Friday, April 29, 2011

Need of Toursim Development in Kalahandi and Nuapada of Orissa

To

Sri Subodk Kant Sahay
Honourable Union Minister of Tourism
Govt. of India, New Delhi

CC
The Prime Minister of India
Chief Minister of Odisha
Orissa Tourism Department
Media

Dear Honorable Sri Sahaya,

KBK, specially Kalahandi and Nuapada region, in Orissa has lots of untapped tourism potential which to catalyze development of this backward pocket in India. Despite its richness this region has been completely neglected in torism map in Orissa as well as in the national level.

Kalahandi or ‘Crucible of Art’ is the southwestern district of Orissa province. It is situated in between 190 8’ N and 200 25’ N Latitude and 820 32’ E and 830 47’E Longitude. It is divided into two unequal divisions, the plan land and the high mountainous regions, popularly known as Dongarla. The Tel and the Indravati are the mighty rivers of this landmass. Important feeders such as the Rahul, Utei, Ret, Sagada, and Hati flow into the district and they all join with the Tel on its right bank. Kalahandi had various identities in different historical epochs, such as Atavi, Indravana, Kantara, Mahavana, Kamala-Mandala and Karunda etc. It is only after the merger of Karunda State with the Orissa Province in 1948, the present designation Kalahandi was bestowed on this landmass and the region now forms a district in the Orissa state. Primitive tribes such as the Konds, Gonds, Saura, Gadava and Brinjal etc have been inhabited in this district since time immemorial.

The history of this region is very rich and goes back to the primitive period where a well-civilized, urbanized and cultured people inhabited on this land mass around 2000 years ago. World's largest celt of Stone Age and largest cemetery of megalithic age have been discovered in Kalahandi and Asurgarh was one of the oldest metropolises in India. Temple of Goddess Stambeswari at Asurgarh, built during 500 AD, is a perfect example where the first brick Temple in Eastern India was built. Sanskritization in Odisha as first started from this ancient Mahakantara region. Earliest flat-roofed stone temple of Odisha was built at Mohangiri during 600 AD. Temple architecture achieved perfection at Belkhandi in Kalahandi and then traversed to Ekamra, present Bhubaneswar, along with the political expansion of the Somavamsis during the 1000–1100 AD. This region is equally famous for tribal dance, music, Ghumura, wild life, tribal culture, natural beauty, waterfalls, etc.

However, since decades there are little by state and Central Government to develop tourism spots in this region. Some of the important tourist spots that need urgent attention are:

Gudahandi in Kalahandi:

Gudahandi is rich in pre-historic cave painting. The caves are of volcanic rock and are situated in the Sahajkhol Reserve forest. Three hills of volcanic rock surround the site in the shape of bowl which is akin to the molasses pot and thereby justifying the name Gudahandi. Large varieties of species carnivorous and herbivorous are spotted with in the deciduous forest of Sahajkhol. Dokrichanchara has a beautiful waterfall adjacent to Gudahandi.

Requirements:

1. A rope way (cable car) from Dokrichanchara to Gudahandi as the mountainous route is rough and in worst condition. This route can also be developed as a suitable hiking site.

2. A Panthanivas is required at Dokrichanchara

3. A botanical garden near Gudahandi

4. A small zoological park near Gudahandi

5. The roads connecting Dokrichanchara with SH52 (via Dharamgarh) and Gudahandi with NH210 (via Ampani) need development to state highway all weather roads.

6. Construction of Safety Bar for Dokrichanchara water fall.

7. Last but not the least establishment of an Open Museum - Indira Gandhi Rastriya Manava Sangrahalaya [IGRMS].

Thuamul Rampur in Kalahandi

It has a beautiful waterfall, mountain and tea plantation. The region used to be called Kashmir of Western Orissa.

Requirements:

1. Construction of Safety Bar for the various water falls

2. A boating centre through construction of a water reservoir

3. Creation of park & gardens on the denuded flat hill tops

4. Construction of Tourist Cottages at Surajgad of Th.Rampur where the sun shine falls around 12 noon and the road connecting Thuamul Rampur to Junagarh via Dasigaon need to be constructed and made all weather state highways.

5. Food Park/ Local Food

Ampani in Kalahandi

Ampani hill ranges present a panoramic view of nature. A frolicking valley called "Haladigundi" in this hill range exhibits some peculiar features due to the reflected rays on the Sun. In the morning and evening, the objects of vision appear yellow. The whole area abounds in spotted deer, Sambar and Black Panthers who can be seen at the Behera reservoir. It has a beautiful waterfall name as Karaka.

Requirement:

1. Construction of Safety Bar for Karkara water fall

2. A Panthanivas is required at Ampani

3. The road from Ampani to Mukhiguda (Indravati dam) needs development.

4. The road connecting Gudahandi with NH210 (via Ampani) need development to state highway all weather roads.

Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary and Phurli Jharan Water Fall in Kalahandi

This small but beautiful sanctuary is located close to and about 12 km. from the district town of Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district covering a dense patch of lush green dry deciduous forest.A beautiful waterfall near this river on the outskirts of this sanctuary called Phulljharan has been developed as a picnic spot for the local visitors and draws large number of visitors from far of places. The undulated topography of the sanctuary, with hills, valley, perennial streams and deep water pools give it an unique charm. This sanctuary is rich in wildlife such as tiger, leopard, gaur, sambar, nilgai, barking deer, mouse deer, a wide variety of birds and reptiles.

Requirements:

1. A Zoological park in Karlapat

2. Construction of Tourist Cottage

3. Though it is connected well with Bhawanipatna, roads connecting Karlapat with Jungarh and Rayagada are important for tourists. The roads from Karlapat Kiapadar to Jakaypur and Karlapat Kiapadar to Jungarh via Jilingdara need development to state highway all weather roads.

4. Construction of Safety Bar at Phurli Jharan water fall

5. Construction of Tourist Cottage.

Patora in Nuapada

It has beautiful Rajeev Udyan.

Requirement:

1. A Panthanivas is required at Patora

2. The road from Patora to Nuapada

3. Construction of Safety Bar for Karkara water fall

Patalganga and Budhikomna in Nuapada

Patalganga is a nice spot in the bosom of nature with a perennial spring, the water of which is considered as sacred as that of the holy Ganges. Local people perform their obsequies in the down stream. Legend would have it that Rama, Laxman and Sita visited the spot during their exile where Sita felt thirsty. Laxman pierced the ground with his arrow occasioning the birth of the spring. On the day of solar eclipse and lunar eclipse, people here gather in large number to take their bath in the holy water.

Survived Budhikomna brick temple [ 11th century AD] is a rare monuments of temple architecture in eastern India.

Requirement:

1. A Panthanivas is required at Patalganga

2. The road from Patalganga to Nilji and Sinapali need to be improved.

Sunabeda Sanctuary in Nuapada

Sunabeda has been declared as wild life sanctuary and tiger reserve.

Requirement:

1. Construction of Safety Bar for Godhus, Beniadhus and Kharaldhus water falls.

2. The road from Sunabeda to Nuapada needs improvement


CULTURAL TOURISM


Mohangiri in Kalahandi

Mohangiri village is near a hill stream called Kali Ganga. A dilapidated Siva Temple stands on the Bank of the stream. An early phase of flat roofed temple was constructed at Mohangiri by 6th century AD, which has been restored to its original shape by the State Archaeology during 1998. There are a few short epigraphic records on its walls and pillars.

