Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Literacy programme remains on paper

IBNlive, May 31, 2011
BHAWANIPATNA: The ambitious Saakshar Bharat Mission of the Centre has failed to take off in Kalahandi.

Aiming to promote literacy among women, the project was launched across the country on September 8, 2009. The two adult education programmes of the Centre - Total Literacy Mission and Continuing Education Mission - were scrapped and the Saakshar Bharat Mission was launched.� The Mission, which aims at making women literate by 2012, targets districts where the literacy level is less than 50 per cent.

In Orissa, the Mission was to be implemented in Kalahandi, Balangir and Sundargarh districts. However, in a delayed move Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the literacy project at Junagarh in Kalahandi district on February 28 this year.

Though the Mission is scheduled to end by March 2012, so far identification of target groups (learners) and volunteer teachers have not been completed. Besides, selection of two Shiksha Preraks for each of the 273 gram panchayats has not been done.

Under the project, funds are released in instalments to the district by the HRD Ministry and on submission of utilisation certificate, the amount for next phase work is disbursed.

During January this year, the first instalment of ` 1.47 crore was allotted by the Centre to the district for printing of reading materials, training and payment of salary of district, block and panchayat level coordinators for the first three months. However, due to non-submission of utilisation certificate the second instalment is yet to be released.

Sources said despite reminders to the Directorate of Mass Education, no step has been taken so far to implement the Mission in a proper manner.

DRDA project director Ashok Kumar Bag has been made the secretary of the Saakshar Bharat Mission and district inspector of schools is the drawing and disbursing officer of the Mission in Kalahandi.

Bag said that all works related to the programme are about to be completed and the teaching will begin from the last week of June.

However, with just 10 months to go for the Mission deadline, locals are apprehending that project might not see the light of the day.

B’patna snatches four toppers in Commerce

The Pioneer, May 31, 2011
PNS, Bhawnipatna

The moment, nay, the day was upbeat for four students — three girls and one boy — of the Govenment autonomous college, Bhawanipatna with the declaration of the Class XIIth Commerce results by the Council of Higher Secondary Education on Monday morning when they discovered them selves on the top rung of the result sheet Ashmita Agrawal secured of 525 marks ranking 5th in the toppers list while Piyush Jain secured 517 marks and ranked 8th. Ronika Agrawal got a total 510 marks and stood 14th as Megha Agrawal struggled for a 16th position with just 508 mark.

Elated at the results, the proud students acknowledge all credit for their success to their commerce teachers and family members for their wholehearted support.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jogabyasa Bhoi became the first Kalahandia and third Oriya after Kalpana Das and Ganesh Jena to have set foot on the Everest

Note: Thanks to Santosh Kar for sharing this.

Everest glory for Oriya

Telegraph (Kolkata), May 22, 2011

Bhubaneswar, May 22: Another Oriya has scaled the Mount Everest. Jogabyasa Bhoi, a primary school teacher from Kalahandi district, climbed the world’s highest peak last Thursday. With this feat, he became the third Oriya after Kalpana Das and Ganesh Jena to have set foot on the Everest.

However, due to lack of communication, this news reached the state today. Earlier on January 11, Bhoi (32) had conquered Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in South Africa. “The most important task of my life has been fulfilled,” gushed Jogabyasa after his expedition.

“My aim to make it a spiritual expedition has been achieved. I wanted to spread the message of spiritual leader, Sri Aurobindo and I have done it,” he said.

He went on this expedition as part of the ‘Prayer, meditation and request for world peace on the top of the world’ team. The Vedanta Aluminium Limited had provided financial assistance to Jogabyasa to undertake this mission. Woman mountaineer Kalpana Das, who also hails from Dhenkanal, is the first Oriya and only woman from Orissa, so far, to have scaled the Everest. No male mountaineer from the state had been able to scale the 8,848 metre peak until Ganesh Jena achieved this feat on May 18.

Achrya bats for diagnostic care

Tathya.in, May 26, 2011
Diagnosis of diseases in private diagnostic centres is making holes in the patients’ pockets.

So the Government of Odisha in Health & FW Department, which has been taking all-out steps to provide better qualitative health service to the people of the State emphasizing on provision of good laboratory with modern equipments in all the health institutions.

