Sunday, February 22, 2009
Report by Diptiranjan Kanungo; Bhubaneswar:
An Oriya NRI based in Lebanon has alleged the Continuous Neglect to Kalahandi by Central Government. Dr Digambara Patra, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut , said in a Email that he had Friday written letters to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh , President Pratibha Patil and Congress President Sonia Gandhi that Indian National Congress has been associated with Kalahandi since from Ms. Indira Gandhi and Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. Recently youth leader Mr. Rahul Gandhi has started his Bharat Darsan yatra from Kalahandi constituency. Despite that right from national highway, railway, higher education, it is also being neglected in industrial development.
In a Email letter to the Prime minister of India Manmohan Singh, with it's copy to the President of India Smt Prativa Patil and Congress President Sonia Gandhi Dr. Patra alleged that the Kalahandi often highlighted by media and various political parties, especially by Indian National Congress, is more often neglected by Central Government during Congress rule in developmental initiatives.
Indian National Congress has been associated with Kalahandi since from Ms. Indira Gandhi and Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. Recently youth leader Mr. Rahul Gandhi has started his Bharat Darsan yatra from Kalahandi contituency. Despite that right from national highway, railway, higher education, it is also being neglected in industrial development.
Ms Indira Gandhi visited Kalahandi in early 1980s, Mr Rajiv Gandhi in 1984, Ms Sonia Gandhi in 2004 and Mr. Rahul Gandhi in 2008. Since 1980 till now Indian National Congress has ruled at the center about 20 years but visit of such great national personality has brought nothing great to Kalahandi towards its own development.
Since independence Central Government of India has established a HAL factory in Koraput and an Ordinance factory in Balangir districts, but it has not yet considered for any central Govt. funded industrial initiative in Kalahandi in past 60 years.
There is demand for Central University in Kalahandi since 1988, which is centrally located among KBK districts with better direct rail connectivity to most of the major cities in India. A similar logic put by MHRD while establishing IGNTU & WCCU. Similarly demand for a railway factory in Kalahandi goes back since 1994-95.
During UPA Government, union ministers of Human Resource Development, Railway as well as Road, Surface Transport and Shipping have promised thousands of crores in their respective states. Indian railway had promised 55000 crore in Bihar, Ministry of surface transport, road and shipping has promised 50000 crores in Tamil Nadu and MHRD has promised IIT, IISER, IGNTU, SPA, Indian School of Mining, WCCU, CU with existing IIM, IIIT in Madhya Pradesh and IIT, SPA, Indian School of Mining, WCCU with existing CU in Andhra Pradesh. But similar development by those ministries in Kalahandi is being ignored.
A Central University and a railway factory are needs of Kalahandi at this time and Indian National Congress has a great role to play while transforming Kalahandi from a symbol of starvation death, child selling and backward state to a symbol of development.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Running for petty jobs will be a passé in Orissa, say Gautam Benia and Debendra Bag.
Thanks to the drive and initiative to empower farmers with latest technology and know how by the Department of Agriculture, scenario is changing with more and more youth are being attracted to farming.
They are the beneficiaries of ambitious agricultural initiatives taken up in Orissa.
For Gautam of Narla in Kalahandi district, cultivation was not that bad as considered by many youths in Orissa.
Taking agriculture as a profession it had changed his life and lifestyle, said Gautam.
Benia, who displayed his agricultural implements at the State Level Agriculture Exhibition here organized by the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), claimed that he was beneficiary of technology in agricultural activities.
Three days long exhibition has roped in farmers, corporate sectors, consultants and others.
At a side stall here at the exhibition ground here, was Debendra Bag of Behera Patti in Kalahandi, claimed that his paddy production was doubled after implementing SRI System of rice cultivation.
Nakula Kissan of Bijaynagar and Kesab Kissan of K Singhpur in Rayagada district, had also similar story to tell the youths visiting the exhibition here that they were not lagging behind others by adopting cultivation as their profession.
“Use of farm equipment, hybrid seeds, use of more fertilizers and proper know-how on the subject could multiply production and productivity”, they said asking educated youths to hit the agricultural field instead of running after petty jobs.
Ramesh Das of Jagatsinghpur who had been growing chicken, claimed that imported chicks from Japan, helped him to generate a good income.
His chickens were averagely weighing three to eight kilogram fetching Rs 1500 on open market.
Das was the attraction at the exhibition for his poultry products.
Overwhelmed over the success of farmers in Orissa, Director Agriculture, Arabinda Padhee says: “this is infectious and more and more youths are being attracted to farming”.
Since Dr.Padhee has taken over as the Chief of the Agriculture Directorate, he is trying hard to lure the youths for farming and has been successful in his drive, admits Surendra Nath Nayak, Minister Agriculture.
Farmers also echo the Minister's view and are quite hopeful about the growth of agriculture given the support extended at district level by ATMA.
The interaction session among farmers at venue of the exhibition, was interesting with participants from all over the state are showing keen interest in technology and SRI method of farming.
They are also demanding marketing support even as they got technological support to double their crop.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Statesman News Service
BHAWANIPATNA, Feb. 19: Vedanta Aluminum Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh, has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the district administration and the Naandi Foundation concerning the provision of mid-day meals in Lanjigarh block.
The mid-day meal scheme would provide nutritious food to about 17,000 children in 235 schools in Lanjigarh block.
The MoU was signed by VAL chief operating officer, Dr Mukesh Kumar, the Naandi Foundation national head of mid-day meals, Ms Leena Joseph, and collector Mr RS Gopalan. Children attending government-aided schools in classes one to eight will be given one nutritional meal a day, thus promoting health and concentration in students, and encouraging children from poor backgrounds to attend school regularly.
Collector Mr Gopalan pledged to extend maximum support to ensure the programme's success.
Dr Mukesh Kumar said: “In line with the Millennium Development Goal (MDG), the midday-meal scheme aims to minimise malnutrition in children in Lanjigarh block by providing nutritional food cooked in a centralised kitchen, managed by an internationally-renowned professional body. It is well known that children eating balanced, healthy meals perform significantly better at school. In addition, parents will be persuaded by the scheme to enter their children into school at an earlier age."
As per the MoU, Vedanta Aluminium would develop a centralised kitchen, where fresh food would be cooked and sent to schools. The company would also cover transportation costs. The Naandi Foundation would be responsible for cooking and management of the centralised kitchen, and also for delivering the food to the schools. Ration and other necessary items would be provided by the district administration.
Company sources say education and nutrition have always been priority issues for Vedanta’s CSR Initiative. The company is currently running 39 childcare centres in various villages in Lanjigarh block, where children are provided pre-school education and nutritious food.
The Naandi Foundation, one of the leading social organisations, was founded by Dr Reddy’s and is based in Hyderabad. The midday-meals scheme is a flagship project for the organisation, which deals with the health, nutrition and education sectors. At present, the foundation provides mid-day meals to about ten lakh school children in four states. Within Orissa, there is a similar programme set up by the foundation at Ganjam.
When Lalu Prasad is there, Maoists are not far behind.
Lalu Prasad's interim rail budget for the year 2009-10 though had a smooth run in Lok Sabha, it seems to have made Maoists happy.
Lalu had not allowed any new lines in Red Corridors including many parts of Orissa.
Thus the Railway Minister given a "go ahead" to the Red radicals who had been killing people mercilessly and disrupting developmental activities in tribal hinterland.
A major portion of Orissa's Maoist infected districts remain without rail link and the Indian Railway had not effort to cover them.
While the worst affected Malkangiri district did not have a rail link, other interior areas of Kandhamal and Nawarangpur were yet to see a locomotive running through their region.
It is obvious that Red radicals spread their tentacles in a faster rate in places not having road and rail connectivity.
But despite several demands by the Orissa Government, Lalu Prasad lend deaf ears to it.
As if Lalu Prasad had pledged not to allow railways to grow in Orissa even as the East Coast zone contributed a major share in the revenue generation for the railways.
The State Government which had demanded Rs 8.050 crore for development of railways in Orissa from 2000 to 2009, railways had allocated only Rs 4,608.99 crore during the period, official sources said.
Orissa Government's argument that it required massive expansion of rail links in view of the investment proposals and real investment also did not deter Lalu Prasad's determination of keeping the state neglected.
This is despite the fact that the rail route length spread across Orissa was mere 2495 km with an average of 15.03 km per 1000 square km as against the national average of 19 and much less than the average in the contiguous states.
Lanjigarh-Junagarh rail link which was considered as economically viable though started in the year 1993-94, was yet to be completed due to lack of funds released by the railways.
And due to callous attitude of the Railways, Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) is forced to carry it’s alumina from Lanjigarh to Jharsuguda on the road, resulting the entire stretch is damaged.
When this was pointed out to Railway Board Chairman, he said we are funding this rail link properly.
However fact is otherwise.
Though Orissa demanded Rs 35 crore for the Lanjigarh-Junagarh link in 2008-09, the railways sanctioned only Rs 12 crore, three times less than the requirement thus delaying works.
Similar was the fate pf Haridaspur-Paradeep line.
Keeping an eye on the industrial development of Paradeep, the State Government demanded Rs 80 crore in the year 2008-09. But the railways allocated only Rs 20 crore
This was the fate of many new ongoing lines leave apart the new lines.
Koraput-Rayagada link which was considered as a major help to fight against Maoists did not get a paisa from Lalu Prasad.
Other lines like Daitari-Bansapani, Angul-Duburi-Sukinda Road and Talcher-Bimlagarh on going projects had suffered due to Lalu Prasad's lack of interest in Orissa.
While the Congress High Command in Delhi was worried over erosion of its base in Orissa, the reason lies somewhere else.
The tribals who were natural vote bank of Congress had meanwhile turned their faces towards other political parties as the Sonia Gandhi led party had done little help to them and their region.
Tribals continued to remain poor and now they have new problem like Maoist menace.
They blame the Centre, Congress in particular, for pushing them to the ambit of Maoists.
Is Lalu Prasad helping the Congress led UPA government or concreting his own vote base in Bihar?
BHAWANIPATNA: Without help of any kind from any organisation, a group of 12 women of Badkarlakot village of Kalahandi have scripted a success story. Women from socially marginalised sections of village do not go for menial labour any longer and the trend of low literacy stands reversed. Creation of Ghumeraswar SHG in the village has triggered a dynamic economic activity at the grassroots level in the village.