Requirement:

1. The road from Mohangiri to NH217 (M. Rampur) should be improved.

2. A Panthanivas is required at Mohangiri

3. A cultural village for Kutia Kondhs should be developed adjacent to the temple.

Tribal Cultural Village at Niyamgiri, Kalahandi

Justification:

Tribal village will restore indigenous tribal culture, life, dance, music, weapons and social atmosphere in the foothill of Niyamgiri which is famous for its bauxite deposits

Archaeological Park at Asurgarh [Narla] [Under Protection of ASI] - An ancient Metropolitan centre of India

Justification:

Kalahandi region has a rich and great history. The history of the region goes back to 2000 to 5000 years ago when a well civilized, urbanized and cultured people inhabited this land mass. The fort of Asurgarh is 12 h, inner core and the fortified walls are 11 m’ x 7 m’ in height and width along with the moat whose width remains 36 m’ at present. It is a metropolitan centre in ancient India and is contemporary of Sisupalgarh Ahicchatra, Atranjikhera, Taxila and Mathura etc. Trial excavation conducted during 1973 unveiled its chronology from 3rd century BC to 5th century AD. Therefore, a detailed archaeological work is required for preservation of one of the ancient capital city of the sub - continent - Asurgarh [ Narla], Dist – Kalahandi.Orissa. The oldest fortified city can be developed into an Archaeological park and have it woven among the other tourist places of Orissa. The project may include the followings -

1. Setting of an Archaeological Museum

2. Boating centre on the Asursagr [200 acres of water reservoir]

3. Creation of parks around the fort,, light & sound system,

4. Tourist Guest House,

5. Road, Plantation, etc.

OTHER POTENTIALITIES

Creation of an Archaeological Corridor and there by the development of Golden Tourist Circle in Kalahandi:

From the Rahul river up to the Sandol River extending to the right bank of the Tel river [ancient Telavaha] a large number of settlements from Neolithic to Post-Neolithic are documented. Major archaeological sites [ ancient town and City] like Mohangiri,[Early Medieval] Budigarh,[Town] Urlukupagarh [Town] Kharligarh [ City], Godavela [ Semi – urban] Terasingha [urban] Asurgarh [Narla] [City] Belkhandi [ early Medieval town] Amath [ Early Medieval town] locates within the Rahul – Sandol river valley. Thus the proposals –

1. Development of Communication – Road

2. Preservation of the site

Development of Roads in Golden Tourist Circles

Bhawanipatna (Manikeswar Temple, Palace etc) – Junagarh (Fort, Lankeswari, historical town) – Dharamgarh (Bhim Khoj, temple)- Dokrichanchara Gudahandi (Waterfall, nature, prehistoric painting, cage) – Ampani (Nature, waterfall, temple) – Mukhiguda (Indravati dam, Water game, Power plant and nature) – Thuamul Rampur (tea plantation, waterfall, temple) – Karlapat (wild life) – Phurli Jharan (water fall) – Bhawanipatna (destination)

Development for Golden Tourist Circle in Nuapada-Kalahandi:

Bhawanipatna – Khariar - Nuapada – Sunabeda – Budhikomna – Patalganga – Sinapalit –Dharamgarh – Jungarh – Bhawanipatna.

Requirements:

1. Setting up of a Tourist Office of the Centrla Government at these two district headquarters.

2. Tourist Guest House / Panthanivas etc.

3. Development of Rail Communication

4. Development of Utkela Air traffic

Kalahandi Hat [Market] at Bhawanipatna

Kalahandi is well known for handicrafts and gemstones. To show case handicrafts from KBK, Kandhamal region,a Hat [ market centre]t can be established at Bhawanipatna.

Justification

1. Kalahandi Utsav organized every year by the District council of Culture at Bhawanipatna has been attended by more than thirty thousand peoples from outside Kalahandi and the foreign Tourists consecutively for three days.

2. Chhatar Yatra is another festive occasion of Bhawanipatna and in every year nearly twenty thousand devotees thronged into Bhawanipatna on the occasion.

Establishment of a Branch Campus of Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management [ IITTM] at Bhawanipatna.

Justifications:

1. To train human resources in Tourism sector of KBK region.

2. At present, the location of such Institution at metro cannot benefit to the people of semi – urban or urban locality like Bhawanipatna, Dist – Kalahandi, situated at far away from metropolitan centre like Banglore/ Delhi.

3. Kalahandi – Nuapada in general and KBK region in particular is the poverty stricken area and the students cannot opt for training/ education facility available at the Metros like Banglore / Delhi / Bhubaneswar etc.

4. KBK has Tourism potentiality which has been overlooked by the Governments since last sixty years.

5. Unless Man power is trained / educated, Tourism Industry cannot strive in this backward region.

6. Huge acres of Government lands are available at Jaring – Bhawanipatna to house the IITTM.

7. Bhawanipatna is located at the centre of the KBK region and is well connected by NH, SH and Rail. Utkela Air Traffic is just 12 KM from Bhawanipatna.

Anticipating your kind action in this matter

Thank you and best regards

Digambara Patra

Bhakta lauds Centre for proposed super specialty hospital in KBK

Note: Many of us have been raising I  II,  III,  IV,  V a superspeciality hospital and medical college in undivided Kalahandi district by central Govt. and earlier Kalahandi MP, Bhakta Babu had also taken this issue in 2009 and lately in 2010. The following news report gives a ray of hope. As the superspecialty hospital at Nuapada is getting approved, the medical college which is under consideration would hopefully be approved as well.  

The Pioneer, April 29, 2011
PNS, Dharamgarh (Kalahandi)

Former Railway Minister and incumbent Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das expressed his heartfelt gratitude to UPA chairman Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad for the proposed super specialty hospital at Nuapada, centrally located in the backward Koraput, Balangir and Kalahandi (KBK) region.

The Kalahandi MP hailed the illustrious endeavour of Health Minister Azad on such a noble step in view of the dismal health service in Kalahandi and Nuapada districts in particular and the KBK region in general.

Recalling the shocking deaths of over 50 diarrhoea patients in the region in August-September 2009, Bhakta said that he had urged Health Minister Azad for opening a medical college and hospital by the Central Government in his letter on December 11, 2009 and Azad had responded on January 18, 2010 intimating that he would consider to set up the Centrally-sponsored medical college in the undivided Kalahandi district.

As the proposed hospital would chiefly cater to the healthcare needs of the rural populace and especially the SC and ST patients in the region, the Kalahandi MP also conveyed thanks of the KBK people to the UPA Government.

Farmers' welfare body meets Ministers

The Pioneer, April 29, 2011
SUDHIR MISHRA, Balangir

A group of farmers and civil society members of different districts met the Ministera of Agriculture and Health in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday to express concerns over the growing toxicity in the food system and demanded ban on use of hazardous pesticide Endosulfan in the food production system.

The exposure to this chemical poses great risk of contamination as has been noticed in numerous instances in the State. 'This chemical is linked to seizures and long-term effects like autism, delayed puberty and birth defects. There have already been reports of women having multiple abortions, sterility and other gynecological disorders," said Siba Prasad Sahu of the Lok Vikas Sangathan.

In Raisalpadar gram panchayat under Gaisilat block in Bargarh district, a discussion with farmers revealed that out of a sample of 118 farmers in one village more than 70 per cent have shown symptoms of mild hazards due to the impact of pesticide spray. A group of farmers from Nuapalli village of the same block said that at least 16 varieties of farm-fishes have died out due to the use of pesticides in farmland, said Sahu.

India is one of the largest global producers of Endosulfan and the supplier of 70 per cent of the world's Endosulfan with a market value of $300 million (` 1,340 crore). Out of the 9,000 tonne, India shares about 50 per cent of its production and is bought by the country's 75 million farmers making it the world's largest consumer of Endosulfan as well, he said.

The major categories of pesticides being used in Odisha without prescribed conditions are organo-chlorine, organophosphate and carbamate, mostly applied on paddy and vegetables. Endosulfan and Monochrotophos are highly used pesticides which are classified under the WHO Class-1a and WHO Class-1b hazardous pesticides, respectively.

Even if merely 10 per cent of farming in the country turns organic, there would be a net saving of`25,000 crore on subsidies for farm inputs and the State can save more than `350 crore. In other States like Andhra Pradesh, almost a million farmers in 2.8 million acres of land are engaged in growing crops without pesticides, Lok Vikas Sangathan leaders pointed out.

Besides Sahu, the group which met the Ministers comprised Natabar Sarngi, Prasant Mohanty and Pratap Pandey.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

VAL-hit villagers threaten hunger stir

Times of India, April 27, 2011
BHUBANESWAR: Villagers displaced by Vedanta Alumina Limited (VAL) from Lanjigarh area in Kalahandi district on Wednesday alleged that the company has betrayed them by not giving employment to one member of each family. The villagers, who launched a month-long agitation in Lanjigarh on March 26, said they would start a hunger strike in Bhubaneswar if their demand was not fulfilled within 10 days.


"We are poor and gullible people. We had agreed to acquisition of our agricultural land In the hope of getting employment. But the company cheated us. It gave us only Rs 1 lakh for an acre of land, which is negligible compared to actual price of the land," said president of Niyamgiri Land Losers' Association (NLLA), Surendra Nath Nag. As many as 1734 families were affected by the project, Nag added.


The villagers on Wednesday submitted a charter of 17 demands to the chief minister and other senior officials, demanding redressal of their grievances within 10 days. "This is not for the first time that we are telling them about our grievances. Eight years have passed and despite writing several letters and protest rallies, no action has been taken yet. Even the police and district administration are with the company and do not help us," alleged NLLA vice-president Manoranjan Das. "Project-affected people from different villages would sit on a hunger strike in Bhubaneswar if our demands are not be fulfilled in the next 10 days," Das added.