Prasanna Achrya, Minister Health & Family Welfare, who is on continuous tours to districts found that the Regional Diagnostic Centre (RDC) Kalahandi was defunct due to defunct of non-utilization of modern equipments and machinery and for

Mr Acharya directed the department to take all necessary steps to make it functional immediately.

Anu Garg, Commissioner-cum-Secretary Health & FW saw to it that the RDC Kalahandi made fully functional on 6 November 2010.

It was one of the eight RDCs, which were set up with funding from Eleventh Finance Commission (EFC) with a cost of Rs.24 crore.

Out of the 8, one each in three Government Medical College & Hospitals and at District Headquarter Hospital Mayurbhanja , Kalahandi ,Koraput , Sundargarh and in Capital Hospital .

Keeping this in view, Ms Garg has also instructed the State Equipment Management Unit under NRHM taking the responsibility of repair of hospital equipments in time.

NRHM authorities are taking care as the Director Dr.Pramod Kumar Mehrada has asked the officials to be vigilant and see that all the equipments in health institutions works properly and the patients coming to the hospitals are benefitted.

CBI begins probe into MGNREGA scam

Hindustantimes, May 24, 2011
Separate CBI teams from New Delhi arrived in Orissa on Tuesday and began probing into the alleged large-scale corruption in implementation of the rural job scheme under MGNREGA, official sources said on Tuesday. The officials of the premier investigating agency have already reached the districts of Rayagada, Kalahandi and Koraput, an official said adding they have met district level officials before verifying documents relating to MGNREGA.

"The state government has appointed nodal officers in six different districts to cooperate the CBI teams in the investigation," chief minister Naveen Patnaik said.

A CBI team arrived in Bhubaneshwar on Tuesday morning. "We have been helping them in beginning probe," said Rayagada district collector NB Jawle.

The state government had already provided logistic support like police officers, nodal officers in each probe districts and vehicles to the CBI teams as desired by the investigating agency, said chief secretary BK Patnaik.

The CBI on May 12 was directed by the Supreme Court to probe into the alleged corruption in the rural job scheme. The court gave this direction while disposing a PIL filed by a Delhi-based NGO which alleged that about Rs 500 crore scam in implementation of MGNREGA in the state.

The CBI teams comprised officials of the investigating agency's state branch, Orissa police and some state government officials. The teams, on the first phase, would probe alleged corruption in Kalahandi, Koraput and Rayagada districts, part of the poverty stricken KBK region, officials said.

The team was scheduled to take up cases in three other districts in the second phase. The Centre for Environment and Food Security (CEFS), the NGO, had alleged large-scale corruption in 100 villages of the six districts in the state.

Besides meeting block level officials and verifying documents there, the CBI team is likely to directly interact with the beneficiaries, they said.

The CBI has been directed to submit its preliminary investigation within six months.

The investigating agency was directed to take into consideration of three documents - survey report of CEFS, the report of CAG and findings of Hyderabad based NIRD (national institute of rural development).

Odisha Government appoints 20,418 Sikhya Sahayaks in 30 Districts

orissadiary, May 28, 2011
Report by Orissa Diary correspondent; Bhubaneswar: The state government has appointed 20,418 Sikhya Sahayaks in 30 Districts of Orissa. Due to non availability of eligible candidates in reserved seats about 3,582 posts are lying vacant.

Out of 24 thousand posts required, the government has appointed 684 Sikhyasahayak in Angul, 876 in Balasore, 349 in Bargarh, 1,041 in Bhadrak, 811 in Bolangir, 122 in Boudh, 616 in Cuttack, 87 in Deogarh,456 in Dhenkanal,611 in Gajapati, 3,052 in Ganjam,480 in Jagatsinghpur,1,018 in jajpur, 344 in harsuguda,811 in kalahandi,770 in Kandhamal,507 in Kendrapara,668 in Keonjhar,699 in Khurdha, 711 in Koraput, 416 in Malkangiri, 1,908 in Mayurbhanj, 542 in Nawarangpur, 373 in Nayagarh, 179 in Nuapara, 432 in Puri, 805 in Rayagada, 184 in Sambalpur,206 in Sonepur, 650 in Sundargarh District.

Vedanta Aluminium organizes free health camp in Odisha

Orissadiary.com, May 28, 2011
Report by Orissa Diary correspondent; Bhubaneswar: Nearly 200 villagers were treated and were dispensed with medicines free of cost in a Health Camp organized by Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh in association with Government health Department, Orissa at Chhatrapur village of Lanjigarh block of Kalahandi district in Orissa on May 27, 2011. The health Camp catered mostly people of nearby villages like Chanalima, Kenduguda and Baterlima.

