Friday, July 31, 2009

Orissa assembly passes Vedanta University Bill, 2009

Press Trust of India, July 31, 2009

Bhubaneswar, Jul 30 (PTI) The controversial Vedanta University Bill, 2009, was today passed by Orissa assembly by voice vote after certain changes, capping a marathon debate lasting over ten hours.

Under the major amendments in the bill, the varsity could not open study centres or offshore campus outside the state and not engage any third party to develop high calibre sports complexes, golf courses and other sports and recreational facilities for students, faculty, staff and the community.

The varsity which would impart education to about one lakh students with 15,000 faculty and an equal number of non-teaching staff, would take two MLAs from Orissa assembly on its board of governors and one woman belonging to ST or SC from the state.

404 starvation deaths alleged

Expressbuzz, 31st July, 2009

BHUBANESWAR: Though the State seems to have made all-round progress during the last nine years, allegations of 404 starvation deaths were made in the period raising questions whether development has percolated down to all sections. The highest number of starvation death complaints were received from Keonjhar district followed by 45 from Khurda district. However, Balasore, Gajapati, Puri and Koraput districts reported no starvation deaths during the period.
Other districts from where large number of reports were received include Bargarh, Ganjam, Jajpur, Kalahandi and Nuapada. Kalahandi reported 40 such incidents while Nuapada reported 20. Besides, 31 starvation cases were reported from Bargarh district while 33 cases were reported from Ganjam district followed by 27 from Jajpur district.
While the number cases reported in 2001, 2002 and 2003 were 64, 66 and 73 respectively, these have come down to below 40 in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Three such cases have been reported till now in 2009.
To a question from Santosh Singh Saluja of the Congress, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surja Narayan Patro said the complaints were thoroughly investigated by the State Government and found to be not true.
Starvation death complaints are investigated by a gazetted officer in the presence of the sarpanch, ward member and some villagers.
The district collector submits the report to the State Government within 48 hours of receiving the complaint.
Investigation into starvation death is conducted as per Section 39 of the Orissa Relief Code.
Though it is not mandatory to conduct postmortem of the starvation death victims as per the Relief Code, it was conducted in 28 cases, the Minister said.

DD-6 viewers rue ‘loopholes’ in Bhawanipatna

The Pioneer, 31st July, 2009

Bikash Khemka Bhawanipatna

The viewers of Doordarshan’s DD-6 Oriya channel have raised several questions over a programme recently telecast by the local Doordarshan centre of Bhawanipatna. The Central Government is investing huge amount of funds for crucial programmes like Krushi Darshan and Bharat Nirman Yojana but the importance of the programmes and its role is being sidelined by the Centre’s lackadaisical officials by repeating the programmes which have already been telecast, they alleged.Reports allege that one such old programme was aired by the local station here on June 25 at 5.30 pm which had been already aired in the past. The station telecast an interview recently in the Bharat Nirman Yojana programme where Narla BDO Nihar Ranjan Das was interviewed in the half-an-hour programme, even when Das had been transferred one-and-half years ago.Similarly, another programme was aired by the Bhawanipatna station on July 23, where one suspended EO of Bhawanipatna Municipality, who is in vigilance net now, was interviewed in a regular Thursday programme on Rajiv Gandhi Urban Renewal Scheme.Doordarshan director Rabindra Nath Mishra, who remains out of station for 15 to 20 days a month, told The Pioneer that the programme had not been aired by the Bhawanipatna station where he has repeated the cassette and confirmed us. According to sources, the programme, which is aired by the Bhawanipatna station at 5.30 pm, is telecast from the local station of Doordarshan Kendra every Thursday.Viewers have now raised their eyebrows as many people of the undivided KBK districts watch this programme regularly. A proper inquiry would reveal numerous loopholes in the Bhawanipatna centre, they said.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A good initiative by Bhakta Das in Lok Sabha: Kalahandi needs 663 crore to control flood

Samaja, July 30, 2009

High education hub dreams take shape: New building of NISER inagurated

The Statesman, July 30, 2009
High education hub dreams take shape
;Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, 29 JULY: Orissa will soon be recognised as a hub of higher education and research for the entire country, said chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik while inaugurating the new building of the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) in Bhubaneswar on 29 July. He reiterated the state government’s commitment to education, especially that of higher education, and research.
The classes of the new IIT commenced last week. IIIT, set up by the government with support from industrial houses, has also started functioning. The University College of Engineering (UCE) has Burla has been upgraded to a unitary university while steps are taken at the government engineering colleges at Berhampur and Bhawanipatna. Similarly, the Centre has been moved to give a central university at Koraput. A National Law University will also be set up in Cuttack soon. These apart, many well-known industrial houses have also evinced keen interest to take part in the higher education revolution in the sate, Mr Patnaik said.

Maintaining that NISER is a prominent institute for higher education and research in basic sciences, the chief minister announced that it would be provided with all sorts of help for infrastructural development like roads, water supply, power etc.
While the government has given 300 acres of land for the main campus at Jatni free of charge, another three acres have been given for the city office. Similarly, 30 government quarters have been given for hostels, while another 14 have been allotted for housing the faculty members.

Speaking on the occasion, institute director Prof TK Chandrasekhar informed that the PhD programme will be commencing shortly.

Among others, member of the board of governors, NISER Prof J Moharana, and higher education secretary Mr MS Padhee were present. Academics started at the institute in September 2007.

Corrupt rice mill workers suspended

The Statesman, July 30, 2009

;Statesman News Service
BHAWANIPATNA, 29 JULY: Two supply inspectors who were in charge of paddy procurement as purchasing officers for Junagarh and Jaipatna blocks in Kalahandi district have been suspended. A special audit has been initiated, sources said, adding that the action followed the report and recommendations of a squad.
The squad conducted an investigation in Kalampur, Junagarh and Jaipatna blocks on the matter of Rabi (Dalua) paddy procurement for the 2009 season, conducted field enquiry in June 2009, and submitted its report to the government.
The squad conducted field verification at Kalampur, Junagarh and Jaipatna blocks, interacted with affected farmers, verified different records and registers with purchasing officers, and also inspected about five rice mills to arrive at their conclusions, sources said.

The report says that vendors receipts, acceptance notes, paddy purchase registers, and paddy delivery registers in the purchase centres, on verification, were found to be improperly maintained and not up to date.

Verification checks carried out by the squad also exposed many erroneous entries. There were false entries and signatures of farmers missing from the purchase registers, the report says.

During field enquiries, farmers alleged before the squad that millers were purchasing paddy through middle men and paddy purchasing centres were inoperative. During the verification of stocks and records at the five rice mills, excess paddy was found, unaccounted for in the stock registers, and without acceptance notes from the concerned purchase officers.
Farmers allege that this revelation is only the tip of the ice burg, and, hence, there is need for enquiries into the conduct of all rice mills in the district.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ghumra: Orissa's fading folk dance

Merinews, July 29, 2009
CJ: Bikram Panda

Ghumra is a dance form popular among some tribal people of Orissa. The tribals of Kalahandi mainly perform this dance during religious and traditional festivals like Nuakhai or Dasera. This dance is performed only by men..

GHUMRA IS the indigeneous dance of Kalahandi and its origin can be traced to the Indravati Peninsula. The tribals of Kalahandi mainly perform this dance during religious and traditional festivals like Nuakhai or Dasera. This is a male dance, performed by 15 to 40 persons. The Gond, Kond, and Bhatra tribes traditionally perform this dance. The Mahavir Sanskrutika Anusthan of Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi, is the only supporting organisation or trust supporting the Ghumra dance in Orissa.

This writer belong to Charbahal, a small village of Kalahandi district in Orissa. During my school days, I used to get a chance to see the traditional Ghumra dance during Nuakhai Basi. But nowadays, the folk dance is almost extinct. You can only see the Ghumra dance during the Kalahandi Utsav. Is the folk dance of Kalahdni fading away? Why don't we get a chance to see the traditional folk dance during Nuakahi these days? The folk dance of Orissa, has faded away due to many reasons.

Given below are some of the solutions that could ensure the preservation of the traditional folk dance:

Government should take the necessary steps for the support of the traditional dance form Monetary support must be provided to the tribal population who ensure that the folk dance is kept alive

Charitable trusts must come forward to arrange stage shows or competitions

Awareness must be created among people to support the folk tradition

The government should establish one organisation in each subdivision of the district to support Ghumra and other folk dances

Politicians of the district should come forward to showcase Ghumra at the state as well as national level.

Central Government to build more roads in a year and renumber National Highways to facilitate easy identification

Government to build more roads in a year than achieved earlier: Kamal Nath
PIB, July 29, 2009
Rajya Sabha

The Government has geared up to launch one of the biggest highways development programme in the country. Replying to the discussions on the working of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry in the Rajya Sabha today, the Minister for Road Transport & Highways Shri kamal Nath said that the National Highways Development Programme would be stepped up so as to achieve the target of 7000 km per year. The Minister said “we will build this year more roads than the total length completed by NDA in its 5 years term”. He said, the Ministry will award road projects for a length of 15,000 km amounting to one lakh crore rupees (20,677 miillion USD) as part of its Annual Work Plan this year. A similar length of roads would also be awarded in the next financial year .Shri Nath said that the work awarded in the first 2-3 years is important as it would determine the success of the highways programme. To achieve the target, he laid stress on the capacity building , both within NHAI and also of the concessionaires, contractors and technical consultants. Terming infrastructure as the biggest challenge in the next decade, he said roads would play an important role in infrastructure development as it affects the lives of all and is an important component of economy.