Badkarlot is a small village mostly inhabitated by Bhatra tribal people who depend on agriculture. Five years back, 12 women of the village formed an SHG chipping in from their little savings. They got 20 acres of village pond land from the gram panchayat on lease of Rs 4000 per annum for five years. Since last three years, they have been doing pisciculture under the guidance of Watershed Mission which provided them technical knowhow and a revolving fund of Rs 15,000. The SHG manages to earn an annual profit of Rs 80,000 after meeting all the expenses. The revolving fund of Watershed Mission has also been repaid.But the SHG members instead of distributing the profit among themselves invest it for a noble purpose. The profit amount is invested for management and meeting ancillary expenses of a private high school in the village.
“We could not get an oppurtunity to educate ourselves but we cannot see our children going through the same. Therefore, we planned to invest profits earned from our SHG for management of the school,” president of the SHG, Maya Majhi said.
The project director of Watershed Mission, Kalahandi, Santosh Khatua said pleased by the SHG’s initiative, the Mission has decided to provide another Rs 50,000 to assist the SHG in taking up fresh water prawn cultivation.
Statesman News Service
BHAWANIPATNA/ ROURKELA Feb. 19: The Naveen Patnaik government is dancing to the tunes of industrial houses and gifting away valuable mineral resources and land, alleged Congress leaders while pointing out at the series of foundation stone laying ceremonies conducted by the chief minister during January-February.
Addressing a series of meetings in Dharamgarh, Narla, Thuamul Rampur and other parts of Kalahandi yesterday, the newly nominated OPCC chief Mr KP Singh Deo said that the spree of foundation stone laying ceremonies conducted by the Mr Patnaik only exposes the pre-poll stunts of the ruling party.
"During the last nine years the BJD-BJP government has only indulged in such gimmicks whereas Orissa has slipped to the bottom to become the poorest state in the country. Funds under various Central schemes are lying unspent," he alleged.
"People do not have access to government officials who are over riding elected representatives because Mr Patnaik trusts the officials more than his political colleagues including ministers," he remarked.
"The chief minister is laying foundation stones to protect the interest of industrial houses. It is selling the rich mineral resources of the state to the capitalists at throw away price," he charged.
He called upon Congress workers to unite and work hard in the ensuing elections.
"The Congress party will prepare a chargesheet detailing the misdeeds of the Naveen Patnaik led government and present it before the electorate for consideration," said Mr Singh Deo at Sundergarh.
While addressing a gathering at bus stand field, he appealed the Congress workers to show a united front to fight the corrupt government and teach it a lesson.
Mr Singh Deo made a one-day whirlwind tour of Sundergarh district today. He was accompanied by one of the three working presidents Mr BC Das and campaign committee chief Mr S Jena.
The meeting was attended by all the fraction leaders of the party. Among others, former chief minister Mr Hemananda Biswal, former ministers Mr Kishore Patel and Mr Prakasg Debta, Rourkela DCC president Mr Prasant Behera were present.
BHUBANESWAR: The Centre has sanctioned nine drinking water projects under Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) and integrated housing for slum-dwellers in eight towns.
While the total cost of the drinking water projects is Rs 160.82 crore, the Central share is Rs 128.66 crore and the balance is to be met by the State Government.
The housing project under the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) is estimated at Rs 85.19 crore of which the Central share is Rs 56.74 crore.
These projects will be set up in Baripada, Nayagarh, Bargarh, Talcher, Dhenkanal, Balasore, Bhawanipatna, Phulbani and Chattrapur.
The funding pattern for the scheme is 80:10:10. While the Central share is 80 per cent, the State Government and the urban local body (ULB) will bear 10 per cent each.
As most of the State ULBs are not financially sound, the State Government decided to take care of the ULB share particularly for drinking water projects, Urban Development Minister K.V. Singhdeo said.
In the second phase, the Ministry of Urban Development has sanctioned 3,813 dwelling units for urban slums in eight towns under IHSDP. They are Jharsuguda, Balangir, Keonjhargarh, Baripada, Bhadrak, Bhawanipatna, Jeypore and Sambalpur.
In the first phase, project proposals of 15 towns were sanctioned by the ministry.
Although the cost of an individual dwelling unit was Rs 80,000 with minimum construction area of 25 square metre, there was no response to the tender floated by the Government as the scheduled rate was not acceptable to the construction firms.
The Centre revised the unit cost to Rs 1 lakh after the State Government took up the matter with the ministry, Singhdeo said.
BHUBANESWAR: Senior Congress leaders are not willing to take chances. For them, the much talked about reshuffle to rejuvenate the party came a bit late. Sensing that the party may not fare so well in the Assembly elections, the satraps have started eyeing the Lok Sabha seats. Although the new leadership has begun campaigning across the State in full earnest, sources say all the leaders have repositioned themselves for the big fight for the Lok Sabha. And it has started with Jayadeb Jena.
Jena, who was State party president till recently, is interested in contesting from Bhadrak (SC) Lok Sabha seat. Though his Assembly constituency Anandpur (SC) is in Keonjhar district, he cannot contest from either Keonjhar or Mayurbhanj parliamentary seats which are reserved for STs.
Even Jena’s successor K P Singhdeo apparently is in no mood to contest the Assembly polls which otherwise would have galvanised his party activists to a large extent. KP is expected to stand from his traditional Dhenkanal seat. So will Chandrasekhar Sahu, a working president of the party, from his home turf Berhampur.
However, Kandhamal, now dereserved, is attracting the attention of several senior leaders. Congress considers it a winning seat in the aftermath of the riots.
Former chief minister J B Patnaik may opt for Lok Sabha after his nomination as a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee. Giridhar Gamang, a prominent tribal leader, is also reluctant to return to State politics.
For his part, deputy leader of the CLP Narasingh Mishra is keen on taking a plunge and may contest from Balangir Lok Sabha seat. With his traditional Assembly seat Binka abolished and Loisingha reserved for the SCs, Mishra will have to shift to Sonepur if he contests the Assembly polls. Sonepur seat has been dereserved.
From Kalahandi, with several aspirants in line, former Union minister and working president Bhakta Charan Das may try his luck.
BHUBANESWAR: Supply of eggs to schoolchildren under the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme has failed to fulfil its objective of providing nutritional value to the beneficiaries.
In its latest report, the CAG found that in 16 districts, out of the total provision of Rs 65.6 crore made for the supply of eggs during 2005-08, only Rs 20.03 crore was spent. The rest remained unspent with the district social welfare officers (DSWOs).
In eight schools visited by audit during the mid-day meal hour, it was seen that children were taking only cooked rice as adequate dal was not made available.
The unrealistic fixation of procurement price of eggs affected supply of eggs to schools. Under the scheme, cooking cost per student per school day was fixed at Rs 1.58 in July 2005 for meeting expenses on dal, vegetables, oil, condiments, fuel and supervision charges. It was raised to Rs 1.64 in October 2005 and Rs 2.16 in September 2006.
One egg was added to weekly menu in October 2005 by allocating 35 paise per day/beneficiary for procurement of one egg at Rs 2.
This was enhanced to two eggs from November 2006 with allocation of 76 paise per day/beneficiary. The cooking cost was raised by only 56 paise per student.
However, as the suppliers in many places were not willing to supply eggs at the above cost, the price was revised to Rs 2.28 per egg. To accommodate the cost of egg within the cooking cost, allocation of other items like vegetables, condiments and dal were curtailed by 10 to 5 0 percent per beneficiary.
The CAG observed that the State Government did not consider providing any financial input to keep allocations against other essential items intact.
In Kalahandi district, the suppliers did not come forward even after increase in the cost of egg to Rs 2.28 due to non-availability of required quantity in the district and cost hike.
Consequently, the State Government ordered in March 2008 to utilise the unspent balance of egg component by supplying soya chunk to students to overcome the nutritional deficiencies.
The CAG found several other irregularities in the implementation of MDM scheme.
In 19 blocks of 10 districts checked by the auditors, out of Rs 237.6 crore drawn during 2003-08, Rs 49.18 crore remained unspent. There was also unrealistic provision for transportation of dal.
The attainment of 100 percent financial inclusion of 14 identified districts in the state has missed the dateline. The target to complete the process was October this year.
The identified districts are Kendarpara, Koraput, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Nuapara, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrakh, Balasore, Angul, Dhenkanal, Gajapati and Mayurbhanj.
Out of these, the State Bank of India (SBI) was entrusted with the task of financial inclusion in 7 districts- Kendarpara, Koraput, Kandhamal, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Bargarh and Jharsuguda.
Similarly, Uco Bank was assigned the job in 5 districts such as Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrakh, Balasore, Angul, Dhenkanal. While Andhra Bank was assigned the task of cent percent financial inclusion in Gajapati district, Bank of India (BoI) was to do the job in Mayurbhanja district.
The unprecedented flood in September and October and slow pace of work by the banks are said to be the reason for non-attainment of the target in stipulated period, official sources said.
Among the districts taken up by SBI under the financial inclusion plan, 97.75 percent target was achieved in Kendarapada district. Out of the 1,56,080 families identified for financial inclusion ,1,52,578 families were covered by the end of November, 2008.
Similarly, 81.75 percent of the target has been achieved in Nuapara district. About 1,02,510 families have already been covered under the financial inclusion plan against the target of 1,25,390 families. However, the process has not made much progress in other districts assigned to SBI.
Sources said, the rate of achievement in Koraput district was 39.81 percent, Kandhamal (68.49 percent), Kalahandi (59.29 percent), Baragarh (31.19 percent) and Jharsuguda district (49.03 percent).
Among the districts assigned to Uco Bank, the achievement was highest in Angul district (99.77 percent) followed by Balasore (98 percent). Angul district is on the verge of being declared as fully financially included with coverage of 1,98,388 families out of the identified 1,98,851 families. In Balasore district 3,16,395 families have been covered out of the targeted 3,22,852 families.