Dr. Mukesh Kumar, President & COO–VAL inaugurated the camp, while also present on the occasion from VAL were Mr. Sanjay Pattnaik – Vice President-HR, Mr. Narisetty Nagesh – Vice President-Project, Dr. R C Rout – Head-CSR, Ms Niharika Sahoo and Surya Panigrahi of CSR department. Many Local leaders were also present with Sarapanch of Chhatrapur, Mr. Chakri Majhi.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Mukesh Kumar said, “Vedanta Aluminium is concerned about health of not only its employees but also the people of the surrounding villages including the tribal people. We regularly organize health camps at nearby villages to make a healthy society around Lanjigarh. We also advice people to go to our state-of-the-art Vedanta Hospital for better treatment.”

Dr. Sabita Swain, Chief Medical Officer of Vedanta Hospital, Dr. Saktibrata Mohanty, Surgery Specialist (SR), from DHH Rayagada and Dr. Saroj Kanta Mishra, MS (Ortho.) were present at the Health Camp to treat the patient.

Health & MHU Team of VAL went to nearby villages of the venue as a part of pre-publicity step to inform the villagers about the camp and doctors availability during the Health Camp about a week back.

VAL organizes health camps at nearby villages around Lanjigarh regularly which is a part of its aim to make a healthy society.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Link to Kosal Horizon: A weekly English News Paper

You can read Kosal Horizon in the following link:


The article refers how Ganjam has been given preference for ministerial berth to make CM happy

NCP included a rurual management university at Kalahandi on its demand for Western Odisha

The Samaja, May 24, 2011

Public rally demands wagon factory at Narla

The Pioneer, May 24, 2011
PNS, Bhawanipatna

The Swabhiman Jagaran Manch (Kalahandi) on Saturday held a rally before the district Collectorate here and submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the Collector demanding establishment of rail wagon factory at Narla in the district.

Manch president Badri Narayan Pattanaik said it is unfortunate that Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Bhupinder Singh, who is elected from the district, is keeping silent over the issue when the State Government has repeatedly been maintaining that there is no sufficient land available at Narla for the proposed rail wagon factory in the State.

Pattanaik asserted that there is enough evidence of availability of sufficient land at Narla and Bhupinder Singh should raise his voice in the Assembly about it, especially because he is elected from the Narla constituency.

Since the Centre has asked the State Government to make available only 50 acres of land at a site where the wagon factory would be set up, the Manch has claimed that at Chapatkhanda in Narla block as much as 307 acres of land is available. Similarly, the Manch has claimed that in Narla block 95 acres of land is available at Regdimal, 127 acres at Samarkata, 211 acres at Jurkabhata, 103 acres at Dangarmal, 100 acres at Bamak and 92 acres at Bhatang.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

BPL health insurance fails in Kalahandi

Expressbuzz, May 21, 2011
BHAWANIPATNA: The benefits under the Rashtriya Suraksha Bima Yojana (RSBY) have failed to trickle down to the beneficiaries the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.

Though launched as a pilot project in Kalahandi in November 2009, poor management and lack of awareness among the BPL beneficiaries have marred the cashless treatment provision.

Out of the surveyed 2,24,859 BPL families, 1,03,083 families were enrolled in 20092010.

Ironically, in the first year, only 1,513 persons could avail of the benefits and against it only Rs 35,44,770 was paid by the insurance company, New India Insurance, towards claims to different hospitals and health institutions empanelled.

Interestingly, during the year, the insurance company collected Rs 5.14 crore towards premium.

The main reasons for the dismal performance are inadequate training in the use of Smart Card, delays and reductions in the payments due from the insurance company to hospitals, and imposition of noncontracted upper limits on treatment duration and cost.

Awareness drive taken up initially by the insurance company and the Rural Health Mission was allegedly ineffective as it could not reach out to the beneficiaries, either illiterate or semi-literate, who do not know the details of using the Smart Card.

Under the scheme, the total sum insured is Rs 30,000 per BPL family for a maximum of five members and the family would have to pay a token annual premium of Rs 30 to avail of cashless services from the empanelled government hospitals and health institutions.