The Minster while welcoming the suggestions from the members on various issues informed the House that the toll policy would be revised so as to address concerns raised by the members and also to address other issues raised by various stakeholders. On the land acquisition issue, the minister sought the co-operation of the State Chief Ministers to help in speedy land acquisition. He informed the members that separate Land Acquisition Units have been set up to expedite the process and provide just and fair compensation. The Minister, apprising the House about the new initiatives from his Ministry, said that the Ministry has appointed a Consultant to look at the feasibility of 15,600 km of Expressways in the country. This would be in addition to the plans of constructing 1000 km of expressways. The Minister also announced that the Ministry would carry out an exercise of renumbering of the National Highways to facilitate easy identification. Elaborating on this, he said that the highways would be numbered in such a way that the odd and even numbers would specify whether the highway is running from East to West or North to South. He also informed the House that the Government has approved 1200 km of National Highways and 4500 km of State Highways amounting to Rs.7300 crore in the 8 Naxal affected States. He said that more emphasis will be given for the development of less developed States. He informed the House that Rs.200 crores have been earmarked for Jharkhand in this year.

Upgradation of medical college institutions under PMSSY

"Infrastructural facilities in Medical Colleges/Hospitals"
PIB, July 29, 2009

Lok Sabha
The Government extends financial assistance to States for improvement in infrastructure facilities (civil works & equipment procurement) in Government Medical Colleges / Hospitals.

Various proposals are being received from State Governments under different central and centrally sponsored schemes, including National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) and Project for Upgradation & Strengthening of Emergency Facilities in Government Hospitals located on National Highways. Details are given below:-

(i) Under the NRHM, launched in 2005 and covering the entire country, the State Governments send proposals in their respective PIPs for improving the public health infrastructure in Community Health Centres (CHC)/District Hospitals. These are finalized in consultation with the State Government based on the resource envelope allocated for respective States.

(ii) Under PMSSY (Phase I), based on the proposal received from the State Governments, 13 existing Government Medical institutions, spread over in 10 States, are being upgraded. The infrastructure upgradation of the Medical College / Hospital institutions envisages strengthening of existing Departments / setting up of Super Speciality Blocks, Nursing Colleges, OPD Blocks, etc. The PMSSY upgradation work has started at 12 institutions and at the remaining 1, viz. RIMS Ranchi, the work will be started in August, 2009. Civil construction work in most of the institutions will be completed by the end of 2010. Similarly, under PMSSY (Phase II), based on the proposals received from the States, it has been decided to upgrade 6 existing Government Medical Colleges / Hospitals. The list of Medical Colleges proposed to be upgraded is annexed.

(iii) Under the project, “Upgradation & Strengthening of Emergency Facilities in Government Hospitals located on National Highways”, proposals were received from States and the Central Government has provided for financial assistance to 26 Government Hospitals/medical colleges in 2007-08; 55 Government Hospitals/medical colleges in 2008-09 and 15 Government hospitals/medical colleges have been approved during 2009-10 subject to a maximum of Rs. 1.5 cr. per hospital for improvement in infrastructure.

In so far as State of Kerala is concerned, under NRHM (2005-2010) and RCH II, Rs. 100.9 cr. of financial assistance has been provided for upgradation / new construction of CHCs / District Hospitals. Under PMSSY (Phase I) Scheme, Thiruvananthapuram Medical College has been taken up for upgradation at a total outlay of Rs. 120 cr. with Rs. 100 cr. contributed from Government of India and Rs. 20 cr. from the State Government. The upgradation work is in advanced stage and is likely to be completed by December, 2009

This information was given by Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

Upgradation of medical college institutions under PMSSY
Ist phase
S.No. State Name of institution
1. Andhra Pradesh: Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad.
Sree Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati

2. Gujarat: B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad

3. Jammu & Kashmir: Govt. Medical College, Jammu
Govt. Medical College, Srinagar

4. Jharkhand: Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi

5. Karnataka: Govt. Medical College, Bangalore

6. Kerala: Govt. Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram

7. Maharashtra: Grants Medical College, Mumbai

8. Tamil Nadu: Govt. Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College, Salem

9. Uttar Pradesh: Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Science, Lucknow
Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

10. West Bengal: Kolkata Medical College, Kolkata.

2nd Phase
No. State Name of institution
1. Haryana: Pandit B.D. Sharma Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak

2. Himachal Pradesh: Dr. Rajendra Prasad Govt. Medical College, Tanda

3. Maharashtra: Govt. Medical College, Nagpur

4. Punjab: Govt. Medical College, Amritsar

5.Tamil Nadu: Govt. Medical College, Madurai

6. Uttar Pradesh: Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College of AMU, Aligarh

Double whammy for Kalahandi farmers

Expressbuzz, 28th July, 2009

BHAWANIPATNA: It’s double whammy for the farming community of Kalahandi district.
Though delayed, the monsoon joy was short-lived for the kharif farmers as heavy rains played spoilsport. On the other hand, many who are into pulses cultivation are struggling with the supply of expired rhizome packets.
The district has been facing heavy rains since yesterday and this has yet again affected the paddy saplings.
Sowing of paddy seeds and de-weeding of agricultural fields had been delayed due to the late arrival of monsoon.
Though the paddy saplings sprouted in June and July, due to torrential rains in the last two weeks these saplings, especially in the riverside areas, have been damaged.
In the current kharif season, it had been targeted to cover 3,55,280 hectares under various crops, including paddy on 1,55,600 hectares. Farmers also cultivated cotton on 23,000 hectares this season.
But the cotton seeds that were sown in the first week of July have been damaged in the rains.
Deputy Director of Agriculture Prabasi Sethi said about 10 per cent of the cotton cultivated in this kharif season has been affected and some cotton farmlands will require gap filling or re-sowing.
Cotton sown before June has not been damaged. Sethi said that the administration is taking steps to facilitate community nurseries for farmers whose paddy crops have been damaged.
Pulses cultivation
A part from paddy and cotton, the district unit of the agriculture department had decided to cover 1,06,950 hectares of land under different pulses, including ‘biri’ and ‘mung’.
To boost production of ‘mung’ and ‘biri’, the agriculture department is selling micro nutrients, rhizomes and seeds on subsidy.
The rhizomes from Bangalore are being sold at Rs 10 per packet as against the market price of Rs 90. However, a few days back some of these packets were found to have expired. The shelf life of these packets is six months.
A lthough the packets have been made ready in November 2008, they were being supplied to the farmers now.
Sethi said the officials concerned have been asked to provide fresh stock of rhizomes.

Misappropriation of KBK funds rocks House

The Pioneer, 29th July, 2009

PNS Bhubaneswar

The Opposition Congress on Tuesday came down heavily on the State Government and alleged that large-scale misappropriations had been made in the KBK funds. “A thorough probe should be initiated in spending under several poverty alleviation schemes as well as MPLAD and MLALAD funds in KBK region and western parts of the State,” they alleged.Raising this issue through an adjournment motion, Opposition members alleged that huge mismanagement of funds had taken place during the implementation of poverty alleviation schemes in KBK. “Misappropriation of funds has taken place in all KBK schemes including the Biju KBK, MP LAD, MLA LAD and Western Orissa Development Fund. A probe should be initiated into it,” demanded Congress member Santosh Singh Saluja. The Opposition also sought a detail expenditure report of the Central money spent by the State in the KBK Yojana.However, the State Government has claimed that it has successfully led its movement to alleviate poverty in Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput (KBK) region and western parts in Orissa. Replying the debate, Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout on behalf of Planning and Coordination Minister AU Singhdeo said that poverty situation had changed in western, southern and northern regions of the State . “The Government would initiate stringent action if misutilisation of funds in the poverty alleviation projects comes to our notice,” Rout said. Poverty figure stands at 64.62 per cent as against 87.17 recorded in 1999-2000, the Government informed the Assembly.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CM urged to rename Kalahandi colleges after local leaders

The Pioneer, July 28, 2009
PNS | Bhubaneswar

Dr Digambara Patra, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, American University of Beirut in Lebanon, has sent a missive to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, urging him to rename the proposed engineering and agriculture colleges in Kalahandi.

He has pointed out a sense of neglect felt by the people of Kalahandi due to the lack of recognition to the eminent persons of the district. He has suggested renaming of the proposed engineering college there as Professor Bhubaneswar Behera Institute of Technology & Management (BBITM) by including management course in the proposed engineering college. Similarly, the proposed agriculture college at Bhawanipatna should be renamed as Maharaja Pratap Keshari Deo Institute of Agriculture Sciences (PKDIAS), he has suggested.

Dr Patra has pointed out that Prof Bhubaneswar Behera, who was among the well-known engineers in Orissa and India, was born in a small village in Kalahandi. His contribution towards the building of the Hirakud Dam is well recognised in India. He was also the first principal of the REC Rourkela, a former Vice-Chancellor of the Sambalpur University and a former member of the UGC.

Similarly, he has pointed out that former Maharaja of Kalahandi Pratap Keshari Deo had continuously worked for agricultural development of the region and he represented the Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituency for 30 years. His struggle and initiative to make the Upper Indravati project possible in Kalahandi is a well-established fact and the credit for green revolution in Kalahandi largely goes to this great leader.

According to Dr Patra, since many institutions in other parts of the State have been named after great leaders of the concerned regions the people of Kalahandi would appreciate if these two eminent intellectuals and leaders of Kalahandi also get similar recognition.

Rehabiliated people from Indravati project face difficulty

Dharitri, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Kalahandi’s Sitaram fights last battle against Vedanta, July 27, 2009
By Anurjay Dhal

BHUBANESWAR: After running from pillar to post, even despite tall claims of Gandhi-Nehru family scion, Rahul Gandhi, the primitive tribal Kondh living in India’s most popular hunger zone in Orissa’s infamous KBK districts of Kalahandi, have finally launched their last battle against controversial Vedanta Company owned by London based Steel maker Anil Agarwal.

With Rahul Gandhi failed to kept his promises and local MP Bhakta Charan Das and his Green Kalahandi seems keeping mum, Sitaram, a young tribal boy from the district, has arrived in London to fight against the Steel maker.

“Many laugh while many cheated us but we cannot live without our God Mountain and the forest. We will continue our peaceful struggle. It is a life and death battle and Kondh people are united on this,” said young Sitaram. ActionAid is helping the tribal community in their fight against Vedanta.

Sitaram would appeal to shareholders of Britain-headquartered metal giant Vedanta to reconsider its plan to mine bauxite from the 'sacred' Niyamgiri hill against the wish of the local tribal community.

