Friday, November 29, 2013

Demand for a bridge over Hati river at Junagarh

Reported by Sri Debendra Bisi

CM Seeks Budgetary Provision for Khurda Road By-pass Project

The New Indian Express, Nov 28, 2013
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday sought budgetary provision for Khurda Road by-pass line, a project the State Government has been harping on to meet the Nabakalebar rush in 2015.
 Naveen, who shot off a letter to Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, said the East Coast Railway (ECoR) had submitted a proposal for the by-pass line, estimated at `16.87 crore, which has not been approved by the Centre yet.
 A large number of trains will operate to Puri to facilitate the movement of the passengers during Nabakalebar in July 2015. Unless a by-pass line avoiding Khurda Road junction is constructed, it will be difficult to manage running of extra trains, the Chief Minister said. The by-pass line covers 1.3 km.
 While requesting the Railway Ministry to give importance to the project, Naveen also drew the attention of the Centre to the completion of Delang-Puri line doubling work.
This stretch, a part of Khurda-Puri section, needs to be completed before Nabakalebar.
 Naveen also reiterated the need for wagon manufacturing unit (WMU) at Ganjam’s Sitapalli and a wagon maintenance workshop (WMW) in Kalahandi. “The Centre had announced to set up the WMU in 2010-11, but no visible action has been taken for its implementation even though the State Government has already offered suitable land measuring 101 acre free of cost,” the letter said.
 Similarly, a proposal for the WMW in Kalahandi and a skill development centre in Koraput were announced in the Railway budget 2013-14, but the Ministry has taken no tangible steps to implement the projects, the CM added.

IIT-JEE 2013: CBSE approves for 3 more new centres for the exam

Daily Bhaskar, Nov 28, 2013
CBSE has approved for 3 more new centres - Bhawanipatna, Angul and Jeypore - for JEE(Main) in Odisha. With this three centres total number of centres in Odisha for JEE increased to 9.

Earlier the state Government writes to CBSE seeking 12 exam centres across State for conduct of JEE Main exam on April 6, 2014 for engineering admission Earlier the state government of Odisha has decided replace the Odisha Joint Entrance Exam (OJEE) with the all-India Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main for the 2014 - 2015 academic session. 

The selection of students for admission to engineering courses in the institutes in Odisha will be done through JEE (Mains) 2014 only.  

Gujarat, Maharashtra and Odisha have joined the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) system that was introduced from this year for admission to premier technical institutes in the country.     

Sabuja Odisha Mission to be launched

The Hindu, Nov 28, 2013

To plant 44.52 crore saplings across the State over a period of four years

The State government will soon launch Sabuja Odisha Mission to plant 44.52 crore saplings across the State over a period of four years. A proposal in this regard was approved by the State Cabinet on Wednesday.
Briefing presspersons after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra informed that 28.92 crore saplings would be planted by the Forest Department under various schemes while the rest 15.60 crore would be distributed among the people though various agencies.
The total outlay for the ambitious scheme was pegged at Rs. 1763.52 crore of which Rs. 438.20 crore would be provided under the State Plan of the Forest and Environment Department and the rest Rs. 1325.32 crore would be mobilised through convergence of Finance Commission grants, Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and other Central schemes.
The scheme will be implemented starting from the financial year 2013-14 and during the current year a budgetary provision of Rs. 85.40 crore had been allocated in the Forest Department.
Another proposal
Another major proposal that was approved in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was the Canal Lining and System Rehabilitation Programme at a cost of Rs. 1000 crore to irrigate 3 lakh hectares of land in five years.
The new scheme was designed to cover 22 canal systems in eight major irrigation projects, 19 medium irrigation projects and 214 minor irrigation projects, Mr. Mohapatra informed.
The Cabinet also approved amendment in the Diploma Services Rules, and under the new rule the recruitment of diploma engineers would be conducted by the Staff Selection Commission.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to relaxation of age limit for diploma engineers by allowing them three chances to appear in the test.
Another amendment to the Odisha Medical and Health Services Rules that would allow recruitment of medical officers on the basis of a written test and career marking was also approved by the Cabinet.

