Saturday, February 20, 2010

Image: Banabadi Dance from Kalahandi

Contributor: Ingit Panda


Vedanta Aluminium Aims to Raise Funds

World Street Journal, Feb 19, 2010
By BIJOU GEORGE

MUMBAI -- India's Vedanta Aluminium Ltd. aims to raise 171 billion rupees ($3.68n billion) via a syndicated loan, a person familiar with the matter said Friday, in what bankers peg as one of the biggest loan syndication deals in the South Asian nation in a year.


The unlisted arm of Vedanta Resources PLC plans to raise the funds through a 10-year loan at an interest rate of 11.25%, the person told Dow Jones Newswires.

The company won't make interest payments for the first three years, and the loan is likely to be finalized by March, the person added.

The aluminum maker plans to use the funds for expanding its projects in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, the person said, without elaborating.

Vedanta plans to invest $2.5 billion for a bauxite mine project at Niyamgiri hills in Orissa to feed its alumina refinery at Lanjigarh. The company is also expanding the Lanjigarh refinery.

The company couldn't be reached for comments.

Bankers said the Vedanta deal may herald more big-ticket deals in the days to come, as companies gear up to participate in the revamping of India's creaking infrastructure.

India forecasts an investment requirement of $514 billion to plug the gaping holes in its infrastructure in the five years through March 2012.

"The demand for credit for big-ticket projects is massive. A large power project could easily require this sort of money, and there are a lot of power and road projects looking for financial closure," said an investment banker who asked not to be named.

Earlier Friday, another person familiar with the matter said India's HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd. and HPCL-Mittal Pipelines Ltd. aim to raise $200 million each via overseas loans.

The unlisted companies, joint ventures between Hindustan Petroleum Corp. and Mittal Energy Investment Pte. Ltd., plan to raise the funds via 10-year, dollar-denominated loans, the second person told Dow Jones Newswires.

Pressure on Vedanta's UK investors growing

The Hindu Business Line, Feb 18, 2010
“It has become clear that Vedanta isn't interested in shareholder engagement and taking shareholder seriously.”


Vidya Ram, London, Feb. 18

A campaign to encourage shareholders in Mr Anil Agarwal's Vedanta Resources to sell their stakes is hotting up.

Britain's Universities Superannuation Scheme, USS, the main final salary pension scheme for universities in Britain, and several local council governments are being approached amid ongoing controversy about Vedanta's plans for a bauxite mine in Lanjigarh, Orissa.

“We are lobbying all the investors we can,” said Ms Lindsay Duffield of Survival International, a London-based NGO, which works with tribal people across the world and has been actively involved in the Orissa dispute.

On Thursday, British NGO the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust said it had sold its £1.9 million stake in Vedanta less than two weeks after the Church of England sold its £3.8 millionstake.

“After nine or ten months the response of the company to the Trust has been little more than empty rhetoric. There is a high degree of frustration with their answers to our concerns, and there comes a point where we need to pull out for ethical reasons,” said a spokesman for Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

“It has become clear that Vedanta isn't interested in shareholder engagement and taking shareholder seriously. Any ethical investment fund at all concerned about human rights will have experience with that,” says Survival International's Duffield.

Vedanta's Orissa project has shot into the international spotlight in the past couple of weeks after Amnesty International released a report condemning the project, both over the flouting of environmental requirements at the refinery, and concerns about the impact that a planned bauxite mine would have on the 8,000 strong Dongria Kondh people who live in the area.

The report calls for environmental concerns expressed by Orissa's pollution control board to be dealt with before the refinery can be expanded and a consultation to be conducted with the local community.

Co refutes charges
Vedanta denied the charges levelled against it and on Thursday, responded to criticisms from another NG0, Action Aid, which warned that “Vedanta's proposed destruction of the sacred mountain of the Kondh tribe in Eastern India could destroy their way of life and their precious environment forever.”

Vedanta said it couldn't have established the refinery without the support of the local people: “Vedanta strongly denies any allegations of pollution of the environment in Lanjigarh and of violation of human rights,” said the company. “Vedanta Alumina project is committed to uplift the lives of people of Kalahandi, adopting the best international practices.”

Green group seeks cancellation of clearance to Vedanta refinery

Economic Times, Feb 19, 2010

BHUBANESWAR: A green NGO on Friday urged the central government to cancel the clearance granted to the Vedanta group for its alumina refinery in Orissa. It charged the firm with violating the clearance conditions, and said trucks bringing raw material to refinery were polluting the air.


Biswajit Mohanty, secretary of the Wildlife Society of Orissa, has written to Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, alleging that Vedanta is flouting the conditions in its clearance letter by buying bauxite ore elsewhere and then carting it to its refinery on trucks that were causing air pollution.

A Vedanta spokesman pointed out that the refinery is the first in the country and among the few in the world with a "zero discharge system. The environmental measures adopted in the plant with respect to air and water pollution is among the best and performance of the same is being regularly monitored by State pollution Control Board".

The spokesman said: "Vedanta strongly denies any allegations of pollution of the environment in Lanjigarh." But Mohanty stuck to his charge about trucks coming to the refinery and causing air pollution en route. "According to the environment clearance letter the source of bauxite for the alumina refinery will be from the captive bauxite mines located nearby," he said.

The firm, which is a part of NRI Anil Agarwal-promoted Vedanta Resources Plc, has not yet started working the mines, but the alumina refinery has been operating since August 2007.

In 2004, the environment ministry allowed Vedanta to set up and operate the one-million-tonne per annum alumina refinery and a 75 MW captive power plant at Lanjigarh village in Kalahandi district, some 600 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

"The company is running the refinery with bauxite ore sourced from far away by using trucks. Thousands of heavy trucks are operating to ferry bauxite for the refinery and this is causing enormous air pollution in the locality," Mohanty wrote. "Local tribals are unable to use the roads since they are clogged with the bauxite loaded trucks heading for the plant."

"The procurement of raw material by road transport from far off places, other than by conveyor belts from the adjacent Niyamgiri hill was never proposed by the company in its project report or application filed for environment clearance," he said.

"This was also not considered by the ministry expert committee on environment which appraised the project and granted environment clearance."

According to Mohanty: "In financial year 2008, the Lanjigarh refinery produced 0.267 million tonnes of alumina. In 2009, the Lanjigarh refinery produced 0.586 million tonnes of alumina. "Therefore, at least 1.2 million tonnes of bauxite were consumed in 2009. Using 30 tonne high capacity trucks would mean the movement of least 40,000 trucks in one year."

Mohanty said environment ministry officials overlooked this condition when they inspected the complex recently.

NGO wants action taken against Vedanta

ptinews.com, Feb 18, 2010
New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) An NGO today said government should take note of allegations of widespread human rights violation by Vedanta in Niyamgiri mountain ranges in Orissa and take action against the mining major.


"Companies from across the world are withdrawing their stakes from Vedanta. But the Indian government is not listening to the voices of 8,000 Kond tribals in Orissa," Action Aid office bearer Parvinder Singh told reporters.

The NGO submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to take immediate action against the company.

"There is pollution all over. One cannot eat food and drink water there as everything is covered with ash," Bratindi Jena, another official of the NGO claimed.

"The company releases pollutants in the streams due to which people especially children get infection. Even livestock get boils in the leg," she added.

Bhawanipatna college holds annual fest

The Pioneer, Feb 20, 2010
Bhawanipatna: The Government Women’s College, Bhawanipatna, celebrated its annual function here at its auditorium with much enthusiasm on Wednesday. The function was inaugurated by Kalahandi ADM Chudamani Seth. Sub-Collector Nanda Kishore Sethi attended the function as the honoured guest and Jugal Kishore Pattnaik as the chief speaker. Principal of the college Dr Siba Prasad Nanda delivered the welcome speech. Secretary of the Students Union Bijayalaxmi Senapati read out the annual report and union president Rajrajeswari Rath coordinated the function, while lecturer Ajay Mishra gave a vote of thanks. Prizes were distributed by the guests to winners of different competitions. Cultural programmes were also organised with the coordination of union vice-president Snehalata Naik.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

State approves solar power projects of 230 Mw

Business Standrard, Feb 18, 2010
The renewable energy sector in Orissa is likely to get a boost with a large number of private entrepreneurs evincing interest to set up solar power units in the state.


The state level technical committee (STC), headed by the secretary, science and technology (S&T) department of the Orissa government, has cleared eight more solar power projects with an aggregate power generation of 230 Mw.

It included two solar thermal power plants with a combined generation capacity of 125 Mw. This is for the first time, solar thermal power proposals have been cleared by the STC. “The STC has cleared two solar thermal power plants with a generating capacity of 125 Mw which is the first of its kind in Orissa”, a senior official of the state science and technology department told Business Standard.

While ACME Tele-powers would set up a 100 Mw solar thermal power plant either in Bolangir or in Khurda district, GRD Power Private Ltd would set up a 25 Mw solar thermal power plant in Khurda district, official sources said. Besides, six solar photo-voltaic power projects with an aggregate generating capacity of 105 Mw were given green signal by the STC. DUET Solar Projects Private Ltd would set up solar power plants in six locations like Nawarangpur, Koraput, Phulbani, Bolangir, Dhenkanal and Sambalpur with a combined generation capacity of 60 Mw.

The other projects cleared by STC included EIO Six Orissa Private Ltd (20 Mw, Bolangir), Cambridge Energy Pvt Ltd (5 Mw, Ganjam), Abacus Holding Private Ltd ( 5 Mw, Nawarangpur), Green O Projects (10 Mw, Khurda) and Green O Lite (5 Mw, Kalahandi).With this the total envisaged capacity in the solar power sector has increased to 294 Mw from 64 Mw earlier.