Among other demands, the land losers said the company must provide job to all project-affected persons above 18 years of age and increase land price to Rs 10 lakh per acre. They also said that those trained in Vedanta ITI must get a job in the company and steps must be taken to amenities such as communication, education and health facilities in the area.

Friday, April 22, 2011

SC issues notice to MoEF, Orissa govt and Sterlite

Business Standard, April 22, 2011
The Supreme Court (SC) today issued notices to the Union ministry of environment & forests (MoEF), Orissa government and Sterlite Industries on a petition filed by Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) in the apex court, challenging the cancellation of Stage-II forest clearance by MoEF for bauxite mining at Niyamgiri hills in south Orissa's Kalahandi district.


A bench of Justice R V Raveendran and Justice A K Patnaik issued notice to all the three respondents, directing them to file responses within four weeks.

It may be noted, the cancellation of stage-II forest clearance for mining at Niyamgiri has put the future of alumina refinery of Vedanta Aluminium, a group company of Sterlite Industries, in jeopardy as the project, on which the promoters have already spent Rs 10,000 crore, intended to run on bauxite supplied from this mine.


Meanwhile, the state Chief Secretary B K Patnaik said that the state government would examine the SC notice and later decide as to which department would reply to the notice.

"The court notice has to be examined first and later it will be decided whether the department of tribal affairs, steel & mines or the department of forest & environment will file a response”, he told media persons.

Sterlite Industries has said that it will soon file a compliance report in response to the apex court notice after consultation with its lawyers.

"In its order of August 2008, the Supreme Court had asked us to deposit Rs 55 crore for wildlife, Rs 50 crore towards Net Present Value (NPV), Rs 12 crore for tribal development and Rs 10 crore for peripheral development of the Lanjigarh area. In our reply to the apex court's notice, we will state that we have duly complied with the order”, a company official told Business Standard.

It may be noted that on March 8, OMC had challenged the decision of MoEF in the apex court.

"OMC had complied with all the conditions of MoEF for Stage-I clearance and there was no justification on the part of the ministry to cancel Stage-II forest clearance for bauxite mining at Niyamgiri hills. After the environment ministry had canceled the Stage-II forest clearance, we had requested the ministry to reconsider the order but we did not get any response even after two months. Consequently, OMC filed a petition in the Supreme Court", Raghunath Mohanty, minister for industries and steel & mines had told media persons earlier.

It may be noted that on August 24 last year, the MoEF had rejected the Stage-II forest clearance for bauxite mining at Niyamgiri hills on the recommendations of the four-member Saxena committee.

The ministry was of the view that mining at Niyamgiri hills would severely impact the wildlife in the area.

The mining operations would involve stripping off more than seven square kms of the Niyamgiri hill top, which would drastically alter the region's water supply, severely affecting both ecological systems and human communities, the MoEF said in its order.

Besides, the ministry held that mining would lead to loss of forest cover, thereby affecting the two tribal groups- Dongaria and Kutia Kondh, heavily dependent on forest produce for their livelihood.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Junagarh - Amaguda railway line

Note: Survey of Junagarh - Amaguda railway line has been completed. The following message about the stations around it may be ubderstood that this line may soon be taken for construction. Junagarh - Amaguda railway line is part of Lanjigarh road - Jungarh line which is being completed. Perhaps after completion of Lanjigarh road - Jungarh line its extension work till Amaguda will be carried out. However, it needs sufficient budget allotment. This year only 10 croe was alloted and hope next time 60 -100 crore is alloted for  Junagarh - Amaguda railway line. We had the knowledge that Lanjigarh road - Amaguda will not connect Jeyppore with Bhawanipatna and Nabaragpur directly, thats why our importance was for other survey line Kantabanji - Jeypore which would have passed through Nabarangpur and Jeypore. But once the decision was made by railway, it might be difficult to change. We think if Junagarh - Amaguda railway line will be constructed, then Kantabanji - Khariar - Ampani - Nabarangpur - Jeypore railway line may not be approved soon, other alternative surveyed Jeypore-Nabarangpur line might also suffer. Kantabanji - Jeypore line along with Jungarh - Rajim-Raipur (needs to be surveyed) could beenfit to link major towns in KBK region. Similarly, Lanjigarh road - Talcher is an imporant railway line to link state capital with Nuapada, Balangir (Titilagarh and Kantabaji regions), Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal and some parts of Rayagda, which might also reduce the distance for NLACO to link Damanjodi with Angul via Rayagda, Lanjigarh road by train.

The Samaja, April 21, 2011

Minister bats for rail wagon unit in K’handi

Note: An excellent and appreciable steps taken by Pushpendra Babu, Balabhadra Babu and BJD. Pushpendra babu earlier had taken this issue to the CM and when we spoke to Balabhadra babu he was keen on it. Hope all parties in Kalahandi come together and makes this Wagon Factory happen.

The Pioneer, April 20, 2011
PIONEER NEWS SERVICE | DHARAMGARH

Addressing the public meeting on the occasion of the death anniversary of Biju Patnaik held at Narla, Labour and Employment Minister Pushpendu Singh Deo, former Minister Balabhadra Majhi, former MP Subash Nayak and other party leaders said that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has been struggling for all-round development of Kalahandi district and demanded that the proposed Rail Wagon Factory should be set up in Kalahandi district.

The occasion also coincided with the BJD’s ongoing Odisha Bachao agitation. Glowing floral tributes were offered to the statue of Biju Patnaik while the meeting was presided over by district BJD women cell president Tilottama Naik.

The BJD leaders and members took a pledge before the statue to build Kalahandi into a prosperous district with utmost efforts.

Hitting out hard at the allegedly vindictive act shown constantly by the UPA Government at the Centre towards the progress of Odisha, Pushpendu stated that they would be successful in laying the claim of the district for the construction of the proposed rail wagon industry in Kalahandi.

He also simultaneously questioned Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s earnestness in fulfilling the long-standing demand of Kalahandi.

“Agitations have been going on over this vital issue and we will try our level best to get the requisite land for the proposed rail project with full support from all parties as well as the public,” the Minister said.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Legal awareness camp for school students organised in Junagarh

The Pioneer, April 19, 2011
PNS | JUNAGARH (KALAHANDI)

A Legal Awareness Camp for the school students was organised by the Antodaya organisation at Nandol Jay Durga High School under Junagarh block here on Friday. Presided over by the Head Master (HM), advocate Dibya Ranjan Bohidar and Sudhansu Nanda briefed the students on the Right to Education (RTE) Act, Child’s Rights, Juvenile Justice and Fundamental Rights as enshrined in our Constitution.

The HM pointed out the hurdles in implementing the RTE. He also observed that inadequate teachers’ strength in the schools mars the development in education system.

Antodaya chairman Dillip Kumar Das informed the students about the role of National Commission on Child Protection Right and also encouraged the students to knock the doors of the Commission for the redressal of their grievances pertaining to the school. He also sought the cooperation of the students to encourage other children in their respective neighbourhoods for enrolling themselves in schools. Eventually, the vote of thanks was given by science teacher Mr Meher.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rail Roko at Narla Road Station demanding Wagon Factory

Contributor: Sri Santosh Kar (our thanks to him)
April 18, 2011


A rail roko was made at Narla Road station demanding rail Wagon Factory at Narla on Monday. Kalahandi Swavima Jagaran Manch along with rail Wagon Nirmal Samiti done the rok. Tiripati-Bilaspur, Tapaswini express and other good trains were halted for more than 4 hours. Initially a rally of 1000 protestors including 400 women started from Jagannath Mandir Narla to Narla road. The protestors sat down on the track for 4 hours. A meeting was also held on the track. The meeting was called of after discussion with Assistant Commercial Manager of Railway, Mr Baskey. He gave a letter signed by DRM Sambalpur regarding the civil work report of the railway Department that was given to HQ. The rail roko was leaded by Badri Prasad Pattnaik, President Kalahandi Swaviman Jagaran Manch (KSJM), Predeep Ku Nayak, Secretary KSJM, Bishni Gahir, President Narla Rail Wagon Nirman Sangram Samiti (NRWNSS), Santosh Kumar Kar, Secretaty, NRWNSS, Kumuda Naik, Krusak Kalyan Samiti, Narla, Ratanakar Chand, Badri Prasad Mishra, Ex MLA Pradeep Naik, Harihar Majh, Ajay Ku. Nanda, Lingaraj Mishra, Tirthabasi Pradhan and others.

