Monday, April 30, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Demand of Rail Wagon Factory at Narla: By Sri Santosh Kumar Kar

                                                      Dated 28th April 2012

Sri Naveen Pattnaik  
Hon’ble Chief Minister, Odisha
Govt. of Odisha, Bhubaneswar

Sub – Demand of Rail Wagon Factory at Narla, Dist – Kalahandi [Odisha]

Esteemed Sir

We shall recall your good office that Hon’ble Railway Minister, Miss. Mamata Banerjee, while presenting the Railway Budget on the floor of Parliament on dated 24th February 2010 categorically mentioned a Wagon factory to be set up at Bhubaneswar/Kalahandi [Odisha]. In this context, an eight-member representative group headed by Labour and Employment Minister Puspendra Singh Deo and former Minister Balabhadra Majhi met you at Secretariat chamber on 29th July 2010. You have agreed to our proposal and assured us that you will soon talk to Banerjee to this effect.

But unfortunately it has been come to our knowledge that you have wrote Mamata Banarjee for rail wagon unit at Ganjam instead of Kalahandi by giving a remark that "No suitable land available at Kalahandi". After this the people of Kalahandi placed and justify their legitimate demand through various forums by Strike, Rail Roka etc throughout the year. After this Collecter, Kalahandi written a letter to State Govt. Commerce and Transport department on 29.09.11 with reference to their letter no. 1517/rev dated 12th Sept. 2011 regarding land availability at Narla Block. In his letter he clearly mentioned that about 77.49 Acres (Including 32.79 Acres of a single farmer) land is available in the boundary of Bhatang and Regdimal. But no steps have been taken to accelerate construction of the above said Wagon Factory at Narla.

In the mean time Dinesh Tribedi, the former Railway Minister presented the rail budget 2012-13 and clearly mentioned that the rail wagon unit which was to be established at Odisha will be at Sitapali (Ganjam) as desired by Chief Minister of Odisha. It was shocking and disheartening news for entire Kalahandi and Kalahandia. This was brought to the knowledge Smt Sonia Gandhi by our local MP and after that the present Railway Minister Mukul Roy declare in the floor of parliament on 22.03.2012 that " Another Wagon factory will be established in Kalahandi, Odisha If the State government give suitable land."

Dear Sir, Narla in KBK region is extremely backward, poverty- stricken and tribal locality. The establishment of this factory at Narla will normally boost local economy and support the livelihood of tribal and bring them into the mainstream of the society. Besides, it will also remove regional imbalance to a great extent.

Now device is in your hand. So, we are again urging upon you to consider our genuine demand and recommend to the Centre for setting up of the Rail Wagon factory in the above mention land recommended by Collecter,Kalahandi and set a new record of your rule.


Yours Sincerely
Santosh Kumar Kar


Possibility of 20000 crore Ultra Mega Power Plant in Narla

Sambad, April 28, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Beating the drum for checking malaria

IBNlive, April 27, 2012
BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Government has decided to go back to the traditional village messengers to drum home the message to arrest the spread of malaria in tribal districts. As part of its innovative measure, the Health department has asked districts to use the services of the local drum-beaters __ “dakua” in local parlance __ to sensitise the people.
�Beginning June, which marks the transmission season of the vector-borne diseases, the drum-beaters will start using their traditional skills to send across awareness capsules in the villages. Each “dakua” will beat drum for an hour every week for which he will be paid a remuneration of `50.
The Gram Kalyan Samiti (GKS) has been asked to identify the drummers and use their services. According to Deputy Director, Health Services (National Vector- Borne Diseases Control Programme) Dr Madan Mohan Pradhan, the districts have been asked to identify the vulnerable pockets where the drum-beaters can operate all through the transmission season.
�The messages will be in tribal dialect, depending upon the district and its indigenous inhabitants. The “dakuas” will be trained by the district health office. At least 30 “dakuas” will be roped in by each district.
�Malaria, one of the major diseases in the State, witnessed high incidence during the transmission season which spans from June to October. The annual parasite incidence (API) of 10 and more is recorded in the tribal districts of south and western Odisha, including Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput, Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Nuapada and Deogarh. The reason behind taking the services of the traditional drum-beaters is that most of the districts are highly forested and hilly where access by the Health department is minimal. In fact, these districts contribute more than 80 per cent of malaria cases and 64 per cent deaths in the State. Besides, employing the “dakuas,” the Health department is also trying to influence the “disari” (priests as well as quacks) who have sway over the locals and dish out treatment. Since they have negative opinion about the modern drug system, the department is trying to sensitise and restrain them. An analysis released by the Health department on the occasion of World Malaria Day on Wednesday revealed that of 98 deaths out of 100 in 2011, fiftynine were adults and 41 children. At least 62 per cent deaths were reported in 10 high endemic districts where illiteracy and BPL numbers are high.� Over the last year, however, malaria incidence in districts such as Kandhamal, Kalahandi and Koraput dropped by 60 per cent.� The World Malaria Day meeting was attended by Health Minister Prasanna Acharya, Secretary Anu Garg and NRHM Director Dr P K Meherda.

Odisha: DAV Vedanta International School celebrates 5th Annual Day

Orissadiary, April 26, 2012
Report by bureau; Lanjigarh: DAV Vedanta International School, Lanjigarh celebrated its 5th Annual Day on April 23, 2012 with Dr. Mukesh Kumar – President & Chief Operating Officer of Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
The function commenced with the lighting of the lamp, followed by the welcome speech by Ms. Sukla Chakraborty – Principal. Addressing the audience, Dr. Mukesh Kumar commended the contributions made by it in grooming children in a tribal dominated area like Lanjigarh.
The major attraction of the Annual Day was the two stall prepared by the students on the ‘Anti-tobacco Awareness’ and ‘Ban on the use of plastic bags’. The best prize – ‘Student of the Year’ went to Subhashree Mishra of class VIII; for excellence in various activities were also given away by the invited guests including the.
Present on the occasion were parents of the students from different areas like, Lanjigarh, Muniguda, Biswanathpur and Ambodala; VAL officials – Bimalananda Senapati, B S Mund, R N Mishra, J K Mishra, Avilash Dwivedi, Naval Sharma and Dr. Chinky Gupta of Vedanta Hospital and others were also present.
The atmosphere was quite enthralling with a variety of entertaining cultural programmes like songs, skits and dances performed by students. The audiences of about 1000 people were captivated by Hariwanvi Dance, Krishna Lila, Vampire Dance, Tiger Dance, etc. The children also played a short drama.
The DAV Vedanta International School, Lanjigarh is the only English medium school in Lanjigarh region with more than 350 students. The school has benefited a number of tribal students in the periphery area along with children of employees of Vedanta Aluminium limited.