It may be noted, the STC had earlier cleared eleven solar power projects with a combined generation capacity of 64 Mw and those proposal have been sent to the Union ministry of new and renewable energy sources (MNRE) for migration to the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission launched by the Centre.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Orissa second to Gujarat in India Inc’s investment plans in 2009

Economic Times, Feb
BHUBANESWAR: Orissa continues to dominate as a leading player in the India Inc's investment plans in 2009 despite economic slowdown by mopping up a whopping domestic investments worth Rs 2,00,846 crore in the year.

Only Gujarat, with Rs. 2,45,352 crore worth of investment plans, registered the highest share in domestic investment plans during January to December, 2009, according to according to the analysis of Assocham Investment Meter (AIM) Study on corporate investments.

Andhra Pradesh occupied third position with an investment plan pegged at Rs 1,29,157 crore.


Total investment plans of India Inc increased significantly from Rs 13,80,099 crore in 2008 to Rs 15,94,203 crore in 2009; out of which Gujarat, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh carved out a majority share of 15.4%, 12.6& and 8.1% respectively.

"The robustness in corporate investment activity on the Indian soil shows how competently the economy has managed to weather the storm of unprecedented global financial crisis" said Assocham secretary general, DS Rawat. The intensity of corporate investment activity during the period of economic downturn has proved the relative resilience of Indian economy.

Mr Rawat however pointed out that the implementation of these investment projects has been hampered by a slew of hurdles. These include, land acquisition problems, bureaucratic inertia, ongoing economic slowdown and depressed export market conditions. "The government needs to address these issues on priority basis in order to realise the fruits of these investments", he said.

Gujurat's investor friendly policies which led to a smooth relocation of the Tata Nano project has helped it attract majority of investment plans in the real estate, power and infrastructure sectors while Orissa attracted massive investments largely due to the availability of rich mineral resources such as coal and iron ore along with cheap manpower. Steel and power were among the sectors which attracted maximum investments in the state.


Successful commencement of gas production from the D6 block of KG basin helped Andhra Pradesh rank third in attracting investment. The state recorded investment plans to the tune of Rs 1,29,157 crore. Energy and the real estate were among the major sectors that attracted maximum investments.

The domestic investment announcements of India Inc registered a growth of 16 per cent during the calendar year 2009 over 2008. The total investment plans of India Inc increased significantly from Rs 13,80,099 crore in 2008 to Rs 15,94,203 crore in 2009.

The Study shows that the power sector was the major investment attracting sector for 2009. The sector attracted investment plans worth Rs 4,14,327 crore with a share of 26 per cent in the overall investment plans across the country. Real estate sector witnessed proposed investment plans worth Rs 2,57,314 crore whereas energy sector attracted proposed investments to the tune of Rs 1,98,565 crore.

Other sectors which recorded high flowing corporate investments during the last year were metals & mining (Rs 1,59,534 crore), infrastructure (Rs 74,210 crore), hospitality (Rs 43,746 crore), auto/auto components (Rs 38,150 crore) and telecom (Rs 34,461 crore).

Karnataka and Maharashtra stood at fourth and fifth position by attracting investment plans worth Rs 1,06,092 crore and Rs 91,824 crore respectively during 2009. Karnataka has cashed in its investor friendly image by attracting a proposal of setting up a six million-ton integrated steel plant by ArcelorMittal whereas benefited by its financial infrastructure; Maharashtra has also been among the leading investment destinations in the country.

School to get science centre

Expressbuzz, Feb 8, 2010

BHAWANIPATNA: The three-day golden jubilee celebration of Dharamgarh High School of Kalahandi concluded on Saturday.


On the occasion, Union Minister of State for Fertilisers and Chemicals Srikant Jena said a proposal had been made to set up a science centre on the high school premises with sponsorship from the ministry. Besides catering to the students’ needs, the centre will also conduct research on agriculture-related works, he said.

Lok Sabha member Bhakta Das said Rs 10 lakh had been released from MPLAD to take up construction of the school building. A statue of late Arjun Pattjosi, one of the founding members of the school, was installed on the school premises. The event was inaugurated by Opposition leader Bhupinder Singh. Labour and Employment Minister Puspendra Singhdeo graced the valedictory function.

Morale booster for tribals

Decan Herald, Feb 15, 2010
S T Beuria in Bhubaneswar

Tribals in Orissa have received a shot in the arm in their struggle against a mining project to save the environment

The Amnesty International’s (AI) recent report on the London-based Vedanta group’s aluminium refinery and bauxite mining project at Lanjigarh in Orissa's backward Kalahandi district has once again prompted the local tribals to pursue their relentless struggle against the controversial private sector project.


These Dongria Kondh tribals have been vehemently resisting the London-based private sector company’s attempt to mine bauxite at the Niyamgiri Hills in Lanjigarh for its one million tonne aliminium refinery which has already been commissioned. The AI report is expected to give a further boost to the tribals to continue their struggle. “We may die but we will not allow the destruction of our Niyamgiri Hills”, the tribals had recently declared.

The international human rights watchdog's report is also expected to enhance the morale of the national and international non-governmental organizations who have also backed the tribals.

The Dongria Kondhs, who have inhabited the Niyamgiri Hills for centuries consider the environmentally sensitive Hills to be their “Living God” and are up in arms against the mining project because they believe that it would completely destroy their livelihood.

Moreover, the tribals are also wary that the mining project has the potential to affect the two major rivers originating from the thickly forested hills which could turn dry; besides, over two dozen big and small streams currently flowing in the hills would also meet a similar fate. The absence of water would then have a devastating impact on the ecology of the area.

Refinery project
The refinery project has already led to health problems like skin and respiratory diseases among the locals and these health hazards are expected to multiply once the bauxite mining begins in the hills, the tribals fear.

The Kondhs had reportedly explained all these points to a high powered team from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests when it visited the area recently for an on site assessment.

All these factors are reflected in the recently released Amnesty report which had sent a fact finding team to Lanjigarh to take stock of the situation on the ground. According to media reports, NGO groups backing the tribals in their struggle have already held demonstrations in front of the Vedanta Resources office in London after the Amnesty report was made public. This, however, is not for the first time that demonstrations have been organized in London over the issue. The British capital had witnessed such demonstrations earlier too.

Vested interests
The London-based company promoted by NRI industrialist Anil Agarwal has reacted strongly to the Amnesty report describing it as a handiwork of “vested interests”.

The chief operating officer of the project, M. Kumar was heard quoted by a local television channel here recently that: “Expressing doubts on the project means expressing doubts on the intention of the Supreme Court of India”. The apex court has given a conditional approval to the mining project.

The Amnesty report, which has appealed to the Centre to halt the project on grounds of human rights violation, has turned out to be a major embarrassment for the Orissa administration which cleared the refinery and mining project. Orissa government officials said, the report was being studied by the administration. “We have received the report and a detailed assessment is on”, said a senior official in the state secretariat.

Orissa Govt appoints 408 doctors

The Hindu, Feb 13, 2010
Often criticised for not being able to provide essential health services in rural areas


due to lack of doctors, Orissa government today said they have appointed as many as 408 assistant surgeons recently.

Most of the newly recruited doctors were posted in tribal dominated districts, said Health and Family Welfare Minister Prasanna Acharya.

Out of the state's total doctors strength, about 1200 posts were laying vacant at different places, mostly in Maoist affected tribal areas.

While the highest number of 48 assistant surgeons were posted in Keonjhar district, 45 were deployed in Mayurbhanj district followed by 40 in riot-hit Kandhamal district, 31 each in Koraput, Kalahandi and Nawrangpur districts, he said.

Thirty doctors were appointed in Balangir district.

Similarly, while 28 fresh doctors were appointed in Sundargarh district, 26 were given appointments in different hospitals in Malkangiri district, he added.

Task Force on higher education in Orissa submits interim report

Orissadiary.com, Feb 12, 2010
Bhubaneswar: The Task Force, constituted by the Orissa government on October, 2009 to suggest measures to improve the higher education in the state, on Thursday submitted its interim draft report to the state government.


In its report, the Task Force asked the state government to take a number of steps to improve the deteriorating standard of higher education. It suggested that the campuses of Plus Two and Plus Three should be segregated and both the wings should have dedicated faculties. The Task Force also suggested filling up of vacancies in colleges within two years. In the report, the members also wanted the autonomous colleges be elevated to the status of universities.

Among other recommendations, the experts suggested to set up higher education council and constitute regulatory bodies to control colleges. The Task Force would submit the final report to the state government soon.

Rourkela favoured for Metropolitan Varsity

The Pioneer, Feb 15, 2010
Pioneer News Service, Bhubaneswar

Cheers for citizens of Rourkela! The steel city has been favoured as the location for the First Metropolitan University of Odisha.

The State Task Force on Higher Education, which has presented its interim report to the State Government, has made the recommendation in favour of Rourkela.

One of the major recommendations of the Task Force is establishment of more universities as with the existing number of universities, experts feel, the State’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) cannot be scaled up to the national level.

People of Rourkela were aggrieved over the attitude of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) in not establishing its proposed medical college and hospital for the State in the steel city. However, the Task Force, headed by Professor Trilochan Pradhan, thought it prudent to allow an innovative institution at Rourkela.

A Metropolitan University like London, which has more than 30,000 students, is a top class university. Educationists feel such a university at Rourkela can be developed in a big way.

Balangir varsity finds place on Task Force agenda

The Pioneer, Feb 15, 2010
Pioneer News Service, Bhubaneswar

Balangir MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo is happy with the Task Force on Higher Education’s decision to set up a university in his constituency. He had recently met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to plead for a university in Balangir.