The protestors threatned that if rail Wagon factory is not constructed at Narla, then both center and state Governments will be responsible for unavodable situation. The rail roko was called off after memorandum was given to the Prime Minister, chief minister Naveen Patnaik, railway minister Mamata Banerjee, leader of opposition Susma Swaraj and all MPs from Odisha, all the MLAs from Kalahandi, local MP, leader of oppostion, presidents of all political parties in Kalahandi and district collector.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Patnaik ''greatest enemy of western Orissa'' : ex-MP

IBNlive, April 17, 2011
Bolangir (Orissa), Apr 17 (PTI) Dubbing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as the "greatest enemy of western Orissa," former MP Balgopal Mishra today accused the BJD regime of trying to hijack proposed rail wagon factory from the district."Instead of providing land, power, water and other infrastructure for the proposed rail wagaon factory in Kalahandi district, the BJD government is attempting to hijack the project to Patnaik''s home district Ganjam," Mishra told a press conference here.The rail wagon factory was proposed to be set up in the backward district following efforts made by Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das and leader of Opposition in Orissa assembly Bhupinder Singh, he said.However, instead of providing the required infrstructure, the BJD government was scuttling the project, Mishra alleged urging the people of undivided KBK (Kalahandi- Bolangir-Koraput), Sambalpur and Sundargarh districts to extend their support for greater interest of western Orissa.He alleged that since independence all successive state governments had treated western Orissa as a "dustbin".Criticising the BJP, Mishra said a group in the party had demanded the wagon factory be sifted to Bolangir where railway got 700 acres of land at Kantabanji.When NDA was in power from 1998 to 2004, the locomotive repairing unit at Kantabanji was closed in 1998 but no effort was made by the local BJP MP for revival of the unit then, he claimed.

Balgopal bats for rail wagon unit in Kalahandi
The Pioneer, April 18, 2011 
PNS | BALANGIR

People of KBK and western Odisha should be unanimous on the demand for setting-up of the proposed rail wagon-manufacturing unit in Kalahandi district or else the project might get hijacked to other site and even get shelved, former local MP Balgopal Mishra observed while addressing to the media men on Saturday evening.

Kalahandi district, located in the KBK area, is one of the poorest and backward districts of the State and once such a mega factory is set up there, it would go a long way in boosting up the economic condition of the region as people would get employment and there would also be growth of ancillary industries.

Mishra thanked Kalahandi MP Bhakta Das and leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh for their concerted efforts to get a rail wagon factory sanctioned from the Government of India and especially for Kalahandi.

He criticised the Naveen Pattnaik Government for reportedly submitting a report that there is no vacant land available in Kalahandi.

The Chief Minister has all along neglected the region, he fumed further.

Reacting to the reports in a section of Press regarding the setting up of the project in Ganjam district, he said it would be the most unfortunate thing.

Asked to comment on the BJP's demanding it at Kantabanji, Mishra said it is nothing, but strengthening the eroding base of the party (BJP) and they (BIP) are doing at the behest of their party leaderships who were hand in gloves with CM Naveen Patnaik.

Ironically, why the BJP MP from Balangir, who was silent for three terms (15 years) even when the NDA Government was in power at the Centre could not establish an industry here or take up any mega project here, Mishra questioned.

CSIR to establish outreach centre at Koraput

Expressbuzz, April 17, 2011
BHUBANESWAR: The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has decided to establish an outreach centre at Koraput to ensure that people from the backward regions of the State have access to new and simple technologies which are of day-today use.


The centre will be operational from the current financial year. CSIR would enter into an agreement with the Central University, Orissa, to make the centre functional. The project is a part of CSIR800 programme.

DirectorGeneral, CSIR, and Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Samir Brahmachari has accorded his consent for the centre, Director of Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology (IMMT) BK Mishra said today. Brahmachari was in the State on a twoday visit.

As part of the arrangement, IMMT would act as the nodal agency in technology dissemination programme, while the varsity's mandate would be to impart training to prospective entrepreneurs or beneficiaries, the endusers.

IMMT would coordinate with the sister laboratories in the country to create a technology pool which would be useful for the backward regions of the State. Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow, and North East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat, would collaborate for the outreach centre at Koraput. Technologies relating to water treatment, fuel conservation and postharvest activities in which IMMT has expertise will be extended through the outreach centre.

A budgetary requirement of ` 50 crore has already been placed. The initial operation will start with a team of temporary employees and the Collector has promised a temporary shed. The permanent campus would be much bigger in scale.

Meanwhile, IMMT has also urged the CSIR DG to allot a Technology Centre at Bhubaneswar. The CSIR, which is focussing on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the 12th FiveYear Plan, is planning such centres to help entrepreneurs access technologies.

K’handi MP, locals up in arms against Naveen Govt

Note: As per our information indefinite strike for Wagon Facotry was continueing at Narla, most of odia daily covered in Sambalpur edition, but it seems district administration has interferred on Friday and hope a solution will come out. Locals are coming up together is a good sign.


The Pioneer, April 17, 2011
PNS, Bhawanipatna

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s commitment to Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das in the Parliament during the last Budget Session to set up a rail wagon factory in the district here and at the same time the State Government’s negligence in providing only 50 acres of land to the Centre from the soil of Kalahandi is stimulating the Congress MP and citizens to take to the streets.

No doubt the MP himself is realising the BJD’s conspiracy behind not providing the land while at the same time, it cannot be ruled out that the Chief Minister (CM) might be in a reprisal against the Centre as the CM has been encountering many challenges from the Centre in setting-up of industries in the State here.

Eventually, this political game would offer the voters again to choose their leaders in the forthcoming General Elections, the political observers here feel.

Reports said that the members of the Rail Wagon Nirman Sangram Samiti (RWNSS), Narla had sat on an indefinite strike since April 11 protesting against shifting of the proposed rail wagon factory from Narla in the district here to Ganjam district, the CM’s home turf.

The indefinite strike was called off on Friday afternoon at Narla after the RWNSS members had a discussion with the district administration and simultaneously following the request of incumbent MP Das. Addressing the public, the MP said that he has given an ultimatum of five more days to the State Government to allot land in Kalahandi as the State has only the power to provide the land to the Central Government.

Blaming the State Government for its apathy towards the denizens of Kalahandi district, Bhakta said a signature campaign of around 10,000 people was sent to the Chief Minister for the establishment of the factory and even a delegate had also been to him, but it is unfortunate that the Chief Minister did not listen to the voice of the Kalahandias and instead he is proposing the Centre to establish the factory at Chhatrapur of Ganjam district.

“As the State Government does not want that the Congress continues here in Kalahandi, we are also ready to challenge them that no one can seize our fundamental rights,” Bhakta thundered.

Threatening the State Government, the MP said it would cost dear to the BJD Government saying that a mass agitation will begin in every nook and corner of the district with blocking of all the streets and closing down the Government offices if the much-awaited land is not provided.

Even the taxes would not be paid to the State Government from the district here if the requisite land for the proposed rail project is not allotted, he further threatened adding, this is our fundamental right and no one can stop us to possess it. As we have sufficient land of 70 acres near Narla railway station and near Chapatakhanda around thousands acres of land is available, the State is reluctant to write a letter to the Centre that Kalahandi is having sufficient land to set up the factory.

“This is completely a political game and this petty game would not be tolerated at any cost,” he lambasted. Das also said that to set up the factory only 50 acres of land is required as per the Central Government’s needs. Even we have sufficient private lands in the district, but again the State Government’s permission is required for the requisition.

“A conspiracy is going on against me to wash out the Congress from Kalahandi district and had Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik personally understood the plight of the inhabitants here, the BJD would not have lost in this district. The parochial politics is the only reason for not allowing the land to the Centre,” Bhakta reiterated.