The rate of achievement for Jagatsinghpur (82.91 percent), Bhadrakh (87.32 percent) and Dhenkanal (83.9 percent), sources added. The rate of achievement of financial inclusion in Gajapati district, entrusted to Andhra Bank was 75 percent. Out of 1,11,405 families identified to be covered under the financial inclusion plan, 83,553 families have already been covered by the end of November.
However, achievement of financial inclusion in Mayurbhanj district, assigned to Bank of India (BoI) was 42.43 percent. About 85,980 families were covered under this plan by the end of November against 2,02,655 families targeted. The total financial inclusion of Cuttack, Ganjam, Puri, Raygada, Nayagarh and Keonjhar has been achieved by the assigned banks.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has demanded a one-time special package of Rs 1,500 cr from the Centre to effectively deal with the adverse impacts of the economic slowdown.
The demand was raised by Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei during the annual Plan outlay discussion with Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission M S Ahluwalia in New Delhi on Tuesday. The Plan size of the State for 2009-10 has been fixed at Rs 9,500 cr, an increase of Rs 2,000 cr from the previous year.
Ghadei said the State Government is consistently making efforts to improve fiscal and Plan performance. Besides, it is trying to create an investor-friendly atmosphere.
Ghadei represented Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the discussion.
He said that Orissa’s development strategies aimed at sustainable, broad-based and inclusive growth, scaling up investment in agriculture and allied sectors, creating more job opportunities and livelihood for all.
Orissa achieved an average growth rate of 9.15 per cent during the 10th Plan against targeted growth rate of 6.2 per cent. The State is taking all steps to improve the delivery mechanism of public services and increasing the annual Plan size, Ghadei said. Orissa has increased its Plan outlay from Rs 2,500 cr in 2004-05 to Rs 9,500 crore in 2009-10.
Ghadei, however, said implementation of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission has put a tremendous pressure on the State’s finances. It will benefit 4 lakh employees and 2.49 lakh pensioners.
He requested the Centre to provide greater assistance to less developed States for infrastructure development including expansion of railway network and construction of expressways such as Ranchi-Vijayawada Highway.
Besides, he demanded that there should be appropriate modification in the guidelines for Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (APDRP) II so that states like Orissa could benefit.
Ghadei sought approval of an eight-year perspective Plan of Rs 4,550 cr for development of KBK region (undivided Kalahandi, Balangir, Koraput districts) which has been submitted to the Planning Commission.
The other demands included transfer of the entire proceeds of export duty levied on chrome ore and other minerals to the originating States.
BHAWANIPATNA: It was straight out of a Bollywood pot-boiler. Jitendra Sunani and Tapaswini Bag of Kaugopna village in the district fell in love despite the caste barrier. The girl is a student of a local high school and the boy a mason. Due to the relationship, the girl conceived and the couple in the absence of social acceptance absconded.
After the parents of the girl lodged an FIR, the couple were apprehended by Bhawanipatna Sadar Police. The boy, charged under sections 366 and 376 of IPC, was sent to jail custody and the girl sent to short-stay home Parents’ Care. However, as the girl complained of life risk there she was shifted to another short-stay home Suprabhat Swadhar Home. The girl gave birth to a child there. But the parents of the girl refused to accept her. With the initiative of Collector R S Gopalan and authorities of Suprabhat Swadhar Home, the marriage between the girl and was boy was solemnised on the district jail premises at Bhawanipatna on Sunday which was attended by cross-section of society. In the presence of Gopalan, jail superintendent Dasarathi Sarangi played the father of the groom and District Social Welfare Officer Subash Chandra Digal acted as father of the bride and performed ‘kanyadan’.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
PNS | Bhubaneswar
Vedanta Aluminum Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh, on Friday signed an MoU with the Kalahandi district administration and the Naandi Foundation (NF) to provide nutritious mid-day meals to 17,000 children of classes I-VIII in 235 Government-aided schools in Lanjigarh block of the district.
The programme aims at encouraging poor children to arrest dropouts in schools. Kalahandi Collector RS Gopalan, VAL Chief Operating Officer Mukesh Kumar and NF National Head (Mid-Day Meal) Leena Joseph signed the MoU. Mukesh Kumar said initiative is being taken by providing nutritional cooked food prepared in a centralised kitchen managed by internationally renowned professional body, NF. The programme is being guided by the State’s Secretary of Women and Child Development Mona Sharma.
The NF shall be responsible for cooking and management of the VAL-provided centralised kitchen and also for delivering the food at the doorsteps of the schools. The district administration shall provide ration and other necessary items as per the Mid-Day Meal scheme of the Government.
VAL is running 39 childcare centres where children are provided pre-school education and nutritious food in different villages of Lanjigarh block. The Hyderabad-based NF, founded by Dr Reddy’s, is one of the leading social sector organisations. Presently, the NF provides noon meals to at least 10 lakh schoolchildren in four States.
In Orissa, it has a similar programme in Ganjam district, which was recently launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Statesman News Service
SAMBALPUR, Feb. 15: It was a Red-letter day for the University College of Engineering (UCE) at Burla. The 50 year-old elite technical institute of the state was named Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) on the eve of the golden jubilee valedictory celebrations today.
It may be mentioned here that the change was effected through a gazette notification on 12 February.
Students, staff and general mass at large have been demanding unitary university status to this oldest technical institution of the state and that got materialised today in the presence of the chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik, Sambalpur MP Mr Prasanna Acharya, state industries minister Mr BB Harichandan, commerce and transport minister Mr Jayanarayan Mishra, secretary of the Alumni Association Mr Ashes Padhy, convener Prof. SK Sar and principal, Prof CR Tripathy.
Needless to say the presence of the alumni of the institute who have made their presence felt in prestigious organisations like ISRO, NASA, DRDO and many more public and private sectors of the country and abroad.
Dedicating VSSUT to the nation and unveiling the logo, the chief minister Mr Patnaik lauded in high words the commendable work of VSSUT, in spreading quality technical education in the country and producing technocrats of name and fame.
“The state is to witness a perceptible change soon due to investment of Rs 6 lakh crore in steel, aluminium, power and IT sectors. Globalisation and liberalisation has generated unprecedented demand for high quality technical people all over the world. VSSUT will take this challenge in catering the present demand,” Mr Patnaik said and appealed students and staff to be at par with international standards.
The CM also assured to fulfil all the demands of the students including allotment of 400 acres of land adjacent to it. “Young engineers will transform Orissa as the richest state of the country. At the same time, I hope, students here will uphold the great tradition and image of this institute,” Mr Patnaik said.
"There would be two more government engineering colleges at Bhawanipatna and Berhampur soon," he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Prasanna Acharya reiterated the commitment of the state government for equilibrium between industry and agriculture.
On this occasion, chief minister Mr Patnaik inaugurated a mammoth memorial gate erected by old students of VSSUT and at present working at Nalco in Angul. He also inaugurated a ladies hostel meant for the SC students of the university. The chief minister Mr Patnaik later addressed a meeting organised by Orissa Construction Mazdoor Union (OCMU) affiliated to Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangha (BMS). Thousands of women working in the unorganised sector attended the meeting.
“Your contributions from food production to construction of a road or in preparing the very infrastructure for the country are no doubt praise worthy. Development can’t be thought of sparing you all,” the chief minister said.
“My government is very much aware of the problems of the labourers, particularly women and is determined to safeguard their interest. At the same time, we have recently raised wage of the Kendu leaf puckers to give more money in the hands of the poor people mainly ladies who are engaged in good numbers in this particular seasonal job,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajya Sabha member Mr Baijayant Panda said that it was Biju Patnaik who first reserved seats for the women in the three tier panchayat elections in the nineties and gave them a chance to take part in the administration and make their status equal with the male dominated society.
He also spoke on Mission Shakti and its popularity among the women groups. “Women need to know the various welfare schemes and take its advantage for their socio-economic development,” he appealed.
The President of OCMU Ms. Pankajini Nayak and working president Mr Prasanta Padhi highlighted the problems the women in unorganised sector face. They also put fourth various demands and appealed chief minister to fulfill them for the greater interest of the poor and illiterate worker women.
PNS | Bhubaneswar
Former Congress Minister and a leader of Mayurbhanj district Saraswati Hembram and former Janata Dal Rajya Sabha member and a leader of Kalahandi district Basant Das on Sunday joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik welcomed both leaders and their supporters to the party-fold at a meeting at Naveen Niwas. Both leaders said they decided to join the Biju Janata Dal being impressed by the leadership of Naveen Patnaik and his transparent administration.
BHUBANESWAR: For the 13 persons of Kalahandi, the catarct surgery two years back literally had meant end of light in their lives. A recent order by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) may well bring a glint of hope to the sexagenarians.
After losing their eyesight in an operation that went horribly wrong, the 13 villagers would now get Rs 1 lakh each as compensation from the State Government as ordered by NHRC. Earlier, the Government had sanctioned an ex gratia of Rs 2000 each to the affected persons which the NHRC described as inappropriate.
On January 22, 2007, 14 persons underwent a cataract surgery at the district headquarters hospital in Bhawanipatna. Barring one, the rest lost their sight after the operation. Prabir Kumar Das who filed a petition before the NHRC alleged that they lost eyesight because of the negligence of the doctors and denial of post-operative care by authorities. The NHRC took cognisance of the matter and served notice to the Chief Secretary seeking a report.
In its reply, the Government stated that disciplinary proceedings had been drawn up against an errant doctor, the then additional chief district medical officer (ACDMO), Kalahandi for negligence of duty. A compensation of Rs 2,000 each was given to the affected elderly persons then. Later, the NHRC issued showcause notice to the Government asking why an appropriate compensation should not be given to the 13 persons for the loss sustained due to the faulty operation and inadequacy of post-operative care. The Government was given six weeks time to reply.
In June last year, Government was served another notice to which it sought a two-month extension for submission of reply. However, none came.
The NHRC, in its order, observed that ‘since no reply was forthcoming, it is presumed that the State of Orissa has no defence to offer.’ The rights body has directed the Government to pay a monetary relief of Rs 1 lakh each to the 13 persons. The report of the departmental inquiry against the doctor must also be sent to the Commission, it observed.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Prabir Kumar Das has done it again.
The leading human rights activist and practicing advocate in the Orissa High Court has brought cheers for the poor and blind tribals of Kalahandi.