Singh Deo also discussed the issue of low Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in this backward district with Task Force chairman Prof Trilochan Pradhan. Balangir is one of the most backward areas of the State, where poverty and illiteracy is acute.

When Singh Deo recently met Advisor of Prime Minister on Infrastructure, Innovation and Broadband Connectivity Sam Pitroda, both agreed over the need of a university at Balangir. Pitroda, who is the former Chairman of the Knowledge Commission, had also favoured such universities during his visit to Odisha.

The interim report of the Task Force on Higher Education, presented to the State Government recently, has recommended a Western Odisha University at Balangir. It is favouring the idea of region-based universities, and in the process, Balangir takes the lead.

Kosali Ekta Manch demanded Central University in Kalahandi

Kosal body blocks road in Kalahandi
The Pioneer, Feb 15, 2010
PNS, Bhawanipatna

The Kosali Ekta Manch staged a road blockade on National highway-201 here on Sunday in support of the demand for a separate Kosal State. A large number of vehicles were stranded at the College Square here in the morning hours.

The Manch also demanded a Central University in Kalahandi, appointment of Shiksha Sahayaks as a district cadre and a by-pass road in the district.

The agitation was led by the central vice-president of the Kosal Kranti Dal Jagannath Mund. President Gobinda Chandra Rath, senior advocate Gangadhar Hota and lawyer Dilip Pattjoshi were also present.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Golden Jubilee Celebration of Govt. High School Dharamgarh: Government should be careful towards development of education

Samaja, Feb 7, 2010
(Thanks to Ingit Panda for sharing this news report)

Late Oriya author’s book unveiled in English

Late Oriya author’s book unveiled in English
Indian Express, Feb 8, 2010

An emotional Sunday evening at the India International Centre Annexe saw the launch of Call of the Village, the English translation of the late Bhubaneswar Behera’s 1993 Oriya book.

Behera, an engineer by training, was born in 1916 in Orissa’s Kalahandi. He went on to make significant contributions in the construction of the Hirakud Dam and many other irrigation projects before becoming an educationist of note.

The book, which won the prestigious Sarala Samman, was translated by his son Binoy Kumar Behera. As Behera says in the preface, it is the “story of the author’s life indirectly told”.

It was the same point that G K Das, former vice-chancellor of Utkal University, chose to dwell on while discussing the book post-release by Rajya Sabha member Kapila Vatsyayan.

Das compared Behera’s work to that of Nirad C Chaudhuri’s The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian.

Behera moved from Kashibehal village in the erstwhile princely state of Kalahandi to the district headquarters, state and national capitals before returning to live in the village post-retirement. He died there in 2001.


Das went on to say that the book captures the indescribable “culture of Orissa”. The cover picture of the book is that of Kashibehal where the author spent his last days, taken from the threshing floor where the author sat in the evenings watching the sun set.

“I first read the book in 1994, and it told me that I did not know the gentleman who was my father well enough,” recollected his son Binoy Kumar Behera. “I then wrote him a letter telling him that even though he was famous as an engineer and an educationist, I was proud of him as a great human being.”

Church of England’s Vedanta shares sale welcomed

Thaindian.com, Feb 7, 2010

Bhubaneswar, Feb 7 (IANS) Human right activists, tribal leaders and social activists in Orissa Sunday welcomed the Church of England’s decision to sell its shares in British mining major Vedanta due to its dissatisfaction with the company’s rights’ record in the state.


“It is a great step by the Church. It understood the peoples’ concern to protect their livelihood, land, forest, culture and identity,” Bratindi Jena, an activist of the Niyamgiri Surakhya Samiti, a tribal organisation fighting to protect the hills, told IANS.

“This great step encourages the community to continue their struggle and help other shareholder investors to think about their investment pattern in the company. The Church has given a clear message to all other investors,” she said.

Human rights activist and Lokashakti Abhiyan president Prafulla Samantray told IANS that they were thankful to the church for the step. “In spite of all efforts by the company, the representatives of the Church could realise the plight of the tribals and established the truth,” he said.

The London-headquartered metals and mining company has built a one million tonne per annum capacity alumina refinery at the foot of the Niyamgiri hills near Lanjigarh in the state’s Kalahandi district, some 600 km from here.

The company is waiting to mine bauxite from the nearby Niyamgiri hills - held sacred by the local residents - and this has been vehemently opposed by residents and social activists. The firm, which is currently sourcing bauxite from other states at market rates, said mining permission in the hills was essential for it to reduce the cost of production.

The Church of England Friday sold off its shares, worth 3.75 million pounds, in the Indian-owned Vedanta Resources, saying it was “not satisfied” with the company’s human rights records in Orissa.

Sasanka Patnaik, Vedanta spokesman in Orissa, said the development will not affect the company’s projects in Orissa.

“We are disappointed by this development but it will no way affect our projects here. We respect the concern raised by the Church of England. We will continue to apprise them developments related to our project,” Patnaik told IANS.

Naveen favours W'Odisha package

Tathya.in, Feb 8, 2010
Bhubaneswar:8/February/2010


Naveen Patnaik has favoured the idea of an exclusive economic package for Western Odisha.

Chief Minister agreeing to the proposal of Ananga Udaya Singh Deo, has asked the Department of Planning & Co-ordination to formulate a detailed proposal.

Mr.Singh Deo, Minister Planning & Co-ordination after reviewing the economic backwardness of the areas of the districts in Western part of the state wanted a special economic package for inclusive growth.

Receiving the proposal, Chief Minister has green signalled the idea and is expecting a concrete proposal for the area, said sources.

Western Odisha is economically backward and poverty level is much more, feel experts.

While the State Government has established Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) for development of the area, much more is needed, feel they.

So in view of the Chief Minister’s OK, the Department of Planning & Co-ordination is busy in formulating such proposal, said official sources.

Mr.Singh Deo has discussed the issue with Satya Prakash Nanda, Development Commissioner.

Minister has also thread bare consultations with R V Singh, Special Secretary in this regard.

Officials expect a Blue Print for inclusive development of Western Odisha soon.

In the meantime move is on to impress upon Planning Commission to favour the 8-year long term plan for KBK.

Mr.Singh Deo has already discussed the issue with Abhijit Sen, Member Planning Commission.

Meeting Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission is on cards.

During 2009 State Government presented a Rs.4550 crore plan for KBK and it is pending with central planning body.

Balangir MP urges PM for KBK Action Plan ’09-17

The Pioneer, Feb 8, 2010
PNS, Bhubaneswar

Balangir Lok Sabha member Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo has urged PM Manmohan Singh’s intervention for an early approval of the Special Action Plan 2009-17 for the KBK region.

In his letter to the PM on February 1 and also seeking an appointment, Singh Deo has written that KBK has very adverse human development indicators stating that a Rajiv Gandhi Foundation study has listed the eight KBK districts in Odisha at the bottom of 69 most backward districts of India with 38.41 per cent ST and 16.25 per cent SC population while 68 per cent of villages in KBK have more than 50 per cent STs and SCs.

Stating that KBK witnesses acute regional, social and gender disparities, Singh Deo has quoted NSS 55th round (1999-2000) that reports very high incidence of poverty amounting 87.1 per cent.

Pointing out that both the Centre and the State here have been paying special attention to KBK since 1995, the State in consultation with the Centre has implemented a long-term action plan (LTAP) from the fiscals 1995-96 to 1997-98 and a revised long term action plan (RLTAP) since 1998-99, Singh Deo in his letter admits that infrastructure, livelihood and other human development indicators have considerably improved quoting further an analysis of NSS 61st round (2004-05)indicating that the incidence of poverty in the KBK region has gone down by 24.6 per cent that points from 87.1 per cent in 1999-2000 to 62.5 per cent in 2004-05.

“However, there are still several gaps which cannot be effectively filled under the existing programmes and moreover gains of development momentum generated by the special efforts of both the Centre and the State cannot be consolidated and sustained unless concerted efforts continue in this region for a longer period,” Singh Deo opines in his letter concluding that the State has prepared an Eight Year Perspective Plan for KBK for a period from 2009-10 to 2016-17 to fill critical gaps and accelerate the process of development and it is awaiting the Planning Commission’s approval.

Temple body, Central varsity V-C at loggerheads in Koraput

The Pioneer, Feb 8, 2010
PNS, Bhubaneswar



The temple management of Koraput-based Sabara Srikhetra and the Vice-Chancellor of the new Central University of Odisha (CUO) based here seem to be on a war-path.

In response to the allegations against the temple management made by CUO V-C Surabhi Banerjee in at a press conference in Bhubaneswar on February 3, the management secretary KC Panigrahy rebuts through a press release (Lr No 35/JM/10 Dt- 4.01.2010) “we are not able to appreciate how and why a V-C of her stature could stoop so low and it speaks her credibility”.

In a letter (No 23/JM/10 Dt 27/01/2010) earlier dashed to the incumbent Collector Rajesh Prabhakar Patil, Panigrahy has urged for ‘immediate intervention’ into the allegedly sorry state of CUO’s affairs for the larger interests of both the students and the State.

Taking strong exception to the incumbent V-C Surabhi Banerjee’s disclosure to the students and teachers on January 23 at the University Campus stating that the Temple authorities are claiming for the re-imbursement of Rs 15 lakh incurred during the CUO’s inaugural ceremony on August 29 last year following which she has moved the State Government for payment, Panigrahy retorts “it is her panic reaction in a bid to divert the attention of the agitating students and public despite being well aware of the facts.”

