Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jagannath Patnaik meets Sonia

The Pioneer, May 31, 2008
Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

Senior Congress leader of the State and former Revenue Minister Jagannath Patnaik met AICC president Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi on Friday.

He informed her about the present political situation of the State and "failure" of the BJD-BJP Government in executing the various Centrally-sponsored projects.

Patnaik informed her about the various dimensions of the KBK schemes and stressed upon a review of their implementation at the Central level. He also requested for establishment of a Central University in Kalahandi district.

Patnaik also held talks with Union Planning Minister Narayan Swami and AICC secretary in charge of Orissa Ajay Maken, according to a release here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Orissa heat wave death toll crosses 50

Kalinga Times, 30th May, 2008

As heat wave conditions continued to prevail in several regions of Orissa, the number of sunstroke deaths in the State crossed 50 on Thursday. “As many as 51 deaths due to sunstroke have been confirmed so far,” said an official manning the State level control room of the Revenue and Disaster Management Department here. A total of 165 deaths, allegedly due to sunstroke, had been reported from different areas of the State this season. Verification carried out by the district administrations concerned, however, had found that 90 of these deaths took place due to `other reasons'. Inquiry reports in respect of the remaining 24 alleged heat wave deaths were awaited, the official added.
Of the 51 sunstroke deaths confirmed, seven had been reported from Dhenkanal district and six each from Angul and Jagatsinghpur. Besides, five deaths were confirmed in Khurda; four each in Ganjam, Nayagarh, Sambalpur and Sundargarh; three in Jajpur; two each in Balasore, Puri and Sonepur; and one each in Kendrapara and Mayurbhanj. The heat wave condition, however, had started subsiding in some coastal districts due to rain and thundershowers during the past few days.
However, the maximum day temperature continues to remain over 40 degrees Celsius in many interiors districts till date. The places that recorded more than 40 degrees Celsius on Wednesday include Bolangir, Bhawanipatna, Sambalpur, Sundargarh and Angul. As regards weather forecast, there was possibility of thunder-squall and rain in some areas during the next 24 hours.

Hemalata Hospitals plan Rs 40 cr expansion

Business Standard, 30th May, 2008

Hemalata Hospitals and Research Centre (HHRC), a multi-speciality hospital for cancer and neurosciences, has planned to foray into other areas of healthcare specialities like orthopaedics, trauma and critical care by the end of 2009.
The 100- bed hospital would invest Rs 40 crore in providing additional beds, operation theatres and other necessary equipment.
"We intend to extend our healthcare facilities in other speciality areas like orthopaedics, trauma and critical care. We aim to raise the bed strength from 100 to 250 and also take the number of operation theatres from three to six by the end of next year", said AK Rath, the chairman and managing director of HHRC.
Rath, however admitted that there would be a problem in getting qualified professionals for the new specialities, especially that of trauma and critical care,When asked whether the hospital was getting cancer patients from outside the state, he replied, "We have been able to get a few patients from places like Ranchi and Raipur but the numbers are not very impressive.
There is still a growing number of people from Orissa who go out of the state for cancer treatment and we first need to win their confidence."
He was talking to reporters on the eve of World No Tobacco Day being observed by the hospital.
HHRC, spread over an area of around 80,000 sq ft and equipped with three super speciality operation theatres has treated over 2,000 cancer patients in two and a half years.
This year, HHRC would organise cancer awareness camps in different locations of the state like Puri, Rayagada, Bolangir, Bhawanipatna and Parlekhamundi.
"Tobacco use is a risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of death in the world. The eight leading causes of death are ischaemic heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV/AIDS and diarrhoea", Rath added.
He stressed on the need for an organised cancer registry in the state to compile figures of the cancer patients and tobacco related deaths.

Centre’s cash push for poor patients

The Telegraph, 29th May, 2008

Bhubaneswar, May 29: The Union government will provide Rs 90.03 lakh in 2008-09 fiscal towards information, education and communication (IEC) for the benefit of leprosy patients
Claiming a significant success in eradication of leprosy from the state, the government has pulled up its sleeve to wipe it out completely.
As on March 31, 2008, state’s leprosy cases on record were 3,283 with a prevalence rate of 0.8 per 10,000 population. Prevalence rate plummeted to one to none in as many as 23 districts.
Remaining seven districts, including Bolangir, Jharsuguda, Angul, Bargarh, Sonepur, Kalahandi and Nuapda, still have a prevalence rate above one. Out of these, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Jharsuguda and Bolangir have fixed December 2008 as the deadline to eradicate cases completely.
The government has identified 685 new patients with leprosy in addition to existing 3,283 patients those are undergoing treatments.
Of the new patients, 255 were women, 146 from Scheduled Tribes, 142 from Scheduled Castes and 58 children.
As of now, Bargarh district has the highest number of leprosy patients with the numbers at 69, while Rayagada district has two patients.
Other districts such as Angul, Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh, Sonepur and Cuttack had 51, 49, 44, 39 and 37 patients respectively.
The national leprosy eradication programme was started in Orissa in 1983 with the introduction of multi-drug therapy (MDT) primarily in Ganjam district.
The objective of the national programme has been to achieve elimination by bringing all known cases under the MDT. The state (in 1983) had 3.2 lakh cases on record. The prevalence rate in the state was 121.4 per 10,000, against the 55 per 10,000 at the national-level. Orissa was hyper-endemic with a prevalence rate varying from 100 to 228.
Over 9 lakh cases were brought under MDT, of which about 8.8 lakh cases were cured.
Disabilities were prevented in 2.2 lakh cases.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One killed, 25 hurt

Newindpress, 28th May, 2008

BHAWANIPATNA: A trolley, carrying members of a marriage party, has overturned near Jamchuan.One person was killed on the spot and 25 were injured. The passengers were residents of Dhanabhata village and on their way to Titijhola village.The injured were taken to the district headquarters hospital. The deceased has been identified as Sansari Majhi.

Malaria claims 17 lives in 15 days in Kalahandi

The Pioneer, 28th May, 2008
Pioneer News Service Bhawanipatna

After cholera, which recently took lives of several backward tribals in Thuamul-Rampur block of Kalahandi district, its now the turn of malaria, which has already claimed more than 17 deaths within a span of just five days.
Reports say that more than 100 other people are suffering from malaria and the number of the afflicted people is increasing day by day. Previously, malaria had taken lives of Badphala and Badchakari villages of this block. During that time the health department had assured to ensure free medical services but no steps have yet been taken.
Within the last 15 days, 17 deaths have been reported from Kerpai gram panchayat by the local sarpanch. According to the ward member and general public, three deaths have been reported from Kerpai village, two each from Kadhyal, Merkapal, Purlimall and Pilmall and one from Tavamandi.
According to the sources, there are only three doctors in the local hospital, out of whom one is on leave due to injury and another has been transferred. And now, a single doctor is hardly able to control the serious situation. A written petition in this regard has been submitted to the BDO by the sarpanch.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

PNB opens its 58th branch at Raygada

Business Standard, 27th May, 2008

The public sector bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), opened its 58th branch at Raygada. Satyabrata Sahoo, revenue divisional commissioner, southern division, inaugurated the branch.
The bank, which opened a branch at Christian Hospital in Berhampur recently, will open branches at Phulbani, Bhawanipatna, Bolangir and Daringbari.
It has already obtained the licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for opening branches in these locations.
The bank also plans to open a farmers training centre to cater to the training requirements of the farmers of the state.The farmers will be provided free training in this centre.
It is in talks with the Orissa government for geting land for the proposed centre B P Sharma, head, Orissa circle was present during the inauguration.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pottery caught in wheels of neglect

Newindpress, 26th May, 2008

BHAWANIPATNA: Without any industry, pottery is the lifeline of hundreds of families in several villages of Kalahandi district. But bereft of any government patronage, the artisans are finding it hard to the run the once throbbing pottery units. Balisara is a back of beyond village in predominantly tribal Thuamul Rampur block.There is no industry worth the name in the block and people are mostly dependent on minor agricultural and forest produces. However, the village is known for its pottery unit where 50 artisan families are engaged. From burnt tiles to pots, peachers and beautiful terracottas, the group produces all sorts of items and sell them in the nearby weekly sandies (markets). They work in a common kiln helping each other. To boost the craft, a decade back with the assistance of Directorate of Handicrafts and Cottage Industries, a common workshed was constructed. But the workshed is now lying in a dilapidated condition. The shed was damaged and its roof uprooted in cyclone two years back. The artisans are working under a temporary common shed. Specialised training by master craftsmen were imparted for skill upgradation and the group members enrolled in the Rehabilitation of Rural Artisan Scheme. However, for last two years the scheme is not operating. Assistance from any other scheme is not forthcoming. Hari Chalan, the team leader of the 50-member group, said the artisans are struggling without any support.Other pottery units of Kalahandi are also witnessing a similar fate. Asked, GM, District Industries Centre, said it has been decided to launch special drive villages having terracotta activities in the district by supporting the artisans.