Mr.Das brought the plight of the victims to the notice of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
And NHRC has rightly asked the Government of Orissa to pay Rs. 1 lakh each to 13 persons, who lost their eyes in a cataract operation.
Except one, all other 13 persons had lost their eyes due to the alleged ‘negligence’ of the doctors
Persons who lost their eyes due to faulty operation were Sundari Majhi, Kunti Majhi, Hase Majhi, Basanti Majhi, Jagannath Majhi, Jilma Rana, Hanu Rana, Kamala Majhi, Kaikeyi Rana, Ratani Majhi, Sreya Panda, Muna Jagat and Madhu Rout.
This is because of the negligence of the doctors and denial of post operation care by the authorities concerned, alleged Mr.Das.
They were operated in the District Headquarters Hospital at Bhawanipatna on 22 January, 2007.
The NHRC took the decision as it did not receive reply from the State Government on its show cause notice.
NHRC asked the Government as to why appropriate compensation shall not be recommended to be paid under section of PHR Act to the hapless victims.
As usual the Orissa Government seek two months time and as no reply is forthcoming since last three and a half months it is presumed that the State of Orissa has no defence to offer to the show cause notice.
The State of Orissa is directed to pay monetary relief of Rs.1,00,000 to each of the affected patient, directed NHRC.
The NHRC also directed the State Government to file Compliance Report on the Departmental Proceedings against Bharat Bandhu Panda, Additional Chief Medical Officer.
After the incident reported widely in the media, the State Government drew Departmental Proceedings against Dr.Panda and remained cool over the issue.
And the State Government never bothered about the hapless victims, who were above 60 years of age.
With the Good Samaritan Mr.Das taking up the cause of the surgery victims, NHRC took the right decision, said a social activist.
Mr.Prabir Kumar Das is available at: 276, Suka Vihar, Post: Bhoinagar, Bhubaneswar – 751022 (Orissa)
Mobile No: 093382 31592
PNS | Bhubaneswar
A non-resident Oriya (NRO) professor at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, has written an e-mail to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik requesting him to send a proposal to the Central Government to establish an AIIMS-type institution in the backward KBK region of the State or upgrade the VSS medical college to an AIIMS-type institution along with completely taking out medical colleges proposed in Balangir and Jaring from private players and making them fully State Government medical colleges.
Prof Digambar Patra, who teaches Chemistry, has alleged that the State Government has not taken any initiative in this regard, adding that the high profile foundation ceremony for medical colleges in Balangir and Jaring has not yet met the expectations even after five years.
Though Orissa has a severe shortage of medical professionals such as doctors and has less number of Government medical colleges compared to other States, medical college is more than an educational institution for local people in backward pockets, Prof Patra pointed out.
Keeping regional backwardness in mind, the West Bengal Government has proposed to establish similar AIIMS-type institution in North Bengal, whereas the Chhattisgarh Government has established a Government medical college in the backward Jagdalpur region, he claimed.
Vedanta Aluminum Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh is eager to extend its support for Mid-Day-Meal Program in the poverty stricken Kalahandi.
So a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on 13 February here by VAL with Kalahandi District Administration and Naandi Foundation (NF) for providing mid-day meal in Lanjigarh block of the district.
The program will provide nutritious food to 17000 children in 235 schools in Lanjigarh block.
The project aims at improving the nutritional status of children in classes I-VIII in government aided schools and encourage poor children, belonging to disadvantaged sections, to arrest drop outs.
R S Gopalan, Collector, Kalahandi, Mukesh Kumar, Chief Operating Officer, VAL, Lanjigarh and Leena Joseph, National Head (Mid-Day Meal), Naandi Foundation signed the MOU.
Dr. Mukesh Kumar said, “In line with the Millennium Development Goal (MDG), the program will further to minimize the cases of malnutrition.
He said initiative is being taken by providing nutritional cooked food prepared in the centralized kitchen managed by internationally renowned professional body, NF.
The program is being guided by Dr. Mona Sharma, IAS, Secretary of Women and Child Development
As per the MOU, school children shall be provided freshly cooked food under this program.
Vedanta will develop a centralized kitchen, where the food shall be cooked and sent to schools.
The company will also bear the cost of transportation.
NF shall be responsible for cooking and management of the centralized kitchen and also for delivering the food at the doorsteps of the schools.
The district administration shall provide ration and other necessary items as per the Mid-Day-Meal scheme of the government.
Rajesh Rajan, Manager CSR, VAL, Jagannath Mohanty, Sub-Collector, Dhramagarh and Dr. Ajay Mishra, Professor, Government Women’s College were present in the MOU signing ceremony.
Education and nutrition has always been focus of Vedanta’s CSR Initiative.
The company is running 39 childcare centers, where children are provided pre-school education and nutritious food in different villages of Lanjigarh block.
NF is one of the leading social sector organization, founded by Dr Reddy’s.
The organization based in Hyderabad and has interventions in health, nutrition and education areas.
MDM through centralized kitchen is one of the flagship interventions by the development organization.
At present NF provides noon meals to atleast 10 lakh school children in four states.
In Orissa, Naandi has similar program in Ganjam district, which has been recently launched by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Statesman News Service
BHAWANIPATNA, Feb. 11: Intensive agriculture, job-specific technical education and development of infrastructure are few of the means to ensure the all-round development of Kalahandi district, opined speakers at the ninth foundation day celebration of Kalahandi Shikshya Vikash Parishad here recently.
Speaking on the occasion, Western Orissa Development Council chairman, Prof. Niranjan Panda said: "Though Kalahandi is a leading producer of pulses, oilseed and cotton, lack of supporting market network has always been a major hindrance for the farming community."
Underscoring the need of irrigation for agriculture in the district, he pointed out that there are lot of scopes for lift-irrigation particularly in the Tel river area, which is a perennial river like the Indravati. "In addition to the existing minor irrigation projects and Indravati major project, irrigation from Tel river would certainly boost the agriculture here," he said.
He also stressed on development of human resource through technical and professional institutions.
"A quantum jump is necessary to remove the alleged regional imbalance especially in the area of higher and technical education," he said.
Among others, collector Mr R Santhgopalan, parishad president Dr Gopabandhu Behera and Val COO, Dr Mukesh Kumar also spoke.
Eminent personalities like Mr Kailash Chandra Panda, Mr Banmali Majhi, Swami Ameyananda Saraswati, Mr Dhaneswar Patra and Mr Nityananda Patra were felicitated on the occasion.
BHUBANESWAR: Industries Minister Biswa Bhusan Harichandan has said that out of the 2,310 acres of land sought by Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) for its alumina plant at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, 1,805.81 acres have been provided.
In a written reply to a question from Ramchandra Ulaka (Congress), the Minister said that out of this 390.29 acres were government land whereas 1,415.52 acres were private. He said that for the VAL, 814.68 acres were acquired from 562 Scheduled Tribe (ST) people.
Similarly, 2,863.99 acres were provided to Utkal Aluminium International Limited at Kashipur of which 2,153.93 acres were private land. He admitted that 848.89 acres of land was acquired for the project from 865 tribal people.
The Minister said that 1,750.08 acres of land was provided to Aditya Aluminium Limited for its plant at Kansariguda in Rayagada district. This included 1,224.22 acres private land including 779.11 acres belonging to 302 STs.
Harichandan, however, maintained that no alternative land was provided to the ST people in lieu of the ceded land.
To a question from Pramila Giri (BJP), Minister of State for Steel and Mines Pradip Amat said that 48 MoUs were signed by the State Government for establishment of steel plants in the State. Out of this, 10 are large with more than three million tonne capacity per annum. He said that direct employment opportunities for 61,000 persons will be created with the completion of the projects.
Stating that the Government is aware of opposition of people to set up industries on agricultural land, he said that priority is being given to plants on non-agricultural land.
In a written reply to a question from Dhaneswar Majhi (BJP), Harichandan said that four persons had died and 15 were injured in stampedes in Puri Jagannath temple during the last five years.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Central government has upgraded five more medical colleges to the standard of AIIMS all over the nation. It has also sanctioned two more premier referral institutes on the lines of AIIMS, at Raiganj in West Bengal and in Uttar Pradesh..
IN A letter, Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik was urged to take new initiative to convert either VVS Medical College, Burla to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) standard or proposed a similar institution in backward regions such as for Western Orissa Development Council (WODC) initiated medical college in Jaring or Balangir.
Recently, Central government has upgraded five more medical colleges to the standard of AIIMS all over the nation. Central government has also sanctioned two more premier referral institutes on the lines of the prestigious AIIMS, one at Raiganj in West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district and the other in Uttar Pradesh.
Despite high profile foundation ceremony for both the private medical colleges at Balangir and Jaring in Orissa before the election, they have not yet met the expectations even after five years. Situation of proposed private medical college in Balangir is worst among the three proposed private medical colleges through WODC initiative in Rourkela, Jaring and Balangir. In future, private medical college in Rourkela may be successful like in state capital region.
Though Orissa has severe shortage of medical professionals such as doctors and has less number of government medical colleges compared to Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra etc, medical college is more than an educational institution for local people in backward pockets. It serves as a hospital for secondary and tertiary health facilities providing better service and facilities for local people in backward region, where finding good quality private hospitals like Apollo, Kalinga Hospital, etc is very difficult.
Private medical colleges and hospitals rarely meet what government medical colleges provide towards local health facilities to poor people who have little support to even travel to the state capital from Koraput, Kalahandi or Balangir regions or pay the required fees.
Keeping backward regions in mind, West Bengal government has proposed to establish similar AIIMS like institution in North Bengal, whereas Chhattisgarh government has established government medical college in Jagdalpur region. Similarly, Tamil Nadu government is establishing a medical college in Tiruvarur and Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka governments are focusing in other backward pockets in their states.
However, Orissa government has only initiated, through WODC, private medical college in backward and less deserved regions. It does not make sense, when state government is establishing fully government medical colleges in capital region such as Capital Hospital medical college, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) medical college at the same time encouraging private player to open medical college in regions like Balangir, Kalahandi etc and as a result such institutions in backward places are struggling to meet local expectation even after five years, where as other proposed private medical colleges in Bhubaneswar region have already started their courses and hospital by this time.