The Government has been paying Rs 750 to the insurance company towards annual premium per head, but only 2.5 per cent of the beneficiaries have availed of the services.

To add to the woes, the annual premium which expired in November 2010 is yet to be renewed due to a legal dispute.

Deputy Labour Commissioner, Bhubaneswar, NK Samantrai said that for the second term United India Insurance Company has been given the tender for the scheme against the bidder New India Insurance Company.

Meanwhile, the New India Insurance Company has obtained stay order from the High Court and hence the scheme could not be renewed.

Steps will be taken for early renewal of the scheme soon after the ruling by the High Court, he added.

K’handi villagers deprived of old-age pension

The Pioneer, May 21, 2011
May 21, 2011 8:38:14 PM

PNS, Bhawanipatna

While the State Government is spending crores of rupees in the KBK region, the apathy of the officials in executing different schemes is the main reason why the benefits of various welfare and development schemes are not reaching the real beneficiaries.

Report said that old-age pension scheme has been a mockery in Kalahandi which is widely known as an underprivileged district in KBK region.

About 100 old persons, including men, women and widows, in Brahmani village under Kesinga block, are in a dismal state as the Panchayat Executive Officer is not paying them pension regularly.

These hapless persons, aged between 70 and 80 years, have been left in the lurch as their sons have migrated to Tamil Nadu in pursuit of livelihood. They have alleged that the higher-ups in the District Administration are not coming to the village to take stock of their sufferings and initiate action against the errant officials.

K' handi tribals up the ante against mining in Niyamgiri

The Pioneer, May 21, 2011
PNS, Bhawanipatna
Hundreds of Jharnia and Dongria kondhs armed with axes took out a rally from Muniguda to Trilochanpur village under Lanjigarh block to save the Niyamgiri hills from mining on Tuesday. The tribals’ rally started on May 12 and concluded on May 18.

The rally was led by tribal leaders Loda Sikaka, Niyamgiri Surakhya Samitee president Kumuti Majhi and activist Lingaraj Azad. They were shouting: ‘Maribu Pache, Daribu Nahi, Niyamgiri Ku Chhadibu Nai (We may die but won’t cast off Niyamgiri)’.

The harassment to the tribals by the police and middlemen (dalals) of the industries was heavily protested by the tribal leaders during a meeting on the concluding day of the rally.

While addressing the gatherings, tibal leader Loda said that unless we become united, we can’t oppose eviction from our home. We are dependent on the Niyamgiri hills like our ancestors and we will save the hill at any cost, he maintained.

Friday, May 20, 2011

VAL-hit people on stir, seek better compensation

The Pioneer, May 20, 2011
PNS, Bhawanipatna

The affected people of Lanjigarh-based Vedanta Aluminum Limited (VAL) have been sitting on a dharna since March 26 with their 17-point charters of demands as the promises by the State Government to them are yet to be fulfilled. Among others, their main demand is to increase the compensation from `10 lakh to `20 lakh and job for each family in the VAL.

The agitation began on March 26 by the displaced people even as the District Administration had clamped IPC 144 around 200 metres distance from the VAL premises to avert any untoward incidents. Despite the scorching heat in April and May, the agitation has reached 52 days and is still continuing. The local MLA and MP have finished their jobs after assuring them to fulfill their demands.

Kalahandi MP Bhakta Das said the displaced people should get their dues. I have drawn the attention of the RDC but till now neither the RDC came to the spot nor the District Administration did anything to pacify the people.

However, Sub-Collector Jagannath Mohanty said that the demands by the displaced people were not legitimate. “In the RPADC meeting, everything was finalised but now it is not possible for the District Administration to fulfill their unlawful demands. The displaced people are demanding Rs 20 lakh compensation as it is given to the displaced people of Posco project which is unviable,” he explained. Describing the agitation as unlawful, the VAL chief Mukesh Kumar said that all steps had been taken to rehabilitate the people as per law.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tribal plan to get better and bigger from next year

Hindustantimes, May 16, 2011
Chetan Chauhan,
India’s development plan for Naxal affected areas will get bigger and better with coverage of all tribal areas from the next financial year. The Planning Commission has decided to initiate a Central India tribal development plan covering tribal areas from Gujarat to West Bengal and from Bihar till Andhra Pradesh and will include all existing tribal developmental schemes.