A total of 16 proposals were approved by the Cabinet in the meeting. They include an amendment to the Forest Service Recruitment Act for the appointment of Assistant Forest Conservators, reduction of VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel from 22 per cent to five per cent, and a decision to make the government engineering colleges at Bhawanipatna, Paralakhemundi and Keonjhar as constituent colleges of the Biju Patnaik University of Technology.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Vedanta, L&T tie-up may bail out Lanjigarh refinery

The Hindu, Nov 27, 2013

State asked to take decision on development of two bauxite deposits

Vedanta Aluminum Ltd and infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro Limited, an engineering and construction major, have made significant strides for collaboration in bauxite deposit development which could bail out the bauxite-starved VAL’s refinery unit at Lanjigarh.
The two groups on Tuesday approached the Odisha government requesting it to take an expeditious decision on development of two bauxite deposits, prospecting licences of which were held by L&T.
Meeting with CM
L&T had got the prospecting licence for Sijimali and Kutrumali bauxite mines in 1992. But two years later after the expiry of the PL, the State government had then denied ML citing that the group had no end-use plant.
Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Resources, and A. M. Nayak, chairman of L&T, met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with regard to the harnessing of two deposits. Vedanta had entered into a joint venture agreement with L&T in 2013.
“The State government has assured us to give raw material. We could use bauxite deposits of L&T which is under consideration. We have requested the State government to take an expeditious decision,” Mr. Agarwal told mediapersons emerging from the meeting at the State secretariat here.
Similarly, L&T chairman Mr. Nayak said, “we have not only got MoU, we have also deeper relationship together. We work in their projects.”
The meeting assumes significance after Dongria Kandhas, a particularly vulnerable tribal group, dismissed the proposal of mining in Niyamgiri Hill Range in 12 gram sabhas demolishing hopes of Vedanta to secure pit-head bauxite reserve for its Lanjigarh facility.
Prior to that, Vedanta Aluminum Limited had scouted for alternative bauxite sources in the State. Sijimali, which has an estimated reserve of 209 million tonne, and Kutrumali having 80 million tonne reserve are two attractive locations for the group. While Sijimali is situated 50 km from Lanjigarh, Kutrumali is about 80 km from the refinery. In fact, the company had identified 18 reserves (small and medium) in non-forest areas in Kalahandi and Rayagada districts.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Images of strike for bridge over Hati river at Junagarh

Reported by Sri Debendra Bisi

PSUs, corporates plan to set up 7 hospitals in state

Times of India, Nov 26, 2013
,TNN | Nov 26, 2013, 12.37 AM IST
BHUBANESWAR: Health sector will get a major boost in the state with central PSUs corporate houses planning to set up five super-specialty hospitals and two medical colleges soon.

The National Thermal Power Corporation is likely to sign an MoU with the state government to set up a medical college and hospital at Sundargarh. Similarly, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited(MCL) has also started processes to set up a medical college and hospital at Talcher. Other major corporate houses like Nalco and Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) have also proposed to set up medical colleges in the state, said health minister Damodar Rout here on Monday.

"We are planning to have a separate health university as there are large number of proposals to set up medical colleges in the state. These institutes will help in bridging the gap of inadequate trained manpower and infrastructure," Rout said.

According to sources, NTPC will invest about Rs 400 crore in developing a 300-bed medical college and hospital. For the medical college in Talcher, MCL has already got first phase land clearance and waiting for forest clearance from the Centre for its hospital.

"Acute shortage of trained manpower and inadequate infrastructure are the two major challenges that has been bothering Odisha's health sector for long. Since 1962, the state government did not take any step in setting up a fourth government medical college in the state, as a result the gap has widened over the years," said health secretary P K Mohapatra.