In fact, it creates a wrong impression that Orissa state government is more concerned towards establishing government institutions in state capital region such as Law University, Capital medical college, ESIC medical college, Culture University, Ravenshaw University, IIT, NISER, WCCU, etc by ignoring other backward parts except consolation given to Kalahandi and Berhampur regions recently for their respective local demand for national institution since decades in the form of engineering colleges.
Orissa government should write to central government to establish a similar AIIMS type institution in KBK region or upgrade VSS Medical College to an AIIMS type institution along with completely taking out medical colleges proposed in Balangir and Jaring from private players.
Converting regional diagnostic centres at Baripada, Bhawanipatna, Koraput and Sundergarh to full fledge government medical colleges will be an excellent idea for the state government as these locations were chosen based on backwardness, tribal population and geographical requirements. Similar regional diagnostic centre in Capital Hospital has been converted to a government medical college. Indeed, it will serve in greater interest of the state along with present government medical colleges in Cuttack, Berhampur, Burla and Bhubaneswar apart from recently proposed medical college in Talcher/Angul by Central Coal Ministry which will be logically expected to be equivalent to government medical colleges.
Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, Feb. 9: New schemes relating to agriculture and allied sectors, development of backward districts and malnourished children formed part of Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare’s address to the Assembly today.
The 32-pages long speech dealt at length with the achievements of the government in all sectors and even included performance of the innumerable central schemes being implemented in the state.
The government has developed an eight year perspective plan for KBK districts from the year 2009-10 to 2016-17 with a projected outlay of Rs 4,550 crore. The Perspective Plan is awaiting approval of the Planning Commission.
A rural livelihood project ~ titled Targetted Rural Initiatives for Poverty Termination and Infrastructure (Tripti) ~ will be implemented in 38 backward blocks of 10 districts with World Bank assistance from the current financial year, said the Governor.
He also announced a new scheme for coverage of malnourished children which would provide each child categorised as grade-III and grade-IV in terms of malnourishment will get an assistance of Rs 500 per month for nutritional and medical support.
Interestingly, this will be given from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
The address included an announcement for establishment of a new College of Agriculture at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district from the academic session of 2009-10, a horticulture training institute and mega-nursery in Kandhamal district and three modern terminal market complexes.
The string of schemes included setting up of five satellite Apparel Training and Design Centre in the state as well as a Elephant Management Plan with an outlay of Rs 53 crore to reduce the man-elephant conflict and protect elephants, the much delayed and re-christened beach tourism project called Shamuka Beach Project near Puri in PPP mode.
Mr Bhandare said a Corporate Governance Code for State PSU is being formulated with the help of the administrative staff college of India, Hyderabad and as part of the state public sector reforms programme a Orissa State Renewal Fund Society had been set up to continue extend support to the public sector reform programmes.
Claiming that the law and order situation in the state remained normal during the year except in Kandhamal district, the government claimed that it had taken prompt measures to restore normalcy in the district.
Twenty new police stations, upgradation of 46 outposts to police stations and five marine police stations were listed as measures taken on the law and order front. The strength of the Special Operation Group has been enhanced by creation of 878 additional posts and the government proposes to recruit 2,100 ST youth from Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput and Kandhamal districts as Special Police Officers.
The prison administration has also been improved with new jails, fortification of old ones and installation of cell phone jammers, it said.The plan allocation for the year 2009-10 was stated to be Rs 9,500 crore. Significantly, agriculture and irrigation formed the opening parts of the speech while the much touted mineral and metal sector towards the end of the speech.
The mineral sector earned a revenue of Rs 845 crore during April to November 2008 and it is targetted to reach 1,250 crore during 2008-09.
Thirteen power projects are in the pipeline as are the innumerable steel and aluminium sector proposals.
Opposition disrupts Bhandare’s address
BHUBANESWAR, Feb. 9: The entire Opposition disrupted the Governor’s address in the Assembly today and staged a noisy walkout alleging that the speech was scripted by a government which believed in use of black money to win elections. No sooner had the Governor Mr MC Bhandare started his speech, newly nominated Leader of Opposition Mr RC Ulaka stood up in protest. Much of what Mr Ulaka said was lost in the din as Opposition members were on their toes raising slogans. They tore the Governor’s speech and marched into the Well of the House. At one point of time the Governor was heard appealing to the members to hear him. Subsequently, the agitated Opposition staged a walkout boycotting the speech of the Governor. The members returned to take part in the obituary references. n SNS
Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, Feb. 9: The city-based central institute of freshwater aquaculture (Cifa), in association with Orissa tribal empowerment and livelihoods programme (Otelp), Kandhamal and sahabhagi vikash aviyan (SVA), Kalahandi organised a series of five field days on freshwater aquaculture here recently.
A total of 130 farmers covering 80 per cent ST and SC population from tribal dominated Kandhamal and Kalahandi districts participated in the programmes. Majority of the participants, about 58 per cent were women, Cifa sources said.
Speaking on the occasion, institute director Dr AE Eknath said that the farmers could get high value nutrition by resorting to aquaculture. “It is a tool to enhance income, employment and livelihood leading to alleviation of poverty. By combining agriculture with aquaculture farmers can get diversified products and decrease the risk of investment,” he said.
The aim of the programme was to expose the tribal farmers and farmwomen to new technologies in freshwater aquaculture and address their queries through interactions, he said.
The Cifa scientists demonstrated in participatory mode various aquaculture technologies like pond preparation, analysis of pond water and sediment, nursery management, disease control, quality seed production, hatchery management, integrated fish farming, culture of carps, prawn, magur, murrels, koi and ornamental fishes, cage culture and feeding methods.
The farmers were motivated to adopt the technologies thought by the institute to gain additional income for their livelihood. The farmers opined that the exposure visits were of great help to them since it enhanced their level of knowledge and inspired them to undertake aquaculture activities on a scientific basis.
Senior Cifa scientists Mr GS Saha, Mr Radheyshyam, Mr HK De, Mr Kuldeep Kumar, Mr DN Chattopadhyay, Mr BK Das, and technical officers Mr B Mishra, Ms Lekha Safui, Mr UL Mohanty and Mr Sukanti Behera coordinated the programmes.
JEYPORE: The contention over water sharing involving Orissa and Chhattisgarh is back. This time over the Janra river, a tributary of Indravati that emanates from Kalahandi and meanders through Koraput area into Chhattisgarh.
People of Kotpad block of Koraput have threatened to protest Chhattisgarh Government’s decision to construct a barrage on the confluence of the Janra near Smutipadar village.
The barrage is being built to divert the river water from Orissa side which, the locals feel, would lead to water scarcity in the area.
The two states had entered into an agreement in 1975 for distribution of Indravati water and as per the agreement, Chhattisgarh would get 45,000 million cubic metres water only during monsoon from Orissa side. However, time and again, the Chhattisgarh Government put barriers near the river to draw more water.
When allegations of violation of the agreement by Chhattisgarh were raised, a Joint Water Commission meeting was held in Raipur in 2003 under the chairmanship of Central Water Commission which decided to maintain the earlier agreement and resolve the water problem amicably between the two states.
Later, the Orissa Government declared that it would not provide any extra water to Chhattisgarh keeping in view the State’s needs.
Even after the state’s denial Chhattisgarh recently put sandbags near the river confluence to divert water.
Following this, members of the Janra Bachao Committee urged the Koraput Collector and State Government to intervene.
But amid fresh reports of construction of the barrage, they have threatened to agitate if the State Government did not take any measures.
Meanwhile, Koraput administration has asked the Jagdalpur administration to lift any kind of obstruction near the confluence and has sent a report to the State Government for further action.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
BHUBANESWAR: There may not be any proper road network, electricity or the modern communication facilities to this village, but Hira Pradhan of Balipanka village under Berhampur telecom district is lucky to have the first digital satellite public telephone (DSPT) connection of the State.
Meant to connect the inaccessible rural pockets, which are out of reach of the common telephone network, DSPT may revolutionise communication as it works through satellite and highly subsidised by the Centre.
In fact, many telecom districts or secondary switching areas (SSAs) under Orissa Telecom Circle are to be covered under the DSPT umbrella where communication is a major problem, says Controller of Communication Accounts (CCA), Prahlad Singh adding apart from the 99 DSPT connections completed by December 31 in Ganjam and Gajapati districts, the State has 230 installations so far.
Distribution-wise, the DSPT telephones were found as follows: Berhampur SSA 99, Bhawanipatna 42, Koraput 23, Phulbani 6 and Rourkela 58. While the State is all set to get 1,037 such facilities (including the existing 230 connections), the largest chunk of the modern facility would go to Phulbani SSA, informs Joint-CCA Kashinath Jha.
‘‘In fact, Phulbani will have 407 DSPTs as from communication point of view, it is the most backward region of the State’’ says Jha adding the geographical location and distribution of landmass making it more difficult to access.
Also all DSPTs are powered by solar panels, so when there is no power or if the village is not electrified, there would be no problem in the communication process, Jha adds.
As the CCA office controls the fund created out of part of the spectrum money received from various telecom operators, the fund is used in subsidising such services and hence BSNL is given Rs 1 lakh for each functional DSPT. Also it receives Rs 6,000 to Rs 14,000 per annum for their maintenance, CCA office sources said.
However, there are many hurdles on the way. The Left-wing extremist groups are not happy with people receiving these modern communication system. At many places, the villages are asked to return the sets. But, despite these threats, they are brave enough to go for it and continue their support.
BHAWANIPATNA: In a bid to woo the tribals ahead of elections, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday promised all-round development for the tribals and KBK region. ‘‘Steps are being taken to protect the tribals from exploitation and provide them the land rights,’’ he said. Naveen was here Saturday to inaugurate a number of projects. At Chilipa under Dharamgarh sub-division, he inaugurated the aqueduct of Upper Indravati Project as a part of the right canal extension programme. Naveen laid the foundation stones for the proposed Government Engineering College at Singhjharan, Government Agriculture College on Bhawanipatna Agriculture farm premises and 132/33 KV grid sub-station at Bhangabari.
At Bhawanipatna, he inaugurated the new school building of Kendriya Vidyalaya and an SC/ST hostel building of Maa Manikeswari College at Thuamul Rampur. He also distributed bicycles to SC/ST girl students of the school.