Friday, April 15, 2011

On Road connecting Kalyansingpur with Junagarh

At present the road connecting Kalyansingpur in Rayagada district with Junagarh via Bijepur and Karlapat Kiapadar is in worst condition and has not been developed as a major route. State Highway SH45 links Jakaypur with Kalyansingpur in Rayagada district and the road ends abruptly at Kalyansingpur. However, expanding this state highway to Junagarh in Kalahandi to meet NH201 may help to reduce the distance between Rayagada and Bhawanipatna, Junagarh, Umarkote, Dharamgarh and Nabarangpur region. It will link industrial belt like Rayagada, Kalyansingpur, Lanjigarh via Bijepur and Kashipur via Kalapat Kiapadar to establish an aluminum refinery corridor. This will also reduce the distance between Raipur and Rayagada via Junagarh and Dharamgarh. Furthermore this route can serve as an alternative route through SH52 and SH45 via Debhog, Dharamgarh, Junagarh, Jaykaypur, Mohana etc to connect Raipur directly with Gopalpur port, technically 20 to 30 km less than via NH217. This route will not only help tribal and backward Thuamul Rampur, Lanjigarh and Kalyansingpur blocks but also will connect Rayagada and Junagarh region directly with Karlapat wildlife sanctuary to boost tourism in KBK region. Recently Maoists activities have also increased in Thuamul Rampur, Lanjigarh and Kalyansingpur region, so establishing a highway could help in a great deal and boost inter district infrastructure and tourism in KBK region. Is there any step taken to extend SH45 from Kalyansingpur in Rayagada district to Junagarh in Kalahandi district via Bijepur, Karlapat Kiapadar? If steps have been taken in this regard, when and what are these? If not, why?

To
Digambara Patra
..........................
................
Chief Engineer (DPI & Roads) and Chief Engineer, World Bank Project, Orissa, Bhubaneswar has been requested vide Wprks Department Letter No. 3922 dated 05.04.2011 to take immediate necessary action as deemed proper for quick redressal of the grievance petition.

( Chief Ministers Office )
Under Secretary

On road connecting Dhramagarh to Chhattisgarh border via Sandhikuler and bridge over Tel river near Sandhikuler

The road connecting Dhramagarh to Chhattisgarh border via Sandhikuler is in worst conditions. Similarly the under construction bridge over Tel river near Sandhikuler in Kalahandi was supposed to be completed in the year 2007. This is seriously affecting to communicate with Raipur for Kalahandi, Rayagada and Gajapati districts.  Kindly look into why there is a long delay in completing the bridge and is there any steps taken to improve the road from Dharamgarh to Chhattisgarh border, perhaps part of SH52.

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

Chief Engineer (DPI & Roads) and Chief Egineer, World Bank Project, Orissa, Bhubaneswar have been reauested vide this Department Letter No. 3848 dated 4.4.2011 for taking immediate necessary action on the grievance petition.

( Chief Ministers Office )

ECoR playing politics!

Tathya.in, April 15, 2011
Bhubaneswar:15/April/2011


It seems the East Coast Railways (ECoR) is out to play politics, alleged a senior BJD Lawmaker.

He said that once the Union Minister Railways announces the establishment of the wagon factory at Kalahandi, then it is the job of the ECoR to write a letter to the Ministry of Railways for necessary arrangements.

Making a dig on the casual and callous approach of the ECoR on railway expansion and network development projects being taken up by Indian Railway Board (IRB), the lawmaker said it is trying to undermine the interest of the state.

The senior lawmaker alleged that ECoR is very slow in its activities, hampering progress of railway network in the state.

Ruling party MLA said with the announcement of a coach factory in Odisha, the State Government took initiative to set up in Ganjam as there was ample land and facilities available in the district.

But as the Union Minister for Railways, Mamata Banerjee has announced in the floor of the Lok Sabha that if land is available in Kalahandi, she has no hesitation to set up second one in this backward area.

So it is the job of the ECoR to send its expert team and scout for land and other required details.

Instead they are turning blind eye to the issue, alleged he.

Demand for establishment of a rail wagon factory in Kalahandi is getting louder.

While Bhakta Charan Das, Congress MP is demanding for the wagon factory in Kalahandi, Congress MLA Gobardhan Dash is trying hard for the same.

He not only launched a dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on the premises of the Odisha Assembly, but also raised hue and cry in the House..

Mr. Dash, MLA from Junagarh in Kalahandi district, is on the forefront to raise the issue.

However he is supported by Bhupinder Singh, Leader of Opposition and others.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Development activities in 2 K'handi blocks at standstill

The Pioneer, April 14, 2011
PNS, Dharamgarh

Though the Government is planning various development programmes for the poor, as they are not being properly implemented at the grassroots the BPL people are being deprived of the benefits.

Sources said the village welfare samities or committees as formed since one year in each village of Dharamgarh and Junagarh block are now running simply on pen and papers and have remained mere slogans. The selected office bearers of Gaon Kalyan Samiti duties are creating mass awareness, identifying various health problems and in turn solve the identified health problems like mother and child health care services, family welfare care services and to create awareness on clean environments.

Also their vital responsibility is to look after emergency healthcare services, supply of safe drinking waters. However, none of the programmes are being properly implemented by the village welfare committees and the funds are being allegedly misutlilised.

The locals have demanded that officials of the Social Welfare Department, Collector and Sub-Collector should intervene and see that these programmes are properly implemented.

Lokpal was Pratap Kesari’s brainchild

Expressbuzz, April 13, 2011
BHAWANIPATNA: Anna Hazare’s triumph in pushing ahead with the demand for Lokpal was in a way Kalahandi district’s win too. Few know that the Lokpal concept was first conceived by late Pratap Kesari Deo in 1965. During the first session of the fourth Lok Sabha, the non-official Lokpal Bill in 1965 was introduced by Pratap Kesari Deo of  Swatantra Party, a Lok Sabha member from Kalahandi constituency then.

This non-official bill was classified as Classified-A by the committee on Private Members Bill. However, after 15 days when the bill came for consideration there was opposition from treasury benches on technical grounds. They said clause like President’s prior recommendation before the consideration stage was absent. This was necessary as the bill envisaged financial commitment by the Government. He moved a substitute motion that the bill be circulated to elicit public opinion. After that it could not see light of the day due to political manoeuvring.

Deo in his book ‘Memories of a bygone era’ lamented that “had it been in our statute book, all these maladies of kickbacks, scams or bribes could have been prevented without wasting Parliament’s time.”

“It is time we remembered Deo, who could foresee the maladies that were gradually engulfing our social and political system,” said Convenor of Vision- Kalahandi 2020 Akhaya Kumar Nandi and president of Kalahandi Citizens’ Forum Rama Chandra Mohapatra.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kalahandia eyes Mt.Everest

Tathya.in, April 13, 2011
Bhawanipatna:13/April/2011


He is an inspiring mountaineer from Rupra, a small pocket in the interior of Kalahandi district of Odisha.


This time this mountaineer Jogabyasa Bhoi has aimed to climb to the top of Mt. Everest after conquering the highest peak in South Africa Mt. Khilimanjaro in January 2011.

For his expedition he needed financial assistance and it was Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh – situated near his place – came to him.

Dr. Mukesh Kumar, President and COO, VAL, Lanjigarh handed over a cheque of Rupees two lakhs to the promising mountaineer Jogabyasa.

VAL is all along supporting sports activites said Vice President HR Sanjay Kumar Patnaik, adding Jogabyasa is a budding talent.


Jogabyasa left Kalahandi for his expedition of scaling Mt Everest.

On the occasion, Kumar said that Jogabyasa is pride of Kalahandi and also of VAL. Vedanta family wishes him best of luck for his novel mission.

"On prior expeditions also we have helped Jogabyasa and this time it is our prime responsibility to help as he is going to climb Mt Everest. We hope he will successfully accomplish his expedition and come back safely," Kumar expressed.

Jogabyasa said, "This is the most important task of my life. I am thankful to my god and also to my parents. I am also thankful to Vedanta for helping me. Vedanta has always been with me and also helped me for my previous expeditions."

Jogabyasa has many feats in mountaineering in his kitty. Recently he climbed Mt. Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in South Africa and Stock Kangri (6137m) in Ladakh. The temperament of this local lad from Kalahandi shows that he has bigger dreams to achieve.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lokpal bill; brain child of Deo

Tathya.in, April 10, 2011
Bhawanipatna:10/April/2011
Few people of India know that the Lokpal Bill for which Anna Hazare was fasting and the civil society backed him for fighting altogether was the brain child of a leading Odia Member of Parliament, Maharaja Pratap Keshari Deo.

The Maharaja was the former MP from Kalahandi.

Dr Baba Mishra Reader in History at Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna, who had studied the contributions of Mr. Deo reassured this fact and said the Maharaja was a great visionary for the nation.

Mr. Deo first introduced Lok Pal bill in the opening session of the 4th Parliament in 1965.

He had circumvented the procedure laid down in the Constitution by moving Substitute Motion ‘that this bill providing for appointment and function of an authority named Lok Pal for investigation of administrative acts in certain cases and for that matter connected therewith, be circulated for the purpose of eliciting opinion thereon by the first day of the next session’.