2 killed, one missing as boat capsizes in Indravati

The Pioneer, 26th May, 2008
Pioneer News Service Bhawanipatna

A boat capsized in Indravati water reservoir on Saturday resulting in the death of two people and one was missing. It has been more than 24 hours since the incident occurred, and the body of one person is yet to be found. So, it is assumed that the missing person is dead.
Sources said Guru Majhi (60), Kalinga Majhi (70), Madhu Majhi (70) and his wife Janmati Majhi(60) of Phukjai village were returning on a boat from a nearby village situated on the other side of the river after attending a death ceremony. All of a sudden the boat got out of control and sank. The incident occurred at village Sanchhatran. Janmati Majhi showed courage to try to save the life of her husband. She pulled him out but it was too late and Madhu Majhi has already breathed his last.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Water projects to battle crisis

The Telegraph, 25th May, 2008

Good news for the rural and interior parts of Orissa, which are reeling under water scarcity.
The state government has decided to cover all the 5,000-odd gram panchayats across the state under drinking water supply projects within coming three years.
This was disclosed by the state rural development minister, Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, who reviewed the status of rural drinking water supply in Orissa.
As many as 1,37,159 rural habitations out of total 1,41,358 such habitations identified have been covered, claimed the minister.
The cost of drinking water supply projects is being shared equally by the Centre and the state government under the accelerated rural water supply programme.
The yardstick is to provide one tubewell or stand-post for a population of 250 in general habitation and a population of 150 in the tribal populated undivided Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi districts, he said.
Under the Centre-sponsored Swajaldhara programme, 1,475 drinking water supply projects had been sanctioned during 2002-06, out of which 1,163 projects have been completed. Now, this scheme has been amalgamated with accelerated rural water supply programme.
“Moreover, 45,188 rural schools have been provided with drinking water against a target of 45,927 schools,” said Harichandan.
Meanwhile, under the sub-mission scheme, 89,784 sources of water were tested out of which 28,016 were detected with multiple contamination. Of 2,399 projects sanctioned for alternative safe drinking water sources, 255 have been completed by end-March this year.
The minister said Rs 454.02 crore had been released under all state and central rural drinking water supply schemes during 2007-08, out of which Rs 450.23 crore had been spent. Similarly, out of Rs 492.58 crore sanctioned for the current fiscal, Rs 80 crore had been utilised so far, he said.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Heat wave persists in Orissa, death toll mounts

Kalingatimes, 21st May, 2008

Normal life continued to be badly affected in most parts of Orissa on Monday due to the prevailing heat wave that has claimed at least 42 human lives so far. Many places in interior region of Orissa have been reeling under the heat wave condition for more than three weeks with no sign of rain. The areas that witnessed maximum day temperature beyond 40 degrees Celsius on Monday include Talcher, Angul, Deogarh, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bolangir, Bhawanipatna, Malkangiri and Phulbani.
The heat wave condition was likely to prevail over some parts of the State during the next 24 hours, officials in the Revenue and Disaster Management Department of the State government said. The officials said that as many as 147 deaths allegedly due to sunstroke had been reported from different areas of the State by Monday.
While 42 deaths were found to have taken place due to sunstroke, as many as 82 were found to have occurred due to `other reasons'. The official death toll was likely to rise in the next few days as verification reports were awaited in the remaining 23 cases.
Meanwhile, people in some areas in the coastal belt of the State had got reprieve from the gruelling heat wave due to occurrence of thunderstorm and rain. Although temperature had shown a decline in the coastal district, high humidity condition was adding to the people's woes.

JNU first, UPSC now: Hearing no handicap for ‘hunger belt’ man, 21st May, 2008
Posted online: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 10:42:38

K Manoranjan Nayak was the first from his family to enter a college in Malkangiri district of Orissa. At the time he travelled from his village Upperkatinga in neighbouring Koraput district to Malkangiri every day for his classes.
Despite the toil, he seldom missed classes, though he knew he couldn’t hear the lectures.
But being hearing impaired by birth was never a handicap for 26-year-old Nayak, who later made it to the Jawaharlal Nehru University as a Sociology student. For, he wanted to “make a difference”. Coming from the hunger-stricken Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region of Orissa, Nayak, son of a forest guard, perhaps had learnt early to not give up easily.
And, last week, his constant efforts towards a better life led him to another laurel when he made it to the Civil Services in the physically handicapped category. “When I enrolled at JNU five years ago as an MA student, I knew I was the only student with hearing impairment. Yet, this was the last thing that bothered me,” he says in answer to a question passed on to him on a piece of paper.
And that is exactly how he appeared for his final interviews for the Civil Services as well. “There was a computer on which questions were typed for me; I read them and answered,” he explains.
At JNU, Nayak would quietly take notes and later write questions for the teachers to answer. “Three professors at my Centre helped me immensely with written notes in response to my questions,” he says.
His friend and senior research student at JNU Netajee Abhinandan says Nayak never let his handicap come in the way of his happiness. “You will always find him smiling,” Abhinandan says. “He is always forthcoming with his participation in sports and other extra-curricular activities and never lets himself be sidelined in any group.”
Nayak today is not just a student with hearing impairment — for many at the campus he is a symbol of achievement despite odds. Back home, he continues to inspire four younger siblings with his courage and ambition. His younger sister, too, has made it to JNU this year as a post-graduate student.
But Nayak seems tireless. “I will appear for the Civil Services exams again next year to improve my rank of 726.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Landslide claims 5

The Statesman, 20th May, 2008

BHAWANIPATNA, May 19: Five labourers including a female labourer died and two others were seriously injured, in a land slide in a quarry at Pipal Digra near Khairmal village, about 16 km from here this afternoon.Sources said they were employed by a contractor and were digging inside a pit, when the accident took place. While four died on the spot, the female worker succumbed in Bhawanipatna government hospital. The two injured are under treatment.It is learnt that the deceased belonged to Khairmal, Deypur and Gudang villages, and the injured are from Deypur and Gudang villages.Police rushed to the spot and started investigation. A case under section 287 and 304 (a) have been registered, sources said.However, the contractor has not yet been arrested nor the tractor seized. n sns

Landslide kills four in Orissa, 20th May, 2008

Bhubaneswar, May 20 (IANS) At least four workers died Monday in a landslide in Orissa’s Kalahandi district, police said. The landslide occurred when the workers were working at a dig near Depur village, some 610 km from here, additional district superintendent of police Vibek Kumar Rath told IANS over telephone.
Police rushed to the spot to help rescue efforts, he said.

1,000 activists held in Bhawanipatna

The Pioneer, 20th May, 2008

Bhawanipatna: Protesting against the worsening law and order situation in the tenure of the BJD-BJP Government, the Kalahandi Congress Committee, under the directive of the OPCC, on Monday organised a demonstration before the Collectorate here. About 1,000 party activists, who tried to barge into the Collector's office breaking the police cordon, were arrested. Former Union Minister Bhakta Das, former Revenue Minister Jagannath Patnaik, PCC observer Bijay Gamang and DCC president Rash Behari Behera and activists, including women, from 13 blocks besides Bhawanipatna, Kesinga and Junagarh courted arrest. The activists before organising the meeting had gone around the town in a procession.

Five die, 2 injured as Kalahandi quarry caves in

The Pioneer, 20th May, 2008
Pioneer News Service Bhawanipatna

In a tragic incident, five persons were killed and two severely injured at Pipaldigra village under Degur panchayat in Kalahandi district on Monday as the quarry, in which they were digging gravel, caved in.
The deceased were identified as Bhuban Goud (30), Bhagaban Majhi (30), Jagabandhu Jal (33), Krushna Goud (25) and Mamata Puti.
Sources said a contractor, Manoj Padhee, of Degur village took 13 labourers in two tractors to Pipaldigra rock to dig gravel for construction of the Khairamal village road. The labourers, at the time of digging gravel, came under a massive landslide and died on the spot.
After hearing about the tragedy, the villagers, along with the local sarpanh and police, rushed to the spot and recovered the bodies. Three injured labourers, Bada Majhi, Kshirasindhu Goud and Mamata Puti, were rushed to the district headquarters hospital, where Mamata died.
Former Minister and BJD district president Kiran Chandra Singh Deo, on reaching the spot, helped in the rescue operation and requested the Collector, SP and BDO over telephone to provide Government assistance to the families of the deceased and free medical treatment to the injured. The Collector announced ex-gratia of Rs 10, 000 to each family of the deceased.
The police registered a case of unnatural death. Police sources said legal action would be taken against the contractor.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Family awaiting death due to starvation in Kalahandi

The Pioneer, 18th May, 2008
Bijay Dwibedi Bhawanipatna

Even though the State and Central Governments are spending crores of rupees so that nobody stays hungry and if somebody starves the local administration should be taken to task, a green card holder of Bamathana village of Kalahandi district, Biswambar Harijan (59), his wife Nila (50) and their daughter Sukar are starving. Biswambar, who is also ailing, cannot move from one place to another.
Even though he has a BPL card due to his precarious financial condition he fails to procure the rice available under the scheme. If the nieghbours out of mercy give them something to eat they have food or else they starve.
Whatever his wife earns is spend on medicines for Biswambar. Though he had approached the Collector and the BDO for Government assistance his pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The family is likely to be victims of starvation death if the administration does not come to their immediate rescue.
On the intervention of some scribes who took up his case with the panchayat secretary he was sanctioned 10 kg of rice from a PDS dealer after five months. From this glaring example of callousness of the administration, their eagerness to help the starving and downtrodden in one of the poorest districts of the State could be easily imagined, said locals.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Preventive measures for flood being planned in Kalahandi