Distric level famer day celebrated in Luhagaon

Reported by Sri Anshuman Patra
Dharitri, April 26, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sitala Dhara inaguarted in Dharamgarh

Reported by Sri Anshuman Patra
Dharitri, April 25, 2012

Kalahandi eye surgery victims to get compensation

The Pioneer, April 25, 2012
In a remarkable judgment, the Odisha High Court on Tuesday ordered the State Government to pay damages to all the persons who developed vision problems after cataract operations in an eye camp held in Dharmagarh of Kalahandi district in September 2010. The eye camp was organised by an NGO in collaboration with district authorities.
Pronouncing its judgment that was kept reserved since September last year, the Division Bench of Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice BN Mohapatra ordered that the State Government shall pay a damage of `2.5 lakh each to all those persons who had lost their vision completely after the operation.
Similarly, the persons who had lost partial vision shall also be compensated after reviewing the extent of damage by the State Health Secretary, the High Court said. At least 25 persons had developed vision problems after the cataract operation and out of them 16 persons had lost complete vision. T he victims were taken immediately to the MKCG Medical College Hospital in Brahmapur where a group of ophthalmology experts confirmed that the victims had lost vision after the mass operations held in the free eye camp.
After a PIL was filed in the HC by civil rights activist Prabeer Das, the HC had ordered for an inquiry into the bizarre incident which was monitored by the district legal services authority.
A total of 1,210 persons were operated in the camp which was held between September 9 and 23 of 2010 by the NGO Grace Vision with active support from the local administration.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bhaktas war cry against state government

IBNlive, April 24, 2012

BHUBANESWAR: Kalahandi MP and former Union minister Bhakta Charan Das has given a call for agitation from May 1 demanding establishment of a wagon factory at Narla in Kalahandi district as announced in the 2010 Railway Budget. He gave the call following reported disinterest shown by the State Government towards the project.
�As per the agitation plan, all the people of Kalahandi have been requested to sport black badges from May 1 to 6 protesting the ‘step-motherly’ attitude of the State Government towards the district.
� Processions will be taken out in all the panchayat headquarters in the district on May 7 and memorandum, addressed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, submitted.
�Das has called upon the people of Kalahandi to cooperate with him for a district bandh and non-cooperation movement for establishment of the wagon factory in the district.
�The then Railway minister Mamata Banerjee had announced in the 2010 Budget that wagon factories will be set up in Bhubaneswar and� in Kalahandi district. In the next Budget, the Ministry of Railways had requested the State Government to identify land in the district for the wagon factory.� However, the Chief Minister wrote two letters to the Railway Minister requesting to set up the wagon factory at Chatrapur in Ganjam district instead of Narla, Das said. He alleged that the request was politically-motivated.
� The former Union minister alleged that though land was available at Narla for the factory, neither the State Government nor the Chief Minister ever mentioned in their letters to the Centre about it.
�In his letter to general manager of East Coast Railway (ECoR), the Kalahandi Collector had informed on September 12, 2011, that 90-acre Government land was available for the factory at Chapatkhanda, only 6 km from Narla. The collector had also informed that 44.7-acre Government land and 32.79-acre private land of a farmer were also available in Regidimal and Bhatang villages, hardly 1.5 km from Narla, for the factory.� Ignoring these facts, the State Government never informed the Centre that land was available in Kalahandi district. Instead, the then Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi announced that the factory will be established at Sitapalli in Ganjam district.
�Describing this as a conspiracy against the people of Kalahandi, Das alleged that the Chief Minister was fully responsible for shifting of the factory. Why did not the Chief Minister demand two wagon factories in the State and instead he wrote for only one when the Railway Ministry was prepared for two? Das asked.
�Questioning the decision to divert the wagon factory to Ganjam district, Das threatened that people of the district would not tolerate such neglect for long. He warned that the fight against the State Government’s apathy would continue till the demand for the wagon factory in the district is supported by the Chief Minister.

Foreign NGOs now target Vedanta expansion in Odisha

Steelguru, April 24, 2012
Vedanta Aluminium's Lanjigarh project in Odisha may become another Kudankulam, as environment activists belonging to foreign non Government organizations have suddenly surfaced to show their concern.

Vedanta Aluminum's plan to expand its annual capacity from 1 million tonnes to 6 million tonnes has been halted due to environmental concerns. The company is now in the process of going for a fresh public hearing on the basis of new terms of reference.

Meanwhile, according to sources, two Australians have forwarded their environmental concerns regarding Vedanta's expansion through the High Commissioner of India in Australia. However, Government sources here refused to comment on the matter.

But, documents with Business Line show that one letter signed by one Mr JW Peter of PF Trust Queensland, Australia said that “We are writing to you concerning the ongoing threat of pollution from Vedanta Aluminum's red mud pond in Orissa to the downstream villages of Lanjigarh, Bundel and Basanpada.”

It said that while the Odisha State Pollution Board had expressed concerns about the pond's design and maintenance during 2007 to 2009, remedial actions of the company had not been documented and there was continuing concern that a catastrophic failure could occur in the rainy season.

This and a similar letter by one Ms Helen Findlay also from Queensland, calls for stopping the expansion of the plan until additional pumping of red mud into the pond is stopped, all environmental issues are addressed and human rights fully respected.

The Vedanta spokesperson said that such letters are timed to surface just before the matter comes up for hearing in the court. After thorough investigation of the alleged overflow from the red mud pond in April 2011, the enquiry committee constituted by the Odisha State Pollution Control Board had submitted a report stating that ‘no discharge was observed from the red mud pond or water pond or any outlet of the industry to the Bansdhara River.

Source – Business

MoEF keeps in abeyance Vedanta public hearing permission

Business Standard, April 19, 2012

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has kept in abeyance its permission to Vedanta Aluminium for conduct of public hearing on the company's plan to expand the capacity of Lanjigarh alumina refinery in Kalahandi district from one million tonne to six million tonne after protests from environmentalists. The hearing was scheduled be held on May 2.
It may be noted, MoEF had earlier withdrawn the environment clearance granted to Vedanta Aluminium for the expansion project in August, 2010, citing non-availability of statutory clearances for the construction. The ministry had also cancelled the stage-II forest clearance given for bauxite mining at Niyamgiri, from where Vedanta would have sourced raw material for the refinery.
However, on an appeal by Vedanta Aluminium to review the decision, MoEF had allowed the company to conduct a fresh public hearing for the expansion project. With the green activists raising objection over the matter, the ministry has kept in abeyance its earlier permission.

This action by MoEF has, however, failed to pacify the environmentalists who slammed the ministry for flip-flop stand on the Vedanta Aluminium project. Prafulla Samantra, who had fought against environmental clearance given to Posco for building a steel plant at Paradip, criticised the MoEF over its frequent change of stance regarding Vedanta's aluminium refinery plant.
Samantara said the grant of permission to conduct the public hearing and then decision to keep it in abeyance smacked of some sort of “conspiracy”.
“I am surprised, how the MoEF officials gave their nod for conduct of a public hearing for a metal company which does not have a valid mineral supply agreement and while all its clearances are sub-judice,” he asked.
“It is a welcome step that the MOEF withdrew its permission for the public hearing, but I demand the officials, who gave the permission, be brought to justice,” he added.
Meanwhile, the company sources said, they are yet to see the MoEF letter addressed to the Odisha State Pollution Control Board keeping in abeyance the permission for conduct of public hearing for the expansion project.