“Only on her personal request and the advice of the Collector, the temple authorities had remodelled the COATS campus making it suitable for running the CUO and had also arranged the inaugural ceremony at Nisani Munda,” the letter states detailing on the total expenditure incurred and urging the Collector to take up the matter with the V-C and ensure prompt reimbursement of Rs 13,61,329.00 incurred by the temple in good faith.

The V-C had personally requested to remodel the COATS campus engaging extra workers prior to the visit of the Central team headed by the Joint Secretary (HRD) having specifically told Panigrahy in the presence of the Collector and other officers of CUO that the expenditure made for remodelling of the COATS campus and white washing/painting of the proposed hostel buildings will be met from the CUO fund. OSD of CUO had also given in writing (letter No CUO/1013/2009 dated 1.8.2009 addressed to the Collector) that the expenditure will be reimbursed from the University fund. Pertinent to note that the present Collector happened to be the then Sub-Collector and had been an eye witness to the developments, the letter points out.

Pointing a finger at the V-C, Panigrahy alleges that on the eve of the inaugural ceremony, Rs 55 lakh has been spent on advertisements in the Kolkata and Delhi editions awarding a contract to one M/S Alakananda Publications (vide CUO file No.1024/CUO/09).

“The expenditures made is not as per the Government Order No G 23011/22/2009 - IF.I, Government of India, Ministry of Human Resources Development”, Panigrahy argues citing (read with the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure OM issued in F.No.66 (16)/PF-11/2009 dated 24th July 2009 and No.7 (I). E. Coord / 2009 dated 7th September, 2009 which inter alia stipulated urgent need for rationalization of expenditure and optimisation of available resources in order to ensure adequate resources for meeting the development needs).

The letter also alleges that despite six quarters being alloted by the State, the V-C is staying at Bhubaneswar-based Hotel Mayfair paying a daily rent of Rs 6,000.On the plea of holding a seminar, all the students and teachers were shifted from Koraput to Bhubaneswar bearing their TA/DA and lodging at Bhubaneswar out of the university funds.

Letter of Bhakta Charan Das, MP Kalahandi, to Higher Education Task Force, Govt. of Odisha

Dated 6th February 2009



BHAKTA CHARAN DAS, M.P, [Loksabha] KALAHANDI

BHAWANIPATNA - 766009
DIST – KALAHANDI, ORISSA

TO
Prof. Dr. Trilochana Pradhan
Chairman
Task Force, Higher Education
Orissa, Bhubaneswar.

Esteemed Sir.
While well-coming to the formation of the Task Force on Higher Education in Orissa under your able leadership, I deem it a privilege to moot some valid proposals to be included in your agenda for the escalation of Higher Education and research facilities in Kalahandi – Nuapada districts of Orissa.

As all knows, Kalahandi -Nuapada regions are lagging behind in higher education and research since last sixty years of Independence, which is an exemplary example in Asia. This downward trend of the educational system of an ancient landmass is due to the haphazard policy of the Government in the sphere of education and research, both in the context of technical and general education. Planning of the government always reflects towards the developed zones of the state and the periphery pockets of the state such as undivided Kalahandi has been sidelined since 1948, resulting thus the creation of regional imbalance and discontentment among the people. The following proposals thus may be considered.

1] National [ Innovative University] in Kalahandi [ Site of 800 Ha, land attached]

Both the Sate and the centre and their various planning commissions have never turned their attention towards this periphery zone of Orissa, undivided Kalahandi in the perspective of higher education and research. As such, this land inhabited by more than ten lakhs of people have their legitimate right to claim a National [ Innovative ] University to be set up in Kalahandi. Sincerely I hope that the Task force will consider coolly the justification of the proposal of National / Innovative University at Kalahandi.

Justification.
[A] Kalahandi district has thousand and thousand acres of land ideally located at the traffic point of rail, road, and air. The region, moreover, is free from Naxlite - Maoist menace and natural hazard like flood, earthquake, tsunami, and volcanic eruption. As such, the landmass is a congenial place for Higher Educational and Research Centre like the National University to grow.

[B]. Kalahandi has more practical appeal for a National University not only for its infamous backwardness, rural mass migration in the nation and available infrastructure, such as railways, NH, Raipur airport within 200 km and Utkela Air strip and but also due to its ideal location in the Centre of the KBK Districts

[C]. Bhawanipatna is also the central point while including other tribal and backward region in Orissa such as Boudh, Kandhamal, Bargarh and Gajpati districts, thus, Bhawanipatna could serve better to the whole region than any other location.

[D] In Orissa distance between Bhawanipatna and Koraput/ Sambalpur is much more compared to Bhubaneswar and Berhampur / Puri/ Cuttack /Balasore/ Dhenkanal / Angul. Regionally cities like Berhampur, Balasore, Dhenkanal / Angul etc are given preference on development as regional stations, but Bhawanipatna and Koraput / Sambalpur / Rourkela are put together when it comes to regional development. Equal development of both Bhawanipatna and Koraput is very much important as regional stations to bring overall growth of KBK as well as Western and Southern Orissa

{E]. Many economists agree that investment while establishing such new and large institutions mainly goes to construction sectors, which directly boost the local economy. Such investment is always given to metro or large urban areas like Bhubaneswar of the country by totally ignoring small towns or semi-urban rural India like Bhawanipatn of Kalahandi

[F] Recently both Jammu and Kashmir got two Central Universities due to public protest; Kalahandi has been demanding a Central University since past two decades, so Kalahandi and Koraput each should have a Central and National University, so that poverty and backwardness of KBK zone would be automatically eradicated and political gambling like Biju K.B.K Yojana and long term K.B.K Yojana would no more felt necessary.

[G] Quality can still be maintained while establishing such institution in semi - urban areas such as Bhawanipatna – Karlapada, as institutions in semi - urban region such as IIT Khragapur, IIT Roorkee, BITS Pilani, etc. have excelled in India.

[2] Deserving Case of Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna for University Status

Justification of University Status
I] Despite being located in a backward and underdeveloped region, Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna has established itself for maintaining high quality in education and research in this part of the state. Students of this College have been securing top ranks at the University level as well as state level in various fields of education.


II] The institution has been successfully implemented many research projects [ major & Minor] of D.R.D.A, U.G.C, I.C.H.R, and I.S.S.R.C etc. Faculties of the college have produced more than 200 research papers in the last ten years and many reference and edited volumes. The college has its own Research Journal entitled – Kalahandi Renaissance [ A multi – disciplinary Research Journal] where research papers of Indian and foreign scholars and scientists are published regularly.


III] – The College stands on 56 acres of land and in its immediate periphery more than 100 acres of government land besides 100 acres of non – cultivated land in private possession exists which would be utilized for horizontal growth of the institution.

IV] It is also among the first 47 colleges in the nation and only 3 colleges in the state to get the “College with Potential for Excellence” (CPE) status by UGC since 2004. In KBK-Kandhamal-Boudh region, it is the only college to get this honor so far. As such, the next up-gradation of this institution is to UNIVERSITY.


V] KBK region is known to be backward in higher education and research facilities. Lack of sufficient teachers/lecturers in major Government Colleges in the region has been a serious concern since 1960. A University would facilitate highly skilled professionals in the various fields to join as permanent faculties, such as, lecturer, Assistant, Associate, and full time Professors in such institutions and will fulfill deficiencies in shortage of lecturers in Autonomous College in Kalahandi, KBKK region in general.


VI] A University, however, will give this institution independency to introduce new courses not only in the discipline mentioned above but also in the field of medicine, agriculture, technology etc based on local requirements. It will also improve the current deficiency in regular teaching positions and make the professor’s position non-transferable basis by directly encouraging research activities.


[VII] This year the college celebrates its Golden Jubilee. Based on location, available infrastructure, local & regional requirements, quality, and importantly merit, Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna deserves to be a University in the state on priority basis.

3] Govt. Medical College in Kalahandi

Proposal & Justification
The People of Kalahandi compelled Orissa Government to start a Medical College at Jaring [ Bhawanipatna – Junagarh] through a prolonged day & night agitation in Nove 2004. WODC of Orissa allotted fund to Sylvan Charitable Trust, Tamilnadu to start this Medical College. Until 2010, this medical College is unable to start in Private capacity and there is no hope of functioning of this Institution in near future. As such, proposal may be included in your draft for taken over of this Medical College by the Government after canceling the MOU.

In the year 2009, more than fifty people died in Cholera in Kalahandi alone and the government failed to protect the life because there is no Government Medical college and hospital in Kalahandi. This cannot be expected in a Democratic political system of a country.


Thus, the so- called Sardar raja Medical college of Jaring ought to be taken over by the Government and should be renamed as Govt. Medical College Kalahandi.

4] Govt. Engineering College at Dharamgarh
A Government Engineering College in Dharamgarh Sub –division is necessary.

Justification
No -I] In Technical education field [Higher] there is gross injustice to Kalahandi. Kalahandi has waited long sixty years after its merger with the Orissa Province in 1948, to get a Technical Educational Institution only in 2009. When Hirakud Dam Project was started, Govt. of Orissa spontaneously established Burla Engineering College, But when Indravati project began in 1975 – 76, Odisha Govt and Policy makers never planned an Engineering College at Dharamgarh Sub – division. Today thus, Kalahandi claims its legitimate right for second Engineering College [first being Bhawanipatna Engineering College] as redemption of its loss in the past due to the ridiculous planning in Orissa State.


II]. Vedanta has entered into the Kalahandi soil for mining operation and many other companies are likely to come into Kalahandi to plunder its hidden wealth in near future. Odisha government would earn millions and billions as royalty out of the property of Kalahandi. Thus, why the policy makers of Odisha will not plan a Second Govt. Engineering College at Kalahandi ?