Addressing the ‘Vikash Samabesh’ at the police parade ground in Bhawanipatna, Naveen said the State Government is giving top priority to agriculture and industrial development. ‘‘Employment opportunities in technical field have to be created in Kalahandi. Technical education and the proposed Government Engineering College would play a vital role in this regard,’’ he added.
The agriculture and engineering colleges would start functioning from the coming academic session and for the current year, Rs 5 crore each has been allotted for development of both the colleges.
On agriculture front, Naveen said unless there is development in the farm sector, poverty cannot be eradicated. Keeping this in view, the State Government has formulated the new agriculture policy which would provide minimum support price for the farmers and irrigation facilities.
Among others, Lok Sabha member Bikram Keshari Deo, Ministers Surendra Naik, Pradipta Kumar Nayak and MLA Balabhadra Majhi spoke. No untoward incident was reported during the Chief Minister’s visit except for demonstration by a group of Youth Congress activists near Ghodaghat square in Bhawanipatna. They were all taken into custody and later released.
Pioneer News Service | Bhawanipatna
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday visited Kalahandi district by helicopter amid tight security. He inaugurated the Aqueduct (canal) of Upper Indravati Irrigation Project at Chhilpa.
Patnaik went to Dharamgarh and addressed the people at Panchayat Ground after inaugurating the Town Hall. The Chief Minister also laid the foundation of Government engineering college, proposed Government agriculture college here and a 132/33 KV grid substation at Bhangabari. Addressing the public in Police Barrack ground, the Chief Minister said Rs 5 crore each have already been sanctioned for both the projects.
Sources said that the budget estimated for the engineering college is Rs 9.14 crore and till now 37 acres of land have been given by the Government while 100 acre land is required for the project. Patnaik said irrigation, health and infrastructure in KBK will be further developed speedily. He also announced that in each block an ITI will be opened which will improve the skills of technicians. Development of backward regions in the district and other areas has always been an important part in his development programme.
Under the Biju KBK programme, 1,000 girls' hostels for SC/ST have been opened where 1 lakh tribals girls are studying. A sum of Rs 6 lakh crore is going to be invested in development of steel, aluminium and power by the State Government.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated the new school building of Kendriya Vidyalaya here. The Chief Minister also visited Tulapada College and addressed the Bikash Samavesh at the college ground.
Bhawanipatna MLA Pradipta Naik, Kalahandi MP Bikram Kesari Deo, Balabhadra Majhi, Kiran Singh Deo also spoke. Meanwhile, members of the District Youth Congress, led by president Abdul Sazid, blocked the road while CM was going to address a meeting in the Police Barrack demanding a Central University in the district. However, the police cleared the road. More than 50 Congress activists were arrested.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Report by Dipti Ranjan Kanungo; Bhubaneswar: An Oriya NRI based in Lebanon Digambara Patra, Ph.D, Assistant Professor,Department of Chemistry, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon recently written a letter to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik that Recently Central Government has upgraded five more medical colleges to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) standard all over the nation.
It has also sanctioned two more premier referral institutes on the lines of the prestigious AIIMS, one at Raiganj in West Bengal's North Dinajpur district and the other in Uttar Pradesh .But the Orissa Government has not taken any initiative in this regard to convert either V V S medical college to such AIIMS standard or proposed similar institution in backward region such as for WODC initiated medical college in Jaring or Balangir.
Despite high profile foundation ceremony for both the medical colleges in Balangir and Jaring, they have not yet met the expectations even after five years. Situation of proposed private medical college in Balaangir is worst among three proposed private medical colleges through WODC initiative in Rourkela, Jaring and Balangir. In future pritvate medical college in Rourkela may acceptably be successful like in state capital region.
Though Orissa has severe shoratge of medical professionals such as doctors and has less number of Government medical colleges compared to Kerala, TN, AP, Karnataka, Maharastra etc, medical college is more than an educational institution for local people in backward pockets. It serves as a hospital for secondary and tertiary health facilities providing better service and facilities for local people in backward region where finding good quality private hospitals like APPOLO, Kalinga Hospital, etc are almost zero. On the other hand private medical colleges and hosptials rarely meet what Government medical college provides towards local health facilities to poor people who have little support to even travel state capital from Koraput, Kalahandi or Balangir regions or pay required fees.
Keeping backwardness region in mind West Bengal Government has proposed to establish similar AIIMS like institution in North Bengal whereas Chhattisgarh Government has established Government medical college in Jagdalpur region. Similarly Tamil Nadu Government is estblishing in Tiruvar and AP & Karnataka Governments in other backward pockets in their states.
However, Orissa Government has only initiated through WODC for private medical college in backward and less deserved region. It does not make sense when state Government is establishing fully Government medical colleges in capital region such Capital hospital medical college , ESIC medical college at the same time encouraging private player to open medical college in regions like Balangir, Kalahandi etc as a result such institutions in backward places are struggling to meet local expectation even after five years where as other private medical colleges in Bhubaneswar region have already started their courses and hospital by this time.
In fact it is giving a wrong impression stating that Orissa state Government is more concerned towards estblishing Govenenment institution in state capital region such as law University, capital medical college, ESIC medical college, culture University, Ravenshaw University, IIT, NISER, WCCU, etc by ignoring other backrward parts, except consolation given to Kalahandi and Berhampur regions recently for their respective local demand for national institution since decades in the form of engineering colleges.
I hope you write to central Government to establish a similar AIIMS type institution in KBK region or up grade VSS medical college to an AIIMS type institution along with completely taking out medical colleges proposed in Balangir and Jaring from private players to be fully state Government medical colleges.
Converting reginal diagonetic centers at Baripada, Bhawanipatna, Koraput and Sundergarh to fullfledge Government medical colleges will not be a bad idea either for the state Government as these locations were chosen based on backwarness, tribal population and geographical requirements. Similar regional diagonetic center in captial hospital has been converted to a Government medical college. Indeed it will serve in greater interest of the state along with present Government medical colleges in Cuttack, Berhampur, Burla and Bhubaneswar apart from recently proposed imedical college in Talcher/Angul by Central Coal Ministry (which will be logically equivalent to Government medical college).
Bhawanipatna: At the Annual General Meeting of the St John Ambulance at Raj Bhawan, Vedanta Aluminium, Lanjigarh, donated an ambulance to the Bhubaneswar Police Commissionerate. The company was also felicitated with the St John Ambulance Award-2008 at the function for its contribution towards training and promotion of first-aid in Kalahandi district. Company’s chief operating officer Dr Mukesh Kumar said the initiative of the company is to build a group of first-aid volunteers to save life during calamity and accident. Governor MC Bhandare appreciated such CSR initiatives of the company.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Bhawanipatna: A branch of the All India Consumer Forum was inaugurated by its State organising secretary Biswajit Keshari Biswal here on February 1. At the inaugural meeting, Biswal declared the names of the office bearers, Prakash Pradhan president, Pravakar Dwibedi vice-president, Sajjan Agrawal organising secretary, Padmalochan Bag advisor, Sebak Ramu Sahu deputy secretary, Sarat Chandra Sahu treasurer, Hemant Singh district secretary and Prabhat Sahu and Dinesh Agrawal joint secretaries. The main branch of the organisation in New Delhi has been serving the consumers throughout the country since 1974.
Bhawanipatna: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will lay the foundation of the proposed agriculture university and engineering college here on February 7, according to the Kalahandi DIPRO sources. During his one-day visit, he will also address two public meetings. However, alleging the Chief Minister for the delay in construction of a bridge over Hati river and the Indravati lift irrigation project, District Youth Congress president Abdul Sazid in a Press statement said that the party would not allow the CM to the soil of the district.
PNS | Bhawanipatna
The BSNL telephone exchange office of Bhawanipatna has lodged an FIR with the town police against Tata telecom service alleging that the company has damaged the main cable lines of BSNL on February 2.
From Jail Chowk to Manikeswari temple pillar area the cables of BSNL have been damaged by Tata telecom service during a digging work at Bhawanipatna. Over 600 pairs of cables from the exchange to Jagannath temple, 400 pairs from Jagannath temple to railway reservation counter and 100 pairs from Manikeswari temple to Satya Sai High School have been fully damaged, BSNL sources alleged.
Following the damage, around 300 subscribers are facing failure of communication and regular complaints are being received by the company, the officials alleged.
Pioneer News Service | Bhawanipatna
Demanding regularisation of posts, the contractual employees of the Government Watershed Development Project staged a dharna before the Collectorate and submitted a memorandum to the Kalahandi Collector here.
Their demands included long-term projects instead of short-term ones, budget sanction under non-plan allotments, DA, house rent, EPF, life insurance, two-wheeler vehicles, revised salary structure, recruitment of contractual employees by a State-level selection committee instead that of district-level and cancellation of intra-district transfer.
Employees’ Union president Trinath Dash, secretary Bimal Kumar Bhoi and vice-president Bhanu Prakash Rath threatened to resort to agitation and boycott their duties, if their demands are not met within seven days. They decided to go on mass agitation before the State Assembly on February 9.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
BHUBANESWAR: The UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s pet project is facing roadblock in Orissa over funds crunch. Mired by allegations and recriminations, the Centre’s showpiece, NREGS, will stop by the month-end in the State if the UPA Government did not continue funding.
Panchayati Raj Secretary R N Dash has written to the Centre demanding Rs 646 cr for the programme, sources said. Dash has maintained that since the demand for wage employment between December and June is highest, halting the scheme would hit the poor hard. If Central funding is stopped, the State will be forced to discontinue the scheme from February.
The Centre stopped funding NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) citing less than 60 per cent expenditure and delay in submission of utilisation certificates. The issue has once again brought to the fore the continuing mudslinging between the Centre and State over its execution.
Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy reviewed the scheme at a high level meeting here.
The NREGS was introduced in all 30 districts in three phases. The performance in 19 districts, where the scheme took off in the first phase, has been satisfactory. In the second, it was introduced in Angul, Balasore, Bargarh, Bhadrak and Jajpur districts. The scheme was implemented in Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda and Nayagarh in the last phase.