Threatened by the proposed mining, the Kondh community living on the ecologically sensitive hill has sent their representative to appeal to company shareholders to abandon the project.

The company is set to build an open-pit mine for bauxite on the top of the hill and a refinery plant on the foot of the hill. The Supreme Court allowed Vedanta Resources to mine bauxite in Niyamgiri Hill in August last year.

Activists protesting the move said the mining will lead to dislocation of this indigenous community and destroy the local ecosystem.

The community believes that the Niyamgiri hills are the ancestral home of thousands of tribal people whose distinctive way of life and culture make them one of India’s most vulnerable indigenous groups.

Good step: Orissa govt. plans 700 crore for technical education, one ITI in each block and one polytechnique college in each district

Sambad, July 27, 2009

NOTE: A good inititiative by the Orissa Government that we have also been discussing about. Next round Orissa Govt should focus 13 zones (undivided dist) such as Balasore-Bhadrak, Baripada, Keonjhar garh, Sundergarh - Rourkela, Angul-Dhenkanla, Sambalpur-Burla, Balangir, Bhawanipatna, Phulbani, Koraput-Sunabeda, Berhampur, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to have each a real university or medical college, enginerring college and present days university. Many of them already have but which do not have should get preference like Boudh-Phulbani, Balangir, etc

Vedanta should set up the university in the backward KBK where the company is establishing its aluminium plant: former union minister K C Lenka

Lenka fumes over Vedanta varsity Bill
The Statesman, July 27, 2009

BHUBANESWAR, 26 JULY: Former Union minister, Mr KC Lenka, today voiced his protest against the proposed Vedanta University for which a Bill has been introduced in the Assembly.
Mr Lenka alleged that the 6,000 acres sought for the project will be used in real estate business and not for the university.
"If Vedanta group of industries is so keen on education, they should set up the university in the backward KBK (erstwhile undivided Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi districts) region where the company is establishing its aluminium plant," said Mr Lenka.
He also questioned why the government had hurriedly introduced a Bill at the fag end of the current session.
"The Bill may be passed in the Assembly but poor farmers of affected villages will never allow the project," he said.
Several Opposition Congress members had raised objections when the Bill was introduced in the Assembly yesterday.
Earlier the Bill had, in fact been listed during the last Session of the Assembly prior to the 2009 elections but several legislators, cutting across party lines had pleaded for time saying it required detailed examination as it involved a lot of related legislations and complexities.
The government had agreed to this view and prosponed the introduction of the Bill. It may be noted here that Mr Umaballav Rath, former Congress leader who switched over to the BJP before the last elections, has been leading a movement against the project in Puri-Konark belt.

Revised pay eludes special school staff

Expressbuzz, July 24, 2009

BHAWANIPATNA: Despite declaration by Government, the teaching and non-teaching staff of Red Cross School for Blind, Deaf and Dumb, Bhawanipatna, are deprived of revised pay and other benefits like GPF, EPF and service book facilities. Around 600 staff working in 52 special schools for blind, deaf and dumb and mentally-challenged in the State are also facing the similar problem despite notification by Government.

These schools are running under the guidance of Women and Child Development Department.

In an order issued in 2005, the Government said eligible teaching staff are eligible for revised pay scale with effect from 2003. However the order is yet to be implemented.

The employees are getting salary as per 6th Pay Commission.

An enquiry further revealed that in Bhawanipatna school, the service books of the teaching and non-teaching staff are yet to be opened. Thus staff are deprived of GPF and EPF benefits.

Incidentally in an advertisement on October 4, 2008, Women and Child Development Department while highlighting benefits accorded to physically-handicapped persons mentioned that teaching and non-teaching staff of the schools getting grant-in-aid would get pay on a par with Government employees with increased dearness allowance of 35 per cent.

Ironically despite all these Government notifications and advertisements, uncertainty writs large on the faces of employees. This may affect the normal functioning of the sensitive institutions, it is feared.

Tribals demonstrate against Niyamgiri mining

The Pioneer, July 27, 2009

Bhawanipatna: Hundreds of tribals of Lanjigarh block under the banner of Green Kalahandi demonstrated on Saturday against the proposed mining in Niyamgiri hill by Vedanta Alumina Ltd, blocking the main road at the bottom of the hill. The tribals said they would not leave their land to the company as it was their source of livelihood. Tribals living in Niyamgiri hills also expressed their concern over the proposed mining of the industry in the meeting. Activists of Green Kalahandi alleged that 10 tribals have been flown to London by the company where the annual general meeting is going to be held on Monday to express their satisfaction in favour of establishment of the industry. When contacted, Vedanta officials denied that any tribals have been flown to London. The meeting was presided over by Green Kalahandi’s Rajendra Bharti. Among others, president of Niyamgiri Surakhya Samiti Kumti Majhi, Lingaraj Azad and Niranjan Bidrohi were present.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Professor Gopa Bandhu Behera's suggestion to rename Engineering & Agriculture Colleges at Bhawanipatna after Bhubaneswar Behera & Pratap Keshari Deo

... .. We have suggested that Engineering college should have also a management course designating the institute as ' Professor Bhubaneswar Behera institute of technology and Management(BBITM) and the agri college as Maharaja PKDeo institute of Agri. sciences(PKAS) . ......

OUR INITIATIVE: Writing letter to CM

Sub:- Renaming Government Engineering College Kalahandi

Dear honorable chief minister, Mr. Patnaik,

We learn that people of Kalahandi feel that great leaders and intellectuals from the region are not well recognized by the Odisha state Government. Odisha state Government has named Medical/Engineering Colleges/University in Berhampur, Samablpur, Cuttack and Balasore regions after those great leaders of Odisha from those regions, but in case of Kalahandi it was not done.

Professor Bhubaneswar Behera was among the well known Engineers in Odisha/India and was born in a small village in Kalahandi. His contribution towards building Hirakud Dam, and as first principal of REC Rourkela , former Vice Chancellor of Sambalpur University and former member of UGC is well recognized in India . In many different occasions he had represented India/Odisha and was also a well known story teller in Odia literature. He took a pioneering role by proposing upper Indravati project in Kalahandi in pre-independence period to the former Maharaja of princely state of Kalahandi. We request you to rename Government College of Engineering Kalahandi after this great son of the soil as “Professor Bhubaneswar Behera Institute of Technology & Management (BBITM)” by including management course in the proposed engineering college.

Former Maharaja of Kalahandi Pratap Keshari Deo had continuously worked for agricultural development of the region and he represented Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituency for 30 years. His struggle and initiative to make upper Indravati project possible in Kalahandi is well established from pre-independence to post-independence period of India . The credit for green revolution in Kalahandi solely goes to this great leader. People of Kalahandi will be very happy if the proposed agriculture college in Bhawanipatna is renamed after this great leader as “Maharaja Pratap Keshari Deo Institute of Agriculture Sciences (PKDIAS)”.

We hope and pray you will take appropriate action in these regards.

Thank you and best regards

Orissa eyeing for NRI varsity, July 26, 2009

Orissa is eyeing to set up a Non-Resident Indians (NRI)s Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs)University in the state for which Non Resident Oriyas(NRO) has shown keen interest.

While the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) has invited Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for establishing these PIO/NRI Universities in India from reputed Indian Trusts or Registered Societies, Department of Higher Education is making moves in this regard.

Debi Prasad Mishra, Minister of the Department of Higher Education ( DHE) has asked the mandarins in the department to go ahead with the proposal.

Government of India proposes to establish four universities in India (at places/cities other than Bangalore) for children of PIOs and NRIs.

MOIA has already cleared a NRI University in Bangalore, while 4 others will be established in other parts of the country.

Madhu Sudan Padhi, Secretary DHE is busy in planning for the proposed a new institution, as the dateline for sending the proposal is on 31 July said sources.

Among others, leading NROs Professor Chitta Baral, Dr.Rabi Mohapatra and Mr.Dhirendra Kumar Kar has urged upon the Government of Orissa to speed up the proposal as dateline is getting nearer.

They have urged Mr.Mishra not to miss the bus as other states are queuing up for the same.

With Orissa Government is keen to develop the state as Knowledge Hub, NRI University will go a long way in this regard, feel Mr.Kar.

Vedanta University Bill re-introduced in House: Demand to establish Sri Sri University in KBK

"Vedanta University Bill re-introduced in House"
The Pioneer, July 26,2009
Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneshwar

The State Government on Saturday re-introduced the controversial bill on setting up a multi-disciplinary world class university by Vedanta Resource Corporation in the State Assembly. However, the Opposition Congress protested the move of the Government. Earlier in 2008, the Vedanta University Bill-2009 was moved in the House in the Assembly but could not be formally introduced in the face of disapproval from the Opposition.

Introducing the bill, Higher Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said the proposed university would have student strengths of one lakh with 15,000 faculty strength. Earlier, the State Government sanctioned 10,000 acre of land to the university. "But later we have reduced the land requirement to 6,000 acre. 4,000 acre has already been acquired," Mishra informed the House. The ruling party members pointed argued that it would bring Rs 15,000 crore investment opportunity in the higher education sector.

However, the Congress opposed the bill questioning the acquiring of vast tracts of land for a university." The real intention could be taking over 6,000 acre of land in Konark-Puri marine drive in the name of setting up the university," said Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan, adding that Vedanta had no experience in the education sector.

He further said that the Government should not allot such a huge chunk of land to the trust. "You may pass the bill in Assembly as the ruling party has numbers in the House. But the people will not forgive the Government for giving Lord Jagannath's land to Vedanta," the Harichandan said, adding that the University of London started in 16 acres and now only 19 acres of land is with the University.

Four other bills including the Institute of Charted Financial Analyst of India University (Orissa) Bill-2009, Sri Sri University Bill-2009, Code of Criminal Procedure (Orissa Amendment) Bill-2009 and Orissa Government Land Settlement (Amendment) Bill, 2009 were also introduced in the Assembly.

