhaga was inundated, disrupting communication between Aska and Berhampur.

Although water level was falling in Rushikulya river, it was still above the danger level till reports last came in. However, water has started receding in Bansadhara river which was flowing above the danger mark on Tuesday morning.

Flood water from Rushikulya inundated four villages under Seragada block and three villages under Belaguntha block. Daha, Dhanei and Baghua reservoirs were overflowing. Umerkote in Nabarangpur district received the highest rainfall of 35 cm followed by Bhanjanagar 25 cm, Junagarh 23 cm, Sorada 21 cm, Aska and Lanjigarh 15 cm each during the last 24 hours.

According to the forecast by the meteorological department, most places over upper Mahanadi, Subarnarekha, lower Mahanadi and a few places over rest of the river catchments will receive rainfall.

Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal said no further report of human casualty has been received.

Dharitri: Food in Hati River, 7 villages in water

Dharitri, AUg 8, 2007

Dharitri: Food in Kalahandi disrupts road communication and block NH 201

Dharitri, Aug 8, 2007

Docs working in KBK, other areas get pay hike

The Pioneer, Aug 8, 2007

Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar
... incentives applicable for a year; subject to review

In order to boost the morale of doctors working in the KBK and non-KBK areas, the State Government hiked remuneration of contractual doctors. A notification to this effect was issued on Tuesday.

Henceforth, contractual doctors posted against vacant posts of Asst Surgeons in the KBK districts and in the districts of Boudh, Kandhamal and Gajapati will get Rs 18,000 per month and Non-KBK districts, will get Rs 12,000. It may be noted that due to shortage of required number of doctors in the state, contractual appointments are being given to the retired doctors, private doctors and fresh medical graduates at a consolidated remuneration of Rs 12,000 in KBK and Rs 10,000 in non-KBK districts.

The remuneration of retired doctors, private doctors having postgraduate qualification to be appointed on contract basis against the vacant posts of Specialists at District Headquarter Hospitals and Sub Divisional Hospitals in KBK and Boudh, Kandhamal and Gajapati districts will be Rs 20,000.

The retired and private doctors having PG qualification to be appointed on contractual basis against the vacant posts of Specialists in the periphery hospitals (other than District Headquarters Hospitals and Sub-Divisional Hospitals) in the KBK and Boudh, Gajapati and Kandhamal districts will get a remuneration of Rs 25,000. The doctors having Post Graduate qualification to be appointed on contractual basis against the vacant posts of Specialists in the District Headquarter Hospitals and Sub-Divisional Hospitals of Non-KBK districts will get remuneration of Rs 15,000.

The doctors having PG qualifications to be appointed on contractual basis against the vacant posts of specialists in the periphery hospital (other than District Headquarter Hospitals and Sub-Divisional Hospitals) in the Non-KBK districts will get remuneration of Rs 20,000.

The doctors having PG qualification in Anaesthesiology, Radiology to be posted on contractual basis against the vacant post of Specialists in Anaesthesiology, Radiology in the District Headquarter Hospitals and Sub-Divisional Hospitals in the state will be given remuneration of Rs 25,000.

The contractual doctors posted against the vacant post of assistant surgeon, specialists are to be designated as 'consultant physician' and 'consultant specialists'. The Rogi Kalyan Samiti of the hospital concerned will monitor the attendance and performance of such contractual doctors. The contractual doctors will be called as consultant physician or consultant specialist. also reported on it.

Cong, CPI, CPM observe bandh in Kalahandi

The Pioneer, Aug 8, 2007

Pioneer News Service | Bhawanipatna

The Congress, the CPI and the CPI(M) jointly called a one-day bandh in Kalahandi district on Monday in protest against fake medicines marketing and female foeticides and demanded a CBI probe into the scams and resignation of CM Naveen Patnaik.

Since morning, markets, schools, banks, post offices and other Government offices remained closed. Congress leaders, PCC president Jayadev Jena, former Union Ministers Srikant Jena and Bhakta Charan Das, Balikuda MLA Umesh Swain and Kodinga MLA Sadan Naik, and CPI and CPI(M) leaders headed the protest stir and submitted a memorandum at the Collectorate here.