III] Students of low-income family of this district cannot opt for engineering degree from private technical institution because of the disparity of fees structure and shelter between Govt. and Private Engineering colleges. As such, another Government Engineering College at Dharamgarh Sub- division is highly essential.


IV]. Establishment of a Second Govt. Engineering College at Dharamgarh would not only cater to the technical educational need of Kalahandi, Bolangir, Nuapada and Nawrangpur districts but also it will attract aspirants from neighbouring Chhatisgarh State, particularly from Bastar and Debhog regions which are very close to Dharamgarh Sub – division.

5. Agricultural University at Dharamgarh

Justification
I] Junagarh – Dharamgarh area is primarily an agrarian belt of KBK zone that deserves special attention of the Policy makers. Indravati dam has irrigated the area. The sub-division, moreover, lies at the NH – 201 and SH besides, railway linkage will soon be available with the construction of the Junagarh – lanjigarh line and Kantabanji – Nawrangpur railway line. Raipur Aerodrome is hardly 150 Km from Dharamgarh. As such, an Agricultural University can thrive in Junagarh – Dharamgarh belt.

II] The said University will cater to the need of KBK zone in particular and south- west Odisha in general as Kalahandi locates in the centre of the KBK.


III. Undivided Kalahandi still preserves primeval shrub and varieties of flora. Archaeologically, it has been proven that undivided Kalahandi was the cradle of agriculture. The soil and excellent riparian system as well as fluctuating eco – systems offers a pretext of experiment, which can be possible only if an Agricultural University would be established here.

6. National Institute of Basic Science and Research Institute at Nuapada in the manner of NISER of Bhubaneswar.

Justification
The policy makers, intellectuals, and government are well aware about the poverty, and backwardness of Nuapada district. Now the time is rife to provide the people Basic Science Education & Research facilities in the line of NISER of Bhubaneswar, so that the region would march ahead as per other developed districts of the State and the wrongs done by the Orissa Government towards Nuapada region during the last sixty years would be redeemed.


Nuapada has been well – connected by NH, SH, Rail and its nearest Raipur Aerodrum is hardly 80 Km distance from it.

7. Ayurvedic College and a Botanical Research Centre at Narla – M.Rampur – Kesinga & Langigarh.

Justification
No – I. Kondmall mountain range traverses in these geographical entities of Kalahandi District. The mountain and forest clad lands are full of diverse flora which must be preserved and used for the well-beings of the people through education, training and research.

II. These two Institutions, moreover, would work as a catalytic force against Vedanta Allumina Ltd, of Langigarh from damaging the floral species of Niyamgiri hill during its minening operation, to which the Kalahandi people are primarily concern.

III. Tribal peoples of Kalahandi primarily rely on ethno – medicine. The Ayurvedic College and Botanical Research Centre would further expand its scope and dimension through modern technique for the welfare of the tribal peoples.

An Appeal
Therefore, as people’s representative, I urge your august office to include these proposals of Higher Education and Research institutions for undivided Kalahandi, which is the lowest Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in particular, and KBK in general in the State. The above schemes could be mooted and implemented by the Policy makers and the government of the state at least fifty years before the present. But unfortunately the planning bodies did not pay their attention consciously and deliberately in the past as also the government.


Sincerely Yours

Bhakta Charan Das, M.P [ Loksabha].

Copy to
1. Smt. Prativa Patil, Hon,ble President of India, New Delhi.
2. Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon,ble Prime Minister of India, New Delhi
3. Sri. Kapil Sibbal, Hon,ble Union Minister of HRD, Govt. of India, New Delhi.
4. Dr. Sam Petroda, Hon,ble Chairman National Knowledge Commission, Govt. of India, New Delhi.
5. Sri. Murali Kant Bhandare, Hon,ble Governor of Odisha State, Rajbhavan, Bhubaneswar.
6. Sri. Naveen Pattnaik, Hon,ble Chief Minister of Odisha State.
7. Sri. Bhupinder Singh, Hon,ble Leader of Opposition, Orissa Legislative Asssembly, Bhubaneswar.


Bhakta Charan Das [ M.P] Loksabha
Kalahandi

Bhakta presents Task Force his edu plan for Kalahandi

The Pioneer, Feb 8, 2010
Pioneer News Service, Bhubaneswar

Member of Parliament from Kalahandi Bhakta Charan Das has a big agenda on higher education. He has flooded the State’s Task Force on Higher Education with several demands. The Task Force, set up by the State Government on October 7 last year, is meeting here on Tuesday to finalise a detailed report to be presented to the Government.

Das on Saturday sent a memorandum to Task Force chairman Triclochan Pradhan, asking for at least three universities and a few other centres of higher learning in Kalahandi district. He has also sought another university-level institution in the neighbouring Nuapada district.

Das’ demands include a higher educational and research centre like the National University in Kalahandi. Secondly, he wants the 50-year-old Government Autonomous College at Bhawanipatna to be elevated to university status.

Another university-level organisation, National Institute of Basic Science and Research Institute, like the NISER of Bhubaneswar, has been demanded by Das at Nuapada. He has also demanded that the private medical initiative being initiated at Jaring in Kalahandi be taken over by the Government and it must run as a Government medical college. Similarly, he has sought an agricultural university at Dharmagarh and a Government engineering college at Dharmagarh.

Das has stated that the undivided Kalahandi district in particular and the KBK region in general have the lowest Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in the State. The schemes now suggested by him could have been mooted and implemented by policy makers earlier, felt he. But unfortunately, the planning bodies did not pay their attention consciously and deliberately in the past, he rued.

B’patna college likely to get varsity status: Srikant

The Pioneer, Feb 8, 2010
PNS, Bhawanipatna

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikant Jena on Saturday said here that as the five-year-old Government Autonomous College of Bhawanipatna has B++ status efforts would be made to upgrade it into a university. He was the chief guest on the concluding day of the college’s golden jubilee celebrations.

Earlier on Friday, Jena also attended the 50th-year celebration of Dharmagarh High School at Dharmagarh. He said a science and research centre would be opened in the high school and all other schools can take the advantage of it.

Regarding appointment of Shiksha Sahayaks, Jena, later addressing a Press conference at Bhawanipatna, criticised the State Government’s decision for appointment of these para-teachers at the district level as a State cadre.

He promised that a number of small fertiliser units would be set up in Kalahandi district so that local entrepreneurs would get a scope.

He was of the view that bauxite should not be extracted in the Niyamgiri hill as the ecology of the area would be adversely affected. The State Government is acting against the interests of the people by selling bauxite at Rs 64 per tonne whereas its actual market price is above Rs 2,000 per tonne, he said.

Jena also held discussions with District Collector RS Gopalan and other officials at a review meeting held here. Later, briefing reporters, he said that the implementation of the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyut Yojna (RGGVY) is very slow in the district, where the target is to electrify more than 2,000 villages. Under the Indravati Project, 10,000 hectares of land cannot be cultivated due to shortage of water, he also pointed out.

He said that although Rs 20 crore is provided under the National Rural Health Mission in Kalahandi, the progress is not enough due to shortage of doctors and office staff.

He further said that a mobile hospital would be launched in the district providing healthcare facilities in the van. Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das and DCC president Ras Bihari Behera were present at the news conference.

Bhakta presents big edu agenda

Tathya.in. Feb 7, 2010
Bhubaneswar:7/February/2010

Bhakta Charan Das has a big agenda on Higher Education.


So the Member of Parliament from Kalahandi has flooded with demands to the Task Force.

Task Force on Higher Education (TFHE) is meeting on 9 February to finalize the Detailed Report to be presented to the Government.

TFHE was set up on 7 October, 2009 by the Higher Education Department to prepare a Perspective Plan for Higher Education in Odisha.

Mr.Das on 6 February sent a memorandum to the Triclochan Pradhan Chairman TFHE and has asked for at least 3 universities and a few Centers of Higher Learning in Kalahandi.

Another university level organization in Nuapada also has been demanded.

Demands include a Higher Educational and Research Centre like the National University in Kalahandi.

Secondly terming it as a deserving Case of Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna Mr.Das has batted for giving this institution the University Status.

Another University level organization like NISER of Bhubaneswar has been demanded at Nuapada, National Institute of Basic Science and Research Institute.

Mr.Das has demanded that the private medical initiative being initiated at Jaring in Kalahandi to be taken over by Government and it must run as the Government Medical College.

Similarly an Agricultural University at Dharamgarh has also been demanded in the memorandum.

Another Government Engineering College at Dharamgarh has also asked by Mr.Das.

Mr.Das has said that as people’s representative, he urged Dr.Pradhan to include these proposals of Higher Education and Research institutions for undivided Kalahandi.

This area has the lowest Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in particular, and KBK in general in the State.

The above schemes could have been mooted and implemented by the Policy makers, felt he.

But unfortunately the planning bodies did not pay their attention consciously and deliberately in the past as also by the present Government, rued he.

Earlier leading NRO Digambara Patra has demanded for all these institutions, however thick-skinned planners have turned deaf ear to him.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Images: Golden Jubilee Celebration of Government High School Dharamgarh

Contributor: Ingit Panda
(We acknowledge and appreciate Shir Ingit Panda's contribution)
Feb 4-6, 2010








Letter on Matter relating Central University Koraput and Shri Jagannath Mandir Sabara Shrikhetra Koraput

To

Honorable Union Minister of HRD

CC
Honroable Prime Minister Dr Singh
Honroable Chief Minister of Odisha Mr Patnaik
Higher Education Task Force, Odisha
Media

Dear Mr Sibal,
Kalahandi and Koraput regions have been struggling since independence for establishing higher educational institutions in the region. Since past 60 years till 2007, not a single state Government and/or central Government technical/medical college or Universities were established in undivided Kalahandi and Koraput. I am very disappointed to learn that now some people are working against these regions by undermining interest of the region and proposing to establish National/Central University or its branch in Angul-Dhenkanal region having two central Govt. funded institutions (IIMC and a recently proposed Medical college by Coal Ministry). In Odisha all the central Government funded higher educational and research institutions are located in 200 km radius of Bhubaneswar except NIT Rourkela and Central University at Koraput.