Gajapati district has topped the list in performance with an expenditure of 146 per cent. The execution of the scheme in Deogarh and Mayurbhanj districts were satisfactory with 91 and 80 per cent expenditure respectively. Expenditure of funds in Sonepur, Kalahandi, Jharsuguda and Nabarangpur were above 70 per cent while it was 65 per cent in Rayagada district.
An amount of Rs 622 cr was available under the NREGS in the current financial year out of which Rs 469.71 cr was Central aid, sources said. Expenditure by January-end was Rs 388.03 cr, more than 60 per cent. As many as 230.26 lakh mandays were generated following the implementation of the scheme. Besides, 49,78,735 jobcards were issued by the State Government under the scheme.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
For the second consecutive year, Vedanta Aluminium, Lanjigarh received the St John Ambulance Award '08 for its contribution towards training and promotion of 'first aid'. The company took the lead in training 1569 anganwadi workers in Kalahandi..
HIS EXCELLENCY governor of Orissa, Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare presented the prestigious ‘St John Ambulance Award 2008’ to Vedanta Aluminium Limited, Lanjigarh for its contribution towards training and promotion of ’first aid’ not only among its employees, contract employees and other stakeholders, but also in entire district of Kalahandi, at large. Dr Mukesh Kumar, chief operating officer received the award during the annual general meeting of St John Ambulance held at Raj Bhawan, Bhubaneswar on February 3, 2009. The company also announced to provide an ambulance to police commissionerate, Bhubaneswar.
Appreciating Vedanta’s initiatives, governor of Orissa Bhandare said, “It is a matter of pride that Vedanta Aluminium Lanjigarh took the lead in training 1569 anganwadi workers in Kalahandi district. Other industrial organisations must follow the path shown by Vedanta”. He also thanked the aluminium company for donating an ambulance to police commissionerate as he requested.
Receiving the award Dr Mukesh Kumar said, “Vedanta is committed towards improvement in overall healthcare of people and its stakeholders. And our initiatives aimed at building a group of first aid volunteers will help in saving life, during calamity or accidents”. This is the second consecutive year the company has received the St John Ambulance Award. The company also became the first industrial house in Orissa to be the associate life member of this international non-profit organisation.
Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh is one among the few corporates in Orissa who are committed for first aid training and promotion. The company has been actively involved in this activity since 2006. In the year 2007, VAL has created 300 first aid volunteers among its own employees through first aid training, in association with St John Ambulance. In 2008, the company had imparted training to 450 of its employees including contract employees and drivers. Similarly, in order to spread the message of first aid and create a band of volunteers through out Kalahandi district, the company supported training on first aid and lifesaving skills to 1569 anganwadi workers and supervisors in the district.
VAL, Lanjigarh has also been recognised as a training center by St John Ambulance to conduct first aid training programmes for its employees as well as other community members. This is the first center in Kalahandi. The company has also supported in establishing a first aid training center at Bhawanipatna. It has two ambulance brigades, comprising of 60 first aid trained staff and two doctors to extend first aid support to general public in case of any natural or man made calamity or accidents.
The company is actively involved in improvement of health, safety and environment for its employees as well as community members. This award is a recognisition of VAL’s efforts in the area of creating awareness about health and preventive measures for controlling diseases like malaria, cholera and malnutrition etc. Recently, the company has been awarded Occupation Health and Safety Management System (OHSAS) 18001 certificate for its health and safety management system. St John Ambulance is a leading provider of first aid training in the world.
BHUBANESWAR: Agami Odisha and several organisations staged a demonstration in front of the headquarters of the East Coast Railway here today demanding development of railway network in Kandhamal and other backward regions of the State.
In a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the organisations maintained that Kandhamal and Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput (KBK) regions are most backward areas of the country.
Similar backward areas in the country like the north-eastern states have received special treatment from the Railway Board but the KBK region has been neglected for decades, the memorandum alleged and demanded a special package for the region.
Alleging step-motherly attitude of the Railways towards the State, the memorandum maintained that Khurda Road- Balangir and Lanjigarh Road- Junagarh railway lines in Orissa were approved much earlier than Muzaffarpur-Sitamarhi and Sultanganj-Deogarh railway lines in Bihar, but only 10 per cent work has been completed.
But both the projects in Bihar have been completed.
During last 15 years more lines were approved in Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal than in Orissa, it alleged and demanded that a Kandhamal rail link should be sanctioned.
Former MP and CPM leader Shivaji Patnaik participated in the demonstration.
Report by Rashmi r Parida; Bhubaneswar: Orissa Governor MC Bhandare presented the prestigious ‘St. John Ambulance Award – 2008’ to Vedanta Aluminium Limited, Lanjigarh for its contribution towards training and promotion of First Aid not only among its employees, contract employees and other Stakeholders but also in entire district of Kalahandi, at large. Dr. Mukesh Kumar, Chief Operating Officer received the award during the Annual General Meeting of St John Ambulance held at Raj Bhawan, Bhubaneswar on February 3, 2009. The company also announced to provide an ambulance to Police Commissionerate, Bhubaneswar.
Appreciating Vedanta’s initiatives, Governor of Orissa Bhandare said, “ It is a matter pride that Vedanta Aluminium Lanjigarh took the lead in training 1569 Anganwadi workers in Kalahandi district. Other industrial organizations must follow the path shown by Vedanta”. He also thanked the aluminium company for donating an ambulance to Police Commissionerate, as he requested.
Receiving the award Dr. Mukesh Kumar said, “Vedanta is committed towards improvement in overall health care of people and its stakeholders. And our initiatives aimed at building a group of first aid volunteers will help in saving life, during calamity or accidents”. This is the second consecutive year the company has received the St. John Ambulance Award. The company also became the first industrial house in Orissa become Associate Life Member of this international non-profit organization.
Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh is one among the few corporate in Orissa who are committed for First Aid Training and promotion. The Company has been actively involved in this activity since 2006. In the year 2007, VAL has created 300 first aid volunteers among its own employees through first aid training, in association with St. John Ambulance. In 2008, the company had imparted training to 450 of its employees including contract employees and drivers. Similarly, in order to spread the message of first aid and create a band of volunteers through out Kalahandi district, the company supported training on first aid and lifesaving skills to 1569 Anganwadi workers and supervisors in the district.
VAL, Lanjigarh has also been recognized as a training center by St. John Ambulance to conduct first aid training programs for its employees as well as other community members. This is the first center in Kalahandi. The company has also supported in establishing a first aid training center at Bhawanipatna. It has two ambulance brigades, comprising of 60 first aid trained staff and two doctors to extend first aid support to general public in case of any natural or man-made calamity or accidents.
The company is actively involved in improvement of health, safety, and environment for its employees as well as community members. This award is a recognition of VAL’s efforts in the area of creating awareness about health and preventive measures for controlling diseases like Malaria, Cholera, and Malnutrition etc. Recently, the company has been awarded OHSAS 18001 certificate for its health and safety management system. St. John Ambulance is a leading provider of first aid training in the world.
Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, Feb 3: The problems over the BPL list (below poverty line) families and certain other contentious issues seems to have delayed the implementation of Rashtriya Swasthya Beema Yojana ~ a Central scheme ~ which the state government is now keen on launching from 1 April.
According to sources, BPL families of six districts were to be covered in the first phase of the health insurance scheme during 2008-09, but it did not take off as a result of which the state government wants to cover 12 districts in the second phase during 2009-10.
The districts which were to be covered during 2008-09 were Cuttack, Khurda, Ganjam, Rayagada, Sambalpur and Sundergarh. From 1st April these districts and six more ~ Kalahandi, Nuapada, Puri, Deogarh, Jharsuguda and Nayagarh have now been added to the list.
Tenders inviting insurance companies had been floated in September last year and of the nine responses a few have been short listed. The tender will be finalised soon, said these sources.
According to the scheme the beneficiary (a family of five) will contribute only Rs 30 following which registration fee and the premium amount will be shared on a 75:25 basis between the Center and the state government respectively.
The health insurance coverage will be upto Rs 30,000 per family annually. Beneficiaries will be issued smart cards and at the time of being discharged from any hospital they will be provided a transportation fee as well, said these sources.
In another decision taken by the state government, the much delayed welfare fund for building and construction workers has been formed and a board has also been constituted to regulate this.
The fund will be generated by imposing a one per cent of project cost cess on construction sites contractors, except in port and certain other project areas.
The workers, who are to be registered by the district labour office, will be issued an identity card to avail of the benefits from the welfare fund. The benefits include educational benefit for children, maternity benefit for women, financial assistance in case of illness, accidents at worksite among others.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Old News Archive: Gautom Ghosh's "Kalahandi" judged as best investigative film in National Film Award in 2002
Lagaan sweeps National Film Awards
NEW DELHI: Bollywood blockbuster Lagaan , which lost out in the race for an Oscar, won the Best Popular Film Award and seven more, while Kannada film Dweepa by Girish Kasaravalli was adjudged the Best Feature Film in the 49th edition of the National Film Awards announced on Friday.
Renowned actress Tabu shared the Best Actress award for her sensitive depiction of a beer bar dancer in Chandni Bar , with South Indian star Shobana for her role of a lonely mother in Mitr-My Friend , K S Sethu Madhavan, chairman of the Feature Film Jury said at a press conference here.
Malayali actor Murali bagged the best actor award for his role in Neythukaran (The Weaver), which revolves around a committed political worker caught in a web of shifting values.
B Lenin was adjudged Best Director for Tamil film Oruku Nooruper (Hundred people in a hamlet) a tale of a revolutionary who killed for his cause and was awarded death sentence.
Aamir Khan's Lagaan , directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar, won awards for the Best Music Direction (A R Rahman), Lyrics (Javed Akhtar), Choreography (Raju Khan), Audiography (H Sridhar and Nakul Kamte), Art Direction (Chandrakant Desai), Playback Singer (Udit Narayan for Mitwa o Mitwa ), and Costume Designer (Bhanu Athaiya), besides the award for the Most Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertaiment.
Madhur Bhandarkar's Chandni Bar , the poignant story of innocent girls getting trapped in a vicious circle, also bagged the award of Best Film on Social Issues. Atul Kulkarni won the award for the Best Supporting actor in the film while Annanya Khare was adjudged the Best Supporting Actress in it.