He said the state government is also coming up with two medical colleges in public-private partnership (PPP) mode in Rayagada and Balangir, while construction of another medical college and hospital in Keonjhar in PPP mode is on. Each of these medical colleges will have 300-bed hospitals. Besides, the Centre is considering the long-standing demand of setting up medical colleges at Balasore, Baripada, Koraput and Balangir.

"The four new government nursery colleges at Sundargarh, Dhenkanal, Kandhamal and Kalahandi having 60 seats each will help in churning out more trained manpower," Mohapatra added.

In addition to this at least half- a-dozen super-specialty hospitals have been proposed by different corporate houses in the state. Tata Steel has decided to come up with two multispecialty hospitals at Gopalpur and Kalinga Nagar. "The hospital at Gopalpur will have an estimated investment of Rs 300 crore while the hospital at Kalinganagar is a part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity of the company," informed Mohapatra.

Similarly, Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) and Essels Mining have proposed to set up 200-bed hospitals each at Barbil in Keonjhar district. "Along with all these initiatives by the private sector All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) alone will add 900 beds once it becomes operational. So efforts are on to improve health facilities," Mohapatra said.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

BJD sweeps west odisha, bags majority in 15 ULBs

The New Indian Express, Nov 24, 2013
The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has again established its hegemony by scoring a resounding victory in the second phase of urban local body (ULB) polls in Western Odisha. The party won a clear majority in 15 municipalities and notified area councils (NACs).
Congress suffered another humiliating defeat, within a period of three months, in the polls by winning from only one ULB. The performance of the BJP has also been dismal. The party has, however, been able to win Patnagarh NAC, the pocket borough of State president KV Singhdeo. The verdict in three ULBs was fractured.
But the comprehensive defeat in Western Odisha, in which it had a solid base, has come as a shock for the rank and file of the Congress. As the election results started tickling in pointing towards a big rout for the party, several senior leaders wanted an introspection by the leadership over the defeats.
Though there are several reasons, the blame for the Congress defeat squarely rests on president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Jaydev Jena. Though the BJD was on the backfoot initially over the high court bench issue, the advantage was frittered away by the Congress leadership.
No campaign committee was formed nor senior leaders were roped in to work for the party as the BJD had done. Instead, Jena campaigned for the party without taking any other leader into confidence. He campaigned in all the 20 ULBs though at some places, local leaders were hesitant to take his help. The result is a severe beating for the Congress.
The Congress defeat in Kalahandi district where it has four MLAs and the MP is surprising. The result points to the fact that the Congress is disintegrating in the area. The party lost in Bhawanipatna, Junagarh and Khariar Road. In Kesinga, Congress has emerged as the largest party winning five wards while in Khariar there is a tie between the BJD and Congress with both the parties winning six seats each.
Congress also lost in Jharsuguda, Brajrajnagar and Kantabanji which come under the constituencies of Congress MLAs. The BJD has avenged its defeat in Jharsuguda in the panchayat polls by winning Jharsuguda municipality.
The situation in Sundargarh district is similar. The Congress lost in two  Sundargarh and Biramitrapur municipalities. Rajgangpur municipality remained undecided though the BJD won 10 seats out of 20 while Congress and BJP won two and three seats respectively. Five seats have gone to Independents and others.
Reacting to the defeat, former minister of Congress Niranjan Patnaik said he would have resigned from the post of OPCC president by taking moral responsibility in such a situation. Media cell chairman of  OPCC Narsingh Mishra said there is an urgent need to find out the cause of the defeats and fix responsibility. Mishra was kept away from campaign and was not give any responsibility.
Senior party leader LB Mohapatra criticised State leadership for not drawing up a strategy to fight election. The election was an one man show without any involvement of other leaders and result is there for everybody to see, he said. Describing the victory as a ‘tremendous victory’ for BJD, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik thanked the people for their support to the party. Naveen also thanked the party leaders and workers for the victory.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

BPUT to have four zonal centres by end of this year

Times of India, Nov 23, 2013
,TNN | Nov 23, 2013, 11.31 AM IST
BHUBANESWAR: Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) at Rourkela will have four zonal centres soon to make it more accessible to students and affiliated colleges. The centres will come up in Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Berhampur and Bhawanipatna.