The Statesman, 17th May, 2008

Strategies were drawn up to meet eventualities of flood and epidemics in the coming rainy season in Kalahandi, during the district-level natural calamity meeting held yesterday. Early repair of the weak spots in the river embankments and spurs which may cause problem were given special preference. Members of the committee opined that breaches caused to several pockets under Kalahampur, Jaipatna and Junagarh blocks in the Hati river banks and Bhawanipatna, Kesinga and Karlamunda blocks in the Tel river banks during previous year’s flood could not be completely restored causing sand cast during flood situation. It was directed to concerned irrigation authorities for any repair and restoration of such breaches and weak points early. It was decided for storage of 2,800 quintals of rice and 8,800 litres of kerosene under public distribution system in 14 strategic pockets under Thuamul Rampur , Lanjigarh, Golamunda and Bhawanipatna blocks of the district to meet requirement of people during rainy season. It was also decided in the meeting for storage of diarrhoea, malaria and snakebite medicines in different health centres.The meeting was chaired by the district collector. Among others Lok Sabha member Mr Bikram Keshari Deo, labour and employment minister Mr Pradeep Kumar Naik, MLA Mr Bala-bhadra Majhi, panchayat samiti presidents and district officials participated in the meeting.

CPM takes out rally against price rise

Newindpress, 17th May, 2008

BHAWANIPATNA: CPM activists took out a rally at Bhawanipatna and Madanpur Rampur on Thursday protesting the price hike.A memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister demanding distribution of essential communities in consumer stores under PDS and stringent action against hoarders and black marketers, was handed over to BDOs of Bhawanipatna and Madanpur Rampur.

Friday, May 16, 2008

CJ’s time sought before Vedanta verdict

The Telegraph, 15th May, 2008

Members of the Dangaria Kandha tribals from Kalahandi have appealed to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, K.G. Balakrishnan, to hear them before delivering the final verdict on the Vedanta Group’s bauxite mining project in the Niyamgiri hills.
Talking to reporters here today, Jitu Jakesika and Dodi Pusika, who belong to the Dangaria Kandha community, said they have faxed an appeal to the chief justice on behalf of both the Dangaria and the Jharania Kandha tribes along with other tribes living in Niyamgiri.
“We came to know that a bench of the apex court is going to decide on the bauxite mining operation shortly.
“We have prayed before the chief justice to hear us, the inhabitants of Niyamgiri, before taking a final decision,” said Jakesika showing a copy of the letter signed by him and Pusika.
Hundreds of tribals from the region will fax similar letters to the Supreme Court, he said.
The apex court is expected to deliver its final verdict on May 16.
Vedanta Alumina set up a 1MT alumina refinery at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore at Lanjigarh on the foothills of Niyamgiri range.
The group had been allotted the bauxite mines on Niyamgiri, too, a move that environmentalists and tribals have been opposing.
Jakesika lamented that tribals, the original residents of the area, have not been given the chance by the apex court or by the state government to present their case.
“If the mining project is allowed it will destroy our Niyamgiri and will ultimately lead to two major rivers and 36 perennial hilly streams to dry up,” he added.
“The bauxite mining project will not only destroy the livelihood of 20,000 tribals, it will also destroy the religious sanctity of Niyamgiri, our sacred place,” said the Dangaria Kandha youth.
If Niyamgiri deposits are allotted to any company ignoring tribal protests, it will lead to a violent uprising like the ones in Kalinganagar warned Pusika, a tribal youth.
“We have seen the plight of families displaced by Lanjigarh alumina refinery,” one of them added.
Earlier, the Dangaria Kandhas had drawn the attention of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi to the issue when the latter visited Ijurpa, a tribal hamlet on the foothills of Niyamgiri, on March 7 during his “Discovery India” trip.
He discussed the matter for more than 30 minutes. Incidentally, Jakesika led the delegation.
During his second visit to the state, Jakesika, with a few others, met Rahul Gandhi again at the airport last evening and asked him to intervene in the matter.
Rahul Gandhi reportedly has assured all support to their cause and asked the community to carry on their agitation to save their Niyamgiri hilly home.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Water scarcity forces Oriya tribals to dig riverbeds

The Economic Times, 15th May, 2008

KALAHANDI (Orissa): Intense heat wave conditions and declining water levels are spelling a hard time for Oriya tribals. The state's Kalahandi district is reeling from water scarcity, so much so that tribals have been digging up the riverbed to access water to meet their daily requirements. Residents call this process of digging up a hole in the dry riverbed as ' Chahala '. It has become common in the district that faces acute water shortage during the summer every year. A small river passes through the region surrounded by hills and forests. Residents say they are wholly dependent on it to fulfill their water requirements, and during the summers, when the river dries up, they are left with no other option but to dig up the riverbed. "This is the only source of water we are dependent on. It takes two hours to fetch water once. We are suffering from disease due to the drinking of unsafe water. We come here to get water four or five times in a day," said Ujala Guria, a villager. They accuse that the local administration of being indifferent, but the State Government says measures are being taken to provide drinking water. "Due to this extreme heat, we are facing an acute scarcity of drinking water. The Government has decided that drinking water should be provided to the people at any cost. We have directed all collectors to calculate how much water is to be provided to each village. They have been directed to send water tankers wherever required and to hire more water tankers," said Biswa Bhushan Harichandan, Orissa's Rural Development Minister. According to reports, climate change and global warming has added to the woes of the people.

Orissa tribals oppose bauxite mining

Business Standard, 15th May, 2008

Tribals in Orissa's Niyamgiri hills in Kalahandi and Raygada districts have written to the Chief Justice of India and also met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressing their opposition to bauxite mining there.
"Our prayer is that before a final decision is taken by the Supreme Court on bauxite mining in and around Niyamgiri hills, we may be heard since we are the affected inhabitants," tribal leaders Jitu Jakesika and Dodi Pusika, representing Dongria, Jharnia and other tribes, told reporters.
Claiming that mindless industrialisation would destroy the tribals, he said inhabitants of the area and various groups have written separately to the CJI with a prayer to hear their views on the matter.
Since the Niyamgiri was regarded as god by tribals, he said inhabitants of the area were ready to lay down their lives to prevent bauxite mining from there.
He said representatives of tribals met the AICC General during his visit yesterday and sought his support. In a letter to Gandhi, leaders of Dongria Kondh tribal community said the support which he pledged to them during a visit to Ijirupa village in Niyamgiri in March 2008 was "a great strength to our campaign to save our mountain".
Describing Gandhi as a great hope in saving Niyamgiri and preventing their unique lifestyle from being destroyed, Jakesika said the tribals also asked him to take up the matter at the level of the union minister for environment and forest, who is overseeing the case.
He said Gandhi had recognised that the simple lifestyle of the tribals was important in protecting the rich and unique bio-diversity of the mountain.

Tribals oppose bauxite mining in Niyamgiri

The Pioneer, 15th May, 2008
Pioneer News Service Bhubaneswar

Tribals belonging to 150 small villages residing in the Niyamgiri hills in Kalahandi district, under the banner of Green Kalahandi, on Wednesday announced to sacrifice their lives to protect the hills.
The tribals, mostly Dongria and Jharnia, petitioned the Supreme Court submitting that they be heard before a final decision is taken on the contentious issue of extraction of bauxite from Niyamgiri slated on May 16.
Speaking at Press conference here on Wednesday, members of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti Jitu Jakesika and Dodi Pusika said if bauxite is extracted from Niyamgiri, it would adversely affect the livelihood sources of over 15,000 Dongria and Jharnia tribals. "We worship Niyamgiri hills and it should not be destroyed by mining," they said. Two former Union Ministers including Bhakta Charan Das and Srikant Jena were among those present.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

KBK still the poorest’

Newindpress, 11th May, 2008
Sunday May 11 2008 06:12 IST

BALANGIR: Koraput, Balangir and Kalahandi (KBK) are the poorest districts in India, where 87 percent people and nearly 12 lakh families live below poverty line. KBK is still the most backward region even though funds for development programmes continue to flow to these districts over the years.Deputy Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said this quoting the 2007-08 CAG report. The CAG report clearly pointed out the erratic use of funds meant for agriculture, forest, irrigation, communication and drinking water facilities.It specifically reported that as many as 1450 projects were either closed or remained incomplete. It said, ‘‘Participatory management was poor as contribution in respect of ‘pani panchayats and watershed development funds’ failed to take off creating apprehension about future maintenance of projects. Mainly, the Sampoorna Gramin Rojgar Yojana failed to generate employment days targeted under RLTAP, Indira Awas Yojana couldn’t provide dwelling to targeted group and short supply of rice and dal affected emergency feeding to the beneficiaries. And above all safe drinking water couldn’t be ensured in most of the habitations. More so, only 6 percent BPL families were covered under KBK schemes against the targeted 30 percent.Mishra attributed this abysmally low economic progress to poor performance of developmental programmes undertaken in KBK. He said education is extremely dissatisfactory in KBK. ‘‘Proper education will clear bottlenecks in the way of development. State’s first priority should be education,’’Mishra said. He demanded that Central University should be established either in Balangir or any KBK district for socio-economic development.Mishra warned that due to poor socio-economic growth and the failure of government to meet the development targets, Naxalite menace is growing. ‘‘To check the Naxal menace, a separate post of RDC should be created in KBK,’’ he added.