Another popular film Farhan Akhtar's Dil Chahta Hai was adjudged the Best Feature Film in Hindi for "artistically and humourously" portraying the growing up years of young people in modern society.
Udit Narayan was also adjudged the Best Playback Singer for Jaane kyon log pyaar karte hain in the film. The Best Female Playback singer award went to Sadana Sargam for Paatu cholli in Tamil film Udayageethavin Azhahi.
Revathy's Mitr-My Friend, which has an all-woman team, bagged the awards for Best Feature Film in English and Best Editing for Beena Paul.
This was the first time that there was a joint jury for the Indian Panorama and the National Film Awards, Sethu Madhavan said, adding "our decisions were unanimous".
However, there were no awards in some categories, including Children's film, Family Welfare and Environment/Preservation.
The awards comprise a cash component between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10,000 and a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) or Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus).
The jury selected 20 films for the Indian Panorama, 2002, which included Mitr-My Friend, Chandni Bar, Dweepa and Dil Chahta Hai.
The Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration went to Jyoti Swarup's Kashmiri film Bub, which explores the probelms of the minority in the face of terrorist activities.
Telugu film Tiladaanam was given the Indira Gandhi Award for the Best First Feature Film of a director while H M Ramachandra Halkere bagged the Best Cinematography Award for the Kannada film Dweepa.
Neelkantha was adjudged the Best Screenplay writer for Telugu film Show, while the Special Jury Award was given to Janaki Vishwanathan for Tamil film Kutty for its realistic portrayal of the transition of a girl child from rural Tamil Nadu to Chennai in search of livelihood.
M J Raju got the Best Special Effects award for Tamil film Aalavandaan.
In the non-feature categories, Prakash Jha's Sonal on renowned dancer Sonal Mansing's life got the award for Best Film while Vinod Sukumaran's Diary of a Housewife bagged the award for the Best First Non-Feature Film of a Director.
Buddhadeb Dasgupta was adjudged Best Director for Jorasanko Thakurban for artistically unfolding the history of the Tagores.
The Award for Best Anthropological Film went to A S Sharma's The Monpas of Arunachal Pradesh, Biographical Film to V Packirisamy's Teejan Bai, Environment Film to Viplove Bhatia's Holy Ganga, Film on Social Issues to Aruna Raje Patil's A New Paradigm, Investigative Film to Goutam Ghosh's Kalahandi and Animation to Paushali Ganguly's Pink Camel.
The Special Jury Award was given to Bhimsain's Orchestra and the Award for the Best Short Fiction Film to Kranti Kanade's Chaitra. The Jury made a Special Mention for Kalahandi and Chaitra.
Awards were not given in several categories in the non-feature section, like the Arts Film, Scientific Film, Agricultural Film, Historical Film and Best Exploration.
K K Kapil, chairman of the Non-Feature Film Jury, announcing the awards resented that there were no sponsors for films in the category and said that the jury had recommended that Doordarshan give an hour everyday for screening of such films.
Chairman of Best Writing on Cinema Jury Bharat Gopy said that the award for the Best Book on Cinema was shared between Apurba Sarma for Asomiya Chalachitrar Chha-Pohar and Gangadhar Mahambare for Moulik Marathi Chitrageete.
The Best Film Critic Award was bagged by Vinod Anupam, while special mention was made for C S Venkiteswaran for his approach to the celluliod idiom.
B Lenin's Ooruku Noorper won the award for the Best Feature Film in Tamil, Urmi Chakraborty's Hemantar Pakki in Bengali, P Sheshadri's Atithi in Kannada, T V Chandran's Dany in Malyalam, Prafulla Mohanty's Maguni Ra Shagada in Oriya and Neelkantha's Show in Telugu.
No awards were given in Best Film category in Assamese, Gujarati, Manipuri, Marathi, Bodo, Chattisgarhi, Haryanvi, Rajasthani, Santhali, Tripuri and Tulu.
Kalahandi Balangir Koraput in Orissa is a backward region in all aspects and need special aid from the Union Government. However, the region is being ignored by all major players for industrial and agricultural developments.
KALAHANDI BALANGIR Koraput (KBK) region in Orissa is a multi-facet backward region due to hilly terrain, tribal population and natural calamities.
Thankfully, KBK region is considered along with special category states by Union Government of India when it comes to irrigation project. However, infrastructure development is the key to the success for such a backward region. Unfortunately, in railway development KBK is being neglected severely and has not yet been considered by Prime Minister of India to give special status along with special category states.
It is clearly evident from struggling ongoing projects since decades in KBK region such as Lanjigarh road – Junagarh and Balangir – Khordha road lines.
In last couple of years, Indian Railway has committed 50,000 crore investment only in Bihar for various ongoing and new projects, whereas Orissa, especially KBK, is being continuously neglected since decades by Indian Railway.
On the other hand, national politicians have often used backwardness of Kalahandi to show case their eagerness towards the poor people in the society though they fail to scrutinise high rate of unemployment among semi-skilled and skilled laborer in the region.
Lanjigarh road is located in the border of Kandhamal, Rayagada and Kalahandi. A factory based on engineering in Lanjigarh road/Bhawanipatna will enormously benefit Kalahandi, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Boudh, Nuapada, Balangir, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Gajpati, Sonepur and Malkangiri equally, as it is centrally located to all the districts.
Similarly, a new East Coast railway division in Lanjigarh road/Bhawanipatna will help to speed up the railway projects in Kalahandi, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Boudh, Nuapada, Balangir, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Gajpati, Sonepur and Malkangiri districts many of which are poorly connected by Indian railway.
I urge the government to specially consider railway project in -
KBK region as national project
Accomplish Lanjigarh road – Jungarh line completely in coming financial year
Complete Khordha road – Balangir line in 11th plan
Immediately approve Lanjigarh road – Phulbani – Angul line
Approve Junagarh – Nabarangpur – Jeypur – Malkangiri – Balachandar road line
Approve Kantabanji – Khariar – Dharamgarh – Ampani – Nabarangpur – Jeypur line
Establish a coach factory in Bhawanipatna/Lanjigarh road/Junagarh region
Establish a new East Coast railway division in Lanjigarh road/Bhawanipatna for railway development especially in KBK-Kandhamal-Boudh region.
Indiatoday, 31st January, 2009
Lucknow, January 31, 2009
The Congress believes it has finally discovered a leader who could match the image and to some extent the popularity of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the eve of the elections to state legislative assembly and Lok Sabha without realising that the new leader, howsoever strong and popular he might be, could not be expected to do wonders in just two months prior to the polls.
Yet like luck, politics is a matter of chance too. After a lot of flip-flop, the high command placed the affairs of the state party, which has been in moribund state, in the hands of Brig. K.P. Singhdeo, who would lead the party in the electoral battlefield against Naveen Patnaik, locally called 'Mr. Clean', who has been slaying his enemies with his ruthless smile.
With the appointment of Singhdeo the high command has revamped the entire set up. In a bid to rejuvenate the party at the grassroots level it has appointed three influential leaders as working presidents in three politically-sensitive regions. Another well-known and veteran tribal leader Ram Chandra Ulaka has been appointed leader in the house while Srikant Jena, known for his fiery oratory, would head the campaign committee.
The well-thought-of moves by the Congress high command that for the first time created a fine social and regional balance also coincided with widening rift within BJD-BJP ruling coalition. The chief minister of late has been eager to get rid of the BJP not only to contain the over-ambitious partner but also to protect his own secular image.
Singhdeo replaced Jaydev Jena as PCC chief. Jena, the only Dalit leader to head a state unit in the country, was seen as an inactive leader. But it took hell lot of efforts on the part of central leaders to shift out ageing leader J.B. Patnaik, who was reluctant to leave Bhubaneswar. Patnaik, though a household name in Orissa, was also considered a 'liability' within and outside the party. J.B., who had been chief minister for 14 years, had also headed the PCC thrice. According to party sources, he was virtually forced by AICC chief Sonia Gandhi to relinquish the post of leader of o0pposition in the Vidhan Sabha. However, to keep him and his followers happy he has been appointed a permanent invitee to AICC.
J.B. and Jaydeb Jena have been at war against each other that had paralysed the organisation. Besides, deteriorating health of Congress was also reflected from the fact that in the last Lok Sabha polls it could get only two seats while in the assembly polls it could get 38 out of 147 seats. It was, however, up from 20 in 2000 elections. In fact the divided and demoralised Congress in the state was literarily helping Naveen.
Appointment of Singhdeo has also added insult to the injuries of Patnaik. Party sources said Singhdeo was often described as an opponent of J.B. Patnaik in the party. "Singhdeo had reportedly refused the PCC presidentship when Patnaik was at the helm of affairs".
Now the party has pinned a lot of hopes on Singhdeo, who has been an MP six times since 1967. Former union minister Singhdeo is also vice-president of the Indian Olympic Association. But more than that, the leader who began his political career fighting corruption in the sixties is still seen by the people as an honest leader who could disarm Naveen Patnaik.
The only problem was that Singhdeo has never been in state politics, but the high command has taken care of that weakness by appointing three working presidents who are popular in their own rights in the regions. They include Union Minister of State for Rural Development Chandrasekhar Sahu for South Orissa, former union minister Bhakta Charan Das for Western Orissa and Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, an MLA, for Eastern-Coastal region.
Party sources claimed all the three leaders were selected carefully. Bhagta Charan Das, a product of J.P. movement, was instrumental in changing the face of Kalahandi while Mohapatra in his early 40s has been the face of the young generation politician in Orissa. He has been an MLA three times.
Congress' move was also based on poll arithmetic. In assembly elections 2004, BJD had contested 84 seats (won 61) and BJP contested 63 seats (won 32). However, last time while BJD had suffered an erosion of 2 per cent votes, BJP had suffered a loss of only 1 per cent votes. But in the Lok Sabha polls in 2004, BJD had won 11 seats (a gain of one seat over its 1999 tally) while BJP lost two seats over its 1999 score and won only seven seats.
Clearly, despite everything, Congress high command could hardly expect that the new team formed belatedly would be able to match the popularity and political acumen of Naveen Patnaik. Yet, the outcome the match between Naveen and Singhdeo would be interesting.