The decision was taken at a high-level committee meeting chaired by Pratap Keshari Deb, minister, technical education and training recently, government sources said on Friday.

"The move aims at decentralizing BPUT functioning. For any grievance, examination or result related matters, students can approach the regional centres close to them instead of traveling to Rourkela for all such needs," principal secretary (technical education) Chandra Sekhar Kumar told TOI on Friday.

The government will soon issue an advisory to the university to initiate a process for setting up the zonal centres and open those by December 31, he said. With around 200 technical colleges from across the state affiliated to BPUT, it is difficult for the single centre to reach to everybody effectively.

The government has also decided that any complaint relating to charging higher capitation fee by any college, physical and mental harassment to students and parents will be addressed within seven days.

BPUT has to submit the inquiry report to the government within the given time period and follow up with students to avert repeat of any harassment. The zonal centres will help achieve such early disposal of complaints, government sources said. The government has also asked the varsity to make its grievance redressal system fully automated.

BPUT will create an auditorium, central placement cell and a teachers' training centre in Bhubaneswar utilizing its own funds. The varsity will prepare a detailed project report (DPR) forthe Bhubaneswar facility by November 30. The varsity shall coordinate with the colleges for placement of students, the sources said.

To encourage teachers digitize their lecture notes, BPUT and the government colleges would give Rs 10,000 incentive to teacher from their development funds. For continuous knowledge upgrade of faculty members, BPUT will bear expenses of faculty development programmes of one week or more duration. It would take steps for creation of a dedicated funds for faculty development, the government has decided.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ESIC to upgrade its healthcare facilities in Odisha

NOTE: When Pushpendra Singh Deo babu was Labour minister we had asked him to take the issue for a ESIC medical/dental/nursing college in Kalahandi, it did not work out when he wrote to union minister for a ESIC nursing college, as there were not sufficient no. of ESIC members in Kalahandi then. However, this initiative some how helped to consider for a ESIC health facility in Lanjigarh. Thanks to him.

Business Line, Nov 19, 2013
Employees’ state Insurance Corporation of India (ESIC) will invest about Rs 1,100 crore in upgradation of certain hospitals and establishment of a new medical college in Odisha.
“We have taken up different projects in Odisha for upgradation of hospitals and setting up a medical college,” Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment K Suresh said here today.
Stating that Odisha have above 13 lakh ESI beneficiaries, Suresh said the foundation stone of the proposed medical college will be laid here in January 2014 and target is to start the college in 2017 academic year.
“About Rs 800 crore will be spent in the medical college project which will have a 500-beded super speciality hospital as per the guidelines of the medical council of India,” Suresh said adding that the medical college will have proper operation theatre, OPD and other facilities.
ESIC has already acquired 25 acre of land for the proposed medical college in the state capital and completed boundary wall and other preliminary works by spending about Rs 4.6 crore, the minister said.
The Minister, however admitted that the medical college project was delayed due to dispute over selection of the venue for the proposed medical college. Though it was initially planned to set up the medical college at Rourkela, later it had decided to change the venue to the state capital.
However, the minister said the ESIC has decided to upgrade its 50-beded existing hospital at Rourkela to a high-tech hospital with 100 beds. “We have planned to invest Rs 100 crore for upgradation of the hospital at Rourkela,” he said.
The minister said the ESIC has also decided to upgrade its hospital at Bhubaneswar with an investment of Rs 66 crore.
“The ESIC will take over the hospital at Bhubaneswar. Earlier, though the ESIC was spending on infrastructure, the state used to run it,” he pointed out.
This apart, the minister said the ESIC has identified Joda in Keonjhar district, Khuntuni in Cuttack district and Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district to setup health facilities.
“The state government need to give proposal for setting up hospitals in three new places,” he said.
ESIC which already have a regional office in the state capital, has also decided to open a sub-regional office at Rourkela which will cater service to western Odisha distracts.
Replying a question, Suresh said the enforcement officers were regularly keeping tab on the companies which allegedly do not contribute their share in the fund.