At that point of time he had even charged the Union Government of giving shelter to corrupt men, to remain callous the cancerous growth of corruption, the helplessness of citizens subjected to improper and unjust acts, for which they had no recourse to.

For the first time in the history of the Indian Parliament, the Government was defeated in a Substitute Motion, which was brought by Mr. Deo.

The Maharaja had received unanimous support across the country as well as all the national news papers brought this issue to fore.

However, later the bill was kept in cold storage.

If at that point of time, this bill would have been cleared, all the maladies of kickbacks, scams and bribe taking could have been prevented without wasting much public fund and energy during past 45 years, rued a former member of Parliament.

Perhaps this is the time to look back the contribution of this great Odia personality's urge for clean administration through a Lokpal Bill, said he.

Dr.Mishra also said that Mr. Deo had introduced many important bills, development of Odishan culture and popularizing Odia culture such as Shri Jagannath Temple in Delhi, etc and debated important issues over the development of Odisha in particular.

Despite fewer supports from the State Government, Mr. Deo had visualized the multi-purpose Upper Indravati project long before any politicians in the state could do that.

He proposed Lanjigarh road – Amauda railway line in 1960s and was continuously fighting for it.

Towards the end of his life he dreamt for a university in the backward Kalahandi region, which is yet to be fulfilled, rued Digambara Patra, leading NRO.

Dr.Patra is spearheading movement for setting up a university in Kalahandi, which is need of the hour, feel many educationists.

Much-publicised Lokpal Bill was Deo’s brainchild in 1965

The Pioneer, April 12, 2011
PNS, Bhubaneswar

Few people in India know that the Lokpal Bill, for which Anna Hazare was fasting and the civil society backed him, was the brainchild of a leading Odisha Member of Parliament, Maharaja Pratap Keshari Deo of Kalahandi.

Dr Baba Mishra, Reader in History at the Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna, who had studied Deo’s contributions, said the Maharaja was a great visionary. Deo first introduced Lok Pal Bill in the opening session of the 4th Parliament in 1965.

Deo had circumvented the procedure laid down in the Constitution by moving a Substitute Motion ‘That this Bill providing for appointment and function of an authority named Lok Pal for investigation of administrative acts in certain cases and for that matter connected therewith, be circulated for the purpose of eliciting opinion thereon by the first day of the next session.’

At that point of time, he had even charged the Union Government with giving shelter to corrupt men and remaining callous towards the cancerous growth of corruption, foe which helpless citizens had no remedy.

For the first time in the history of the Indian Parliament, the Government was defeated in the Substitute Motion brought by Deo. The Maharaja had received unanimous support from across the country and the national news papers had brought the issue to fore.

But later, the Bill was kept in cold storage. If the Bill had been cleared, the maladies of kickbacks and scams could have been prevented without wasting public fund and energy during the past 45 years, rued a former Member of Parliament.

Dr Baba Mishra said Deo had introduced many other important Bills and worked for popularisation of Odia culture such as establishment of Sri Jagannath Temple in Delh. He debated on important issues over development of Odisha in particular.

Despite lack of desirable support from the State Government, Deo had visualised the multi-purpose Upper Indravati project long before any politicians in the State could do so. He proposed a Lanjigarh Road-Amauda railway line in the 1960s and was continuously fighting for it.

Towards the end of his life, Deo dreamt of a university in the backward Kalahandi region, which is yet to be fulfilled, rued leading non-resident Odia Digambara Patra

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kalahandi stands by Anna Hazare

The Pioneer, April 10, 2011
Bhawanipatna: A memorandum was submitted to the President of India through Kalahandi Collector on Friday expressing solidarity with eminent Gandhian Anna Hazare for his latest campaign against corruption and with his ongoing fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Chinmaya Behera, Badrinarayan Pattnaik, Satya Mahar, Sanjiv Thakur and Manindra Mohanty sat on a token hunger strike on Friday morning before the Collectorate and appealed to the President to expedite the process to save the Satyagrahi from death and also the country from corruption.

I’m not against industrialisation: Kalahandi MP

The Pioneer, April 10, 2011
PNS, Bhawanipatna

“I am not against the industrialisation, but Niyamgiri hill would not be allowed for mining,” said Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das while addressing as the chief guest the first annual function of Odia weekly Kalahandi Express here.

He said the journalists should help preserve the cultural heritage and tradition of Kalahandi and fight injustice towards the district.

Odisha correspondent of BBC World Service Sandeep Sahu attending the function as the chief speaker said that despite being full of resources, Kalahandi district is still reeling under poverty. It is an irony that though the best quality of rice in India is produced in Kalahandi, its poverty continues to persist.

Senior journalist Sriram Das, who was the guest of honour, said the conditions of people could be developed if the welfare schemes were properly implemented. Jayanta Behera presided in the function while publisher of the weekly Pramod Kumar Khamari delivered the welcome speech at the outset.

Vedanta on health care

Tathya.in, April 7, 2011
Lanjigarh:7/April/2011

Hundreds of patients attended a day-long free Health Camp organized by Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh at Basantpada area of Lanjigarh Block in Kalahandi district of Orissa on the occasion of World Health Day 2011.

VAL conducted the camp with a vision to make a healthy society while the main objective of the camp was to cater to the community at large. Patients who attended the health camp were provided medicines free of cost.

Dr. Mukesh Kumar, President & COO, VAL, inaugurated the health camp and said, “To make a healthy society around Lanjigarh is VAL’s prime objective; that is why we organize Health camps regularly. Vedanta Hospital also commits to the same purpose and this health camp specially aims to cater to the poor families in the nearby areas.”

Along with Dr. A. K. Sahu of Vedanta Hospital other specialized doctors were present on the occasion to treat the patients. Doctors present on the camp were Dr. Narsingha Charana Das – TB & Chest Specialist, Berhampur, Dr. Manoranjan Rout – Pediatric, Muniguda, Dr. N. Patro – Dentist, Rayagada, Dr. Nagendra Rai Samant – Medical Officer, Lanjigarh, Dr. Malaya Tripathy –Medical Officer I/C, Biswanathapur, Dr. S. K. Mishra – Orthopedic.

People from villages like Basant Pada, Bandhaguda, Dengsargi, Kapaguda, Belamba, Sindhbahal, Kansari, Rengopali, Kendubati, Jagannathpur, Bundel etc. attended the health camp.

Through medical outreach program Vedanta Aluminium has been providing health services to people in remote tribal areas who are deprived of healthcare service.

Through mobile medical units and outreach camps the company is reaching the unreached and providing health services at door step of tribal people, informed Dr. Sabita Tripathy, Chief Medical Officer of Vedanta hospital.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

RTI Kya Na Kare Kaam: 6 Farmers of Karlapat GP in Thuamul Rampur got their money from Horticulture department due to RTI application

Note: Our congratulation to those who took this initiative
Contributor: Sri Dillip Kumar Das

6 Farmers of Karlapat GP in Thuamul Rampur got their money from Horticulture department due to RTI application.

In the year 2010 Jagannath Singh, Sanatan Majhi & Kana Majhi of Melghara village, Mardaraj Singh of Dalguma village, Sarat Nayak & Bidyadhar Patra of Karlapat village in Karlapat GP of Thuamul Rampur block got selected under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) by the horticulture department to take up Vermin Compost tank with a subsidized support of government. The beneficiary selection was done by ANTODAYA. Under the scheme the farmer / beneficiary has to construct a Vermin compost tank costing Rs. 15000/- out of which the Horticulture department gives Rs. 7500/- as support to the farmers free of cost. These six farmers (all of them are small and marginal farmers) took up the work after getting the order from Horticulturist Bhawanipatna in the month of July 2010. Afterwards they were also given three day training on Vermin compost by the department at Bhawanipatna.

Farmers arranged all the materials for construction of the tank and constructed those by the end of October 2010. Then ANTODAYA informed the matter to the Horticulturist for payment of subsidy money @ Rs. 7500/- to each farmer, but no response from the horticulturist till December 2010. In the month of December again with lot of persuation the Horticulturist asked us to submit the photographs of the Farmers and their compost tanks for the case record at the department. ANTODAYA facilitated the process of photography. Seeing the photographs the Horticulturist again asked us to put a display board (uniformly prepared by the horticulture department) at the tank and take a fresh photograph. That was also done in the month of December 2010 and reported to the Horticulturist and he assured the farmers for early release of money.