Rahul urged to correct Arjun steps

Tathya, 11th May, 2008

Will Rahul Gandhi get back to Orissa the multi-campus tribal central university that Arjun stole from Orissa? This billion dollar question is haunting the minds of the educated youth of the state on the eve of the visit of Rahul Gandhi. Will the fourth generation icon of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which boasts as the savior of the poorest of the poor region of the country, Kalahandi take corrective steps in restoring the central university in the most deserving area. Non Resident Odias (NRO) are asking this question to both Sonia Gandhi and heir apparent of the Congress party, Rahul. It has been reported widely that Rahul will request the Central Government to establish a central university in the tribal inhabited KBK districts. However, Does Rahul Gandhi knows that the original proposal for a multi-campus tribal university came from Orissa and was allegedly stolen by the Union Human Resources Development (HRD) minister Arjun Singh to his home state Madhya Pradesh. With the visit of Mr.Gandhi to Orissa on 13 May, this question is being asked by Professor Chitta Baral, Professor Digambara Patra, Professor Digambar Mishra and Mr.Dhirendra Kar. All of them are serious about the issue of setting up of a central university in Kalahandi. The leading educationists are bemoaning over the matter as instead of supporting the Kalahandi with a Central University, Mr.Singh high jacked the idea and shamelessly decided to set up the institution at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh. Now as it has been brought to the notice of Rahul, will he take steps to correct it? The Orissa Government which submitted a detailed proposal of a multi-campus Central Tribal University for the KBK regions had paid no attention to this demand afterwards. Orissa must get another multi-campus tribal central university that it proposed and that seems to have been stolen by Arjun Singh to his home state, said Professor Patra. One may wonder why not we can just establish one of the already announced central universities in a KBK town and why we need to demand another tribal central university for KBK, said Professor Patra.
This is because the tribal population in these areas of the state is much more vis-à-vis other tribal populated areas. Secondly Rahul must understand that being the Union HRD Minister steeling the idea of a Central Tribal University; he has done great damage to the aspiration of the young and educated masses of the region. Till date the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, who has tom tom the KBK zone for their political benefits have never bothered about the real development of the area, alleged Mr.Kar. So Rahul will have to take corrective steps in this regard, said he. Is the babalog listening ?

Narasingha demands Central university at Balangir

The Pioneer, 11th May, 2008

The Central Government should establish at least one model school in each of the 89 blocks of the KBK districts to provide excellent standard of education to students of the region, observed deputy leader of Opposition in the Assembly Narasingha Mishra speaking to mediapersons here on Friday.
As education is vital for development, qualitative and standard educational institutions should be established in this backward region of India, he said.
It was a matter of regret that even after 60 years since Independence, 87 per cent of people in the KBK region were living below poverty line, as per the CAG report of 2007-08, he pointed out.
The proposed Central University for the State should be established at Balangir so that people of Balangir and nearby districts would get quality education.
Moreover, the proposed IIT should also be established anywhere in the KBK region, he said further.
He has written letters in this regard to Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh, Governor MC Bhandare and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, he said.
The vacant teachers' posts at the primary, upper primary and high school levels should be immediately filled up, he also demanded.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Vedanta launches Bal Chetna project in Kalahandi

Kalinga Times, 11th May, 2008

KalingaTimes Correspondent Bhubaneswar : Vedanta Aluminium Limited, Lanjigarh has adopted all the 400 Anganwadi centres in six blocks of Orissa's Kalahandi district under the project Bal Chetna in association with Sterlite Foundation and Orissa government through private public partnership.
This project was inaugurated at Bandhpari Anganwadi centre in Lanjigarh area by Kalahandi Collector Promod Chandra Pattnaik and legislator Balabhadra Majhi on Wednesday.
Among others, Lanjigarh Block Chairperson Srimati Majhi, Head of Sterlite Foundation Chamundi Devi, senior officials of VAL were present.
The function was attended by 500 people from Bandhpari and other nearby villages. The people were quite happy and enthusiastic about Bal Chetna project which will take care of their children's health, nutrition and early education.
Addressing the gathering, the Collector appreciated Vedanta's committed developmental works in Kalahandi district to bring significant changes in the quality of life of the people.
The Bal Chetna project, he said, will not only ensure a bright future for children of the entire district, but also open direct and indirect growth opportunities for the local youth.
VAL Vice President Mukesh Kumar said the objective of the company for taking up this project is to significantly upgrade the Anganwadi provision and services under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) of Government of Orissa.
Vedanta intends to bring in visible improvement in the quality of education of the children, especially, the underprivileged, in the age group 0-5 years, by providing five-fold services.
This includes, among other things, play way method of learning, nutritious food, improvement in health status with focus on anemia reduction, and logistic support like education materials.
Vedanta has been successfully operating 32 childcare centres with 1139 children in 18 peripheral villages at Lanjigarh. With free uniforms, nutritious mid-day meals, afternoon snacks and proper grooming, these childcare centres have already laid the foundation for nurturing the future generation.

Artisans of Khairpadar leading a life of misery

Newindpress, 11th May, 2008

BHAWANIPATNA: THEY were elated when one department of the State Government came to their help to raise their standard of living but the next moment another department snatched away their livelihood leaving them in the lurch.The artisans of Khairpadar village, famous for woodcraft have been forced to lead a life of misery for the past two years. In 2003-04, the craft village programme was implemented in Khairpadar and two nearby villages to upgrade skills of rural handicraft artisans by providing them with training, raw materials and modern tools.Accordingly, cluster approach was adopted by formation of seven artisan SHGs taking 90 artisans in its fold with the assistance of Directorate of Handicraft and Cottage Industry under supervision of District Industries Centre (DIC) and monitored by Kalinga Shilpi Sangh, Bhubaneswar.Besides tool kits, margin money was provided to avail of bank loan of Rs. 50,000 to one group and Rs. 80,000 each to six groups was made available by State Bank.However, the Forest Department raised questions about the use of electric motorrun small tools and other tools supplied to the cluster groups. And, on October 12, 2006, Forest Department officials raided the artisan units in Khairpadar and seized these tools treating these units as saw mills since they were being run by motor.They claimed that by using these tools without a licence, Orissa Saw Mill and Saw Pit Act, 1991, was being violated. Although the Kalahandi Collector on November 30, 2006, in a letter to Principal Secretary, Forest and Environment Department and Secretary, Industries (Handicrafts & Handlooms), urged to solve the problem soon, no step has been taken so far.In the letter, it was stated that without mechanisation, it will not be possible on the part of the artisans to manufacture valueadded products and that the applicability of the Orissa Saw Mill and Saw Pit Act should be considered in its spirit. Contacted, DIC GM Er. Parameswar Nayak and Cottage Industry in-charge Nabin Patra promised that the impasse will be broken soon.

Major steps to shield minors

The Telegraph (Kolkata), May 10, 2008

Cuttack, May 9: Orissa government has launched a pilot programme in Cuttack to converge services and work towards a progressive elimination of child labour.

Orissa is one of the five states where the programme is being put to test under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP).

For now, the project has been started in Cuttack and Kalahandi on a pilot basis.

The programme got underway with a workshop on “Child labour convergence model” in Cuttack — attended by labour commissioner Aswini Das.

The pilot programme envisages co-ordination of services under several schemes for poverty alleviation and income generation, education, health, welfare of women and children to create a socio-economic state in which children would rather go to school than work.

Cuttack has an estimated 14,509 children working as labourer scattered across all 14 blocks. Of the 14,509, nearly 3,500 are engaged in “hazardous” sectors, especially in beedi, matchbox and firecracker factories along with and stone quarries.

Cuttack’s collector Sujata Kartikeyan explained that the pilot programme would focus on components ranging from mobilising women against child labour and would focus on providing livelihood opportunities to families of rehabilitated children.

It is being said that the government plans to set up committees at blocks to sustain action against child labour with nodal officers in social welfare, education, health, panchayati raj and industries departments.

Under the “convergence” programme, the panchayati raj is expected to take care of parents of the child labourers under employment guarantee programmes, conceded Aditya Mohapatra, the in charge of NCLP of Cuttack.

Similarly, industries department is expected to extend necessary assistance to provide vocational training to children who are rescued.

So far, 33 special schools for minor labour schools have been set up in the district under NCLP. Education and health departments have already undertaken provision of free textbooks and health camps. Mid-day meals through the social welfare department are expected to play a key role in elimination of child labour.