Monday, April 23, 2012

After only Seven Days of Repairing with a cost of 15 Lakhs, Indravati Left Cannal Near Pardeswar Temple in Dharamgarh was washed out by a minor rain

Reported and Photo by Sri Anshuman Patra

Dharitri, April 22, 2012

Wagon factory in Kalahandi: Bhakta rues Naveen’s apathy

The Pioneer, April 23, 2012
Congress MP from Kalahandi Bhakta Charan Das seems to have lost his patience over the delay in red signal from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to the Centre for setting up a rail wagon factory in Kalahandi.
Das on Sunday threatened to come on the streets across the district if Patnaik does not identify land for the proposed factory by April 30. Addressing a Press conference here, he pointed out that land for the purpose is sufficiently available in Narla block of Kalahandi district.
Das said it is a matter of shock for the people of Kalahandi that the Chief Minister is ignoring the district’s demand for a rail wagon factory that would provide jobs to thousands of unemployed youth of the district.
He said he was surprised to know that Patnaik had written a letter to the Railway Minister seven days before presentation of the Railway Budget-2012 stating that instead of Kalahandi, the proposed rail wagon factory should be set up at Sitapalli in Ganjam district.
“I personally met Sonia Gandhi, and she called Railway Minister Mukul Roy regarding this matter. When the Centre is asking the State Government to identify land for the factory in Kalahandi, the Chief Minister is ignoring the issue,” he alleged.
Das said he pointed out in the last Budget session that Mamata Banerjee as the Railway Minister had made a commitment to set up the factory in Kalahandi, but the Chief Minister deliberately ignored the matter.
“I will launch an agitation across the district if the Chief Minister does not identify the land for the factory in Kalahandi by April 30”, he warned.
Despite availability of sufficient Government and private lands, the State Government is not keen on setting up the factory in the district, Das said, pointing out that only 50 acres of land is required for the purpose. While the State Government’s permission is needed for establishment of the factory, the Chief Minister is completely politicising the issue, he alleged.
Attacking the district BJD leaders’ silence over the issue, Das said these leaders of the State’s ruling party are not working for the interests of the people of the district. Had these leaders gone to the Chief Minister and urged him to agree to the location of the factory at Narla, the problem could have been resolved easily, he observed.
“I did not have any option despite writing several letters to the State Government on the issue and now I am compelled to go in for agitation, the consequences of which Naveen Patnaik would face. I wanted a peaceful solution, but if the State does not want it, then I don’t have any other option,” Das rued.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Decentralisation of Indian Judiciary

By Lokanath Nayak
Ex- President
Kalahandi Bar Association

 It is high time to implement e-high courts in all sessions divisions(Districts) and e-supreme court in all state capitals including nominating competent lawyers from district bar associations for the appointment of judges.

Orissa is a State with divers-ed culture and tradition & culture with wide economic difference. Demand for setting up a Permanent Circuit Bench of Hon'ble. High Court is looming since merger of former Princely States because of separate Treaty of Accession with each Ruling Chief because some of the than Rulers had put such condition in the Treaty itself. However, after long time of such Treaties the Union Government in order to decentralize Judiciary & to achieve the goal of justice at door step appointed Justice Jaswant Singh Commission which prescribes a. Definite Region, b. Minimum distance of 400 km. by road, c. The region must have majority S.C. & S.T. population, d. The location must have well communication facility with minimum infrastructure available for setting up a High Court, e. The region must have proportionate number of cases.
Kalahandi fulfills all suchcriterion but the Full Bench Decision of Hon'ble. High Court whichstill holds good is an impediment to materialize such dream.

But with the changing of time and availability of alternate solution to meet the demand for a Permanent Bench we have a suggestion to all our fellow learned colleagues. With the advance technology of network and mail we can demand for setting up of e-High Courts in each Judgeship empowering the Registrar Civil Courts to registered our appeals, revisions,writes and any cases and to submit those through INTERNET.

Likewise, developing the Video Conferencing technology let Rules be framed for hearing of matters through that technology. In such fashion not only the expenses for litigant will be minimized but also it will minimize the financial burden of State Exchequer. Moreover it will strengthen the slogan of Justice at Door-Step and lessened the burden of Hon'ble. High Courts. Likewise by setting e-Supreme Courts in each Sitting place of High Courts will help in reducing the burden of Hon'ble. Supreme Court to a greater extent.You may view it as not practicable but before discarding our point please consider if the State can be ruled by video conferencing of Collectors and Ministration why we can not deliver justice by adopting the same mode.

There is no boundary to western area of orissa.each and every district of orissa is having own cultural and economical background,there is a ancient guideline called Jaswant Singh commission appointed by our central government since long and according to his report he suggested five point guidelines for opening of a permanent bench of orissa high court.1-the area must be more than 400km away from cuttack 2-the area must be a poor area with sc/st people 3-there must be rail and road link to Cuttack 4-there must be some infrastructure of Judiciary 5-there must be proportionate percentage
of cases pending before the orissa high court.

So Kalahandi is the proper place to get the permanent bench of Orissa high court…..but the writ judgment passed by Hon’ble orissa high court that there is no need of setting a high court bench at western region of Orissa,  no one has gone to supreme court against that order.

Now the technology of our nation is the best in the world….following our  technology, president of US viewed the operation of US army/CIA at  Afghanistan…Pakistan.

we can utilize this technology in all 30 districts of orissa, we can call this “E-HIGH COURT” through video conferencing all the matters like writs appeals and revisions can be heard by Judges at Cuttack and we can file our documents and cases before the registrar of our respective district judgeships and we can get our orders at our places without any travel,lodging,fooding and other costs.There no need of vehicles for judges,building for court,staff recruitment etc.

Now a days every collector of the district is talking with the CM and PM every day by investing 30 lakh per district.

We can only invest one crore per district and ten crore at high court building… total only 40 corore is required for entire Orissa for thirty  e-high courts in thirty districts.

Now in my view we really do not want to be exploited by any elder brother by the name of area,caste,creed or religion.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

‘Land available; establish model college in K’handi’

The Pioneer, April 21, 2012
Non Resident Odia (NRO) Prof Digambara Patra of American University of Beirut, Lebanon, whose home district is Kalahandi, has expressed grave concerns over the move to shift a Central Government-sponsored model college from the district.
It may be noted here that the Union Government will set up 374 model colleges in educationally backward districts across the nation of which 18 districts from Odisha including, Boudh, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Subarnapur, Koraput, Deogarh, Bargarh, Angul, Kalahandi, Balangir,Nayagarh, Rayagada, Keonjhar, Ganjam, and Dhenkanal will get one college each.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Union HRD Minister, the Odisha Chief Minster, the Leader of Opposition in State Assembly and the Odisha MPs, Prof Patra has urged them to consider with priority on establishing the college in Kalahandi as the district is tribal dominated and educationally backward, where the literacy rate as per 2011 census is 60 per cent against the State average rate of 73 per cent and national average rate of 74 per cent.
Rubbishing the ground that the district has not 10 acres of Government land for which the college will be shifted elsewhere, Patra said in Kalahandi, there are many sites where the required land is available.
“As per my knowledge, Icchapur village near Bhawanipatna has 45 acres of Government land, let alone 100 of acres of land in Thumul Rampur and 10 acres near Jaring. Even, we can privately arrange 10 acres of land in my home town Dharamgarh if a chance is given for the project,” Patra said in the letter.