“The plan will cover all those areas where naxals have influence or can have influence in future because of the development deficit as desired by the Prime Minister,” said a senior plan panel official, adding around 120 districts will come under its purview.

The Union Cabinet in 2010 had approved an Integrated Action Plan (IAP) of Rs 3,500 crore for 60 naxal affected districts providing money to each of these districts to carry out development works not covered under existing Central government schemes. Each district was supposed to get Rs 25 crore in 2009-10 and Rs 30 crore in 2010-11.

The plan panel officials said, from next April, also the first year of the 12th five year plan, the IAP will get subsumed in the new tribal development plan having a twin objective of bridging development deficit with improvement in overall governance in tribal belt of India.

With it, several other schemes in tribal areas such as food nutrition scheme for KBK (Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi) districts will be part of the new plan to bring better focus.

Money will be provided to each district for strengthening the village bodies (gram sabhas) to take a decision on what types of developmental works they want to carry out just like other Panchayati Raj institutions in rest of the rural India. “Tribals’ participation in carrying out development works will become a must,” a plan panel functionary said, point out that the plan will have several elements of inclusiveness.

In the first two years, uniform money will flow to all districts for empowering gram sabhas including appointment of panchayat secretaries and thereafter, the fund release would be conditional. Only those districts that meet conditions for fund release in first two years will continue to get money for development, the functionary said.

To ensure third party monitoring of the development work, the panel wants to periodic inspection by a committee having civil society members and officials. Social audit on the utilization of the money similar to the one in National Rural Employment Gurantee Programme would also be another provision of the new plan.

The financial aspects of the plan are yet to be finalized.

Monday, May 16, 2011

If state Govt. may play well, Odisha has opportunities to get 3 Wagon Factories

Railway ministry is favoring to establish more number of Wagon Factories (due to on going demand on railway Wagon) where railway has already land on its own, in that catogory I guess railway was surveying for one in Katabanji where it has 500 acres of land, whereas Ganajm/Kalahandi are fighting for new one (from state Govt land) alloted to Odisha in the budget. Railway minister has announced that if land will be provided in Kalahandi, second Wagon Facotry might come in Kalahandi of Odisha, which state Govt. has not yet responded. For Kantabanji state Govt has not nothing to take rather its ECOR zone officials which could help. Indeed if state Govt is clever enough, then getting 3 Wagon facotries in 3 districts is not impossible as per the current demand in the country.

Many deprived of Rs 2-rice in Kalahandi

The Pioneer, May 16, 2011
PNS, Bhawanipatna

While the State Government is committed to providing 30 kg of rice per month to the intended beneficiaries at `2 a kg, in reality many beneficiaries are being deprived of the benefits of the scheme.The apathy of officers and corrupt employees is known to be the main reason behind the trouble faced by the poor people. An example was found in the Koksara gram panchayat of Kalahandi district. While the total number of BPL families here is 406, BPL cards have been provided to 378 families as per the Government record.

It was alleged by the beneficiaries that the BPL rice was siphoned off for the month of April 2011 by the Executive Office of the GP.

Not getting the rice in the month of May, the deprived people eventually related their woes to the local BDO.

While asked about the veracity of the matter, BDO Trilochan Singh said the mediapersons that an inquiry would be made in this regard and necessary steps would be taken up.

Technology park empowers Kalahandi women

The Pioneer, May 16, 2011


Laying the foundation stone for the Technology Park building at Kusumkuti in Koksara block on Tuesday, Kalahandi ADM Chudamani Seth said women’s empowerment can be further strengthened when they would be economically sound and the Technology Park would guide them.

Supported by the Government of India Department of Science & Technology, national-level voluntary organisation Association of Voluntary Agencies for Rural Development (AVARD) in collaboration with the Nehru Seva Sangh (NSS) has started programmes for the SC and ST women of the block to provide them technological support on agriculture, horticulture, mushroom cultivation and Agarbati training for self-sustainability in the society.

While AVARD director RP Agrawal presided over the meeting, NSS secretary Sarojini Dash, treasurer Omprakash Agrawal and NARI secretary Pranjali Dei also spoke on the occasion.