The police arrested over 200 agitators workers at Bhawanipatna, 150 at Kesinga, 43 at Narla, 40 at M Rampur, 50 at Lanjigarh, 55 at Junagarh, 45 at Dharmagarh, 30 at Koksara and 34 at Jaipatna. Due to heavy rains, the scheduled public meeting in the evening at Gandhi Chowk here was cancelled. PCC president said the agitation would be extended to all districts till the Chief Minister resigns.

Monday, August 6, 2007

FIR filed against 5 for funds’ misuse

The Statesman, Aug 6, 2007

Statesman News Service
BHAWANIPATNA, Aug. 5: An FIR has been filed at the Bhawanipatna Sadar police station against five people by the Bhawanipatna block development officer on Friday for alleged misappropriation of National Rural Employment Generation Scheme funds.
The accused are the Chancher gram panchayat secretary, former VAW and panchayat extension officer, village labour leader, former sarpanch of the gram panchayat and former junior engineer of Bhawanipatna Block.
The funds were meant for the improvement of the RD Road up to Sikerguda village. It is alleged that false payment has been shown against 23 people.
Forgery has been committed in several cases with false thumb impressions, even of persons who do not live in the village.
Many dead persons have been shown to have been paid on the muster roll and misappropriated. The scam was detected during the visit of the Kalahandi collector, Mr Pramod Chandra Pattnaik, to Sikerguda village of the Chancher gram panchayat at Bhawanipatna Block. He detected serious instances of misappropriation, while reviewing case records of road construction at an estimated cost of Rs 4 lakh from the NREGS grant.
Based on Mr Pattnaik’s inspection report, the BDO filed the FIR.
The collector also detected the sale of essential commodities at a higher price, according to a Press release.
The collector detected that a gram sevak were selling DPAP rice and kerosene at a higher rate. The extra amount of Rs 1,387.50 taken by the gram sevak, Pramod Kumar Mishra, was realised and returned to 47 victims. Mr Pattnaik directed officials concerned to take disciplinary action against the erring gram sevak.
Similar allegations are pouring forth from remote areas.
Since 1 July, the district administration has formed squads to put a check on black marketing of the public distribution system.
Mr Pattnaik has urged officials to gear up the monitoring system for proper implementation of NREGS funds.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Indravati project's side-effects hit KBK people

The Pioneer, Aug 2, 2007
Pioneer News Service | Bhawanipatna

Even as the major hydro-irrigation project of Upper Indravati has brought cheers to the farmers of the KBK region, its side effects are harming them more than their benefits. A leading non-resident Oriya (NRO) Digamabar Patra, who belongs to this backward region, has analysed in great details the effects of the project.

The State Government is richer by hundreds of crores rupees annually by selling power to the neighbouring State. However, the negative side effects from this project from infrastructure and health counts are creating an appalling situation for the common men. Opening of various channels to irrigate agricultural farmland has brought various deadly waterborne diseases in the form of tuberculosis, malaria, brain fever to the region directly affecting the local mass.

However, whatever health facilities are available in the region are in a state of despair. Serious staff shortage in the Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Primary Health Centres (PHCs), coupled with shortage of technical expertise as well as proper medical diagnostic instruments, has further worsened the situation.

Take the case of Dharamgarh: The total number of sanctioned doctors' posts in the Dharamgarh sub-divisional hospital is 18, but at present there are only six doctors in position. In the monsoon season, when the hospital records a higher number of patients, it finds it very difficult to cope with the situation. The Government has sanctioned an ENT specialist post in the hospital but has later coolly forgotten to post one.

Similarly, there are a half-constructed concrete buildings and a signboard of Sardar Raja Medical College at Jaring, but this private medical college is yet to be operational. Four years after its foundation stone was laid, the medical college has not yet obtained the approval of the Medical Council of India (MCI). In the absence of proper healthcare, ailing women, children, old and infirm people are suffering a lot.