I have written you often in multiple letters on justification of establishing National University and/or branch of Central University in Kalahandi along with Koraput, its very unfortunate that instead of working on this matter, some of the policy makers and administrators are working like MAFIA against higher education and research infrastructure development of KBK region and proposing location like Angul, Dhenkanal, Behrmapur as per their personal convenience, when the distance of Central University Koraput and Bhawaniptana is more than between Bhubaneswar and any of the Angul, Dhenkanal, Behrmapur, Balasore, Puri etc and these regions in Costal Odisha has one or more number of central Government funded higher education or research institution. Proposing such location due to political and personal reasons is unfortunate.


It is also advisable that administrators and VC of Central University of Odisha works and spend more time in Koraput rather than in Bhubaneswar. The branch of CUO in Bhubaneswar looks like due to personal reason rather actual requirement of CUO at Koraput.
 
KBK region has been deprived for 60 years and currently it needs special attention to fill up the gap made in those decades.


I draw your attention the following personally shared by Shri K. C. Panigrahy with me and anticipate you will look into this matter raised by Shri Panigrahy and solve the current problem of Central University at Koraput.

Thank you and best regards

Digambara Patra
..................................................................
To

All the News Paper and TV Channels, Lr.No. 35/JM/10
News editor, press representatives and Dt- 4.01.2010
other concerned persons.

Sub : In response to the allegations against Sri Jagannath Mandir, Sabara Srikhetra, Koraput (Odisha) made by Prof. Surabhi Banerjee, Hon’ble VC of the Central University of Orissa, Koraput in a press conference on February 3,2010 at Bhubaneswar.

Dear Sirs,
In response to the allegations made against Sri Jagannath Mandir, Koraput in a press Conference at Bhubaneswar, we are enclosing here with Letter No.23/JM/10 Dated 27.01.2010 addressed to Sri Rajesh Prabhakar Patil IAS, Collector & District Magistrate -cum- working President, Sri Jagannath Mandir,Sabara Srikhetra, Koraput. which will clear the confusion created by the Hon’ble VC Prof. Surabhi Banerjee.

It seems, the statement in a press conference of Hon’ble VC Prof. Surabhi Benerjee is a panic reaction as the copies of these letters were sent to all concerned and we have submitted an application to the University under RTI to supply certain documents.

Infact, we are not able to appreciate, how and why a VC of her stature could stoop to so low and it speaks her credibility.

We are confident that the press will kindly come forward to enter deep in to the whole gamut of situation and expose the truth in the interest of the public as well as in the interest of the new born Central University of Orissa, Koraput.


Yours faithfully


K.C. Panigrahy

Secreatary


Sri Rajesh Prabhakar Patil, IAS Lr. No : 23/Jm/10
Collector & District Magistrate -cum- Dt : 27/01/2010
Working President, Sri Jagannath Mandir,
Sabara Srikhetra, KORAPUT -764020



Sub : Central University of Orissa, Koraput.



Dear Sir,
I am told that while Hon'ble VC addressing the students and teachers on January 23, 2010 at the University Campus has stated that the Temple authorities are claiming rupees fifteen lakhs for the inaugural ceremoney on August 29, 2009 (which is far from truth) and thus she has moved the State Government for payment. It seems it is her panic reaction in an attempt to divert the attention of the agitating students and public, though she is well aware of the facts which are otherwise.

2. In the interest of Koraput region, I would like to note that the matter of proper governance of the new born Central University of Orissa deserves your serious attention as you are the District Magistrate of Koraput. Your immediate intervention, though the CUO may be a Central government organisation, is seems essential. In the mean time certain facts of grave lapses might have come to your notice. Till now there is no minimum facilities like a text book library at least. The most sufferers are the 'Mass Communication & Journalism' students who have till now are not exposed to any gadgets which they are supposed to handle frequently to have the confidence. I am told that the Hon'ble VC had sermoned to the student on 23-01-2010 saying that the students wil be taken to different studios of our country on study tours. It seems it is to white wash the whole problem. The study tour can not serve the purpose of handling of the gadgets by the students. After laboratory practice, the study tour will yield the result. Any sane person can visualise the realties. Procurement of text books for the library and having a communication studio is not of most difficult task. The authorities could have used the Gyan Mandir (e-library-cum-studio) of Sri Jagannath Mandir with little addition and alteration for the Mass Communication & Journalism students. as well as other facility students. The above arrangements will cost much less than the so-called study tours. It seems the Hon'ble VC has never applied her wisdom to solve the problem. This could have also been managed even staying at Kolkota. In fact, earlier she had written a letter to our president to allow to use the 'Gyan Mandir'. It seems, after the sucess of the inaugural ceremony when she got bha-bha from HRD Minister and our Chief Minister, she quietly forgot that a first batch of students are admitted at a new University.

3. I may also note that Sri Jagannath Mandir of Sabara Srikhetra is the pioneer to take the public load since 1995 for establishment of an university in Koraput region which is a backward scheduled Area. After much endeavour and untiring efforts for one and half decades the Government have been pleased to open a Central University at Koraput in 2009 by the grace of god. Fortunately since 1995 all the Hon'ble MPs and MLA's, of Koraput region (four districts) irrespective of their politial affilation, Co-operated activety in our endeavour which is rare in any other part of our country. As we are striveing since 1995, therefore voluntereed to cooperate with the 'Central University of Orissa' team from the day one in providing of temporary accomodation in the premises of our sister organisation (COATS) remodeling the campus as desigred by VC for opening an University and make all arrangements for the inaugural ceremoney, lest the project might be hijacked as a proposal was being hatched to have the university campus at Bhubaneswar. Hon'ble VC was also very much interested to stay at Bhubaneswar or in worst at the near by Dhenkanal or Anugul and she had submited such a proposal to the authorities. Against this background I now bring to your kind notice the main issues so that you may be able to appreciate the whole gamut of the problems.

4. On personal request by the Hon'ble VC and the advice of the Collector, we have taken up, the following works for the C.U.O to start functioning.

(I) Remodeling of the COATS campus to make it suitable for running a University.

(II) Arrangements for the inaugural ceremoney at 'Nisani Munda'.

5. Both are separate works and items. Hon'ble VC had personally requested to remodel the COATS campus, engageing sufficient extra workers to make the COATS campus as early as possible suitable for opening the University prior to the visit of the Central team headed by the Joint Secretary (HRD), Government of India. She had specifically told me in the presence of the Collector and other officers of CUO that the expenditure made for remodeling of the COATS campus and white washing/painting of the proposed hostel buildings will also be met from the CUO fund. Officers on Special Duty of the CUO has also given in writing that the expenditure will be re-embursed from the University fund. The District Administration had under taken the remodeling, white washing etc, tasks of the two Hostel Buildings and it seems the CUO has not yet taken care to re-emburs the cost involved to the District Administration also.

6. For the arrangements in a rainy season at the Nisani Munda (inaugural ceremoney venue) we could be able to complete at a cost of Rs. 4,03,152.00 (Rupees four lakhs three thousand one hundred fifty only) which includes construction of temporary road and drain from the main road to the venue stage which was quite essential. You are well aware of the hardship we faced to execute the work both day and night during heavy rains when you happened to be the Sub-Collector and you are an eye witness to it.

7. We place bellow the detail headwise expenditure made by the temple which we had already supplied alongwith xerox copies of the cash book, all the vouchers and the extracts of MB to the university authority. What else the CUO authorities need for settlement ? The tragic irony is that there is no bonafide officer either at Bhubaneswar or at Koraput and Hon'ble VC seems busy with the so-called CUO development projects. Unfortunately now the Hon'ble VC is stating blatant lie before the students and teaches meet on 23-01-2010. Is It the wisdom of a VC ?

Details of the expenditure made for theremodeling the proposed University Campus and the inaugural ceremony of the Central University of Orissa, Koraput by Sri Jagannath Mandir, Sabara Srikhetra, Koraput

Item No. I

1) Remodeling / Renovation works including roof repairing,

Replacing of old GCI sheet wherever necessary,

maxphalting the roof, Laying of Concrete roads,

Landscaping and fencing, painting & colour

working, decoration with Jhoti etc. 9,22,645.00



2) Electrification to the structures and premises 35,532.00

Total - I Rs : 9,58,177.00



Item No. II

3) Landscaping the inaugural meeting venue with

laying of temporary roods, drains etc and erection

of stage 1,47,540.00

4) Erection of Temporary pendal with 4000 capacity

sitting arrangements, decorating with cloth etc. 2,07,145.00

5) Erection of Flex Boards for the Hostels, venue,

campus etc. with the MS Angle frames. 26,971.00

6) Arrangements of Mike, Electrification, Generator etc.

at inaugural venue 10,300.00

7) Procurement of flowers etc. to decorate the meeting

stage and the plaque etc. 8,316.00

8) Postage and other expenses for the distribution

of the invitation letter and subsequently the invitation

cards to the dignitories of the undivided Koraput plus B.F Total - I Rs : 9,58,177.00

other KBK area. 2,880.00 Total -I I Rs :4,03,152.00

Total-II Rs : 4,03,152.00 Grand Total Rs : 13,61,329.00

(Rupees thirteen lakhs sixtyone thousand and three hundred twentynine only)



Please Note : Earlier the bill was submitted for Rs.13,56,235/- as an item was later paid.