Dangling Carrot: Railway Wagon Unit in Balangir or Kalahandi or Ganjam

Thanks to Sri Sudhir Mishra for sharing this.
Industry & Mining Observer, May 1-5, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pushpendra Singhdeo given additional charge of Minor Irrigation (Water Resources) as MoS in Odisha

Naveen Patnaik reshuffles Portfolios

Expressbuzz, May 11, 2011
BHUBANESWAR: The agonising wait for the Cabinet reshuffle ended on Tuesday with the induction of five new ministers and elevation of a Minister of State to the Cabinet rank. This was the first expansion of Cabinet after the 2009 Assembly elections.

The five new ministers, all Cabinet rank, are former speaker Maheswar Mohanty, former deputy speaker Lalbihari Himirika, Pradip Maharathi, Usha Devi and Niranjan Pujari.

Anjali Behera, Minister of State for Textiles and Handlooms (independent charge), was promoted to Cabinet rank.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reshuffled the portfolios after the oath-taking ceremony at the Raj Bhavan. Naveen has kept Home, General Administration, Works and Water Resources with him while Prafulla Chandra Ghadei continues with Finance. Ghadei, who loses the Excise portfolio, has been given Public Enterprises.

Portfolios of three senior ministers __ Raghunath Mohanty, Prasanna Acharya and Bikram Keshari Arukh __ remain unchanged.

Some senior ministers, including A U Singhdeo and Surya Narayan Patro, have been rewarded. While Singhdeo has been allotted Excise in addition to Planning and Coordination, Patro gets Information and Public Relations in addition to Revenue and Disaster Management.

The portfolios of Debi Mishra have been changed. He has been divested of Higher Education, Tourism and Culture and given Forest and Environment.

Another senior minister, Prafulla Samal, has been stripped of his portfolios __ Panchayatiraj, Women and Child Development. He has been given Tourism and Culture, and Cooperation.

While newly inducted minister Pradip Maharathi has been rewarded with Agriculture portfolio, former speaker Maheswar Mohanty gets Panchayatiraj.

New entrant Usha Devi gets Textile and Handloom and Science and Technology. Anjali Behera, who was given a promotion and made Cabinet minister, has been awarded the crucial Women and Child Development portfolio.

While Niranjan Pujari gets Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare, Lalbihari Himirika gets ST & SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Development.

Among the Ministers of State (independent charge), the portfolios of Sanjib Sahu, Pratap Jena, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Pushpendra Singhdeo remain unchanged. Badrinarayan Patro gets Higher Education, Sports and Youth Services in place of Housing and Urban Development. Sarada Prasad Nayak has been given Housing and Urban Development. Ramesh Chandra Majhi gets Information Technology, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development. Majhi also gets Scheduled Tribe Development (Minister of State) while Pushpendra Singhdeo has been given Minor Irrigation (Water Resources) as MoS.

In the run-up to the reshuffle, Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Development Minister Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha and Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Praveen Bhanjadeo resigned on the instructions of the Chief Minister. While there was one vacancy from the beginning, Pramilla Mallik had resigned as Women and Child Development Minister in the wake of ‘dal’ scam.

With Tuesday’s exercise, the BJD Government now has 22 ministers, including the Chief Minister. There are 14 Cabinet ministers and seven Ministers of State (independent charge).

Kalahandi district reels under acute water crisis

The Pioneer, May 11, 2011

With the onset of sweltering summer and the level of groundwater declining day-by-day in Kalahandi district, the denizens clamour for a bucket of drinking water. Even if one manages to get it, hardly any disinfected water is found.

Almost in every house in the district headquarters town here, water is being used privately after spending Rs 25,000 on sinking a personal tube-well.

With the onset of the sizzling summer, bore-well machine dots every nook and corner of the town. Each and every household is found desperately digging a tube-well of its own in almost all the towns in the district here.

On the other hand, the poor hardly get the scope of tapping the tube-well water as the stream water usually gets dried up in every area in the summer season.

According to the Government records, one tube-well has been supplied for every 80 households.

While it has been implemented only in the town areas, hardly one notices tube-wells in the rural pockets here in the district. If at all it is hit upon, it is found to be defunct.

The poor villagers have to trek two to three kilometres to collect potable water may it be from an old well, river water or tube-well. In the villages of Risida and Sapalahari GP under Karlamunda block, hundreds of women walk down to the river barefoot.

While some rush to the well, a few to the tube-well after covering minimum a kilometre. It takes hours to fill their bucket as they stand daylong in queues even under scorching rays of the sun.