CM woos Kalahandi

Sambad, Nov 19, 2013

No more poverty tag to Kalahandi: CM

The New Indian Express, Nov 19, 2013
Kalahandi is now known for its development, not for poverty for the efforts of the BJD Government, claimed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a public meeting here on Monday.
The district has emerged as a leader in agriculture growth and has agriculture, engineering and medical colleges, he added.
Campaigning for the party candidates for upcoming election to Bhawanipatna Municipality and Kesinga and Junagarh NACs on Monday, Naveen said, “The Government is serious about establishment of a High Court bench in Western Odisha but Congress and BJP are not sincere and are playing politics over the issue.”
The BJD chief said poor sanitation and road condition speak of poor management by the Congress. “If BJD comes to power, the municipality and NACs of the district will witness holistic development and particularly Bhawanipatna Municipality can be an ideal municipality,” he said.
He addressed several public meetings across the district.
Among others, Ministers Suryanarayan Patra and Arun Sahu and BJD district president Balabhadra Majhi addressed the meetings.
Patra and Sahu have been campaigning in the district for last two days and the visit of the Chief Minister has given a fillip to BJD campaign. Odia film actor and MP Sidhant Mohapatra and comedian Papu Pum Pum are also campaigning for the party.
Even though Congress and BJP are trying hard to compete with the BJD, they have failed in their efforts as far as high profile campaigning is concerned.
No senior State-level leader of either Congress or BJP has joined the campaigning. However, both the parties are concentrating on door-to-door campaign.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Vedanta commissions first ever red mud powder plant

Business Standard, Nov 18, 2013
Dillip Satapathy 
Red mud slurry is obtained after alumina processing and is rich in iron, titanium, caustic soda. It can be used in various ways including production of building construction material.
 (VAL) has commissioned a  powder plant at its Lanjigarh alumina refinery in Kalahandi district. The plant is designed to separate water from red mud slurry and is the first ever such initiative by any alumina maker in the world, claimed the company.

“Vedanta alumina refinery has commissioned a project for producing red mud powder in a fully mechanised and automatic plant. This is the first of its kind project in the world which has been set up with an investment of approximately Rs 50 crore,” said Dr Mukesh Kumar, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of VAL.

Red mud slurry is obtained after alumina processing and is rich in iron, titanium, caustic soda. It can be used in various ways including production of building construction material such as bricks and cement after conversion into powder.

Although the alumina technology is more than 100 years old, no plant has ever attempted to use the waste product anywhere in the world. The waste material is simply dumped near the plant site, requiring a lot of land for storage.

Vedanta said the new plant will result in less consumption of caustic soda and also require less land for disposal of the red mud.   

“Besides numerous advantages, the system will reduce caustic consumption by 10-15 Kg per tonne of alumina, bring down land requirement by 50-60 per cent, eliminate wet red mud storage, thus reduce pollution threats,” the company said in a statement.

As the slurry is alkaline in nature and its generation is nearly one and a half time of alumina, world over several billion tonnes of red mud is lying in various red mud ponds. Such ponds are vulnerable to earth movement and can create serious environmental threat. In India, most of the new projects were opposed mainly on this ground.

Kumar said, the company has signed pacts with several institutions including  laboratories in the country as well as State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), Odisha to develop more such technologies so that the refinery can be a zero waste refinery.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

BJD bid to oust Congress in Bhawanipatna

Times of India, Nov 14, 2013
Bhawanipatna: The ruling BJD has deputed two ministers to add spice to the party'scampaign for November 22 election to Bhawanipatna municipality.