SC panel curbs Sterlite mining SPV stake

Sify, India, May 10, 2008
Rakesh Bhatnagar/ DNA MONEY
Saturday, 10 May , 2008, 08:49

New Delhi: An environment regulatory committee set up by the Supreme Court has recommended a stringent mechanism for granting mining lease to Sterlite Industries, the parent company of the London-based Vedanta Alumina Ltd, to mine bauxite from the eco-sensitive Niyamgiri hill area for its proposed Rs 4,000 crore aluminium project in Orissa.

As against the plea by the Sterlite India, the Central Empowered Committee suggested that the majority 51% share in the special purpose vehicle — ‘Lanjigarh Scheduled Area Development Foundation’ — should be with the Orissa government and 24.5% each should be with the Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) and Sterlite.

The Sterlite had suggested that its own share should be 49%, while the Orissa government and OMC should hold 26% and 25%, respectively.

A bench of chief justice K G Balakrishnan, justices Arijit Pasayat and H S Kapadia directed Sterlite and the Orissa government to file affidavits on the formation and constitution of the special purpose vehicle.

The court adjourned the matter till next Friday and asked the parties to file the details by then.

Sterlite has sought direction from the court to accord clearance of the forest diversion proposal submitted by Orissa Mining Corporation for diversion of 660.749 hectare of forest land to undertake bauxite mining on Niyamgiri Hills in Lanjigarh for its Rs 4,500 crore Alumina plant in Orissa.

Sterlite has agreed to give 5% of the annual profits before tax and interest from the Lanjigarh project, consisting of bauxite mining and alumina refinery, or Rs 10 crore per year, whichever is higher, to the Foundation every year from April 1, 2007.

Sterlite also said it would make a payment of the net present value (NPV) of Rs 55 crore and Rs 50.3 crore towards wildlife management plan for conservation and management of wildlife around the Lanjigarh mine and Rs 12.2 crore towards development for the tribal people.

The committee said there has to be a balance between conservation and development. “The balance between these two would thus lie in permitting conservation not merely for private profit but in a manner that maximises the public interest component in the activity,’’ it said.

In its report to the apex court, the Central Empowered Committee said: “It is necessary to evolve norms for sustainable development of eco fragile areas and eco sensitive areas where the need for development is such that it warrants development activity at an environmental cost in such areas.”

File affidavit on Niyamgiri SPV, says SC

The Pioneer, May 10, 2008
Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the State Government to file an affidavit on the constitution of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to take up developmental activities near Niyamgiri.

The apex court has desired Sterlite Industries, the flagship company of Vedanta Resources PLC in India, duly enlisted on the Indian stock market to be a part of the SPV for mining at Niyamgiri and Scheduled area for development at Lajigarh, where the company's alumina refinery is located.

The Orissa Mining Corporation, State Government and Sterlite Industries will be part of the SPV. Earlier in its judgement, the Supreme Court had asked for the constitution of the SPV. But it never said 'no' to bauxite mining at Niyamagiri.

The court has only desired that instead of Vedanta Aluminium Limited, its associate company Sterlite Industries India Limited (SIIL), can take up the mining project in collaboration with Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC), subject to compliance with certain conditions laid down by them.

This is because, the apex court feels that Sterlite Industries, listed with Indian stock exchanges and having sound financial credentials, is in a better position to do justice to the project and subserve the developmental needs of that tribal majority area rather than Vedanta Aluminium, which is a relatively new entity and whose financial standing has not yet been established.

Vedanta adopts 400 Anganwadis

The Pioneer, May 10, 2008
Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

As part of its ongoing Corporate Social Responsibility exercise, Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh, has adopted all the 400 Anganwadis in six blocks of Kalahandi district under a project, Bal Chetna, in association with Sterlite Foundation and Government of Orissa through private-public partnership.

The project was inaugurated at a well-attended ceremony at Bandhpari Anganwadi centre, Lanjigarh, by Collector of Kalahandi Pramod Chandra Pattnaik and local MLA Balabhadra Majhi on Wednesday. Among others, Lanjigarh block chairperson Srimati Majhi, head of Sterlite Foundation Chamundi Devi, senior officials of Vedanta Aluminium and the district administration were present. The function was attended by 500 people from Bandhpari and nearby villages.

The people were quite happy and enthusiastic about the new project, Bal Chetna, which will take care of their children's health, nutrition and early education. Vedanta has already earned a good name for successfully operating 32 Child Care Centres with 1,139 children in the 18 peripheral villages at Lanjigarh. With free uniforms, nutritious midday meals, afternoon snacks and proper grooming, these centres have already laid a solid foundation for nurturing the future generation.

People are sure that children of areas beyond the peripheral villages and those of the entire district will now have access to similar facilities that can ensure a better future for them. The Collector said the Bal Chetna project would not only ensure a bright future for children but also open direct and indirect growth opportunities for the local youth. VAL vice-president Dr Mukesh Kumar said the company's objective of taking up the project is to significantly upgrade the Anganwadi services under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).

Vedanta intends to bring in visible improvement in the quality of education of the children, especially, the underprivileged, in the age group 0-5 years, by providing five-fold services that include play way method of learning, nutritious food, improvement in health status with focus on anaemia reduction and logistic support like education materials.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tribals pin hope on Rahul

The Statesman, 9th May, 2008

Even as Vedanta group was busy at Lanjigarh extending its CSR activities for the local people , a few tribals of Lanjigarh were at the state capital here led by former union minister Mr Bhakta Charan Das. They staged a protest rally and dharna here opposing mining of Niyamgiri hills for the alumina project.Significantly, the tribals have pinned their hope on Mr Rahul Gandhi and have sought an appointment with the AICC leader when he visits Orissa.He had met us at Lanjigarh, we now want him to support our cause and protect Niyamgiri hills said the tribals.It may be noted here that Mr Rahul Gandhi had visited a tribal village at Lanjigarh and later aired his views against mining of the hill. Mr Das who has formed an outfit called Green Kalahandi said that Niyamgiri is worshipped by the tribals, it is like any other religious place of worship as far the tribals are concerned and it should not be mined. Besides, the ecology and water streams will be destroyed.The former Union minister said: "Rahul Gandhi is expected to visit Orissa on 13 May and the tribals of Lanjigarh have sought an appointment with him.Mr Das said: "the project can come up with ore from other sources". He however demanded construction of a barrage on the Tel river, displaced families should be made shareholders of the company, a 20 foot high wall from Dahikhal to Trilochanpur near the hill for protection of wildlife and adequate compensation.

Death of pregnant women on rise in tribal districts

The Pioneer, 9th May, 2008

The number of deaths of pregnant women in tribal districts of the State has sent a shock wave among various quarters. As many as 800 women died in Koraput, Kalahandi and Balangir districts in the last 30 months beginning from 2005. According to a survey conducted by the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), 57 per cent of these 800 deceased, died within a week of delivery.
However, the State Government's report tells a different story while the actuality is startling with the Government's progressive policies in healthcare, especially in case of pregnant mothers, being sabotaged by officials. The disturbing figures came to light following the launch of 'Delivery Now,' a global advocacy drive for 12 districts. Health officials here said that 40 mothers died due to insecure pregnancy, 64 during delivery and 696 after delivering babies.
"The main reason behind such a high number of deaths is that we have failed to get the best out of service provided by the Ancillary Nursing Midwifes (ANMs) in rural setup, as 60 per cent of ANMs have not been able to provide the healthcare needed for mothers," WRA officials said. The Janani Surakshya Yojana is a noble one, but its poor execution is now a cause of concern. It is mandatory that after getting the labour pain, the mothers have to be admitted in a hospital. She would be paid about Rs 1,500 so that she can take care of herself and her kid.
All these welfare schemes are executed by Government officials and, instead of implementing the schemes, most of them sell the commodities in the name of pregnant women at the lifting point. In the major tribals-dominated areas, the implementing agency manipulates the records and hides the pregnant mothers' deaths. In most of the cases, home delivery in remote tribal villages became common due to lack of Government programmes, lack of communication facilities and deep-rooted corruption while implementing the schemes.
In the urban areas, many mothers, who have institutional deliveries, would get Rs 1,000 after delivery, but there is not enough space available in hospitals where they can be kept under observation for a few more days after the delivery.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hill protest heat singes capital

The Telegraph, 8th May, 2008

Hundreds of tribals from Kalahandi today staged a demonstration near the secretariat and Assembly opposing bauxite mining in Niyamgiri hills stating that it would spell disaster for the hill’s ecosystem and would destroy its religious sanctity.
Dressed in their traditional attire, members of Dangaria Kandha community marched shouting: “Niyamgiri amarata, naise kaar baparata (Niyamgiri is ours, it’s not just anybody’s property).
They also squatted on a daylong dharna along Mahatma Gandhi Marg (leading to the Assembly) protesting against the government lease.
“If the mining project is allowed, it will destroy the hill’s ecosystem and will dry up two major rivers and 36 perennial streams,” said Jitu Jakasika, a Dangaria Kandha youth.
“To add to that, it will destroy the livelihoods of 10,000 tribals and the religious sanctity of our beloved Niyamgiri,” he added.
Kumti Majhi, the president of Niyamgiri Suraksha Parishad, said the members of his community had been opposing the mining project since 2003 and would not stop till the state reconsiders its decision. “We will not allow bauxite mining there at any cost,” he stressed.
Majhi, a 60-year-old leader, said Dangaria Kandhas worship the Niyamgiri as their “lord” and would not tolerate any disrespect to him.
Vedanta Alumina has set up a 1MT alumina refinery at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore at Lanjigarh on the foothills of the Niyamgiri range. The group has also been allotted bauxite mines on the hills — a decision that had been opposed by environmentalists and tribals alike.
Bhakta Das, former MP of Kalahandi and the president of Green Kalahandi, the organisation that has been fighting against the Vedanta refinery and mining project, said they would not rest till the bauxite project was shelved.
“We have no objection if the Vedanta Group is allotted an alternative bauxite deposit such as the Sijumali and Kuturumali,” said Das.
“If Niyamgiri is allotted to any company ignoring tribal protests, it will lead to violent uprising similar to that in Kalinganagar or Nandigram,” warned the former MP.
Apart from the religious and environmental angle, families to be displaced and already displaced by the project have been crying over the socio-economic impact of the mines.
Surendra Nath Nag, who has lost his home, lamented that displaced families, including his own, have not been provided a job in the refinery.
The project has reportedly affected 1,340 families, while 103 have been fully displaced. Only 70 families have been provided a job, he added.