Friday, April 20, 2012

‘Follow ideology of Jayaprakash Narayan’

The Pioneer, April 20, 2012

Labour and Employment Minister Puspendra Singh Deo urged the newly elected PRI representatives to follow the ideology of Jayaprakash Narayan and work for rural poor people to ensure their development and parity in society. He was speaking in a meeting held by the Jayaprakash Bichar Manch here recently.
Former MLA Jugram Behera, educationist Janmejaya Patra, Adivasi Sangh president Kishor Bhoi, Dharamgarh block Congress president Raghumani Bania and Professor Satya Patnaik were also present.
Pratap Mund presided over the meeting, while Manch convener Ingeet Panda conducted it. Speakers highlighted the dedicated service of Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan, who struggled for eradication of corruption. They urged the newly-elected members to be clean and pro-poor. Former PRI representatives Digambar Duria, Bhajamana Bodek, Dhanu Gopal, Basudev Sahu, Hema Sa and Ghanshyam Patel were felicitated for their service.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Swabhiman Jagaran Manch asks when shall be Wagon Factory at Narla and Medical College at Jaring!!!

Sambad, April 19, 2012

Image of Jagannath Temple in Kadhel, Madanpur Rampur, Kalahandi

Contributed by Sri Satyaban Sahu
Kadhel is located 7 km from M. Rampur

CM demands Central Agri University in KBK region

The Pioneer, April 19, 2012
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged Union Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister Sharad Pawar to set up a Central Agriculture University in the KBK districts to serve the needs of the States.
Patnaik, who met Pawar in New Delhi impressed him on the need for effective measures to realise the unsaturated agricultural potential of the State and to make the Second Green Revolution a success in the eastern region and urged him to provide timely and adequate support to agriculture and horticulture and create necessary infrastructure in the State.
Stating that Odisha till date has only one Agricultural University — the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, which was established in way back in the year 1962, Patnaik said there is a need for establishment of a Central Agriculture University to serve the needs of the State, particularly the KBK districts.
The OUAT is overburdened at present in performing various tasks including managing 10 colleges, 28 Krishi Vigyan Kendras and eight Regional Research Technology Transfer stations, he pointed out. Patnaik also demanded approval of six districts —Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Bouddh and Jharsuguda — for inclusion under the National Horticulture Mission programme.
He regretted that though Odisha has been adjudged as one of the best performing States at the National Conference on Horticulture held at New Delhi in February last, the six districts, which have over 4.62 lakh hectares of high and medium lands suitable for various horticultural crops, are yet to be covered under the NHM.
Patnaik requested the Union Minister for allocating the indented quantities of Breeder Seeds of paddy, moong, biri and groundnut for kharif, 2012 to Odisha.
He said Odisha had suffered during the recent years on account of inadequate allocation and supply of chemical fertilisers. For kharif 2012, the State's actual requirement of chemical fertilizer is 10.38 lakh mt which should be met in full to sustain the momentum of agricultural development, he said.
Pawar appreciating the State's growth in agriculture and horticulture assured Patnaik that in the Budget for the current year, a provision of Rs 50 crore had been made for the OUAT. In addition to that, his Ministry would provide the required additional financial resources to The university to enable it to focus on KBK districts and other backward non-KBK districts including Kandhamal and Gajapati.
Pawar also agreed to include the remaining six districts - Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrakh, Jajpur, Boudh and Jharsuguda - under NHM programme during the current year, according to official sources.
The sources said the Union Minister had also assured to supply projected requirement of chemical fertiliser to the State during the current year as also Breeder Seeds.
Pawer, however, urged the Chief Minister to work out proposals for setting up of agricultural Centres and agricultural nurseries to be funded under the Rastriya Krishi Vikash Yojana, the projects being monitored by the OUAT.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Water crisis in Golamunda Block

Water crisis in Golamunda Block well known as neglected block in Kalahandi dist. has gone into UN-restrained feeling of 1.5 lakhs people to stir-up agitation taking into affront view on Govt’s negligence to take up water supplies programme under plan scheme through cores of rupees are being incurred by Govt.


In the ensuing hot summer rivers, nallas, ponds, well are dried. 1.5 lakhs people (comprising there to 10000 tribal peoples) of 35 villages are severely facing water scarcity everyday and in the state of anxious in any extent they depend to get water by digging from river and soil wells. Such means of getting water day to day is miserable scenario to look art. Very few quantity rain fall throughout this block region resulted to severe drought condition reasoning from this drought caused to effect great water crisis. No block administration, no dist Admin., no political representatives have sympathetic consideration on such crisis and does devote sincere attention for solution of such water crisis while people are being experienced every year. In resentment people’s rationalistic views and utterance accusing to Dist.Administration as well local representatives are appropriate because no action plan has since been taken up for water supplies in Golamunda Block though RWSS sub-division is functioning 20 kms away from Golamunda Block Hqrs. Total 1353 tube wells are installed in entire the block out of them 26 tube wells are in defunct condition. While complaint given to JE of the block his answer says “no funds available to repair.” Sources said at the faculty of sight and mental picture of bereaved people as harassed to get proper water supplies may likely go on agitation deviating from right way. Dist.

Administration and authorities of RWSS should take priority attention to solve this problem as people demand.

Input assistance succour eludes farmers

IBNlive, April 18, 2012
BHAWANIPATNA: The approaching kharif season has the farmers of Kalahandi district worried. While failed monsoon spoiled crop last season, the drought-hit are yet to receive the input assistance of ` 6,000 and 3,000 per hectare of irrigated and non-irrigated farmland respectively.

Agriculture and Statistics Department assessment had put the loss at more than 50 per cent in 869 villages under 179 gram panchayats. As many as 11 out of the 13 blocks in the district were declared drought-hit.

A deficit in rainfall had affected 37,729 hectares with paddy yield being recorded 12 and 13 per cent less than the usual in winter and autumn respectively. As against 32.3 quintals of paddy produced per hectare in 2010, the yield in 2011 was calculated at 14.52 quintals.

To help the farmers tide over the crisis, the State Government had decided to provide input assistance. Accordingly, the district administration had submitted a proposal of ` 42 crore. While the administration received ` 5 crore in March, it is yet to be distributed among the farmers with the final enumeration of farmers and land particulars still to reach the tehsils.

While the administration has asked the tehsils to expedite the process, the delay is being attributed to the recent three-tier panchayat election which kept the officials busy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Amedkar Jayanti Celebrated in Dharamgarh on April 14, 2012

Reported by Biranchi Jal

A rational on High Court Bench in Odisha

High court bench or circuit bench are existing in the same state in India based on work demand or in far off backward remote locations such as Madurai and Chennai; Mumbai, Nagpur and Aurangabad, Bangaluru, Hubli and Gulberga, Jaipur and Jodhpur; Gowalior, Jabalpur and Indore, Lucknow and Allhabad or in other states or UT such as Panaji, Port Blair, Kohima, Aizwal, Imphal, Agartala, Shillong, etc. Existing HC benches are located in states which are larger than Odisha in population, some of them like AP, Gujarat, Bihar etc are larger and have more work load than Odisha HC, but does not have any HC bench or circuit bench. In this respect political demand of two HC benches in Odisha may be a difficult task or illogical, both Sambalpur and Behrampur are also well connected with Cuttack and people can return in the same day finishing work in HC Cuttack by train.  HC benches in any state in India are located at least 320 km away from parent HC seat except Lucknow (which is a state capital and Allahabad being the court since British time) and other UT. Both Sambalpur and Berhampur are located less than 300 km from Cuttack. Therefore, rather one HC bench demand should be made in Bhawanipatna, a central location for South Western Odisha comprising KBK-Kandhamal-Boudh-Gajapati-Bargarh region based on backward, tribal and remote locations which needs long hours travel and not directly connected by train.  Bhawanipatna is also far away from Cuttack, above 400 km.  In this ground Bhawanipatna has a solid ground to establish a HC bench or circuit bench. In case of two HC benches in Odisha, second one may come in Keonjhar-Sundergarh region, a location which is above 400 km from Cuttack. However, our interest should be get one at Bhawanipatna, so local demand and pressure should continue. Kalahandi bar association has already taken initiative, this must be followed.