Revenue minister S N Patro and energy minister Arun Sahu have started electioneering, appealing to voters to elect their party nominees. Sahu after visiting some wards on Tuesday left for Nuapada's Khariar.

Congress and BJP candidates have launched a door-to-door campaign promising people that they will clean the wards if they came to power. Sources said state-level Congress leaders will arrive within two days to woo voters here.

On Wednesday, Patro at a public meeting held in ward no-3 said BJD had ushered in an era of development in the state by implementing various welfare schemes. He told voters his party would help improve the area if it wins the polls.

The Congress, which has been in power for 15 years in Bhawanipatna municipality, could not develop the town, alleged Patro.

Kalahandi district BJD president Balabhadra Majhi accused the Congress of looting public money and assured the voters to improve the town. "If we come to power, we will make a plan to improve the town," said Majhi. Patro was accompanied by actor-turned-politician Munna Khan and MLARajendra Das.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Solar power: Green Energy Corporation seeks land in 3 districts

The New Indian Express, Nov. 9, 2013
The Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Ltd (GEDCOL) has moved the State Government for allotment of land in Kalahandi, Balangir and Boudh districts for development of solar power projects.
The wholly-owned subsidiary of Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) has identified expanses of 500 acre each in Kalahandi and Balangir districts along with 300 acre at Manmunda in Boudh district for the projects that are to be developed on a PPP mode.
“The land in the three districts will have a potential to generate around 170 MW solar power. GDECOL will develop basic infrastructure and also facilitate power evacuation to the nearest grid for the solar plants to be put up by the private players. The detailed project report (DPR) will be prepared as soon as the land is earmarked and made available,” Managing Director of OHPC Sahadeb Khatua said at the Odisha Solar Conference organised by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) here on Friday.OHPC has also firmed up plans to utilise land at its disposal for setting up solar plants. While it has already defined around 700 acre of usable land, a 200-acre patch capable of generating 40 MW at Khatiguda in Kalahandi district has drawn priority.
Besides budding enterprises, many private institutions like hospitals and colleges are approaching GEDCOL for setting up rooftop solar projects, he added.
The GEDCOL is anchoring the ambitious project to bring all Government buildings in the Twin City under the rooftop solar energy project on a PPP mode. The initiative is projected to yield about 10 MW power.
“The Chief Secretary has directed all the department heads to hand over the rooftops for the project. The DPR is prepared by International Finance Corporation (IFC) and would be finalised by year-end,” Khatua said.
Odisha currently generates only around 18 MW solar power, though it has the potential for 14,000 MW. There is an urgent need to tap this energy source to bridge the increasing gap between demand and supply, Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray said.
Chairman of CESU BC Jena, OERC Member (technical) BK Mishra, TiE president JB Pany and secretary Debasish Patnaik spoke.

Half year past, most Rail based industry projects still in limbo

Business Standard, Nov 13, 2013
Only two out of the eight projects announced in the budget of 2013-14 have had their foundation stone laid
The rail ministry has failed to initiate work on a majority of the rail-based industry projects announced in its last Budget in February this year. Six of the eight such initiatives, including a crucial Coach manufacturing unit and a modern signaling equipment facility through the PPP route, have seen no development.

The dismal performance is owing to a perennial funding crunch for the national transporter coupled with the lack of a clear policy on private participation. The tardy progress on the projects adds to the growing list of the rail ministry’s unfulfilled promises three months before the end of this financial year.

“The projects have not taken off. Lack of funds is a major issue. Also, cost sharing agreement and lukewarm response on Public private Partnership (PPP) initiatives has become a problem,” a senior rail ministry official told Business Standard.  Other officials also cited lack of continuity in top leadership as a dampener. The Ministry has witnessed six new ministers assuming office in the past four years alone.