8. The total is not fifteen lakhs but the expenditures for the inaugural ceremony is only 4,03,152/- In spite of our repeated requests and clarifications the claim has not been settled as yet.

9. Till the end of the inaugural ceremoney of the Central University, Sri Jagannath Mandir of Sabara Srikhetra arranged everything from A to Z including the distribution of invitation letter first and subsequently the invitation cards to all the dignitories of KBK region as well as of Orissa State.

10. You may be astonished to know that the VC is said to have spent rupees Rs.55,00,000/- (Rupees fiftyfive lakhs only) towards advertisements charges only for the inaugural ceremoney in the news papers mainly of Kolkata and Delhi editions awarding a contract to one M/S Alakananda Publications vide CUO file No.1024/CUO/09. There are many more such instance of exhorbetant expenditure incured.

11. I am not sure whether the above expenditure made by Hon'ble VC was in the interest of the Central University of Orissa, Koraput and public. Moreover, it seems the expenditures made by the Hon'ble VC are not as per the Government Order No.G.23011/22/2009 - IF.I, Government of India, Ministry of Human Resources Development of Higher Education read with the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure O.M. issued in F.No.66 (16)/PF-11/2009 dated 24th July 2009 and No.7 (I). E. Coord / 2009 dated 7th September, 2009 which inter alia stipulated urgent need for rationalization of expenditure and optimization of available resources in order to ensure adequate resources for meeting the development needs. (All the words are from the referred G.O.).

12. In spite of allotment of six quarters by the State Government, the Hon'ble VC is staying at Hotel Mayfair, Bhubaneswar paying Rs.6,000/- daily rent. Further on the plea of holding a seminar, all the students and teachers were shifted from 'Koraput' to 'Bhubaneswar' bearing entire expenditure of their TA, DA and lodging at Bhubaneswar out of the University fund seems to be the repitation of 'Dilli se Daulatabad' syndrome and may need immediate treatment. Another so-called two seminar/workshops of 'English language' and 'Tribal problem' are also seems to be dramas. The Hon'ble VC may have to clarify her actions when the questions arise. Now she is talking about study tour to studios of our Country. At what cost ? For whose benifit ? Certainly not of the students.

13. In the face of the categorical commitment of the OSD made in his letter No.CUO/1013/2009 dated 1.8.2009 addressed to the Collector and District Magistrate, Koraput (copy enclosed) that the actual expenditure for the inaugural ceremony would be reimbursed from the accounts of the central University of Orissa. Now the plea taken by the Hon'ble VC that she moved the State Government for payment is quite absured as there was no such request to us from the state Government to make such arrangements solely for the function of the university. It seems the Central University authorities are bent upon playing the game of hide and seek which has to be stopped. Of course, the CUO authorities cannot go back from their commitments which tentamounts to clear breach of trust.

14. Under the circumstances, I appeal to your goodself to take up the matter with the Hon'ble VC and ensure prompt reimbursement of the total expenditure of Rs. 13,61,329.00 incurred by the temple in good faith and in public interest to comply with the request made by the Hon'ble VC seeking our co-operation.

Yours faithfully,

K.C. Panigrahy

Secretary

Copy forwarded to the Hon'ble VC Prof. Surabhi Banerjee to her three addresses :(i) Main Office at Koraput, (ii) Camp Office at Bhubaneswar and (iii) The real office (Res.) at Kolkata, for her kind information. She is again requested to be kind enough to keep her words and settle the dues immediately. She may also kindly note that the Mandir is not a private contractor and it is an autonomous legal body where four collectors of Koraput region are its ex-officio office bearers and Superintendent of Police, Koraput is also the ex-officio Vice President. The CUO authorities shall not treat the letters, documents submitted by the Mandir authorities are from an irresponsible body or a person.

(b) Further, Hon'ble VC may kindly favour the Public of Koraput region in shifting her actual Headquarter from Kolkata to Koraput at her earliest convenience and may visit her camp office at Bhubaneswar and Delhi from Koraput. It is in the interest of the infant University and she may kindly consider to stay at Koraput at least for a period of fifteen days in a month.

(c) Further more, the Hon'ble VC may kindly consider to either appoint or bring on deputation a qualified and able Registrar and a suitable Finance Controller. The so-called two or three OSDs are not in the interest of the new-born University. Ofcourse, These OSDs can be controlled with a remote.

(d) She may also kindly consider to start a library at least with the text books and other sundry units relating to an university immediately as she is not yet able to appreciate, the plights of first batch students.

(e) She may also kindly consider either to appoint or bring on deputation senior professionals as faculty members instead of temporary juniors on whom Hon'ble VC's remote controlled Sword is always hanging, for which the juniors are not in a position to express their wisdom.

(f) Any sensible person will definitely appreciate that these demands of minimum essential arrangements are in the interest of the University and students. So-called sermons of the Hon'ble VC (as I am told) on January 23, 2010 to the students teacher meet at Koraput campus that "the VC is at liberty to stay at any place of the country and shall not be expected to sit at Koraput" seems not at all good for the health of the new born baby university. Perhaps due to student agitation earlier (Generally the studentss of M.A Classes do not dare to agitate) the Hon'ble VC has to state as above to boost her capacity.

(g) Hope, the above submissions before the Hon'ble VC will kindly be appreciated as she is an academician. As the Hon'ble VC had made the issue public first in the students,teachers meet, I am circulating this to the concerned public and authories to clear the confusion created.



K.C. Panigrahy

Secretary

Big dreams in small places

The Hindu, Feb 8, 2010
D. Murali

One of the villages in Kalahandi district of Orissa is Rupra Road. “The village is bustling and cosmopolitan, judging by the four different styles and weaves of women’s saris on display at the market: adivasi, Dalit, Marwari, and Oriya. Children yell out, ‘Sarpanch, sarpanch…’ as our jeep goes by,” writes Indira Maya Ganesh in one of the essays included in ‘Sarpanch Sahib’ (www.harpercollins.co.in).


Yes, Indira is with ‘28-year-old Deepanjali Majhi,’ the first woman president – the sarpanch – of the Rupra Road panchayat. Deepanjali’s father, a mailroom attendant in the postal service, had worked hard to secure the finances for her education and was keen that she acquire an Arts degree; and not wishing to let him down, she ‘completed two years of her BA degree at Bishwanathpur College in Bhawanipatna,’ the author continues.

A breakthrough in Deepanjali’s understanding was that the 33 per cent reservation does not mean that women can contest only from those seats, it just means that men can contest only from 67 per cent of the seats. ‘Ask people here if they know this, and you will find that they do not,’ she challenges Indira.

Enhancing livelihood opportunities
The important thing for Deepanjali is to start working to improve the village. One of her first tasks was to petition the block administration to sanction tube-wells for her panchayat; and her commitment is to improve the lives of women and children, and enhance livelihood opportunities for the entire community, Indira reports.

“Deepanjali noticed that women were consistently excluded from government pension and food schemes, but were still willing to involve themselves in community activities. So she urged women to apply for work under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), gave SHGs (self-help groups) the priority when local ponds were auctioned for pisciculture, and transferred some PDS (Public Distribution System) responsibilities to SHGs as well.”

There are hurdles, however. For instance, of the Rs 50-60 lakh sanctioned to Deepanjali’s office, only 10 per cent has actually been received, the author finds. She traces the hold-up in the transfer of funds to other panchayats in the block which have not utilised their existing funds, nor accounted for them.

“Thus the Department of Rural Development Activities (DRDA) in the block administration has stopped all further disbursements till all the accounts are in order. This delay has upset the youth groups who were keen to get their projects underway – projects that Deepanjali had promised they would be funded for…”

Invest money to make money
Another story, in the book edited by Manjima Bhattacharjya, is Sonia Faleiro’s ‘The Ballet Dancer,’ on Maloti Gowalla of Titabar anchalik panchayat in Assam’s Jorhat district. “A few months ago, to bolster her panchayat salary of Rs 500 a month, Maloti opened a store in her front yard with an initial investment of Rs 14,000. It’s a typical village store crammed with a vivid mix of goods – black pepper, Colgate tooth paste, ‘Pizza’ biscuits, sacks of garlic bulbs and peas,” writes Sonia.

She notes that Maloti was waiting for her husband’s annual bonus (from his Rs 2,500-per-month job in a tea estate) to make a further investment of about Rs 20,000. “You have to invest money to make money,” Maloti tells Sonia.

Wages are low in the estates, Maloti rues. And poverty goes with illiteracy, she adds. “The estate’s labourers, who are largely illiterate and migrants from impoverished tribal areas, believe their children will follow them into the bagaan. They view education as a waste of money. Although the village school is free, it charges an exam fee equal to a day’s salary for a permanent worker on the estate. Parents also need their children’s wages…”

One of Maloti’s decisions as the panchayat president was to build a boundary wall around the school’s football field and to strengthen the school gate. A small measure, but an important one, observes Sonia. “The boundary wall prevented wild animals from the neighbouring forest from entering the school. It stopped children engrossed in a game from running out of the field and onto the main road. It kept the village children safe, and was therefore a success for her…”

Maloti, who bought a bicycle when she turned 40, finds that the vehicle ‘fundamentally altered the length of a working day’ and resulted in ‘less physical exertion.’ The cycle comes handy when she goes about supervising ‘the reconstruction of two dams in the village, projects collectively worth over Rs 43 lakh.’