The farmers waited for money till end of February 2011 but in vain. Again we asked the Horticulturist about the delay in releasing the money, but he tried to avoid the matter taking the plea that the officials would visit the farmers and inspect the tanks and then only the money can be released. Here we smelt something fishy. The Horticulturist and his staff members were trying to extract some bribe from the farmers.

At the beginning of March ANTODAYA wrote a letter to the Horticulturist on the delay and sent the copy of the letter to the Collector Kalahandi.

ANTODAYA also facilitated the filing of RTI application in the office of the Horticulturist (on 4th March 2011) through the volunteer Sri Rabinarayan Singh asking the information regarding the delay in payment of subsidy money under RKVY.

Seeing the RTI application the Horticulturist and the Engineer of Horticulture department fell in line. Immediately after the government holidays in the 1st week of March 2011 they visited the farmers on 14thMarch and released the money for five farmers on 18th March 2011. Now only Kana Majhi of Melghara has to wait for some days as his tank got damaged partly by termites and Kana Majhi has to repair it to get the money. Though Rabinarayan Singh has not yet got the information he asked but the purpose is solved and the farmers got their money.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We Want Railway Wagon Factory in Kalahandi Dist

This picture is obtained from Orissadiary, we acknowldge Orissadiary team.

In Odisha assembly on April 5, 2011

The following picture was obtained from Tathya.in. We acknowledge tathya team.
MAL Gobardhan Das sat down under the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Orissa Assembly on April 4, 2011 demanding Wagon Factory in Kalahandi

Kalahandi intensifies agitation demanding rail wagon factory

IBNlive, April 5, 2011
Bhubaneswar, Apr 5 (PTI) Accusing the Orissa government of adopting a 'step motherly' attitude towards backward Kalahandi district, Opposition Congress MLAs today demanded immediate identification of land for a wagon factory in the poverty stricken district.The issue relating to the wagon factory in Kalahandi was raised during the zero hour by Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh of Congress. "The state government is depriving Kalahandi of a central project as the ruling party was defeated in the last election." Of the total six assembly segments in Kalahandi district, the opposition Congress won in five while one seat went in favour of the ruling BJD, he said.Singh, who also hailed from Kalahandi district, was supported by his party colleagues from the area."People in Kalahandi today staged dharna in front of all the 13 block offices demanding establishment of a wagon factory. The agitation is gradually intensifying," said Junagarh MLA Gobardhan Dash.Terming the state government's attitude towards Kalahandi as 'injustice', party MLA Dushmant Nayak claimed that about 100 plus acre of land were readily available near Narla railway station for establishing the factory.The opposition members also criticised the state government's statement that it could not find a suitable place in KBK region for setting up the wagon factory.Commerce and Transport minister Sanjeev Sahoo said the state government had identified a place in Ganjam district for the proposed factory.Railway minister Mamata Banerjee had announced in Parliament that her ministry would have no hesitation in sanctioning another wagon factory to Orissa if the state government provided land in Kalahandi district. PTI AAM BBN

Wagon unit: Cong launches stir across Kalahandi

The Pioneer, April 6, 2011
PNS, BHAWANIPATNA

Demanding setting-up of the proposed rail wagon factory at Chapatakhanda of Narla block in Kalahandi district, mass protests began in all the blocks in the district here on Tuesday morning.

Activists under the banner of Block Congress Committee staged a dharna before the block offices in all the thirteen blocks voicing their ire against the State Government.

They pulled up Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his alleged conspiracy in diverting the proposed Kalahandi rail wagon factory site to his home turf Ganjam for parochial political gains.

The Congress workers have begun their agitations here on Tuesday while their party MLA Gobardhan Das sat on a dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue within the premises of the State Assembly at Bhubaneswar on Monday after raising the topic in the Zero Hour before walking out of the House. Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee had reportedly assured Kalahandi MP Bhakta Das in Parliament recently that the proposed rail wagon factory would be set up here while the Chief Minister has recently written a request letter to Mamata for the proposed project in Ganjam instead.

Samaja, April 6, 2011

MLA holds demo in Assembly premises for rail wagon factory

The Pioneer, April 6, 2011
PNS, Bhubaneswar

The Opposition Congress members Tuesday expressed concern over the alleged attempt by the Chief Minister to divert the proposed rail wagon factory from Kalahandi to his home district Ganjam. The members warned that any attempt to relocate the unit would heave its serious repercussions.

Besides, the Congress members urged the Speaker to give his ruling on the issue anddirect the Government to inform the house relating to the communication made with the Railway Ministry on the railway wagon factory.

The was raised by the Congress members belonging to Kalahandi district Gobardhan Das , Dusmanta Nayak and the Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh during the zero hour.. They decried that though the Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in 2010-11 Railway Budget had announced a rail wagon factory for KBK region, attempts were being made to shift the unit to other districts on the plea of non-availability of suitable land near to railway track in Kalahandi district.

Describing that attempts are made to shift the unit from the back ward district, Das and Nayak alleged that the Chief Minister had written a letter to the Union Railway Minister in this context. They alleged that the State Government was denying Kalahandi the Wagon Unit on political consideration while vast patches of land available in Kalahandi.

Samaja, April 6, 2011

The Telegraph (Kolkata), April 6, 2011
SUBRAT DAS


Bhubaneswar, April 5: Cutting across party lines, members in the Assembly today demanded that the Orissa government should take expeditious steps to provide land for establishment of a rail wagon factory in Kalahandi district.

Sensing the mood of the House, Speaker Pradip Amat directed the state government to take necessary steps.

Raising the issue during zero hour, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh said railway minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that a rail wagon factory would be set up at Bhubaneswar or Kalahandi subject to availability of land. The people of backward Kalahandi had been demanding the rail wagon factory be established in the district.

“Unfortunately, the BJD government, which has been shedding crocodile tears for the backward Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) region, has reportedly informed the Union railway ministry that land was not available in Kalahandi for the proposed rail project,” said Singh, who belongs to the region.

He wanted to know as to whether or not chief minister Naveen Patnaik wanted the rail wagon factory to be located in his home district Ganjam.

Stating that the people of Kalahandi have launched agitation in all the 13 blocks of the district demanding the wagon factory in the region, Singh said they would not forgive Naveen if his government did not provide land for the rail project.

Congress MLA from Junagarh Gobardhan Das said the BJD government was showing step-motherly attitude to Kalahandi district.

“It’s unfortunate that the state government is expressing inability to provide 50 to 60 acres required for the rail wagon factory, while it has allotted hundreds of acres to Vedanta for their alumina refinery,” he said.

His party colleague Dusmant Naik from neighbouring Bhawanipatna constituency claimed that more than 100 acres were available at Narla Road, Rupra Road and Kesinga. “The state government is refusing to provide land out of political consideration since Kalahandi district has been dominated by Congress,” he said.

Earlier, Das and Naik were seen standing on their feet all through the Question Hour holding a poster demanding rail wagon factory in Kalahandi. They also staged a dharna outside the Assembly yesterday.

NCP legislature party leader Amar Satpathy demanded a statement from the revenue minister on land availability for the project, in which the state’s interest was involved.

Senior BJP legislator and former minister Jaynarayan Mishra urged the speaker to direct the state government to provide land for the factory in Kalahandi.

Ruling BJD legislator Pradeep Maharathy said the state government should provide land for rail wagon factory in Kalahandi and Puri-Konark rail line. Amat directed the government to take note of it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ekla chalo for rail coach

Tathya.in, April 4, 2011
Bhubaneswar:4/April/2011
Gobardhan Dash has decided to ‘ekla chalo’ over the demand for a rail coach factory in Kalahandi.


Lawmaker from Junagarh in Kalahandi in protest walked out of the Odisha House and sat down under the statue of Mahatma Gandhi to draw attention.

For last 3-4 days the Congress lawmaker was demanding an adjournment motion to be tabled on the House on the issue of setting up a rail wagon factory in the most backward region of Odisha-Kalahandi.

However though he tried his best to raise the issue, but finding no support from both opposition and others, Mr.Dash rushed outside of the Assembly and sat down under the statue of the Father of the nation.

Speaking to scribes, Mr.Dash said that though land is available in Kalahandi, BJD Government is adamant to set up the proposed rail coach factory in Ganjam district.

He said that unused government lands are available and he has collected all the details from the District Administration.

Mr.Dash said that sufficient land is available in different railway stations in the district, which can be utilized for this purpose.

However the State Government is adamant over establishing the rail coach factory near Berhampur in Ganjam district.