Only two out of the eight projects announced in the budget of 2013-14 have had their foundation stone laid. The plan to set up a Coach Manufacturing Unit in Sonepat is facing delays because of lack of clarity on the new land acquisition law. “The project may need close to 400 acre of land. But as the new land acquisition Act has come, states are seeking clarifications. The exact duration of completion of land acquisition cannot be ascertained,” said a senior official from the Haryana State government closely associated with the project.

Asked about the slow progress on most Rail based industry initiatives, rail minister Mallikarjun Kharge had earlier told Business Standard: “I will soon undertake a review of all the projects that were announced in the rail budget this year.” Other projects which are yet to take off include setting up of a new wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi district in Odisha and a Midlife Coach Rehabilitation Workshop in Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh.

The delays have led experts to question Indian ’ execution mechanism. “Earlier, projects used to be assessed over the feasibility of location, economic needs of that area and the supporting infrastructure needed before they were announced. We have do not follow this procedure anymore,” former Railway Board Chairman  told Business Standard.

Senior Railway officials conceded politics plays a major role in decisions involving project execution. “Political compulsions have always over taken the economic concerns in Indian Railways.  But in both these projects, Indian Railways does not have to put any money. It is just the land and assured off-take,” a senior Railway official said.

The only two projects that have seen development are a forged wheel factory that would be set up in Raebareli in collaboration with  Limited (RINL). RINL will invest Rs 1,100 crore in setting up of the factory. Railways will provide land and guaranteed off-take for 26 years.

The second project involves setting up a  (MEMU) manufacturing facility at Bhilwara, Rajasthan which is the constituency of former Railway Minister C.P Joshi. The project worth Rs 1000 crore is executed in co-operation with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited ().

Complete school construction on time, KBK Collectors told

The New Indian Express, Nov. 11, 2013
The State Government has asked the Collectors of KBK (undivided Kalahandi, Balangir and Koraput) districts to ensure timely construction and completion of school buildings under Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan (RMSA).
  Official sources said, 650 schools will be constructed under the RMSA out of which majority are in KBK districts. Besides, the Collectors have also asked to ensure quality in mid-day meals provided to the school students.
  The Collectors have also been directed to complete construction of safe and fire- proof kitchen in schools as early as possible and ensure proper whitewashing and cleaning of existing kitchens.
Besides, all the guidelines on kitchen cleanliness, hygienic storage of food items, quality control measures in case of local procurement of food stuff, personal hygienic habits of cooks and students should also be monitored regularly. 
  Collectors have been asked to look into proper convergence of the departments, agencies and NGOs involved in the process.
At present, the agencies like Rural Water Supply Sanitation for drinking water, FCI for food grains, NRHM (students health care), UNICEF (nutrition consultancy), WFP (anaemia prevention), Save the Children Organisation (capacity building of teachers and students), Nandi Foundation (community kitchen) and Akshyapatra Foundation (community kitchen) are involved in implementation of the MDM scheme.
  According to official sources, Collectors have been advised to conduct committee meetings at district level regularly involving the respective MPs.
They have also been asked to constitute steering-cum-monitoring committees at district and block levels.
  It has been decided that the transport agents should be directly paid from the district account and no intermediary should be involved in the process.
Besides, the district administration has been asked to ensure that food stuff which does not conform to FAQ standard or the quality is unsatisfactory on appearance should not be accepted at school point.
  At present 54,21,728 children from Class I to VIII in 63,531 Government and Government-aided schools are being provided MDM for six days in a week.
■ 650 schools will be constructed under the RMSA out of which majority are in KBK districts
■ The Collectors have also been directed to complete construction of safe and fire-proof kitchens in schools

CM promise did not work out: No progress of Indravati right canal

Reported by Sri Debendra Bisi
Sambad, Nov 12, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ram Chandra Patra: Pride of Kalahandi who contributed to build Indravati Project and many other developmental projects in Kalahandi

Shared by Sri Anshuman Patra

R.C.Patra,IAS (retd) is no more..He breathed his last at early morning on Sunday at the age of 94 at Gambhariguda, Dharamgarh. He was not only a Pride of Kalahandi, he was also popularly known as a good officer in the field of administration..We profoundly condole at his sad demise....Photo-Anshuman.