Congress member Anup Sai opposed the ICFAI University, Orissa, Bill-2009. " Such a university would not serve the interest of the State," he said. "ICFAI University had been established in at least seven Congress ruled States in the country. Therefore, opposing it was not accepted by the Government," Mishra said adding that the proposed university would meet the requirement in the changing industrial scenario in the State.

Congress member Santosh Singh Saluja opposed the Sri Sri University on the ground that it should be located in the KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region or any backward district. The two other bills introduced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro did not face any opposition.

Bill Gates to help Orissa farmers, July 25, 2009
New Delhi:25/July/2009

Arabinda Padhee is an innovative mandarin.

So the Director Agriculture and Food Production of Orissa, is always busy for looking better opportunities for the farming communities.

With the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), showing interest to support the Orissa farmers, Dr.Padhee rushed to grab an opportunity for the same.

BMGF, which is the largest transparently operated private foundation in the World, is going to fund further in agricultural research in South Asia in general and Orissa in particular.

This unique support is going to help the poor rice growing farmers of India.

The Foundation is at present promoting various health related activities in India, particularly in the field of AIDS and Polio.
However, grants for development of stress tolerant rice varieties for poor farmers in Asia and Africa have now, brought lot of goodwill for the BMGF.

This was revealed in a recent meeting taken by Bill Gates himself here on Thursday.

He is in India to receive the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development on behalf of the BMGF.

The Gates Foundation funded STRASA (Stress Tolerant Rice for Poor Farmers in Africa and South Asia ) project of IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) has now come up with rice varieties those are suitable for problematic conditions and soils.

Orissa was the first State in India to release Swarna Sub-1, a variety having tolerance to flash flooding for about 2 weeks.

This variety, having the same yield potential like popular Swarna variety of Orissa, can withstand water submergence for about 10-12 days.

Trials conducted by Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack and the OUAT have shown promising results.

And we are going to multiply the seeds material this season, so that it could find large scale adoption by farmers in coming years, said Dr. Padhee, Director, Agriculture and Food Production.

Varieties tolerant to drought conditions, which are in advanced stage of research could equally be very useful for rain fed rice farmers of Orissa, said Dr. Padhee.

He further said that saline tolerant varieties of rice would also be popularized in coastal districts of the State having such problematic soils.

The CRRI and the State Agriculture University are going to help the Agriculture Department for this unique initiative.

Dr. Padhee along with the Deputy Director General of ICAR and the Director, CRRI was invited to meet Bill Gates here.

Senior Scientists of IRRI, based in the Philippines , Dr. David Mackill and Dr. U.S. Singh also joined the discussions.

The STRASA project is expected to have a positive impact on the poor farmers of Eastern India, said sources.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

XIMB plans for varsity

XIMB ready for varsity, July 24, 2009

The Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) ( is on expansion mode.

So the top most management institute of the State is eyeing for establishing a university, said sources.

With Fr. P T Joseph at the helm, spreading out move of XIMB is high in agenda, admitted an educationist.

XIMB is among the top 10 B-schools in the country has already planned for expansion with the Jesuit Society given the clearance for it.

There are 30 Jesuit Universities in the USA.

In USA there are 3 Xavier Universities in Chicago, Cincinnati and Louisiana.

XIMB University will be the first varsity in the country, so authorities have decided to bring in several new programs to its fold.

XIMB’s Governing Board has already approved new programs, like School of Educational Management, School of Health Management and School of Public Governance.

Ph.D program and Bed courses are planned to start from Berhampur and Sambalpur.

However the authorities need enough land for the varsity, for which they need state support.
While State Government is providing land for Vedanta and Sri Sri University, XIMB authorities are also expecting similar favor.

However if Xavier University comes up in Orissa, it will be a top notch institution the country, feel educationists.

Special scheme on anvil for development of Lanjigarh

The Pioneer, 25th July, 2009

PNS BhubaneswarA Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is being set up for the welfare of the people of the Lanjigarh area in Kalahandi district. The move has been initiated by the Department of Steel & Mines to set up a Lanjigarh Project Area Development Foundation (LPADF) in line with the judgement of the Supreme Court. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has green-signalled the SPV to get registered as a non-profit making organisation. The LPDAF will be registered under section of 25 of the Companies Act-1956 as a non-profit making company. The SC, in its judgements on November 23, 2007 and August 8, 2008, had asked the State Government to float the SPV with the entire funding from the Sterlite Industries India Limited (SIIL). The LPDAF will be headed by the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (South) Satyabrat Sahu. There will be nine directors, out of them five will be from the State Government and the Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) and the remaining five from the SIIL. While Collectors of Kalahandi and Rayagada will be among the directors, the conservator of forests based at Bhawanipatna will also hold office in the foundation. The OMC GM will be one of the directors. From the SIIL’s side, the Chief Executive Officer, Vice-President (Mines), General Manager (HR) and Chief Financial Officer of the Lanjigarh Project will be taken on the Board. The Foundation will engage in activities for welfare and development of the people of the area within a radius of 50 km of Vedanta’s Lanjigrah project. People belonging to the poor and weaker section in general and tribals in particular will be taken care of by the SPV.

Locals allege poor quality work from WODC fund

The Pioneer, 25th July, 2009

Bikash Khemka Bhawanipatna

As Kalahandi is regarded as a backward district in Orissa, the district’s name was included in Western Orissa Development Council (WODC) for development and funds were released for various development projects. Cores of rupees have been spent in Kalahandi district in the last couple of years. However, the locals of Golamunda Block alleged poor quality works were taken up under WODC funds and other funds.The locals of Golamunda Block informed the District administration and other State Government officials about the poor quality works done by local contractors in WODC, MLALAD, GRPF and SPF. Around Rs 45 lakh of low quality works have been done in connivance with the former MLA and Block chairman of Golamunda and their favourite contractors, alleged the villagers. When BDO Gourachandra Parichha did not allow the illegal practice, he was suspended. Locals are now demanding a high-level inquiry. Kalipur Check Dam estimated at around Rs 10 lakh in Khaliakani GP, Kendupani Check Dam at Rs 10 lakh in Golamunda, Lohren Ghat Check Dam at Rs 5 lakh in Golamunda Block, digging work of a pond at Rs 15 lakh in Haldi Bhati Chowk under Haldi Bhati GP and Jayantpur Check Dam at Rs 5 lakh in Mahaling GP have been alleged as poor quality works from the WODC fund. Besides, locals have also complained about the dismal quality of Liad-Khursud Road in Mahaling GP estimated at Rs 3 lakh released from the MLALAD fund. Surprisingly, among the above works, the Lohren Ghat Check Dam in Golamunda Block projected at around Rs 5 lakh, which is a Minor Irrigation Project, has already been completed by a contractor without any prior permission. When contacted, MI Executive Engineer Mahanandia told The Pioneer that he has not given any permission to the Golamunda BDO to complete the Lohren Ghat Check Dam. Further the Golamunda BDO told that he has not given any work to the contractor to do so. It proves that the contractors are completing the works without permission after getting information about the WODC projects and then get the funds released through the pressure of the MLAs to the Government officials after completion of the work. Reports allege that one officer had even received a phone call from the former MLA to grant permission for the construction of Lohren Ghat Check Dam.The Assistant Project Director of DRDA told The Pioneer that projects worth Rs 5 lakh and above never reaches his table from the WODC fund. It is further reported that though the WODC projects are not tendered, sometimes it is partly distributed as high-value work as it is subjected to the local MLA’s recommendation. This corrupt practice is definitely going to continue whosoever becomes the MLA. The entire system has therefore to be reformed for impartial distribution of the WODC works otherwise it will continue like this forever.

People depend on wild mushrooms

Expressbuzz, 25th July, 2009

PARADIP: They survive on wild mushrooms and saag. With the vegetables out of reach, the poor people in remote areas of Jagatsinghpur district have found a means to quench their hunger in the inedible forest produce.
In what seems to be a grim reminder of the Kalahandi situation, where famished people died after consuming mango kernels and poisonous mushrooms, several families of Raghunathpur, Naugaon and other areas of Jagatsinghpur district are struggling for a square meal .
More than 50 persons of Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts have already been hospitalised after having a certain type of mushroom while several other have complained of stomach trouble and other related diseases in the villages of these two districts. Many like Parbati Sahoo of Gokilpur village under Raghunathpur block have little option given that the vegetables sell at Rs 15 to Rs 30 a kg.
‘‘With seven mouths to feed and no regular source of income to purchase vegetables we collect ‘saag’ and a few `mushrooms’, Parbati said. Her husband and three children took ill after consuming wild mushroom and were admitted into Naugaon hospital.
Nearly 30 villagers of Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts had been hospitalised after taking wild mushroom. A medicine specialist confirmed that certain varieties of wild mushrooms are dangerous for health and result in stomach trouble.
Potatoes, brinjal, parbal, ladies finger, arum, pumpkin, snake gourd, ridge gourd are being sold in the rural market for Rs 20 to Rs 30 a kg. Farmers, on the other hand, said prices have gone up as many vegetable crops were destroyed by monkeys and bulls.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sunabeda in Koraput district is the choice for Central University of Orissa by MHRD

Site selected for central varsity, Bhubaneswar:24/July/2009

The new Central University will be established at Sunabeda, 17 kilometer away from Koraput.

R D Sahay, Director Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has informed the Department of Higher Education (DHE) here on 23 July.

In a letter to the Secretary DHE, Mr.Sahay has informed that MHRD has decided in principle to set up the Central University in the 450 acre of land at Sunabeda.

A five-member team headed by Sunil Kumar, Joint Secretary, Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on 14 June visited both the sites, Koraput and Sunabeda in Koraput district for the new Central University.

Number one choice for the team was the site at Sunabeda, which lies by the side of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The land is on a plain surface and is better located than the site which is 3 kilometers away from Koraput with an area of 575 acres.

The Koraput site lies in a hilly area and 4 hills are dividing the place, making it preferable for a hill station, not a university campus, said an official.

The place has no independent access to the land and it has to be through the land of the Indian Railways.