Fight for Niyamgiri: Tribals oppose proposed mining lease

Odishatoday, 8th May, 2008

Bhubaneswar (Orissa): Hundreds of tribals from Kalahandi district staged a demonstration at PMG square opposing proposed mining lease in Niyamgiri hills on Wednesday. They demonstrated holding placards, banners and raised slogans opposing the proposed mining lease of Niyamgiri hills, which known for its rich biodiversity. Former union minister Bhakta Charan Das and convenor of Green Kalahandi, an organisation that has been strongly opposing handing over of the Niyamgiri hills to the Vedanta Group to source bauxite for its alumina refinery led the procession. They also demanded for proper compensation to the families that have affected by Vedanta Aluminium Limited. “We are not opposing the industrialisation of the state rather we oppose the proposed mining lease of Niyamgiri that was being worshipped by the tribals”, Mr. Das said. He also warned the State Govt. to refrain from handing over Niyamgiri hills and the nearby Karlapat sanctuary to any private company for extraction of bauxite; otherwise, a massive agitation would be launched in Kalahandi in future.

Green Kalahandi protests alumina project

The Pioneer, 8th May, 2008

Bhubaneswar: Activists of Green Kalahandi, led by former Union Minister Bhakta Charan Das, on Wednesday held a demonstration in front of the State Assembly against the Vedanta group's alumina project in Kalahandi district. "Bauxite mining could destroy the remote Dongria Kondh tribe of Niyamgiri hills close to the refinery," Das said. The mine would end the tribe's way of life forever, by polluting the streams, cutting down the forests and destroying the mountain that it holds sacred, he said. Das welcomed the recommendations made by the Supreme Court's Central Empowered Committee, which suggested utilising profits of the company for the welfare of the people of Kalahandi. However, the Vedanta group stated that it is a socially responsible company and firmly denied that its activities would have such a major effect on the people. The company sources claimed that modern mining methods would allow it to mine the bauxite without destroying the local environment.

Bauxite mining at Niyamgiri opposed

The New Indian Express, May 8, 2008

BHUBANESWAR: Green Kalahandi, an organisation working to protect the ecology of the district, on Wednesday reiterated its opposition to mining of bauxite from Niyamgiri hills for Vedanta’s alumina plant at Lanjigarh.

A protest rally and dharna were organised by the organisation today to drive home the point that mining in Niyamgiri hills would lead to ecological disaster in the area. Addressing mediapersons, Chairman of Green Kalahandi and former minister Bhakta Charan Das said bauxite mines other than in Niyamgiri hills should be leased out to the company for its alumina plant.

Das alleged that besides destroying the flora and fauna of the area and leading to environmental disaster, mining in Niyamgiri will hurt the religious sentiments of the tribal people who worship the hills. Green Kalahandi will oppose steps to deface the hills, which have been worshipped by the tribals for ages, he said.

Alleging that the intake of water from the Tel river would create drinking water scarcity in the district, the former Union minister demanded construction of a barrage on the river by the company and use the surplus water.

Das demanded construction of a 20-foot high wall from Dahikhal to Trilochanpur near the hill for protection of wildlife which have become endangered because of the plant. He said the company should also increase the compensation amount for the displaced families to Rs 10 lakh and provide a job to a member from each of the 1,340 displaced families.

Besides, a portion of the profit should be invested by the company for the development of Kalahandi district and the displaced families should be made shareholders in the project, he said.

Award for brave soul

The New Indian Express, May 8, 2008

BHAWANIPATNA: Shyam Sundar Jal has dedicated his life to bringing love and hope to kids, who otherwise could have been forgotten.

Shyam, a resident of Gambhariguda village here, has dedicated himself for providing orphans with a secured future. Despite being a poor Dalit and struggling to make both ends meet, Shyam runs an orphanage in his house at Gambhariguda village.

The orphanage shelters 44 orphans. And it is for this dedication of his that he was recently awarded the National Bravery Award for social act of courage from Godfrey Phillips at Hyderabad. Besides, he received a cash prize of Rs 50,000.

Shyam’s story had first appeared in this paper and he was shortlisted by Godfrey Phillips for the award.

"I had never dreamt of getting national-level recognition for the work that I do for these little children," Shyam said.

Central varsity: CM promises to use his good offices with Centre

The New Indian Express, May 8, 2008

BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has assured a delegation from Kalahandi district that he will pressurise the Centre to set up a central university in Kalahandi district.

A 25-member delegation led by Minister of State for Law and Employment Pradipta Kumar Nayak met the Chief Minister at the Secretariat on Tuesday. The delegation impressed upon the Chief Minister about the need for establishment of a central university in Kalahandi district as it is educationally backward.

The district has all infrastructure facilities for establishment of a central university and the demand has been pending since 1988, the delegation comprising former ministers Balabhadra Majhi, Himansu Sekhar Meher and legislator Pushpendra Singhdeo said.

After hearing from the delegation, Naveen assured that he will write a letter to Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry about setting up the varsity in Kalahandi.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Kidnapped minor girl rescued after 56 days

Newindpress, 7th May, 2008

BHAWANIPATNA: A 17-year-old minor girl, who was allegedly kidnapped 56 days back, was rescued today by police and handed over to her parents.Sources said the parents and family members of the girl were staying in a rented house in Bahadur Bagicha Para of Bhawanipatna and the girl was allegedly kidnapped by the son of the house owner. She was taken to an unknown place on March 11.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

NROs urge Rahul Gandhi not to play politics with KBK

The Pioneer, 5th May, 2008

Pioneer News Service Bhawanipatna
The country's most backward region, KBK, till date has only received lip service from the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Statistics reveal stunning truths.
Sample these: The Upper Indravati Irrigation Project was proposed and its foundation-stone was laid by late Prime Minister Morarji Desai, who headed a non-Congress Government at the Centre. The Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh railway line, though not yet completed, was proposed during the Chandra Sekhar Government (non-Congress). The Bargarh-Boriguma National Highway (NH-201), which passes through Kalahandi and the whole KBK region, was initiated by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government (also non-Congress).
Even the most-touted KBK project was initiated by the Narasimha Rao Government, which was a Congress regime, but the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty had played the least role in it.
All this is being debated amidst reports that AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi will pay his second visit to the region in two months.
A leading non-resident Oriya (NRO), Digambara Patra, who teaches at the American University of Beirut, has presented the hard facts to the Nehru-Gandhi family's fourth generation icon Rahul Gandhi to ponder over the matter and take corrective steps. Prof Patra, in a fact finding report, has said Kalahandi has long been associated with the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.
Indira Gandhi, Rajiv, Sonia and, recently, Rahul visited the undivided Kalahandi district and evinced their interest in development of the region.
Though people of Kalahandi were offered lots of promise and development in the region, unfortunately, statistics show that Kalahandi has not received any major national developmental project under the leadership of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Infrastructure is important for any kind of development.
Problems in Kalahandi in particular and KBK in general are poverty and backwardness which actually have originated from unemployment and poor infrastructure. Apart from agricultural development, infrastructure in road, national highway, railway, airport and industries bring developments to a remote and backward place. The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has often publicly sympathised the people of Kalahandi but done precious little for the region, Prof Patra has pointed out.
During his recent Discovery of India journey from Nuapada (undivided Kalahandi district) Rahul referred himself as the "Soldier of Kalahandi in Delhi". However, the present Central Government, over which he has considerable influence, is yet to do anything for the starving region.
When a multi-campus university was proposed by the Orissa Government to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the latter hijacked the idea and established a similar university in the home State of the concerned Minister, ignoring the KBK region.
The Union Government announced eight IITs, seven IIMs and 30 Central universities in major urban centres in the country and, unfortunately, not a single one in places like Kalahandi, which is centrally located in the KBK region, Prof Patra has pointed out.
Another NRO, Chitta Baral, Professor at Arizona State University, has also echoed Prof Patra's feelings.
According to Prof Baral, statistics is proving that the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is more interested in exploiting backwardness of the poor KBK region and Orissa for political causes rather than working for the actual development of the region. The KBK region is as large as the size of Punjab or Kerala. As a youth and future leader of the country, Rahul should focus more on development of the region, he has pleaded.
Prof Baral has suggested that Rahul Gandhi impress upon the UPA Government to set up a railway engine factory, a Central university, a national medical college and a national institute of technology in the region.