Hindalco's Rs 7,500-cr alumina refinery to start production by Dec

Note: Hindalco is mining in Kalahandi and Rayagada. In return it must financially support to construct Tikiri-Karlapat-Bhawanipatna-Kesinga railway line for the development of the region.

Business Standard, April 17, 2012
Hrusikesh Mohanty
The Utkal Alumina project, a 1.5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) alumina refinery plant being set up by AV Birla owned Hindalco Industries at Kashipur in south Odisha's Rayagada district, is set to go into production by December this year.
“Around 85 per cent of the construction work for the Rs 7,500-crore project has already been completed. Construction work is expected to be completed in another six months. Work is going on in full swing with the engagement of 15,000 labourers,” a senior company official told Business Standard.
Several contractors including L&T and Gannon Dunkerley have been engaged for the construction, while the major engineering equipments needed for the project like boilers, evaporators and turbines have already been procured.
“The plant is expected to start its trial production in November, while actual production will begin in December,” said Surya Kant Mishra, project head, Utkal Alumina. Initially, the plant will operate at 50 per cent capacity.
“It would take another six months for the plant to achieve full capacity utilisation,” he added.
Utkal Alumina project has already got clearance for mining of 8.5 million tonnes of bauxite at Baphilimali and Podingamali in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts respectively. The bauxite reserve in the mines, owned by the state-owned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), is estimated at around 200 million tonnes. The company aims to mine 4.5 mtpa initially to cater to the requirement of its alumina refinery.
It may be noted that the Utkal Alumina was conceived in 1992 to tap the huge deposits of bauxite in the area and produce alumina. The project was in the line of fire of the environmentalists and project affected people.
Worried over the implementation of the refinery unit, the two original joint venture partners; Tata and Norsk Hydro, had pulled out of the project earlier, while another foreign partner, Alcan, had also sold its stake in 2007.
Even though the plan was mooted to set up refinery two decades ago, actual work started from 2009, company officials claimed. The company has proposed to send the alumina from Utkal Alumina to its smelter plant at Lapanga near Sambalpur and also to Mahan Aluminium Project in Madhya Pradesh. Both these smelter plants are now under construction and nearing completion.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Odisha: 3300 ha drought-prone land irrigated in Kalahandi

Shared by Sri Bikram Kumar TayalOrissadiary, April 16, 2012
Bhawanipatna: The Minor Irrigation department has been able to provide water to 3,300 hectares of land which would facilitate farming in the drought-prone areas in the district.
Out of 171 projects taken up by the department, 63 have been completed after repair and renovation for supplying water to the cultivated land by check dam.

As many as 51 projects have been fully completed and 10 projects works are continuing. In case of two projects, the repair and renovation works have been held up due to lack of finance, stated Minor Irrigation department executive engineer Kandharpa Pradhan.

In the district, the farmers are not getting sufficient water through Indravati, where as the government’s plan to provide sufficient water through minor irrigation projects has proved very beneficial.

With the water supply through MI department, at least thousands of families have been benefited in Kalahandi.

With uncertain rainfall last year, the repair and renovation through minor irrigation project has brought smiles on the farmers’ faces.       

NREGS issue: Parliament Committee unhappy

Shared by Sri Bikram Kumar Tayal

Expressbuzz, April 15, 2012
BHUBANESWAER: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development has expressed displeasure over the delay in completion of works under the MGNREGS.

Analysis of district-wise data revealed that only 10 per cent of the total projects, taken up under MGNREGS in the State, was completed during 2011-12 financial year as against 25.37 per cent in the 2010-11.

“Benefits of the assets, proposed to be created (under the wage employment scheme), are not derived as work remained incomplete,” the Ministry of Rural Development said in a recent communique to the State Government.

The coastal district of Kendrapara, having completed 0.61 per cent of the works taken up, tops the low-work completion district list. While the district took up 1,617 projects, it could complete only 10 works.

Sonepur district came second with completion of 37 out of 2,403 projects started in the last financial year. Percentage wise the completion rate is 1.54. Khurda, Angul, Sambalpur, Kalahandi and Koraput with a completion rate of 1.66, 2.62, 2.43, 3.97 per cent respectively are the other poor-performing districts.

The other poor performing districts are Bargarh, Bhadrak, Balangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Nayagarh, Puri and Sundargarh.

Nineteen districts of the State have completed less than 10 per cent of the works started in 2011-12.

Jagatsinghpur district has performed better with completion of nearly 35 per cent of the projects followed by Jajpur with 31.65 per cent and Nuapada with 31.28 per cent.

The State had started works on 1,08,012 projects in 2011-12 and completed 10,883 projects by the end of the financial year. The rate of completion of works was 58.62 per cent in 2008-09 and 42.52 per cent in 2009-10.

The Ministry of Rural Deployment has also brought it to the notice of the State Government that a number of works, started prior to the last financial year, has also remained incomplete. The Ministry has also detected that the work completion rate, reported in the management information system (MIS), is ‘very’ less compared to the monthly progress report submitted by the Government.

The Panchayati Raj Department has instructed all the district collectors and project directors of the district rural development agencies to review the status of all the incomplete works and take initiative to complete the works before the closure of the MGNREGS account for the last financial year.

Four more districts included in Security Related Expenditure scheme

Times of India, April 16, 2012
BHUBANESWAR: The Centre has accepted Odisha's demand to include four more extremism-affected districts under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, official sources said on Sunday.
The state government had been demanding inclusion of Nuapada, Balangir, Bargarh and Kalahandi districts under SRE. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had also pressed for it at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in January.

"The Centre has recently sent us a communique stating that the four districts would be covered under SRE," an official source said. This follows a report of the Union home ministry on Maoist activities, in which it has categorized Odisha as "severely affected" alongside Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar.

Under SRE, the Union government reimburses in full the money spent on anti-Maoist operations and police infrastructure improvement. With the latest inclusion, 19 out of 30 districts in Odisha would benefit under the central scheme, official sources said. "For the 15 districts, the state used to get around Rs 80-90 crore per annum as reimbursement. With the addition of four more districts, the central assistance should cross Rs 100 crore a year," an official said.