Over the land 132 KV power line has been erected, making it impossible to construct any structure unless these lines are shifted elsewhere.

However the team reportedly favored the Sunabeda site, which for them was more suitable for the new University.
The Team which included Dr.Renu Batra, Joint Secretary of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Prof. A N Rai, Vice Chancellor Mizoram University, Madhu Sudan Padhi, Commissioner-cum-Secretary of the Higher Education department and Surabhi Benarjee, Vice Chancellor of the CUO.

With the intention of MHRD is clear about the site, DHE will move to Koraput district administration to acquire the land for the varsity, said sources.

Lanjigarh SPV floated, July 24, 2009

A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is being set up for the welfare and development of the people of Lanjigarh area in kalahandi district.

The move is made by the Department of Steel & Mines to set up the Lanjigarh Project Area Development Foundation (LPADF) in line with the judgment of the Supreme Court.

Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister has green signaled for the SPV to get registered as a non-profit making organization.

The LPDAF will be registered under section of 25 of The Companies Act-1956 as a non-profit making company.

Supreme Court in its judgment on 23 November, 2007 and on 8 August, 2008, has asked the State Government to float the SPV with entire funding from the Sterlite Industries India Limited (SIIL).

The LPDAF will be headed by the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (South) Satyabrat Sahu.

There will be 9 Directors in the SPV out of which 5 from the Government of Orissa (GOO) and Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC), rest 5 from SIIL.

While Collectors of Kalahandi and Rayagada will be Directors, Conservator of Forests based at Bhawanipatna will hold office in the Foundation.

The General Manager of Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) will be one of its Director, said sources.

From SIIL side, the Chief Executive Officer, Vice President (Mines), General Manager (HR) and Chief Financial Officer of the Lanjigarh Project will be taken in the Board.

The Foundation will engage in activities for welfare and development of the people of the area within a radius of 50 kilometer of Lanjigrah Project.

People belonging to poor and weaker section in general and tribals in particular will be taken care of by the SPV, said sources.

GOO, OMC and SIIL jointly will make all out efforts for development of health, education, irrigation, connectivity, child care, child & women development, agriculture, farming and self help group development etc.

Vedanta donates ambulance to Sai Samiti

The Pioneer, July 24, 2009

Lanjigarh: The Vedanta Aluminum Limited, Lanjigarh donated an ambulance to the Satya Sai Seva Samiti at Ambodola here on Thursday. The company’s chief operating officer Dr Mukesh Kumar handed over the keys of the vehicle to the Samiti’s convener K Tripati Rao. The ambulance will be used for facilitating emergency medical services to people of the area. Addressing the gathering Dr Mukesh said, “The ambulance will help people to get access to health services in emergencies.”

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No good chances for kharif crops

Expressbuzz, July 23, 2009

BHUBANESWAR: A Fortnight ago, farmers waited with bated breath for the arrival of monsoon amidst fear of an impending drought. Rains came and wreaked havoc. Now, the State faces the crisis of too much water. Prospects of kharif crops appear gloomy in the face of a moody weather.

While the late arrival of monsoon delayed agricultural operation by more than two weeks, the torrential rains triggered by low pressure have further delayed the sowing operation.

The deluge has damaged kharif crops over one lakh hectare. Seed sowing of pulses, oil seeds, spices and vegetables has been completed in 24.30 lakh hectares by July 20 as against 29.97 lakh hectares last year.

Sowing operation could not be taken up in over 5.60 lakh hectares. Excessive rains in the last two weeks triggered flash floods inundating a vast stretch in coastal, western and southern parts of the State and causing extensive damage to standing crops.

The extreme weather condition is not favourable for germination of seeds, Director of Agriculture and Food Production Arabinda Padhee told this paper.

However, transplanting and deweeding operation is on full swing in many parts of the State, he added.

If the Met department prediction of another low pressure over the Bay of Bengal within a couple of days comes true, it will further damage the crop prospects, he said.

The coastal districts of Bhadrak, Balasore, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara and western districts of Balangir and Kalahandi are the worst-hit in terms of kharif operation.

Padhee said the Government has already supplied 4.27 lakh quintals of certified paddy seeds to the farmers while there is a stock of 33,000 quintals for contingency measures.

The chemical fertiliser stock in the State is comfortable except muriate of potash (MoP).

The Agriculture department is keeping a close watch on the distribution of chemical fertilisers to farmers, he said.

Attributing the shortage of MoP to short supply by the Centre, Padhee said State Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout took up the issue with Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikanta Jena.

Jena assured him of ensuring that the State demand for MoP is met in time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Capturing the spirit of Rath Yatra around the world- an ETV Oriya initiative

Personal Source, July 22, 2009

For the 4th. consecutive year 'ETV Oriya' is going to present the innovative audio-visual capsule, titled “DARIAAPARI JAGANNATH” (the yatra of Lord Jagannath across the globe), on 22nd July 2009 at 11.05pm. It will be re-telecast at 9.00am on 23rd., Thursday. Main objective of this programme is to track the spirit of Jagannath Rath Yatra world wide, and present the same before the global audience in a comprehensive format, Mr. Nilambar Rath, the news head of ETV Oriya has said.

As a part of this effort, ETV has tried to gather adequate footage, exclusively for the channel, from various overseas locations including New York, New Jersey, Nashville, Atlantic city and Tokya etc.

Focus of the programme is on the Oriya communities living in different parts of the world and organizing Rath Yatra year after year. In many places Oriya societies have built up independent Jagannath temples and following all the rituals of the Lord in the pattern of Puri. Similarly, at some other places, they have installed the deities in existing Hindu temples and Jagannath has become prime attraction for hundreds of Indian and non-Indians. Especially, Rath Yatra has become a grand socio-cultural and spiritual occasion for Indian communities as well as for the local residents. 'Dariaapari Jagannath', a unique concept in Oriya language television, portrays the above ambience and demonstrates the enthusiasm of people across nations.

Like the last year, ETV has also made all arrangements to place those stories in the website of the Network. It can be viewed at within a week from the date of its telecast. The web publication will not only attract a good number of overseas visitors but also can cater to the people in India (even in Orissa), those who want to go through the content at their convenience. More importantly, anybody can view these audio-visual files through Internet anytime and refer to friends and relatives in India and abroad, said Mr. Rath.

The global Oriyas have created a new face for themselves and Lord Jagannath, who is synonymous to Oriya identity, has become a part of their 'parichay' (identity). Not only that, the Lord has also become a deep driving force for the folks wherever they are in the globe. Thus Rath Yatra has become a grand socio-cultural platform for millions of Oriyas living overseas. ETV, through its various efforts, has been trying to focus on the best part of the same.

It is really a tough task to organize relevant and adequate footage and reactions of Oriya people from various countries as far as content and technicalities are concerned. But, ETV Oriya News team has been doing it sincerely and successfully over the past four years. According to Mr. Nilambar, this spectacular programme is the outcome of the creativity and dedication of his reporting and production teams and the huge strength and right attitude of his network. It has also been made possible because of the sincere efforts and great interest of the Oriya people, especially the organisers, across the nations, confirms Mr. Rath.

People in 5 blocks of Nuapada live on high-flouride water

The Pioneer, July 22, 2009
Rakesh Joshi | Bargarh

Palsipani village under Komna block of Nuapada district is one of the worst-affected areas due to excessive content of fluoride in the water. At least 10 persons have already succumbed to fluorosis in the village. When locals raised the issue before the authorities, they sealed the tube wells assuring to provide fluoride-free drinking water on a war footing. However, no action has been taken till date.

Recently, Sahabhagi Vikash Abhiyan (SVA), an NGO conducted a survey on groundwater in five blocks of the district — Nuapada, Komna, Boden, Khadial and Sinapali — and found that more than 1,71,895 people in 205 villages are severely affected with bone, dental and neurological problems. Reason: excessively high content of fluoride in their drinking water.

The medically accepted limit for fluoride in water is 0.5 to 1.0 mg in one litre which is beneficial for dental health. But in the five blocks of Nuapada district, it touches 3.5 mg a litre. As a result, many villagers were suffering from fluorosis, which can only be prevented, and not cured.

The water consumed for domestic purposes is mostly groundwater and these aquifers are high in fluoride content, causing water to become a health hazard.

Scores of people with bent knees and brown, broken teeth can be seen in the area while they are still in their youth. Even small children are showing symptoms of chronic fluorosis which passes from the mother to the child in the womb.

Two villagers — Pitamber Nial (45) and Rupin Harpal (35) — affected with fluorosis said villagers had approached the authorities with the issue. They just came and sealed the tube wells after assuring them to provide fluoride-free water on a war footing. No step has been taken so far, they said.

“If the Government fails to solve our problem at the earliest, we will stage demonstration and protest for fluoride-free water in our village,” the villagers said.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Letter to CM by Professor Chitta Baral to have two campuses of IGNTU in Orissa: one in Kalahandi and other in Kandhamal

Dear Esteemed Chief Minister and Higher Education Secretary:

Recently in response to an RTI query MHRD Delhi wrote that "it had already been decided by this Ministry that the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University could consider establishment of one of its off-campuses in Kalahandi district during the 11th Plan Period,subject to availability of resources."

This has now been reported in Samaja (see attachment) and possibly in other papers.

Earlier in December 2008 when Mr. Sharad Pawar was visiting Orissa, you had demanded that a branch of IGNTU be established in Kandhamal. (See Pioneer;, Zee news, a PTI report in Hindu)

Please follow up on that and now that in their RTI response MHRD has mentioned Kalahandi, please ask for two campuses of IGNTU, one in Kalhandi and one in Kandhamala. They can not say NO to Kandhamala and since they have already mentioned Kalahandi in their RTI response they can not now say NO to that.

If it will help we can fax (or scan and email) a copy of the RTI response to your office.


Chitta Baral
Professor, Arizona State University

Another Letter by Dr. Sanjib Kumar Karmee:

Respected Chief Minister of Orissa and Higher Education Secretary


I am sure, you are aware of the opening of regional centers of Indira
Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) in the different states of
India. The University has special provisions for the admission of
women, and persons belonging to the weaker sections of the society (in
particular, the Scheduled Castes and scheduled Tribes).