It was shocking to notice the rural folks in Thuamul Rampur block using drinking water from the cultivated land after digging a small well with their own hands.

With the temperature rising every year, the groundwater table is decreasing while the supply of water from the river to the industries is further compounding the woes.

The situation of the villages under Kesinga block has been worst, especially in summer, as gallons of water are being guzzled up by the industries from the Tel river here.

Junagarh MLA Gobardhan Das told the media that the Centre has been clearly stating to the State Government for the last four years that the river water can be supplied to the households, but the State is yet to implement the scheme.

The district administration is still reluctant to supply drinking water in the hamlets and thus has been a major concern for all.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Centre to decide soon on Koraput mega food park

Business Standard, May 9, 2011

The Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) will take a decision on setting up of a mega food park in Koraput district of Orissa within next three months.
"The Koraput mega food park proposal is under our consideration.The ministry is examining the expression of interest (EoI) proposals sent bysome promoters last month. A special purpose vehicle will prepare the detail project report and will see the viability of the project. The entire process can take about two to three months, , said S K Nanda, under secretary with MoFPI whileattending a workshop on food packaging here recently.
He said, some promoters have expressed interests to set up a mega food parkin the Koraput region, but the ministry has to see whether it is situated near a farm product market or not, which is a key parameter to set up a food park. The Mega Food Parks Scheme (MFPS) is the flagship program included in the Eleventh Five Year Plan. The scheme envisages a cluster-based approach for the food parks, which will have facilities like food processing centres and collection centres close to farm fields.
"The cluster would be selected very carefully on the basis of agricultural and horticultural surpluses available in the catchment and take into account the logistics and processing infrastructure", according to food park guidelines of MoFPI.
The Central government official was also skeptic about the capability of investors from Orissa to arrange capital investment for such projects.
According to MFP scheme, the government of India will provide half of the total cost of the project with a maximum investment of Rs 50 crores.

Odisha: Vedanta strengthens Computer Education Programme in Kalahandi

Orissadairy.com, May 4, 2011
Report by Orissa Diary correspondent; Bhawanipatna (Orissa): Hon’ble Minister for SC/ST Shri Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha inaugurated the Vedanta E-Shiksha @ Schools in four Tribal schools across Kalahandi district on May 3, 2011. The program has been implemented in six other schools which will benefit more than 4000 tribal students of Kalahandi district.

The initiative is a joint venture of Vedanta Foundation, Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL), Lanjigarh and SC/ST Development Department, Government of Orissa which aims to strengthen Computer Education and Computer Aided Learning (CAL) in the rural areas across the State under ‘Vedanta E-Shiksha @ Schools program. The Foundation under this program has delivered e-content, pre and post Baseline Survey/Analysis, Computer Labs – with PCs. Monitors, Computing Devices, UPS, Furniture, Projector, White Board, Multimedia content for core subjects like Mathematics, Science, Social Science, English and Basic Computer Education thus supporting the State Government’s computer aided learning and computer education program. Under the program, Vedanta E-Shiksha team has conducted training to the teachers from these schools.

Senior officials from the State Government, VAL, and Vedanta Foundation present were Mr Sanjeev Chadha – Director of SC/ST Department; Mr Shaikh Majeed of Vedanta Foundation; Mr. Balabhadra Majhi – Chairman TDCC; Dr. Ram Rout – Head, CSR of VAL; Mr. Sanjay Pattnaik – Vice President HR, VAL; Mr. Shivaji Majhi – MLA, Lanjigarh and Srimati Majhi, Chairman, Lanjigarh Block.

Hon’ble Minister Shri Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha highly appreciated the efforts of the Vedanta group and said that the E-Shiksha @ Schools will provide every tribal child their dreams to become a scientist, an astronomer, an engineer or a doctor a reality.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sanjeev Chadha, Director SC/ST Department, Government of Orissa, said, “The Vedanta E-Shiksha program aims to rejuvenate the Orissa Government’s initiated Computer aided education drive in 20 Tribal Schools across the district benefitting more than 8,000 students every year.”

 “Our program will provide the right opportunity to the less privileged tribal children in the district and nurture them to be better acquainted with computers, improve their competency in core subjects and overall pass percentage besides decreasing the school dropout rate,” explained Dr. Mukesh Kumar, President & COO, Vedanta Aluminum Ltd.