The poor infrastructure brings owes to the entire rural folk. The Hati river used to be a dry one in summer before the irrigation project came into operation. So, the requirement of a permanent bridge over the river was not felt. However, after the project came into operation, now even in dry summer season the normal level of water in the river is four to six feet high as the water is diverted to the river through the Indravati dam. The people living in this part of the KBK region are, therefore, finding it difficult to cross the river.

Submergence of NH-201, one of the major routes in the region, by the overflowing Hati river water near Junagarh in rainy days has been a routine and serious concern since past decade affecting lakhs of commuters. It is also affecting road movement from Rourkela, Sambalpur, Balangir, Angul and Bhawanipatna to Jeypore, Sunabeda, Damanjodi, Nabarangpur and Koraput and vice versa.

At present, the river needs at least five more new bridges at various points. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had laid the foundation stone in 2003 for a new bridge over the river at Kalampur, but construction work is yet to start. A high-level new bridge is also required over the river near Junagarh on NH 201 over the present low-lying bridge. Despite public demand since last one decade for a new bridge over NH 201 near Junagarh, the Government has remained callous.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Indravati side effects hit KBK, Aug 1, 2007

While major hydro irrigation project of Upper Indravati (UIHP) has brought cheers to the farmers of KBK region but its side effects are harming them more.

Dr. Digamabara Patra, a leading Non Resident Oriya (NRO) who belongs to this backward region have analyzed in great details.

Decade long operations of UIHP has provided irrigation facility and benefited a large number of farmers in the backward KBK region resulting boost in the economy of the local and the state.

The state government is richer by hundreds of crore rupees annually by selling power to the neighboring state.

However, the negative side effects from this project from infrastructure and health count is creating appalling situation for the common men.

Opening of various channels to irrigate agricultural farm land has brought various deadly water born diseases in the form of Tuberculosis, Malaria, Brain fever to the region directly affecting the local mass.

However health facilities in this region are in a state of despair.

And new born water diseases have added to their owes, allege the villagers.

Serious staff shortage in the Community Health Centers (CHC) and Primary Health Centers (PHC) coupled with shortage of technical expertise as well as proper medical diagnostic instruments has further worsened the situation.

Take the case of Dharamgarh, the total number of doctor posts in the Dharamgarh sub-divisional hospital is 18, however, at present there are only six doctors in position.

In the monsoon season, when the hospital records a higher number of patients, it is finding it very difficult to cope with the situation.

Government sanctioned an ENT specialist post in the Dharamgarh hospital but has coolly forgotten to post one.

Similarly a half constructed concrete buildings and a sign board of Sardar Raja Medical College at Jaring is there but this private medical college is yet to be operational.

Four years after foundation laying ceremony of laying down the foundation stone the medical college has not yet obtained the approval of Medical Council of India (MCI).

In absence of proper health care ailing women, children, old and infirm are suffering a lot.

Similarly poor infrastructure brings owes to the entire rural folks.

Hati River used to be a dry one in summer before the UIHP came into operation.

So the requirement of a permanent bridge over Hati River was not felt.

However, after UIHP came to operation now even in dry summer season normal water level flowing in the river is four to six feet high as water from Indravati River is diverted to Hati River through Indravati dam.

Therefore, now people living in this part of in KBK region are finding it difficult to cross the river.

Blockage of one of the major routes, NH 201 in the region by overflowing Hati river water near Junagarh of Kalahandi in rainy days has been a routine and serious concern since past decade affecting million of commuters.

It is also affecting road movement from Rourkela, Sambalpur, Balangir, Angul and Bhawanipatna to Jeypore, Sunabeda, Damanjodi, Nawarngpur and Koraput and vice versa.

At present Hati river needs at least five more new bridges at various points.

Foundation stone laid by Chief Minister Naveen patnaik in 2003 for a new bridge over Hati River at Kalampur, brought cheers among the local populace but unfortunately the work is yet to start.

A high level new bridge is also required over Hati River near Junagarh on NH 201 over the present low lying bridge.

Despite public demand since last one decade by the local commuters for a new bridge over NH 201 near Junagarh the state government turns a deaf ear.