Many districts of our state are predominantly inhabited by the tribal
communities. The higher education facilities and medical facilities in
these hill districts are inadequate.

This would be of great help in promoting education among the tribal
communities in Orissa; if regional campuses of the IGNTU will be
established in Kandhamal and Kalahandi.

Unfortunately both these places are well-known inside and outside the
country for wrong reasons.


Earlier in December 2008 your administration has proposed to the
central govt. for the opening of a branch of IGNTU in Kandhamal
( However, your forgetful
govt. has not followed up this matter.

Recently, in response to an RTI query MHRD Delhi wrote that "it had
already been decided by this Ministry that the IGNTU could consider
establishment of one of its off-campuses in Kalahandi district during
the 11th Plan Period, subject to availability of resources." This has
now been reported in various news papers.

Now, the state govt. should pursue this matter seriously, and ask for
two campuses of IGNTU, one in Kalahandi and one in Kandhamal. Also,
please ask for medical colleges in both the places as Orissa govt.
does not have enough funds for establishing govt. medical colleges in
these tribal dominated districts.

Thanking you with best regards,

Dr.Sanjib Kumar Karmee, PhD
Biocatalysis and Organic Chemistry group
Department of Biotechnology
Delft University of Technology
Julianalaan 136, 2628 BL Delft,
The Netherlands

My Version:

Dear honorable chief minister Mr. Patnaik,

You are well aware that Kalahandi has been struggling for a Central University since decades. Nothing had been achieved so far except recently proposed Engineering College by Orissa state Government.

Many people of Kalahandi also feel that at the last moment Orissa Government betrayed the feeling of local people by announcing the Central University of Orissa (CUO) in Koraput.

However, to know the fate of our petition to the central Government on CUO in Kalahandi through RTI route we were informed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India that “it had already been decided by this Ministry that the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) could consider establishment of one of its off-campuses in Kalahandi district during the 11th Plan Period, subject to availability of resources."

Though state Government had earlier proposed a similar branch of IGNTU in Phulbani in Dec 2008, the reply received from MHRD indicates the decision to establish one of its off-campuses in Kalahandi was made before Dec 2008.

The aspiration of people of Kalahandi to have Central University of Orissa in Kalahandi did not materialize due to larksome support received from the state Government. However, proposed off campus of IGNTU in Kalahandi by MHRD may release some of the ongoing tension for a Central University in the region.

IGNTU has already started its campuses in Amarkantak and Manipur. Now when the MHRD is willing to establish off campus of IGNTU in Kalahandi, we urge you to kindly expedite and facilitate the process so that an IGNTU establish it’s off campus with a medical college attached to it in Kalahandi from the academic year 2010-11.

If the state Government will support the long standing demand of Kalahandi people and take proper initiative IGNTU may be possible in Kalahandi from the coming academic year. State Govt. can also simultaneously pursue to establish another branch of IGNTU in Kandhamal.

I hope you will take appropriate action and write to the central Government to start off campus of IGNTU in Kalahandi.

Thank you and with best regards

Time line on development of IGNTU campus in Kalahandi and/or Kandhamal

May, 2008: Delegation from Kalahandi met Orissa Chief Minister (OCM) Naveen Patanik to establish Central University of Orissa (CUO) in Kalahandi

June-July, 2008: Site identified for CUO and sent to OCM through district collector of Kalahandi

Aug 7-8, 2008: Announcement of Central University of Orissa in Koraput by Orissa Chief Minister

Aug 8-31, 2008: People of Kalahandi wrote to prime minister of India (PMI) and OCM on the injustice made to Kalahandi on CUO

[my letter dated on Aug 17, 2008 to the Prsident and copy to the PMI, was forwarded by the PMO to Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for appropriate action, Ref: PMO ID No .20I 3 I 2008 - PMP4/1 6 73 73 9 dated2 7- 08-2008, I received a copy of it in Sept, 2008 ]

Aug 23, 2008: A team from Kalahandi along with Kalahandi Sikhya Vikas Parisad met the OCM for establishing Central University in Kalahandi, which created a stirr at all orissa level. The CM promised to give two institutions to Kalahandi but shall announce later because of Municipalty elections. About 40 people had gone and Prof. G. B. Behera presented a CD for the central university. The CM was told bluntly as a result two state Govt. institutions, Engg College & Agriculture College, were later on announced by state Govt. However, people of Kalahandi continued and are continuing for their prime demand for a Central University in Kalahandi.

Aug-Sept, 2008: Mr. Bikram Keshari Deo, MP from Kalahandi wrote to MHRD for locating CUO in Kalahandi against the proposal made by Orissa Govt. in Koraput

Dec 19, 2008: OCM demanded Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU)branch in Kandhamal (Phulbani) to the central Govt

Jan, 2009: People of Kalahandi did not comment on OCM demand for IGNTU branch in Kandhamal indicating people of Kalahandi equally wants development of Kandhamal and Koraput, but they were againt injustice made to them by OCM.

July 19, 2009: Through RTI route Madhusmita Panda received a letter from MHRD saying:

"It may,however, be informed that on receipt of a letter from Shri Bikram Keshari Dev, Member of Parliament about locating the Central University of Orissa in Kalahandi district instead of Koraput district as recommended by the State Government, it had already been decided by this Ministry that the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University could consider establishment of one of its off-campuses in Kalahandi district during the 11th Plan Period,subject to availability of resources. No separate action was,therefore,called for on letter dated 17.8.2008 of Shri Digambara Patra on this issue."

This letter also means that decision for off campus of IGNTU in Kalahandi was already taken in around Sept - Nov 2008, much before the demand made by OCM for branch of IGNTU in Kandhamal in Dec, 2008.

We hope each Kalahandi and Kandhamal get a campus of IGNTU.

Draft report on the impact assessment study of Vedanta Aluminum’s refinery project at Lanjigarh to be submitted soon

ASCI to submit draft report on R&R study soon
Business Standrad, July 21, 2009

The draft report on the impact assessment study of nine industrial projects in Orissa is expected to be submitted soon to the state government by the Hyderabad-based Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI).

Sources said, ASCI has completed the process of primary data collection in respect of these projects and it would submit its draft report to the government within a week. ASCI was engaged by the state government last year to undertake the impact assessment study of nine industrial projects in Orissa to examine and understand the issues pertaining to rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R). The state government had selected nine projects- Vedanta Aluminum’s refinery project at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, the steel projects of JSL, Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL) and Bhusan Power and Steel at Kalinganagar in Jajpur district, Mahanadi Coalfield Limited’s (MCL) coal mining project at Anugul, Vedanta’s aluminium smelter project at Jharsuguda, Harabhangi medium irrigation project in Gajapati district and the Badanala irrigation project in Rayagada district.

The objective of the study was to understand the impact of these projects on the displaced and other affected families. Moreover, the purpose of undertaking the study was to examine the status of the resettlement colonies, find out the strengths and limitations of the R&R process, assess living standards of the people in the post displacement period and test whether the compensation packages have added value towards sustainable livelihood.

The study would also assess the impact of displacement on the marginalized groups like SC & ST and check whether their community life has strengthened or deteriorated in the post displacement period.

Besides, the study is also aimed at knowing gender specific vulnerabilities and risk in R&R, assess the effectiveness of the various service delivery mechanism established under various policies and examine the effectiveness of the mechanism dealing with grievance, compensation and rehabilitation.

Kalahandi is now famous for its high quality rice says Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Pushpendra Singh Deo

20 lakh migrants earn 3,000 cr a year
Expressbuzz, July 21, 2009

BHUBANESWAR: An independent study says migrant labourers from Orissa earn close to Rs 3,000 crore every year but there is no smooth remittance of their hard-earned money to their dependents in the State.

An assessment by Prabasi Odiya Surakhya Manch says that at any given point of time, at least 20 lakh people are working outside the State, mostly in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and Kerala.

Orissa’s position in terms of the number of migrant labour stands at three, next to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. While the number of migrants to AP is about two lakh, Gujarat alone attracts about 10 lakh. Other states draw out more than eight lakh migrant labourers. Eighty per cent of these labourers migrate on their own without any valid registration.

The study says that about Rs 2,000 crore is earned by labourers working in Gujarat while the share of Surat-based labourers is Rs 1,000 crore annually. The analysis says that at least 4.5 lakh workers are employed throughout the year at an average monthly wage of Rs 4,000.

They remit about half to their kin back in the State.

However, difficult remittance processes like opening of acccounts in banks, post offices, high charges on alternate methods, delay in transfer and disbursement and corruption take their toll on the actual economic benefit that could accrue to the State through contribution of these labourers.

According to Minister of State for Labour and Employment Pushpendra Singh Deo, only about 1.18 lakh migrant labourers are registered with the State which explains why the rest face difficulty at their places of work.

He also cited the example of Kalahandi which was once notorious for child sale and said the district is now famous for its high quality rice. It is because of these workers that the district has been able to redeem itself, he said addressing a convention of the migrant workers here today.

Singhdeo felt that sensitisation of the migrant labourers about welfare schemes of the Government would go a long way in controlling labour trafficking as well as their exploitation.

Incessant rains disrupt normal life in Kalahandi

Incessant rains disrupt normal life
The Pioneer, July 21, 2009
Bikash Khemka | Bhawanipatna

Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on National Highway 201 on Monday following incessant rains in Kalahandi district for the last couple of days.

Water is flowing three feet over the bridge on Junagarh Hati River where commuters of Koksara, Kalampur, Dharmagarh, Golamunda blocks have been marooned. Report said two gates of Indravati reservoir were opened till Sunday afternoon including Mangalpur barrage but one gate was closed in the midnight.

In the town one person died at dhoba pada on Saturday when his house collapsed due to heavy rain. Another person reportedly died at Borda on Saturday following lightning. No other incidents have yet been received from other blocks so far. Few waterlogged schools declared a holiday on Monday at Bhawanipatna.