The central government, however, is yet to send two dedicated helicopters to battle Maoists, sources added.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Petition to PM: Faul playing by local administra​tion during establihme​nt of Model College in Kalahandi

ToThe Honorable Prime Minister Dr Singh

Honorable President of India, Smt. Patil
Hororable Union HRD Minister, Sri Sibal
Honorbale Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr Patnaik
Honroable Leader of Opposition of Odisha
MPs from Odisha

Dear Honorbale Prime Minister Dr Singh,
Among the 374 model colleges proposed in educationall backward districts in the nation, 18 districts are from Orissa. These districts were Boudh, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Sonepur, Koraput, Deogarh, Bargarh, Anugul, Kalahandi, Balangir,Nayagarh, Rayagada, Kendujhar, Ganjam, and Dhenkanal. As per various report model colleges in Malkangiri and Boudh are to be established in Phase 1 with Colleges per Lakh Population (CPI) below 4, in Kandhamal and Nuapada in Phase 2 with CPI 4 to 8, and the rest in Phase 3 with CPI 8.1-12.4.

It is unfortunate to learn that the model college proposed in Kalahandi is being shifted somewhere else, the district not in the original list, citing non-availability of land in Kalahandi. As per guideline 10 acres of the land is required for the porposed model college and in Kalahandi there are many sites for the same. We suspect that there is a faul playing by the local administration to shift the model college proposed in Kalahandi as per CPI. The injustice is being done due to negliginece of disitirtc administration of Kalahandi and state level political favortism can't be ruled out. We would even like to arrange personal 10 acres of land if the state and district administration is not able to locate land for the propose model college. As per my knowledhe Icchapur village near Bhawanipatna has 45 acres of Govt. land near to Bhawanipatna. Not to menion 100 of acres of land in Thumul Rampur, tens of acres land near Jaring, where a pvt medical college is being established are available. Even we can privately arrange 10 acres of land in my home town, Dharamgarh, if a chance is given for the said project.

As per 2011 census literacy rate of Kalahandi district is 60% whereas  state average of Odisha is 73% and national average of India is 74%. Educational development of Kalahandi is utmost important for its development. And unfortunately disitrct and state administrations are playing politics over the issue.

I urge you to take necessary action to stop injustice made to the tribal and educationally backward people of Kalahandi while establishing model college as per national policy.

Thank you and best regards

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sikerguda, a village in Lanjigarh block without water: urgent attention needed

Reported By Sri Bikash Pradhan
No water coming out from the tubewell in Sikerguda in Lanjigarh block of Kalahandi. People are struggling for water, immediate action required!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Several rail projects behind schedule, cost overruns in crores

The Economic Times, April 8, 2012

Delay in execution of a number of key Railway projects has resulted in cost overruns of more than 100 per cent, according to the latest government data.
While freight operation information system, approved in March 1983 at an estimated cost of Rs 520 crore, is running behind schedule by 204 months, construction of the Lanjigarh- Junagarh new line has been on for 120 months, as per the latest data compiled by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
The cost overrun of these two unfinished projects is Rs 114 crore and Rs 127 crore respectively, it said.
Out of 562 projects that the ministry monitored, 132 belonged to the Railway sector.
The total original cost of implementation of these 132 projects is of the order of Rs 65,054.70 crore and their anticipated completion cost is Rs 134,133.50 crore which reflects a cost overrun of more than 106 per cent. The expenditure incurred on these projects till December 2011 was Rs 56,395 crore, as per the data.
The range of delay in Guna-Etawah new line project is close to 213 months.
"There are 53 projects for which either original date of commissioning or the anticipated date of commissioning has not been provided by Railways," it said. These include 11 projects whose anticipated date of completion was over but the projects were still on.
MoSPI has found 102 projects facing cost overruns. While the original cost of these projects was Rs 37,373.60 crore at the end of March 2011, the anticipated cost have been reported as Rs 106,509.20 crore, projecting an overall cost overrun of 185 per cent.
Railways officials said the major reason for delay is the non-availability of adequate funds for large number of new lines, gauge conversion and doubling projects.

Uninterrupted power supply eludes district hospitals

Times of India, April 10, 2012
Ashok Pradhan

BHUBANESWAR: The government's ambitious plan to provide uninterrupted power supply to district headquarters hospitals is moving at a snail's pace. According to a recent government review, work is yet to start for dedicated power supply in 10 of the 21 hospitals where such work was conceived with funding from National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) though funds have already been released to the respective district administrations.
The round-the-clock undisturbed power supply is crucial in providing critical care to patients without which intensive care units (ICUs) can't function. Besides, undertaking surgical procedures may be risky without power backup.
Power distributor company Southco is supposed to give the zero power-cut lines to seven district hospitals at Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Boudh, Phulbani and Berhampur. Except for Rayagada and Berhampur, work is yet to commence for the rest five hospitals. Southco pointed out during the review that only Phulbani district had provided Rs 20.50 lakh for the project. In case of Rayagada (which is complete by now), and Koraput, the district administrations are executing the commissioning of infrastructure through another agency.
Another power distributor company, Wesco, is supposed to provide dedicated power line to six hospitals in the western part of the state. While work is yet to commence in Sundargarh, Bhawanipatna and Bargarh. The progress in other three districts of Deogarh, Nuapada and Balangir are in different stages. "The project got delayed because the districts received the funds late. I am hopeful all the six hospitals will be completed in three months," said Wesco CEO P Gopal Reddy.
Similarly, NRHM gave funds in December 2011 to Bhadrak, Balasore and Jajpur district administrations for such power lines in their respective district headquarters hospitals. However, work has progressed in none. Power distributor company Nesco has been entrusted to complete the work in these hospitals.
Health department authorities said the dedicated power supply line work will be completed soon. "The work is being undertaken in phases. All district hospitals will get undisturbed power supply over a period of time," said director of health services Dr Upendra Kumar Sahoo.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Low rates by transport agencies raise doubts

IBNlive, April 9, 2012
Uma Shankar Kar

BHAWANIPATNA: The revamped public distribution system (PDS) has already been implemented in Kalahandi. Even as the new system aims at curbing pilferage in the PDS, questions are being raised over its effective implementation.
Last year, the State Government had decided to do away with the storage-agent system from October 1 and replace it with a new arrangement following the Justice D P Wadhwa Committee report.
The government wanted to streamline and restructure the PDS. Under this new arrangement, rice procurement centres located all over the State would be converted into departmental storage centres from where rice, wheat and sugar will be directly supplied to the fair price shops.
Earlier this month, tenders were finalised for appointment of transportation agencies in all the 13 blocks and the Bhawanipatna Municipality which would ferry the commodities to fair price shops.
However, doubts have been raised at the low prices for which the agencies were granted the tenders.
Sources said the transportation agencies appointed in five blocks of Dharamgarh sub-division - Dharamgarh, Junagarh, Golamunda, Kalampur and Jaipatna -� had quoted rates which are neither economical nor practical.
The agency appointed for Junagarh block had quoted Rs 4.50 per quintal of rice or wheat to be transported from the block godown to the panchayat point. Thus, for one truck load of commodities - considering an average of 130 bags - the agency will get just Rs 585. Many of the gram panchayat points from the block headquarters are at a distance of 15 to 22 km, sources added.
Similarly, the Dharamgarh transportation agency quoted Rs 7, Golamunda Rs 6, Koksara Rs 6.30, and the agency concerned for Kalampur quoted Rs 6 for transportation of one quintal of grains. The agency for Lanjigarh quoted Rs 23 per quintal, Karlamunda Rs 22, Kesinga block/NAC Rs 18.7, M Rampur Rs 12.5, Bhawanipatna block Rs 25.2 and the agency for Bhawanipatna Municipality quoted Rs 9 for transportation of one quintal of grains.
Sources said considering the high cost of the diesel at Rs 44.67 per litre and rising cost of labour, the rates quoted by various transportation agencies do not look feasible.� “Interestingly, the Civil Supplies Department has not quoted any final rate for the transportation. The rates at which the tenders have been finalised are one fourth of the market cost and not feasible under any circumstances,” a source said.
And for this new system, it was decided to post one inspector, one data entry operator, a dusting operator, a sweeper and three night watchmen in each of the 14 storage godowns in the district.
However, these officials have not been posted till now and equipment like computers yet to be installed.
Sources said of the 19 sanctioned supply inspector posts, there are just 12 in the district. Till the recruitments are made, the existing supply inspectors have to manage the show.
District Civil Supplies Officer Ram Prasad Padhi said the required number of staff would be appointed soon. On the tenders, he said performance of the transportation agents will be under watch and in the event of any allegation, stringent action will be taken.