It may be pointed out Bhakta Charan Das, Congress MP from Kalahandi is also demanding for the same since long time.

Not only the MP is raising the issue in Lok Sabha, but also he has met the Chairman Indian Railway Board to impress upon him about the suitability of establishing the rail coach factory in Kalahandi.

Apart from that Non Resident Odias (NRO)s led by Digambara Patra, who is teaching in American University of Beirut is trying hard for the rail project.

Dr.Patra along with is friends and well wishers are flooding PMO, CMO and Ministry of Railways with e-mails demanding the rail wagon factory in the tribal and most backward region of the country.

Congress legislator stages dharna

Expressbuzz, April 5, 2011
BHUBANESWAR: Demanding establishment of the proposed rail wagon factory in the backward district of Kalahandi, Congress MLA Gobardhan Dash today launched a dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on the premises of theOrissa Assembly.


Dash, an MLA from Junagarh segment in Kalahandi district, raised the issue in the zero hour before walking out of the Assembly in protest.

Criticising the State Government for misleading the House by stating that suitable land was not found near railway track in Kalahandi to house the proposed wagon factory, the Congress MLA announced the dharna till the promise was fulfilled.

Dash told reporters at the dharna site that it was unfortunate that while the State Government could arrange land for Vedanta and other industries in Kalahandi, it could not find suitable land for a rail wagon factory.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in 2010-11 budget had announced a rail wagon factory for KBK (Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput) region.

However, the project is yet to come up because the State Government failed to arrange a land for the purpose, he alleged.

Alleging that the State Government deprived Kalahandi of a rail wagon factory on political considerations as the ruling BJD was rejected by the people in the last elections, Dash said vast vacant fields were available for the purpose.

Opposition leader Bhupinder Singh also raised the issue and requested Deputy Speaker Lal Bihari Himirika to convince Dash to call off the agitation. Government chief whip Rabi Narayan Pani persuaded Dash to end his dharna.

The Railway Minister had also assured Orissa MP Bhakta Charan Das that the Railway Ministry had no hesitation to sanction another rail wagon factory for Kalahandi if land was provided by the State Government.

MLA launches dharna demanding rail wagon factory in Kalahandi

IBNlive, April 4, 2011
Bhubaneswar, Apr 4 (PTI) Demanding establishment of the proposed rail wagon factory in backward Kalahandi district, Congress MLA Gobardhan Dash today launched a dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in the premises of the Orissa Assembly.Dash, a MLA from Junagarh segment in Kalahandi district, raised the issue in the zero hour before walking out of the assembly in protest.Accusing the state government of "misleading" the house by stating that no suitable land was found near railway track in Kalahandi to house the proposed wagon factory, the Congress first time MLA said, "I will launch a sit on dharna near Gandhiji's statue." While the state government could arrange land for Vedanta and other industries in Kalahandi, it was "sad" to say that it failed to get required land for a rail wagon factory, Dash told reporters at the dharna site.The Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in 2010-11 budget had announced to set up a rail wagon factory in KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region. However, the project was yet to come up because the state government failed to arrange a land for the purpose, he alleged.State transport and commerce minister Sanjeev Sahoo while replying to a bugetary debate last month had informed the house that the government identified Santipalli near Berhampur town in Ganjam district, for setting up the proposed rail wagon factory.Alleging that the state government deprived Kalahandi a rail wagon factory on political consideration as the ruling BJD was rejected by the people in the last elections, Dash said vast vacant fields were availble for the pupose.Meanwhile, Railway minister Banerjee had assured Orissa MP Bhakta Charan Das that the Railway ministry had no hesitation to sanction another rail wagon factory for Kalahandi if land was provided by the state government. PTI AAM

Saturday, April 2, 2011

On relating controversial Vedanta issue with shifting of present Wagon Factory from Kalahandi: Is Tata's industrial park a justification for shifting near to Berhampur?

Some readers try to relate controversial Vedanta issue with shifting of present Wagon Factory from Kalahandi.


We think both the issues are different.
  • Vedanta in Kalahandi has been controversial for many reasons.
  • Record shows the company has been alleged all over the world for wrong reasons though it is not of our interest.
  • People opposing Vedanta in Kalahandi comes from all over the globe.
  • It’s the outside force which makes substantial contribution to oppose Vedanta in Kalahandi except one section of local Dongria Kond and a section of political party and NGOs do oppose it.
  • A section of district people do advocate industrialization in Kalahandi.
  • Total strength of Dongria Kondh tribal group including in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts is about 8000. Population of Kalahandi district could be about 15 lakhs or more by 2011.
  • When the oppostion of Vedanta issue is in Lanjigarh, why the people in Kesinga, Jungarh, Dharamgarh, M.Rampur, Naral, Golamunda, Bhawanipatna etc suffer from this. Does it mean in Gopalpur people opposed TATA's Steel Plant, so one should NOT encourage other industries including indusrial park by TATA, Titanium plant and Wagon Facotry in Ganjam? It also means no other industry for opposing POSCO or TATA in Jagatsingpur or Jajipur.
  • If few local congress leaders are opposing Vedanta, then local BJD is also supporting Vedanta, why should one read only one party line. In India its not new that opposition party takes a different stand while industrialization and it is being practiced since decades, Srikant Jena, Braja Kishore Tripathy, etc all of them opposed Vedanta University in Puri. Does it mean Braja Babu would not have encoruged Biju Patnaik Steel Institute in Puri or Srikant Babu for Plastic/Polymer park in Balasore?
  • Except Vedanta Refinery there is little private investment in Kalahandi.
  • Even excluding major private investment climate districts like Jagatsingpur, Angul, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Cuttack, Khordha, Puri, Sundergarh, Sambalpur etc, MoUs signed for total investment in any moderate districts such as Ganjam, Rayagada, Balangir, Sonepur is higher than Kalahandi by March 2011, of course few districts like Nuapada, Kandhamal etc have received negligible private investment by this time.
Another reader related Wagon Factory proposal with proposed TATA industrial park near Berhampur. Below is the reasons why does TATA industrial Park argument also look weak?
  • State Govt. initially said no land is available in Kalahandi and 500 acres of land is available in Chhatrapur, Ganjam for Wagon Facotry, this was even discussed in the parliament on March 4, 2011.
  • On March 17, 2011 tranport and commerce minister Sanjeev Sahoo said in the state assembly that there is no land availble in Bhubaneswar and Narla in Kalahandi as proposed by central Govt for Wagon Factory
  • When we and local people repeatedly appeal that Kalahandi do have 1000 acres of land in Narla (Samja, March 25, 2011) and only 100 acres of land is enough for the Wagon Factory now state Govt. found 101 acres of land near Berhampur and recommended to railway ministry, how?
  • When availability of 100 acres of land in many places in Kalahandi (indeed 100 acres of unused land is available with IDCO near to railway track in Kesinga), now some argument is concentrated on location of TATA group's industrial park near the proposed site.
  • If we think about availability of raw materials, then why we do not think and visualize in the national level for the convenience of Indian railway, in that case Bhilai, Raipur, Rourkela, Visakhapatnam etc would be more ideal place than Berhampur, because the raw materials requirement could be easily met with the existing steel plants and industrial parks there.
  • Secondly, TATA’s proposed industrial park is not yet to start and its Steel Plant proposal in Gopalpur failed and other steel plant in Kalinga Nagar has been struggling since past 8 years. In this circumstance why Indian railway does not prefer where there is already existing infrastructure?
  • There is not much difference while transporting raw material from Kalinga Nagar or Rourkela to Berhampur than from Bhilai or Rourkela to Kesinga at this moment.
  • Indeed Wagon Factory in Kalahandi would boost the industries in KBK region. Titilagarh do have some steel/iron related industries, it might get boost if Wagon Factory come in Kesinga (13 km from Titialgarh by train).
  • Establishment of HAL in Sunabeda, Koraput also disapproved that industry can not come without available of raw materials nearby.
  • Compared to Sunabeda in those years, presently Kesinga/Narla has better infrastructure as per railway connectivity and urbanisation.
  • When any Govt. is serious any kind of argument could be made. For example if state Govt. were serious it could say they want industry and development to come in a backward place like their argument for Vedanta issue to justify inclusive growth, if Govt does not want here it can make suitability/land/infrastructure an issue, which has changed time to time.
  • This is clear that politics is the major criteria and other arguemnts are secondary to eyewash the wrong doing.
  • This also exposes state Govt. is interested on Vedanta for other reasons than actual development of Kalahandi.