At Kesinga block heavy water flow on Tel River has disrupted lives of six villages including Patharla, Bahadurpadar, Malpada, Rajapada, Sirjapali and Belkhandi. Sources said around 10,000 acres of agricultural land from Tehsil to Belkhandi have been destroyed in this block. ADM Chudamani Sethi informed the Pioneer that it is yet to receive the total damage in the flood affected areas. Meanwhile, the relief operation is going on at Kesinga and some parts of Junagarh block.

Floods bring Kalahandi to a halt
The Statesman, July 21, 2009

BHAWANIPATNA, 20 JULY: The flood situation in Kalahandi district has turned grim with the Hati river reportedly flowing four feet high over the Hati bridge near Junagarh, badly affecting vehicular movement on the crucial NH-201.
Torrential rain during the last 24 hours has virtually paralyzed normal life in the district and with the water level of the Tel river and its tributaries~ Hati and Udanti - rising menacingly, it is feared that the situation will worsen further.
Official sources, however, claimed that the Tel river is still below high flood level at Kesinga and Mankadsola.
While road links to Rajapada, Belkhandi, Sirjapali, Bahadurpadar and Malpada areas under Kesinga block have been disrupted because of high water flowing over roads, the low lying areas of Kesinga town in ward no 1 have become water logged, sources said.
As flood water of Kumuda nullah is flowing over the road and Singari Ghat Road has been damaged, the road link to tribal-dominated Thuamul Rampur has been disrupted. Telecom service has also been affected in the area.
Many low lying areas of Bhawanipatna town also became water logged due to a drainage problem.
During the last 24 hours, 296mm rainfall was recorded at Kesinga followed by 130mm at Bhawanipatna, 107mm at M.Rampur, 90mm at Kalampur, 83mm at Lanjigarh, 77mm at Jaipatna, 62mm at Junagarh and 51mm rain fall at Dharamgarh.
Sources said that the week-long heavy rain has affected the kharif crops. It is apprehended that the main alternative cash crop of the district, cotton, may now be adversely affected due to water logging.SNS

Hati, Tel swelling
Expressbuzz, July 21, 2009

BHAWANIPATNA: Incessant rains since last 24 hours have paralysed normal life in Kalahandi with water level of river Tel and its tributaries Hati and Udanti rising menancingly.

Roads in many areas have been submerged. Since last afternoon, traffic over NH-201 has been disrupted as flood water of river Hati is flowing four feet over the bridge near Junagarh. Paddy fields and low lying areas of Kalampur and Junagarh blocks located on the banks of river Hati have been submerged.

Though the water level in Tel is rising, Kesinga and Mankadsola are safe as the water has not reached the high flood level. At Kesinga, against the high flood level of 176.8 MRL, the water is now at 173.2 MRL. Low lying areas of ward no one in Kesinga town have been water-logged. Road links to Rajapada, Belkhandi, Sirjapali, Bahadurpadar, Malpada areas under Kesinga block have been cut-off. Communication to Thuamul-Rampur has also been disrupted with flood waters of Kumuda nullah submerging roads. Besides the Singari Ghat road has been damaged in the rains. Telecommunication services have been disrupted in many areas. Sans proper drainage system, low-lying areas of Bhawanipatna have been water-logged.

During last 24 hours, 296 mm rainfall has been recorded at Kesinga followed by 130 mm at Bhawanipatna, 107mm at M.Rampur, 90 mm at Kalampur, 83 mm at Lanjigarh, 77 mm at Jaipatna, 62 mm at Junagarh and 51 mm at Dharamgarh.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Off campus of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Kalahandi: Needs state Government's cooperation unlike was the case for CUO

The Pioneer, July 22, 2009
Centre favours Kalahandi for setting up IGNTU off-campus
PNS | Bhawnipatna

Madhusmita Panda has done it!. The leading non-resident Oriya (NRO) has been able to elicit information on the proposed off-campus of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) in Kalahandi.

Panda, who took the RTI route to bring out the fact, was informed by Director of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) RD Sahay, “It had already been decided by this Ministry that the IGNTU University could consider establishment of one of its off-campuses in Kalahandi district during the 11th Plan period, subject to availability of resources.”

So, now the cat is out of bag! And it is abundantly clear that the MHRD has decided to favour Kalahandi with an off-campus of the IGNTU. Sahay, who is the Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the MHRD, had said in a letter to former MP of Kalahandi Bikram Kesari Deo that the Centre favored establishment of the Central University, Orissa, in Kalahandi instead of Koraput. But as the State Government chose Koraput for the Central University, the MHRD has already favoured Kalahandi for the IGNTU off-campus.

In the wake of the tribal unrest and communal violence in Kandhamal district, CM Naveen Patnaik has demanded a Regional Centre of the (IGNTU) in Kandhamal. Presenting a memorandum to the Central Ministerial Team headed by Sharad Pawar, the CM pleaded for the centre of higher learning in the unrest-hit zone.

The CM at that point had said that it would go a long way to provide education to the tribal youth.

Sambad, July 21, 2009

Samaja, July 20, 2009

Misery on requirement of over bridge over Hati river on NH201 near Jungarh continues

Sambad, July 20, 2009

Not solving popular local demand on flood control by Hati river in Kalahandi costs the Orissa Government dearly in power sector

State facing power shortage during evening hours
Expressbuzz, July 20, 2009

BHUBANESWAR: After lifting scheduled load shedding of power from Saturday evening, the Orissa Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL), the State transmission utility was facing energy shortage during the evening peak today due to forced shut down of Indravati hydro power plants.

While the energy demand of the State at 8 pm on Sunday was over 2700 MW, the total availability from various sources was about 2550 MW. The State utility was making up the shortfall by overdrawing power from the eastern grid, sources in the state load dispatch centre (SLDC) said.

The power position of the State started improving from Friday following significant increase in the water levels in all the major reservoirs due to incessant and heavy downpour during the last week. As the energy situation normalises, OPTCL intimated the four distribution companies to lift load shedding.

The power situation, however, worsened today due to shutdown of three of the four units of Indravati hydro power station having generation capacity of 600 MW. As the Hati river is overflowing, the district administration of Kalahandi asked the hydro power station in-charge to shut down all the four units as a precautionary measure. Only one unit of 150 MW capacity was generating power during the evening peak, the sources said.

There will be no option for the State utility but to go for regulation in case the only unit of Indravati generating power was shut down and there was low frequency in the eastern grid, the sources said.

With the present water level in the reservoirs, the State has the capacity to generate nearly 1500 MW hydro power.

Though the State is facing unscheduled power cuts from the first week of June, official power regulation was imposed on June 22 and this was continuing till yesterday. The Government has not given fresh instruction to OPTCL for further extension of load restriction to industrial units which are getting only 50 per cent of their contractual demand since June 22.

One of the two units of Ib Thermal Power Station which is under scheduled shut down for maintenance is likely to be back to the grid on Monday.

With a generating capacity of 210 MW, the average availability of power from the Ib thermal unit is about 170 to 180 MW.

Rains pound Orissa: National Highway at Dharmagarh in Kalahandi district remained submerged

Heavy rains pound Orissa; toll climbs to 36
The Hindu, July 29, 2009

Bhubaneswar (PTI): Eight more persons died on Sunday taking the toll to 36 as heavy rains lashed Orissa with a low pressure over Bay of Bengal triggering floods in several parts.

While two persons were swept away by Rana river in Banki area of Cuttack district, two others including a woman were killed in lightning in Kendrapara district, official sources said.

A girl was killed in Kabisuryanagar of Ganjam district when a tree fell on her during rain and storm, they said.

Three persons -- an infant and two women -- were killed when a wall of their mud house collapsed in the heavy rain at Sarumuhana in Sundargarh district, police said.

Mahanadi, Bansadhara, Rushikulya and Hati rivers inundated many areas and disrupted road communication in Sambalpur, Balangir, Gajapati, Ganjam and Kalahandi districts, the sources said.

Heavy rains pounded Ganjam, Gajapati, Nayagarh, Khurda, Cuttack, Kendrapara and Puri districts since last night inundating vast low lying areas and throwing life out of gear, they said.

Normal life was thrown out of gear in many areas of western Orissa including Balangir, Bargarh, Sambalpur and Sonepur due to heavy rains since last night which inundated low lying areas, the official sources said.

In Balangir town, most roads were under two to three feet water and the National Highway at Dharmagarh in Kalahandi district also remained submerged.

Power supply was also disrupted in most parts of western Orissa as heavy rains continued to wreak havoc.

In Ganjam district of south Orissa, road link between Bhanjanagar-Belaguntha and Bhanjanagar-Daspalla was disrupted as Badanadi river submerged the road at Nuagaon.

Inflow of water Hirakud reservoir on Mahanadi river was recorded at 1,50,794 cusec and outflow 1,24,719 cusec, the revenue control room officials said.

The rainfall recorded at Krushnaprasad since last night was 28 cm, while it was 26 cm at Khandapara, 19 cm at Puri, 17 cm at Narsinghpur and 16 cm at Daspalla, met office sources said.

As a "well-marked" low pressure area was formed over north-west Bay of Bengal, the met office predicted heavy to very heavy rain at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in the next two days.

Indravati Hydro Power Station is under-utilised because of flood in the river Hati

Power shortfall continues
Expressbuzz, July 18, 2009

BHUBANESWAR: Despite improved hydro position in all the reservoirs, the State continues to have a shortfall of about 300 mega watt (MW) of power due to low generation of thermal energy.

While the average hydro power generation of the State was about 400 MW two days back, now it has gone upto 900 MW during off-peak hour and 1,200 MW during the evening peak, thanks to heavy downpour during the last couple of days.

However, the current shortfall of power is because of low generation from the thermal power stations dedicated to the State, captive generating plants and reduced share from the Central pool, sources in the State Load Despatching Centre (SLDC) said.

The power position in the day time is very comfortable, but there is a shortage of about 300 MW during the evening peak when the demand is around 2,900 MW, the sources said.