The SC/ST Development Department, Government of Orissa had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 24th of  August 2010 for the Vedanta E-Shiksha Program with Vedanta Foundation, a prominent not-for-profit organization, and Vedanta Aluminum Ltd which cater to a wide spectrum of industries.

Mr. Taher Vohra, National Head, Vedanta Foundation said, “The Foundation will ensure that this 3-year long Vedanta E-Shiksha Project will be made more effective, interesting and long lasting by constantly motivating and awarding teachers and students suitably.”

The first phase of the Vedanta E-Shiksha @ Schools Project has been successfully implemented in the States of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Goa in rural schools.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kalahandi’s asurgarh on road to destruction!

Expressbuzz, May 4, 2011
Uma Shankar Kar

BHAWANIPATNA: History lovers and academia have resented the damage caused to historical Asurgarh site near Narla of Kalahandi district due to construction of an MGNREGS road inside the protected central Asurgarh fort. They have also questioned the silence of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) entrusted with the task to protect the monument.

Asurgarh fort dates back to 4th century BC. Different antiquities, structures, coins and beads were excavated from the site. Though in 1973, the site was declared a protected site under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Monuments Act, 1958, full-scale excavation and preservation of monuments are yet to be done.

The ASI is sitting pretty by posting three guards and putting out a notice board declaring it a protected site and monument. In course of time Asurgarh fort and the archeologically rich vicinity faced damage due to increased agricultural activities, human habitation and other development works like road construction and frequent visits by treasure hunters.

To add to the miseries, recently a road has been laid in the middle of the fort connecting eastern and western gates under MGNREGS by Asurgarh gram panchayat with an estimated cost of Rs 5 lakh. The work entailed digging of long trenches inside the fort.

The action plan for the work was approved in 2010-11 by Narla block and execution done by the gram panchayat. Two-foot deep and 50-meter wide trenches have been dug on either side of the road up to a length of about 200 metre to collect soil for the construction of the road.

As a result potteries, tiles, bricks, terracotta and other artefacts are lying scattered. Plinth of a brick structure has also become vulnerable in the process.

It is learnt that the gram panchayat concerned has sent only a formal letter to the ASI, Bhubaneswar circle, seeking permission for the construction but it is yet to be obtained. The work is on despite the fact that construction is prohibited in the protected site without permission of ASI and any violation attracts penal action. ASI has also failed to take serious note of the violation.

ASI should take early steps for large-scale horizontal excavation, protection of the site and construction of an archeological park and museum at Asurgarh which will be developed into a tourist draw, locals demanded.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Orissa approves investments of Rs1045 crore in power, petroleum sectors

DNAIndia, May 3, 2011

Seeking investment in the backward KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region in the state, Orissa government today approved investments of Rs1045 crore in power and petroleum sectors, officialsources said.
"The state government is working out a policy on how to mobilise investment in KBK region. The government is also considering provision of more incentives for investment in the KBK region," industries secretary T Ramachandru told reporters after attending the Single Window Clearance Committee chaired by the chief secretary.
The committee approved an investment of Rs300 crore proposed by Hyderabad-based Prima Power & Infra Limited to establish a 60 MW thermal powerplant at Gania village in Nayagarh district, Ramachandru said.
The committee also approved another thermal power plant proposed by Konark Kanti Energy Private Limited (KKEL). The proposed thermal power plant of capacity of 110 MW would be set up at Bagipada village in Boudh district at an investment of Rs110 crore.
KKEL's two other proposal of setting up a petroleum based downstream industry at Paradip at an investment of Rs200 crore and a petroleum storage tank at an investment of Rs110 crore at Dhamra, were also approved.

CM lays stone of multi-speciality hospital in Nuapada

The Pioneer, May 3, 2011
PNS | Nuapada

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik laid the foundation stone of a multi-specialist hospital under the National Non-Communicable Disease Control Programme in Nuapada recently. The hospital will provide care for all non-communicable diseases like heart , kidney, cancer etc and will benefit the poor people of the region immensely, said Patnaik, while addressing a gathering. The hospital will also take up awareness for prevention of such diseases by building the capacity of the all health service providers of the district. A Janausudhi shop in the premises of hospital was also inaugurated by the Chief Minister. Attending the meeting, Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das said all the four programmes were schemes of the Central Government. He hoped that the schemes are implemented as per the mandate so as to benefit the people.