Orissa to get 50% power from two UMPPs

Business Standard, April 9, 2012

Orissa is set to get power allocation of up to 50 per cent from the second and third Ultra Mega Power Plants (UMPPs) proposed in the state, Union minister for power Sushilkumar Shinde said here.
The minister, however, ruled out possibility of allocation of 50 per cent power for the state from the first UMPP to be established at Bhedabahal in Sundergarh district, the bidding process for which has already begun. The state is poised to get 1300 MW from this UMPP and had demanded that its share be raised to 2000 MW.

“It won’t be possible to allocate 2000 MW for Orissa from the Bhedabahal UMPP as power purchase agreements have been signed with other states. But the state will be entitled to 50 per cent power from two more UMPPs”, Shinde told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

It may be noted that a team of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) recently visited Orissa to scout for locations to set up second and third UMPPs in the state. The team is expected to select the sites soon.
While one of the UMPPs will be a port-based project, the other is set to come up in western belt of the state. The CEA team undertook field visits of Paradip and Dhamara, the probable sites for coastal UMPP and also Bolangir and Kalahandi in western Orissa.

The state's first UMPP project at Bhedabahal entailing an investment of Rs 16,000 crore needed 3100 acres of land. The Orissa Integrated Power Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Power Finance Corporation (PFC), has been named the nodal agency for implementation of UMPPs in the state.
Water for this project has been allocated from the Ib river and check dams and barrages would be put up on the river for this purpose.
It may be noted that Meenakshi, Meenakshi-B and Dipside Meenakshi coal blocks have been allotted for the UMPP with a total reserve of 880 million tonnes.
Meanwhile, the Union minister allayed the fears of the state government regarding power purchase tariff from the 1600 MW super thermal power station proposed by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) at Gajamara in Dhenkanal district.
“The Central minister has assured us that the cost of power to be procured from this UMPP would be competitive. The price of power to be supplied by the NTPC plant would not be higher than UMPP. The state government has also placed a condition that imported coal should not be used for this NTPC station as it tends to jack up cost of power”, a top official told Business Standard.
Shinde said, NTPC would be setting up a 400-bed medical college near Sundergarh. The country’s biggest power producer which was also setting up a 1600 MW power plant at Darlipalli in Sundergarh district had sought 15 acres of land for the medical college.
The minister laid the foundation stone of 765/400 KV power grid pooling system being taken up at an investment of Rs 7,400 crore near Phulpada in Angul district.
This is the first such sub-station of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) in the state and is part of a High Capacity Power Transmission Corridor-1 (HCPTC-1) meant for evacuation of about 10,000 MW power from Independent Power Projects (IPP) coming up in the state.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Orissa built hostels for tribal girls, audit finds them wanting

The Indian Express, April 6, 2012
Hostels for tribal girls in Orissa, one of the state government’s various schemes aimed at giving tribals an incentive not to take up Naxalism, have been found short of facilities by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
The government had been providing funds to Integrated Tribal Development Agencies (ITDAs) since February 2007 for construction of hostel buildings that were to include compound walls, toilets, kitchens, rooms for wardens and chowkidars besides students’ rooms. The SC/ST department has so far constructed 1,003 such hostels while another 1,040 are under construction. The funds come from a Centrally sponsored scheme for hostels for ST and SC girls and boys, the Revised Long Term Action Plan for the KBK districts, and the Biju KBK scheme.
In its audit, the CAG found toilets and other basic amenities missing from 25 hostel buildings, built by the ITDAs of Thuamul Rampur block of Kalahandi and Balliguda block of Kandhamal between April 2007 and November 2009, handed over to the respective school authorities by the ITDAs, and being used by 5,206 boarders.
In the estimates for the hostels in Koraput, amenities like water supply and sanitation were not even accounted for. These hostel projects had used up 98 per cent of the estimated cost, with 13 of them using up the full amount.
One of these buildings (Pastikudi, and under the ITDA, Thuamul Rampur block, Kalahandi), constructed at Rs 9.50 crore and handed over to the school authorities in November 2010, was not put to use because of the absence of basic amenities.
The CAG noted that the SC/ST department does not have centralised data on the hostel buildings, indicating that the department had not monitored the construction properly .
Last year, 165 girls of such a hostel in Maoist-affected Rayagada had left, complaining about lack of amenities. The boarders had alleged they had been writing to the authorities to address the issues of lack of sanitation and drinking water. When the letters did not work, they put up posters on the school walls before finally leaving en masse.

State to urge Centre to scale down land need for NMIZ

Business Standard, April 6, 2012
With acquisition of a patch of 5,000 hectares of contiguous land for the proposed National Manufacturing and Investment Zone (NMIZ) seeming to be an uphill task, the Orissa government will urge the Centre to scale down land requirement for the zone.
“The state government will send its comments to the Centre soon on the NMIZ. We will urge the Government of India (GoI) to scale down land requirement since acquisition of 5,000 hectares of contiguous land is never going to be easy. What we feel is that land quantum can be brought down to 1,000 hectares and the zone can still be developed. Acquisition of huge tracts of land for industrial zones may be a workable model in China but in India, especially in Orissa, it is fraught with hassles”, a top official source told Business Standard.Top state officials recently had a meeting to discuss on the proposed NMIZ. Earlier, two rounds of negotiations with the stakeholders have already been held for development of NMIZ in the state.

With the state facing problems in acquiring land on a huge scale for big ticket projects like Posco, acquiring 5,000 hectares needed for NMIZ of contiguous land did not seem feasible, the official added.
The state government had identified the Kalinga Nagar industrial cluster in Jajpur district and Bolangir in the economically backward KBK (Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput) region as probable locations for development of NMIZ. However, it was yet to zero in on any location for the zone.
The Centre has decided to set up the NMIZ in Rajasthan along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project (DMIC) in order to give a major boost to manufacturing sector.
The NMIZs would be managed by a special purpose vehicle, headed by a government official and having experts, including those on environment. The industrial townships will be self-governing and autonomous bodies.
The first phase of the NIMZ will be set up along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and is expected to come on stream in the next few years.
The DMIC project covers six states including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, representing 43 per cent of the country's GDP, 50 per of industrial production and exports and 40 per cent of total workforce.
The government estimates that the project will offer employment to over three million people.
The NMIZs would be a combination of production units, public utilities, logistics, environmental protection mechanism, residential areas and administrative services.
It would have a processing area where the manufacturing facilities along with associated logistics and other services as well as required infrastructure will be located.
The processing area may include one or more Special Economic Zones (SEZs), industrial parks and warehousing zones and export oriented units.
Besides, there will be a non-processing area to include residential, commercial and other social and institutional infrastructure.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Khairpadar panchayat villagers demanded to declare drought area

Reported by Sri Anshuman Patra
Dharitri, April 3, 2012

New PDS storage policy unveiled in K’handi .