Three thermal power units, one each of Ib Thermal Power Station (ITPS), Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS) and NTPC-Kanhia are out of the grid for nearly a month due to technical problem. The net shortfall from the three units is about 380 MW. Besides, the first unit of NTPC-Kaniha is providing 117 MW as against 180 MW and the NTPC manadarin blames it on the poor quality coal.

TTPS has already informed SLDC to take scheduled shut down of fifth unit immediately after resumption of power generation from the sixth unit which is currently under routine maintenance, a senior OPTCL officer said.

With a generating capacity of 600 MW, Indravati Hydro Power Station is under-utilised because of flood in the river Hati. If all the four units of the hydro power station will be operationalised, more water will be released into the river system and that may cause more flood in the downstream of Hati river. The Kalahandi district collector has instructed the OHPC not to optimise generation during the evening peak.

In normal situation, the average availability from the captive generating plants (CGPs) is about 600 MW. Today’s availability from the CGPs was about 200 MW. The Central share of power for the State has also come down from 800 MW to 600 MW because of low generation from the Central power stations.

Power regulation has been restricted to four hours in the evening in view of the improved hydro power position, the sources said.

NOTE: The flood in Hati river has a solution where the Government has not yet invested to solve this problem since past deacade.

State Government should have chosen Burla or any other regional place for Orissa Health University instead of Cuttack!

Plan to keep VSS Burla under SCB Cuttack opposed
The Pioneer, July 20, 2009
Nimai Charan Sahu | Sambalpur

Residents of Sambalpur and Burla strongly protested the recent proposal of the State Government to keep the VSS Medial College Hospital at Burla under the Orissa Health University at the SCB Medical College Hospital at Cuttack. Present and former members of senate and syndicate of the Sambalpur University also raised their voice against the proposal.

Instead of making efforts for development of the backward region, the Government is again trying to centralise power and function at the State capital and Cuttack, alleged Kishor Behera, Sudhansu Mohanty, Manjushree Mohanty and other residents.

The Medical Council of India (MCI), two years back had suggested certain improvements, including filling up of vacancies of doctors in various departments, while enhancing 43 seats in MBBS course in this premier health institute. But, instead of complying with these recommendations, the Government made deliberate delay and a situation like closing down of 43 seats was created, rued the residents.

When this problem was just over, the State Government is again creating a new one by making effort to put it under the Health University at Cuttack, 300 km away from here. This will create further problem for the students and staffs of this college, said Durga Padhi and Satyendra Bahidar. They cautioned the State government to refrain from such an anti-populace decision.

Kalahandi intelligentsia upset with Cong

The Pioneer, July 20, 2009
PNS | Bhubaneswar

The intelligentsia of Kalahandi is upset with the Congress, although the party achieved overwhelming success in the recent elections to the State Assembly and Lok Sabha.

They are now reminding AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi of his big promise during his last visit to the district, "I am your sepoy (soldier). I have had a family link with Kalahandi, and it is my duty and will be my endeavour to see that the people of the area get their just dues.”

The scion of Gandhi dynasty made the promise during his ‘Discover India’ trip to Kalahandi on March 7 this year. It is a matter of fact since the time of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi that Kalahandi has been closely associated with the Gandhi dynasty. But the district has always been poorly treated by their party in the post-Independence Congress regime, alleges Digambara Patra, a non-resident Oriya (NRO) from Kalahandi, who is leading the intelligentsia of the region who feels that the present UPA Government’s claim to ensure all-round development in the backward and rural pockets of the country is missing in practice in Kalahandi.

Madhusmita Panda, another leading NRO, reels out statistics, saying the Central Government had earlier established a Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) unit and National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco) and recently a Central University in Koraput district from public funds. An ordnance factory was also established in Balangir district. Titilagarh- Jharsuguda, Khordha- Balangir, Rayagada-Koraput and Koraput-Visakhapatnam are some of the railway lines approved in the post-Independence Congress regime.

Most unfortunately, not a single railway line was approved in Kalahandi during this period, except the Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh line during the non-Congress Government in 1990-91, she points out.

Even the NH201 passing through Bargarh, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur and Koraput districts was approved during the non-Congress rule at the Centre. Both Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh railway line and NH201 projects are now moving sluggishly, says Dr Sanjib Kumar Karmee, who teaches at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. He refers to the public demand since 1988 for establishing a Central University in Kalahandi because it is centrally located among all the KBK districts and has better rail connectivity to most of the major cities of India from Kesinga station. However, the State Government, meanwhile, decided to establish the university at Koraput for political reasons.

In a memorandum to Rahul Gandhi, Patra, Panda and Karmee have urged him to open a branch of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Kalahandi with a medical college attached to it as this backward pocket lacks secondary and tertiary health facilities. For secondary and tertiary health facilities, the people in Kalahandi now depend either on Viskhapatnam, about 400 km, or on Burla (Sambalpur district), about 300 km, away from Kalahandi, they point out.

Besides, Judhistir Patra from Dharamgarh in Kalahandi is worried over the much higher rate of unemployment and home-leaving migrant workers of the district. A recent India Today report suggested that both Kalahandi and Nabarangpur districts are rated among the bottom five constituencies in the socioeconomic/infrastructure development ladder among all constituencies in India, he points out.

The proposed Kantabanji (Balangir district)-Jeypore (Koraput district) line via Nuapada, Kalahandi and Nabarangpur districts and an immediate approval of a high-laying bridge over river Hati on NH201 near Junagarh and improving road conditions of NH201 in Kalahandi, Balangir and Nabarangpur will bring about development in the region, he adds.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Faculty advertisment for Government College of Engineering Kalahandi Bhawanipatna

Source:, July 19, 2009

Please check the link below for the faculty advertisment for Government College of Engineering Kalahandi Bhawanipatna

MHRD favors K'handi for IGNTU, July 19, 2009

Madhusmita Panda has done it.

The leading Non Resident Oriya (NRO) has been able to elicit information on the proposed off Campus of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) in Kalahandi.

Ms.Panda, who took the RTI route to bring out information was informed by R D Sahay, Director of the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) that “ it had already been decided by this Ministry that the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University could consider establishment of one of its off-campuses in Kalahandi district during the 11th Plan Period, subject to availability of resources.

So now the cat is out of bag!

And it is abundantly clear the MHRD has decided to favor Kalahandi with an off-campus of IGNTU.

Mr.Sahay, who is the Chief Public Information Officer(CPIO) of the MHRD has said that in a letter the former MP of Kalahandi Bikram Kesari Deb has favored for establishment of the Central University in Kalahandi instead of Koraput.

As the State Government favored Koraput for the Central University, MHRD has already favored Kalahandi for this off-campus.

In the wake of the tribal unrest and communal violence in Kandhamal, Naveen Patnaik has demanded for a Regional Centre of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) in Kandhamal.

Presenting the memorandum to the Central Ministerial Team headed by Sharad Pawar, the Chief Minister pleaded for the Centre of Higher Learning in the riot –hit tribal zone.

The Chief Minister at that point of time has said it will go a long way to provide education to the tribal youth, who are in difficult situation.

Now the mind of the MHRD is clear and Kalahandi is favored with IGNTU, thanks to pro-active initiative of Professor Digambara Patra, leading NRO.

Kalahandias rap Congress, May 19, 2009

People of Kalahandi are angry with Congress.

Their anger seems totally justified, feel observers.

In fact they are reminding Rahul Gandhi of his big promise that "I am your sepoy (soldier). I have had a family link with Kalahandi and it is my duty and will be my endeavour to see that the people of the area get their just due.”

The scion of Gandhi dynasty made this promise during his Discover India Trip to Kalahandi on 7 March.

It is a matter of fact since the time of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Kalahandi has been closely associated with the Gandhi Dynasty.

But Kalahandi has been always poorly treated by Congress party in the post Independence Congress regime, alleged Digambara Patra.

Dr.Patra, who is leading the intelligentsia of this backward region feel that the present UPA Government claims to bring all round development in backward and rural pockets of India but such development, is missing in Kalahandi.

Madhusmita Panda, another leading NRO reels out stats saying the Central Government has earlier established HAL, NALCO and recently a Central University in Koraput district from public funds.

An ordinance factory was also established in Balangir district. Titilagarh – Jharsuguda, Khordha – Balangir, Rayagada – Koraput and Koraput – Vishakhapatna are some of the railway lines approved in post Independence Congress regime.

Most unfortunately not a single railway line was approved in Kalahandi district during post independence congress ruling except Lanjigarh road – Junagarh railway line during non-Congress Government in 1990-91, lamented she.

Even NH201 passing through Bargarh, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur and Koraput districts were approved during non-Congress Government in the Center, said it is to be noted that both the projects, Lanjigarh road – Junagarh railway line and NH201 are moving sluggishly, said Sanjib Kumar Karmee.

Dr.Karmee, who teaches in the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands said that there is a public demand for establishing a Central University in Kalahandi since 1988.

Because it is centrally located among all the KBK districts and had better rail connectivity to most of the major cities of India from Kesinga station, however the State Government decided to establish it at Koraput for political reasons.

In a memorandum to Mr.Gandhi it has requested for a branch of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Kalahandi with a medical college attached to it as this backward pocket lacks secondary and tertiary health facilities.

For secondary and tertiary health facilities people in Kalahandi has to depend on either Vishkhapatnam about 350 – 450 km or Burla about 250 – 350 km away from the district, said he.

Judhistir Patra from Dharamgarh is worried for much higher unemployment rate and home leaving migrant workers of the district.

Recent report by India Today suggested that both Kalahandi, and Nabarangpur are rated among the bottom five constituencies in socioeconomic/infrastructure development ladder among all constituencies in India.

Proposed Kantabanji (Balangir dist) – Jeypur (Koraput dist) line via Nuapada, Kalahandi and Nabarangpur districts and immediate approval of a high laying bridge over Hati river on NH201 near Junagarh and improving road conditions of NH201 in Kalahandi, Balangir and Nabarangpur will bring development in the region, said he.

Are you listening! “the Sepoy”.