Mothers need more care during delivery in Orissa

Merinews, 5th May, 2008
k.Sudhakar Patnaik, 05 May 2008, Monday

CHIEF MINISTER Navin Patnaik’s progress policies in health care, especially in case of pregnant mothers are being sabotaged by subordinate state administration. As many as 800 women died in Koraput, Kalahandi and Bolangir tribal districts in the last 30 months, since late 2005 to September, 2007. According to a survey conducted by White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), 57 per cent of these 800 deceased, died within a week of delivery.
The disturbing figures came to light last week when ’Delivery Now’, a global advocacy drive was launched for 12 districts of the state. The survey was carried out by WRA, Orissa. Former director of state health service, Siba Mahapatra, said 40 mothers died due to insecure pregnancy, 64 during delivery and 696 died after delivering a child.
“The main reason behind such a high number of deaths is that we have failed to get the best out of service provided by Ancillary Nursing Midwifes (ANMs) in rural set-up, as 60 per cent of ANMs have not been able to provide the health care needed for mothers”, WRA, Orissa president, Shaktidhan Sahoo said. The government health sector too lags behind in putting adequate infrastructure in place to take care of mothers.
The Janani Surkshya Yojana scheme is a noble one, which itself proves the Patnaik’s policy in health care to avoid house delivery. The number of Anganwadi centres opened in remote areas meant for emergency feeding programme for poor children and pregnant mothers for reduction of malnutrition, child mortality and deaths of mothers. The Anganwadi workers are supposed to register the name of pregnant women in the nearest health centres so that the women get iron tablets, nutritious food and after getting information the ANM gives Tetanus Toxide injections.
It is mandatory that after getting the labour pain the mothers be admitted in a hospital. She will be paid about rupees 1500 so that she can take care of herself and her kid. Unfortunately all these welfare schemes manned by the government officials instead of implementing the scheme sell the commodities in the name of pregnant women at lifting point.
The Kaberibadi and Pedalada Grama Panchayats under Bandhugaon block and Kalimela block are few places where the implementing agency manipulates the records and hides the pregnant mother’s death.
In most of the cases home delivery in remote tribal villages became common due to lack of government programmes, lack of communication facilities and deep rooted corruption while implementing the schemes by such agencies are responsible for the tragedies.
In urban areas, many mothers who have institutional delivery and they would get rupees 1000 after delivery, but there is not enough space available in hospitals where they are kept under observation for few more days after the delivery.
The situation continues to be grim as the state loses eight or nine mothers each day, WRA reveals. Its blame goes to health minister, secretary, health and family planning.


Press Information Bureau, 5th May, 2008
18:45 IST

The State Governments of Kerala, Karnataka and Orissa get a Central Assistance of Rs. 38.0838 crores from the Ministry of Rural Development under the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) during the current financial year (2008-09) as ) as release of Part Payment of first installment of Central Share for implementation of SGSY.
In Kerala Rs.4.4855 crore will be given to 11 District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) during the current year as under: Alleppey (Alappuzha) (Rs.54.36 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 326.14 lakh-1st installment due Rs.163.06 lakh}), Ernakulam (Rs. 34.65 lakh{ Central Allocation Rs.207.88 lakh-1st installment due Rs.103.94 lakh}), Idukki [Rs. 11.99 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.71.92 lakh-1st installment due Rs.35.96 by the comptroller lakh}), Kannur (Cannanore) (Rs.42.49 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.254.96 lakh-1st installment due Rs.127.48 lakh}), Kasargod (Rs.25.38 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.152.27 lakh-1st installment due Rs.76.14 lakh}), Kollam (Rs.61.13 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.366.79 lakh-1st installment due Rs.183.40 lakh}), Palghat (Pallakad) (Rs.71.22 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.427.34 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 213.67 lakh}), Pathanamithittta (Rs.4.34 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.156.36 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 78.18 lakh}), Thiruvananthapuram (Rs.65.10 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.390.62 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 195.31 lakh}), Trichur (Thrissur) (Rs.55.33 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.331.97 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 165.99 lakh}) and Wayannad (Rs.22.56 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.135.34 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 67.67 lakh}).
27 DRDAs of Karnataka namely- Bagalkot (Rs.31.54 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 189.21 lakh-1st installment due Rs.94.61 lakh}), Bangalore [R] (Rs.48.56 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.291.35 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs.145.68 lakh}), Bangalore [U] (Rs.13.43 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.80.55 lakh-1st installment due Rs.40.28 lakh}, Belgaum (Rs.93.22 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.559.29 lakh-1st installment due Rs.279.65 lakh}, Bellary (Rs. 74.06 lakh ( Central Allocation Rs.444.38 lakh-1st instalment due Rs.222.19 lakh}), Bidar (Rs.52.49 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.314.94 lakh-1st instalment due Rs.157.47 lakh}, Bijapur (Rs.61.79 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.370.74 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs. 185.37 lakh}), Chamarajanagar (Rs.65.40 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.392.42 lakh-1st installment due Rs.196.21 lakh}), Chickmanglur (Rs. 29.70 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.178.19 lakh-1st instalment due Rs.89.10 lakh}), Chitradurga (Rs.52.76 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.316.53 lakh-1st instalment due Rs.158.26 lakh}), Dakshin Kanada (Rs.28.68 lakh{Central Allocation Rs.172.06 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs. 86.02 lakh}), Davanagere (Rs.42.58 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.255.49 lakh-1st installment due Rs.127.74 lakh}, Dharwad (Rs. 26.56 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 159.38 lakh-1st instalment due Rs.79.68 lakh}), Gadag (Rs. 42.16 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 252.97 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 126.48 lakh}), Gulbarga (Rs. 76.79 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 460.72 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs. 230.36 lakh}), Hassan (Rs. 38.49 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 230.93 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 115.46 lakh}, Haveri (Rs. 46.04 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 276.25 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 138.12 lakh}), Kadagu [Coorg] (Rs. 10.82 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 64.91 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 32.46 lakh}, Kolar (Rs. 73.17 lakh{Central Allocation Rs. 438.99 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs. 219.50 lakh}), Koppal (Rs. 66.24 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 397.45 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 198.72 lakh}), Mandya (Rs. 50.10 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 300.62 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 150.31 lakh}), Mysore (Rs. 61.07 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 366.39 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 183.20 lakh}), Raichur (Rs.62.38 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 374.29 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs. 187.14 lakh}), Shimoga (Rs. 53.06 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 318.37 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 159.19 lakh}, Tumkur (Rs. 78.65 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 471.92 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 235.96 lakh}), Udipi (Rs. 23.35 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 140.07 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 70.04 lakh}) and Uttar Kannada (Rs. 33.08 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 198.48 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 99.24 lakh}) have been allocated Rs. 13.36 crore for the current financial year.
In the case of Orissa 30 DRDAs namely- Angul (Rs.53.74 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 322.42 lakh-1st installment due Rs161.21 lakh}), Balasore (Rs.117.26 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.703.56 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs.351.78 lakh}), Bargarh (Rs.80.22 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.481.33 lakh-1st installment due Rs.240.67 lakh}, Bhadrak (Rs.52.49 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.314.96 lakh-1st installment due Rs.157.48 lakh}, Bolangir (Rs. 89.12 lakh ( Central Allocation Rs. 534.74 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 267.37 lakh}), Boudh (Rs. 37.72 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 196.30 lakh-1st instalment due Rs.98.15 lakh}, Cuttak (Rs.77.35 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 464.12 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs. 232.06 lakh}), Deogarh (Rs. 19.60 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.117.60 lakh-1st installment due Rs.58.80 lakh}), Dhenkanal (Rs. 62.82 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 376.94 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 188.47 lakh}), Gajapati (Rs. 31.02 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 186.09 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 93.04 lakh}), Ganjam (Rs. 133.59 lakh{Central Allocation Rs. 801.56 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs. 400.78 lakh}), Jagatsinghpur (Rs. 41.17 lakh {Central Allocation Rs.247.03 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 123.52 lakh}), Jajpur (Rs. 77.20 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 463.18 lakh-1st instalment due Rs.231.58 lakh}), Jharsuguda (Rs. 13.76 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 82.53 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 41.26 lakh}), Kalahandi (Rs. 88.37 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 530.23 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs. 265.12 lakh}), Kendrapada (Rs. 56.38 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 338.27 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 169.14 lakh}, Keonjhar (Rs. 97.97 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 587.83 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 293.92 lakh}), Khurda (Rs. 60.14 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 360.86 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 180.42 lakh}, Koraput (Rs. 101.99 lakh{Central Allocation Rs. 611.96 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs. 305.98 lakh}), Malkangiri (Rs. 40.57 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 243.44 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 121.72 lakh}), Mayurbhenj (Rs. 170.84 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 1025.04 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 512.52 lakh}), Nabrangpur (Rs. 72.23 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 433.39 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 216.70 lakh}),Naupada (Rs. 47.66 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 285.97 lakh- 1st instalment due Rs. 142.99 lakh}), Nayagarh (Rs. 53.22 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 319.33 lakh-1st installment due Rs. 159.66 lakh}, Phulbani (Rs. 51.88 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 311.27 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 155.64 lakh}), Puri (Rs. 76.74 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 460.42 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 230.20 lakh}), Rayagada (Rs. 61.81 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 370.84 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 185.42 lakh}), Sambalppur (Rs. 41.68 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 250.07 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 125.04 lakh}), Sonepur (Rs. 35.46 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 212.75 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 106.38 lakh}) and Sundergarh (Rs. 84.66 lakh {Central Allocation Rs. 507.93 lakh-1st instalment due Rs. 253.96 lakh}) have been allocated Rs. 20.2366 crore for the current financial year. The release of funds is subject to the audit by Internal Audit of the Ministry of Rural Development. The amount should be utilized on the programme as per approved guidelines of SGSY. The funding pattern will be 75:25 by the Centre and State. The State Government should release its share within one within one month of the fate of this sanction order. The accounts of all guarantee Institutions or Organizations shall be open to inspection by the sanctioning authority and audit both and Auditor General of India under the provision of CAG (DPC) Act 1971 and internal audit by the Principal Accounts Office of the Ministry or Department, whenever the Institution or organization is called upon to do so and a provision to this effect should invariably be incorporated in all orders sanctioning grants-in-aid.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Rahul, no politics plz