Business model
An interesting snatch in the essay is about the unusual method that Maloti adopts for easing the financial burden of new families starting to work in the tea estate. She quietly suggests that they collect armfuls of the protein-rich fern, dhekia, which grows wild in the ditches on either side of the gardens. It is a popular vegetable in Assam, consumed in a number of preparations, and while the villagers won’t receive money for it – the Titabar vegetable market functions on barter – they will get rice and pulses, Sonia informs.

“She has also come up with her own solution to enrich the lives of the village children by starting the cultivation of a three kilometre stretch of sasi grass, a local rubber plant, whose value, when fully grown, is over Rs 20,000. The profits, she says, will be invested in equipping the village schools with computers.”

Maloti’s dream is that every home in the village has educated children who can read under the light of bulbs and drink water from the taps. “‘Maybe one day I will fulfil my grandfather’s dream and become a mantri,’ she says, laughing lightly. You dream big, I tell her. She smiles. ‘We women have to. Otherwise how will the world work?’”

Earthy read, for its insights on how creative solutions emerge at the grassroots level to ‘change the face of India,’ despite financial and other constraints.

Formation of brigade battalion in Orissa sought

Expressbuzz, Feb 5, 2010
BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has proposed establishment of a brigade battalion of the Army in Orissa.


The proposal was discussed at the civil- military liaison conference cochaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Lieutenant General JK Mohanty, GOC-in-C of central command.

The State Government has agreed to provide 1,600 acres of land at Balasore for setting up the battalion. The Defence Ministry will take a final decision in the matter.

The State Government is also prepared to provide land to the Army for establishment of its camps in Western and Southern Orissa. Chief secretary TK Mishra told mediapersons after the conference that the State Government is hopeful of establishment of the brigade battalion in Orissa. He said that the battalion of the territorial army at Bhubaneswar is not a full-fledged one.

The State Government also proposed that physical criteria for recruitment to the Army should be relaxed in case of youths from Southern Orissa who are mostly tribals. He hoped that the Defence Ministry will take a decision on the matter soon.

Lt Gen Mohanty said that opening of another sainik school in Western Orissa is under active consideration of the Army. The school will be set up either at Sambalpur or Bargarh. The Chief Secretary said that problems facing the sainik school at Bhubaneswar were discussed.

The State Government has agreed to provide necessary fund for repair of the school, he said. The proposal for opening of four more district sainik boards was discussed.

Opening of the boards in Keonjhar and Koraput districts has been finalised while a decision will be taken on opening of the boards in Bolangir and Sundargarh districts.

The Chief Secretary said that the State Government agreed to the proposal for providing land for polyclinics for Army personnel at Sambalpur, Puri, Angul, Koraput, Bhawanipatna and Dhenkanal. Now there are three polyclinis for the Army personnel at Bhubaneswar, Balasore and Berhampur.

The issue of acceptance of the model welfare package by the State to revise ex gratia payment for armed forces personnel who lay down their lives or get disabled due to injury in counter insurgency operations was discussed.

It was decided that the State Government will honour winners of gallantry and distinguished service awards on the Independence Day and the Republic Day. It was proposed that 3 per cent reservation for ex-servicemen in jobs should be increased by the State Government.

To a question, Lt Gen Mohanty said that the Army was ready to provide all assistance to the State Government to combat the Naxalites. He said that the Army had been training the police on improvised explosives device (IED).

Church sells its shares in mining company

Financial Express, Feb 7, 2010
By Amy Kazmin in New Delhi


The Church of England said yesterday it had sold its shareholdings in the London-listed mining company Vedanta Resourcesbecause of concern over the company's treatment of tribal villagers near a controversial planned bauxite mine in east India.

The Church said it had decided to end its investment in the Indian mining company after an intensive, six-month dialogue with Vedanta's management and a November visit by the church's ethical investment advisors to some of Vedanta's project sites in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

"We are not satisfied that Vedanta has shown, or is likely in future to show, the level of respect for human rights and local communities that we expect of companies in whom the Church investing bodies hold shares," John Reynolds, chairman of the church's ethical investment advisory group, said in a statement.

After the visit to Vedanta's Lanjigarh alumina refinery, Edward Mason, secretary of the ethics panel, felt that villagers living near the refinery project sites had not been treated responsibly.

The ethics panel also felt that villagers near the controversial Niyamgiri bauxite mine site - a mountain sacred to the 8,000-strong Dongria Kondh tribe - were also at risk unless the company took a different approach towards local communities in its project areas.

As a result, Mr Reynolds said, it would be "inconsistent" with the Church of England's investment ethics policies for it to hold shares in the company.

The Church of England's £3.8m holding in Vedanta, which has been sold already, was small compared with both the size of its holdings elsewhere and the size of Vedanta.

However, the church's decision is an embarrassing setback for the Indian miner, which has come under intense criticism for the way it deals with the impoverished communities in its remote project areas.

Vedanta said it was "disappointed" with the Church of England's decision, but would try to address the concerns that had been raised.

"Vedanta remains fully committed to pursuing its investments in a responsible manner, with respecting the environment and human rights," the company said in a statement.

Survival International, an activist group that has been lobbying institutional investors to sell their holdings in Vedanta, urged other shareholders to follow the example set by the Church of England.

"The church's unprecedented and very welcome decision sends a very strong signal to companies that trample on tribal people's rights," Stephen Corry, Survival International's director, said.

Among other moves, the Church of England's ethics advisors urged Vedanta to establish "externally facilitated communications mechanisms" with communities affected by the Niyamgiri mine to discuss issues such as how development funds would be spent.

Vedanta hold workshop on Bio Medical Waste Management held in Orissa

Orissadiary, Feb 6, 2010
Lanjigarh: The need for segregating Bio-Medical Waste from general hospital waste and its careful disposal was stressed by Dr. Mukesh Kumar, Chief Operating Officer, Vedanta Aluminium Limited on February 5, 2010.


Addressing the inaugural session of a Union Ministry of Environment and Forests sponsored training and workshop on Biomedical Waste Management at Lanjigarh, Kalahandi, and Dr. Mukesh Kumar said that it was very important to sensitize all sections of the society about biomedical waste and its proper disposal. The two day training and worskshop is being organized by MDC on SHE in association with District Administration, Kalahandi and Vedanta Alumnium Limited. Shri RS Gopalan, Collector, Kalahandi inaugurated the program at conference hall of Vedanta Guest House. He emphasized on cleaning of hospital surrounding to prevent further spread of disease.

Prof. (Dr.) T Venkatesh, Principal Adviser, St. John Medical College, Bangalore; said that proper disposal of medical waste is not only the responsibility of health institutions only, general public has equal responsibility for the same. Dr. S. Rath, CDMO, Kalahandi and Prof. (Dr.) NK Das, Convener, State Level Task Force on BMW Management, SCB Medical College &Hospital, Cuttack, Dr. RC Rout, Head of Health and Safety and Environment of VAL and Dr. Sabita Swain, CMO of VAL were also present.

Prominent professors from St. John Medical College, Bangalore; SCB Medical College, Cuttack, senior functionaries from State Pollution Control Board, CDMOs, academicians and others presented technical papers on BMW management.

More than 70 doctors, paramedical staff connected with Biomedical Waste Management of industrial, private and government hospitals, officials of Urban Local Bodies and government officials dealing on the subject of Kalahandi and Nuapada districts attended the program. The training cum workshop is first of its kind in Kalahandi district.

Appreciable Step by Dr Manoj Kumar: Long lasting insecticidal net helps checking Malaria

Long lasting insecticidal net helps checking Malaria
Merinews, Feb 5, 2010
CJ: Dr Manoj Kumar

Malaria is an endemic problem in India. The complicated bionomics of the vector species makes it non eradicable. Integrated vector management is a best strategy to control malaria in India.

GOVERNMENT OF India, has supplied long lasting insecticide nets (LLIN) to all high endemic districts of India, for the first time in the history of malaria control in India. The fibres of the nets are built with deltramethrine and which will stay with the fibre up to nearly 3-4 years in the net. It can be washed up to more than 20-25 times and there is no need of impregnation at all.


Due to its excitorepellency effect, the mosquito can not sit over it. The efficiency of the net is tested in South Africa as well in Western Orissa in different ecological conditions. Its efficiency and durability is highly appreciable. This project is supported by the World Bank in 13 districts of Orissa. Kalahandi is one of the high endemic districts and got about 1 lac LLIN in the 1st phase.

The district malaria office is in the process of distribution of the net in the bordering panchayats of Kalhandi, as well as giving entire coverage to Thuamul Rampur and M Rampur Block.

The distribution process is guided by the collector and district magistrate, Kalhandi. Chief district medical officer, Additional district medical officer, nodal officer and VBD consultant are working hard for smooth and early distribution of the LLIN to all beneficiaries. Block development officers, child development project officers, Medical officers in charge, Malaria Techincal supervisors, ANM, AWW, and ASHA are also working well to ensure that not a single family be excluded from LLIN. Pregnant women are given 1st priority and LLIN are distributed to them free of cost, while a token amount of Rs.5/-(five only) is collected from the rest of the LLIN beneficiaries.

The money collected thereof, will be deposited in the village itself in the account of Gaon Kalyan Samiti (GKS), which can be spend in the village for other health programmes and activities.

Personal prophylactic measure is the best means of integrated vector management to control the men-mosquito biting.

Still awareness is a major factor that plays in its successful implementation. Most of the pockets are poverty stricken; there are chances that people can sell the net for the sake of money. To avoid this, each LLIN is coded with a code number from which the name of the beneficiary, village name, panchayat and block name can be known.

The media and literate people of Kalahandi who are living outside Kalahandi and well wishers of the districts are requested to kindly inform their near and dear for a malaria free Kalahandi.