The Pioneer, April 3, 2012

After the abolition of private storage agency system, a new storage policy was implemented here. Kalahandi district Collector Dukhishyam Satpathy unveiled it on Sunday.
Satpathy said if a consumer receives benefit and satisfaction out of the new policy, then it will be a success. Under the system, 270 gram panchayat (GP) and 2, 100 villages will be benefited, he informed.
Civil supply officer Ramprasad Padhi explained the new policy. He said the first level contractor will bring the PDS commodities like rice, wheat and sugar etc to the OSWC go-down, while the second level contractor will supply the commodities to the panchayat headquarters. Further, he said that an SMS system would be introduced to obtain previous information about the PDS arrival.
Among others, Sub Collector Gouri Parasar, ACSO Handibandhu Seth, BDO Trilochan Mohanty, newly elected chairperson Puspa Dhangada Majhi and NAC chairman Sudhansu Sekhar Barad were present.

Vedanta Aluminium says it will face public hearing on 2 May

Livemint, April 2, 2012
Vedanta Aluminium seeks approval to expand its refinery that will require acquisition of 800 acres of land
Ruchira Singh,

Officials of Vedanta Aluminium Ltd will face a public hearing on 2 May in Orissa’s Kalahandi district to seek approval for expansion of the company’s alumina refinery, a company official said, reversing its earlier position to seek a waiver on the ground that such hearings have already been completed.
“We have already wasted one month’s time waiting for the authorities to respond to our request of considering if another public hearing would be required,” Mukesh Kumar, president and chief operating officer of Vedanta Aluminium, said on Monday. “So we decided we will go through the public hearing.”
In February, Vedanta Aluminium received terms of reference from the environment ministry, listing 70 points for undertaking an environmental impact assessment, including a public hearing.
Mint reported on 29 February that company officials were in talks with the ministry and the state pollution control board to seek a waiver on public hearings on grounds that they were conducted twice before—in 2003 and 2009.
Kumar said the company is confident that Vedanta will get the people’s approval for pursuing the expansion, a project that will require acquisition of 800 acres of land.
He said village council meetings, a prelude to the public hearing, had been conducted on 15-17 March, in which the people of three villages had broadly given views favourable to Vedanta.
“The local people are asking for development,” Kumar said. “The response at the gram sabhas (village councils) is giving us confidence.”
Environment ministry scientist P.L. Ahujarai, who signed Vedanta’s terms of reference, did not return a call made to ask what steps need to be taken before Vedanta gets approval to start construction at the plant site.
Apart from the environmental clearance, Vedanta Aluminium’s expansion plan is also dependent on a favourable verdict from the Supreme Court, allowing it to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa, analysts say.
“The regulatory process is quite unpredictable,” said Bhavesh Chauhan, a metals analyst at Mumbai-based Angel Broking Ltd. “It’s very difficult to say if the company will get a speedy clearance.”
Chauhan said the aluminium business was crucial for the company as the group’s future growth and earnings hinged on it to a significant extent.
Vedanta’s work has been stalled in the past by powerful non-governmental organizations, which have alleged that industries are wrongfully depriving the locals of their land and causing pollution.
ActionAid India, that describes itself as an anti-poverty agency, claimed people in Kalahandi district are against Vedanta’s expansion plan.
“People have opposed Vedanta’s expansion in the past and continue to oppose it now,” Bratindi Jena, senior manager at ActionAid, said from Bhubaneswar.
Vedanta Aluminium was asked to stop expanding its refinery in Lanjigarh in October 2010 because of environmental concerns. The following year, the Orissa high court quashed an appeal filed by the company and upheld the environment ministry’s decision.
Vedanta appealed to the environment ministry in January, asking them to reconsider its decision in the light of clearances given to Jindal Power Ltd and Lavasa Corp. Ltd, a unit of Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd, which had been stalled over environmental objections.
The environment ministry issued the new terms of reference on 2 February.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Center asked for rail connectivity in Maoist affected region and state Govt. replied proposing for Balachandra road - Malkangiri-Jeypore-Junagarh-Lanjigarh road-Talcher-Bimilagarh connectivity

Sambad, April 2, 2012

Odisha bats for red zone rail, April 1, 2012
While the State is facing tough time due to hostage crisis perpetuated by the Maoists, the Odisha Government has urged the Ministry of Railways to take steps to sanction three new railway lines as “National Projects” to help out the State Administration in the matter of Left Wing Extremism (LWE).

Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patanik has written a letter in this regard to Vinay Mittal, the Chairman Indian Railway Board (IRB) on 30 March asking him to take steps to sanction proposed railway projects such as Bhadrachalam-Malkangiri-Jeypore, Junagarh-Lanjigarh Road and Talcher-Bimalagarh on top most priority basis.

Chief Secretary has pointed out to the Chairman IRB that after repeated request from the Odisha Government, large parts of Odisha covering backward and Maoist prone regions of Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput (KBK) districts have remained untouched by the projects of Railways.

He said that the Ministry of Railways have been requested continuously through Budget Demands of the State to partner the vision of the State Government and make a concerted effort towards connecting these regions to the National Network.

In the meantime Gagan Kumar Dhal, Principal Secretary Commerce & Transport has initiated move with Ministry of Railways to expedite the process.

Mr.Dhal is in touch with to officials of Indian Railways as he is batting for KBK zone, which is one of the most backward region of the country.  

Main objective is to foster development of the region, which will act as a bulwark to counter existing menace of LWE, said he.

New Railway Line Bhadrachalam Road(Andhra Pradesh)-Malkangiri-Jeypor-Junagarh-Lanjigarh Road-Talcher-Bimalagarh will connect the main Maoist affected areas and foster rapid growth.

Survey for this line has been sanctioned in 2011-12 Budget, however there is a need to complete the survey expeditiously, said he.

Similarly the survey of Sambalpur-Berhampur, new railway line, which was sanctioned in 2009-10, need to be completed and the sanction of the project to be done urgently, urged the Chief Secretary.

Immediate commencement of work on sections like Jeypore-Malkangiri and Bargarh-Bolangir-Nuapada via Padmapur, where surveys have been completed need to be sanctioned at the earliest, he urged.

This will create new and alternative corridors for movement of thermal coal and other minerals.

Lanjigrah-Junagarh rail line through Bhawanipatna also needs to be expeditiously taken up for completion.

In the meantime, MOU has been signed with BGR Energy for setting up 1320 MW thermal power project at Bhapur in Nayagarh district and 1100 MW power plant between Boudh and Sonepur by Visaka Thermal Power along the alignment of Khurda Road-Bolangir new broad gauge(BG) line.

Traffic for these power plants will move on this corridor, which need to be completed expeditiously.