Tathya, 5th May, 2008

The worst backward region of the country, KBK till date has received only lip service of the Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty. Statistics reveal stunning truths. Sample the revelations. Upper Indravati Irrigation Project was proposed and foundation stone was laid by late Morarjee Desai (a non-congress government) Lanjigarh Road--Junagarh railway line (though not yet completed) was proposed during late Chandrasekhar government (non-congress government) Bargarh--Boriguma national highway (NH 201) which passes through Kalahandi and whole KBK was initiated by Vajpayee government (a non congress government) Even the most publicized KBK project was initiated by Narasimha Rao government which was though a congress government but Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty had played the least role in it. Digambara Patra, a leading Non Resident Oriya (NRO) teaching at the American University of Beirut has presented the hard facts to the fourth generation icon to ponder over the matter and take corrective steps. Professor Patra in a fact finding report has said the Kalahandi has been a long associated with the Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty. Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and recently yourself, visited undivided Kalahandi district and showed their sympathy towards development. Though people of Kalahandi were offered lots of promise and development in the region, unfortunately, statistic shows Kalahandi has not received any major national developmental projects under the leadership of Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty. Infrastructure is important for any kind of development. Problems in Kalahandi, KBK as a whole, are poverty and backwardness which actually are originated from unemployment and poor infrastructure. Apart from agricultural development like irrigation, infrastructure in road, national highway, railway, airport and industries bring developments to a remote and backward place. Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty has often publicly sympathized backward Kalahandi but has done little for this region. During the recent India discovery journey from Nuapada (undivided Kalahandi district) Rahul referred himself as “Soldier of Kalahandi at Delhi”, however, the present central government where he has more influence Mr.Gandhi had done little to bring any sort of new project to this backward and starving region. When a multi-campus university was proposed by Orissa government to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the ministry hijacked the idea and established a similar university in the home state of the concern minister and KBK region was ignored. The central government announced 8 IITs, 7 IIMs and 30 central universities in major urban region in the country, unfortunately, not a single one in places like KALAHANDI (a central place to KBK region) to which Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty has routinely voiced as poor and backward region. A national institute will not only bring effectiveness in education in these low literacy rate regions but also bring new opportunities as business and infrastructure to the region, said Professor Patra. Chitta Baral, Professor at Arizona State University also echo the hard feelings of Professor Patra. Professor Baral said statistics is proving that Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is more interested to exploit backwardness of poor KBK region and Orissa for political causes rather than the actual development of KBK region. KBK region and specially Kalahandi has been a symbol of poverty and backwardness for the media and is it that impression the politicians want to play. KBK region is as large as size of Punjab or Kerala, as a youth and future leader of this country we request you to focus more on development of KBK region. KBK needs good roads, airport and railway projects as national project similar to the north eastern states. Professor Baral suggested Mr.Gandhi to impress upon the UPA Government to set up a railway engine factory, to establish a central university, a National medical college and a national institute of technology in this region.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

7 years on, powerloom workers await dues

Newindpress, 4th May, 2008

BHAWANIPATNA: The present Warehousing Corporation godown near Raisinghpur, on the outskirts of Bhawanipatna, earlier housed Manikesari Powerloom from 1989 to 2001. The place is still known as powerloom area.In 1989, the powerloom was set up by Spinfed with 150 powerlooms, but in 2001, it was wound up and was taken over by the State Warehousing Corporation for construction of a godown and this was done after clearance of Orissa State Finance Corporation dues. Amidst all this, the powerloom workers who opted for voluntary retirement (VRS), were forgotten.Poor management, lack of support by Spinfed and marketing problem led to financial crisis and the powerloom was closed down and within an overnight, 106 regular workers were rendered jobless.Negotiations were carried out between employees and Spinfed and VRS was offered to them. As per VRS benefits, ex gratia payment at the rate of 21 days’ salary besides the original salary amount with DA, gratuity, employees provident fund, ESI and accumulated unutilised leave were offered to them.But as against net payable amount of Rs 1,34,83,000 only Rs 12,47,694 was paid and the workers were disengaged from February 2001 with an assurance to get the rest of the amount in three monthly installments.But the balance amount is yet to be paid even after seven years of closure. Within these seven years, six workers have died without getting their legal dues.In 2003, the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner sent a notice to the SWC asking as to why it shall not be liable to pay the dues of Manikeswari powerloom. Even this question has not yielded any answer so far.Harassed, the workers have now decided to fight a legal battle against the powerloom management and launch an agitation if required. Kunti Dhangadamajhi, an ex-employee of Manikeswari Powerloom and also the president of former Employees Association of Manikeswari Powerloom, said, “Workers had agreed for VRS not knowing the fact that they would be subjected to exploitation and denied their dues.”She told that several times, officials of Assistant Director (Textiles) in Bhawanipatna and Spinfed officials have been approached for settlement of the dues but in vain.The workers threatened to launch hunger strike in front of Spinfed office in Bhubaneswar unless the dues are cleared this month.

Robbery attempt foiled

Newindpress, 4th May, 2008

BHAWANIPATNA: A highway robbery attempt was foiled and four of a seven- member dacoit gang were nabbed by police and forwarded to court on Friday. Police while patrolling near Raisingpur on the outskirts of Bhawanipatna town on NH- 201, managed to nab the four and seized swords and choppers from their possession.Other members of the gang managed to escape from the spot. During interrogation, the arrested revealed that the gang was waiting to waylay a businessman of Bhawanipatna.

Agri association on strike

Newindpress, 3rd May, 2008

BHAWANIPATNA: ORISSA Agriculture Service Association started a pendown strike from Friday over their long-pending demands and declared to go on mass leave from May 8. Their action has raised uncertainty in Kalahandi over the prospects of kharif season which would start from May 8, Akshay Tritiya.Agriculture Overseer Association and VAW Association too have declared to go on strike from the same day. During the current year it is targeted to sell 24,591 quintals of paddy through 26 block-level sale centres of agriculture department (2 in each block) in Kalahandi against last year’s achievement of sale of seeds to the extent of 17,125 quintals.Meanwhile, the movement of paddy seeds stocks to sales centres has been geared up as a precautionary measure.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dist-level Lok Adalat held in Kalahandi

The Pioneer, 1st May, 2008

Bhawanipatna: A district-level Lok Adalat was organised at Thuamul-Rampur Primary School in Kalahandi district under the auspices of the District Legal Service Authority (DLSA). About 700 criminal and 74 civil cases were disposed, with fines of Rs 9,000 and Rs 2,486 collected from these cases, respectively. Besides, four bank cases were also settled and Rs 2,000 worth credit loan was collected. Secretary of DLSA Santanu Kumar, Senior Civil Judge of Bhawanipatna Soma Shekhar Jena, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate Hemant Kumar, Junior Judicial Judge Satyanarayan Patra, First Class Judicial Magistrate Bibhu Prasad Panda, Tehsildar, and SBI Bhawanipatna branch manager attended the court, which was presided over by District Judge Praffulla Kumar Panda.

Career counselling at Bhawanipatna College

The Pioneer, 1st May, 2008

Bhawanipatna: A career counselling session for +2 and +3 students was organised by Principal of the Bhawanipatna Autonomous College Sadananda Nayak at the college campus here on Tuesday. Representatives from Hi-tech Medical College, Swasti Academy, Nilachal Institute and Jayadev Institute of Bhubaneswar, GIET of Gunupur, Bhanja Computer of Bhawanipatna, SIETS of Rayagada and Presidency College of Berhampur were present to inform the students about the career scopes in their respective institutes. More than 300 students joined the session.