First commissioner from Kalahandi: A son of the soil passed away

Sambad, Nov 11, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lawyers take battle to Chief Justice- Cease work to continue over HC bench

The Telegraph, Nov 5, 2013
Cuttack, Nov. 4: Members of the central action committee of all bar associations of western Odisha today met the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court here to present their case for a permanent bench in their region.
The move comes in the backdrop of 206 more nominations being filed for municipal polls in the region slated for November 22. This takes the total number of nominations to 569.
The committee, in a memorandum, said: “The bar associations of Odisha demand for immediate establishment of a permanent bench of the high court at any place within the Western Odisha Development Council area.”
“Chief Justice A.K. Goel, along with all other judges of the high court, gave a patient hearing to our demand. We demanded location of the permanent bench at any place within the Western Odisha Development Council area according to the guidelines enumerated in the Jaswant Singh Commission report,” central action committee convener Ashok Kumar Dash told The Telegraph today.
“We will continue with our strike. A decision on our future course of action will be taken at a workshop scheduled to be held at Sundargarh on November 10. We hope the Chief Justice will, by then, put forth his views on chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s proposal letter to the Centre for a permanent bench of the high court in western Odisha,” Dash said.
Lawyers from western Odisha have been opposing the municipal polls sticking to their stand of “no court no vote”. However, lawyers of Balangir, Kalahandi and Rourkela have their own agenda as they want the high court bench to be set up in their areas.
The Orissa High Court Bar Association (OHBA), on the other hand, has decided to continue with its cease work agitation against the state government’s decision to have benches in western and southern Odisha.
“The steering committee of the general body today decided to continue the cease work. Decision on future course of action will be taken by the general body on November 11,” OHBA secretary Janmejaya Katikiya told The Telegraph.
“The steering committee has decided to submit an additional memorandum to the Chief Justice on November 8 as we are yet to get any response to our memorandum submitted on October 29,” OHBA vice-president Milan Badu told The Telegraph. The high court lawyers have been on strike since September 26 protesting against Naveen’s proposal on the ground that it had ignored legal precedents.
Naveen had, on September 23, sent a proposal letter to the Centre for establishment of permanent benches of the Orissa High Court in western and southern Odisha.
Union law minister Kapil Sibal had, on October 23, forwarded Naveen’s letter to the Chief Justice “to examine the case and send his views”. Further action would be taken “as per the response from the high court”, the law minister had indicated in his reply to Naveen’s letter.
Sibal had also sought from Naveen “the specific location” of the two benches of the Orissa High Court proposed by him, including “availability of land and resources for infrastructure, staff and other facilities”.
The 10 districts under the Western Odisha Development Council are Bargarh, Balangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Sonepur and Sundargarh.
“Through the memorandum made an effort to drive home the point that the earlier demand of the people of western Odisha for establishment of circuit court of the high court no more holds good. The people and different bar associations of the region have now been demanding for establishment of a permanent bench of high court,” said Suveshwar Mishra, a core member of the Central Action Committee.
The memorandum said: “People of western Odisha are not able to approach the High Court in Cuttack because of acute poverty, resulting in heavy decline in cases from this area. Hardly 10-15 per cent of the people of western Odisha approach the high court. People of this region are not able to get justice from the high court.”
Representatives of the Balangir Bar Association also met the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court today. “We presented a representation demanding establishment of a permanent bench of the high court in Balangir town as it is centrally located among the Western Odisha Development Council districts,” association president Binayak Mishra told The Telegraph.
“We also contended that establishment of a bench at Balangir can adequately meet the requirements of the people of the districts of western Odisha in the Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) group. The total population of these districts is one-third the population of the state,” Mishra said.

Lawyers hurl eggs, tomatoes at BJD nominees

Times of India, Nov 5, 2013
BHAWANIPATNA: The nomination process for the ensuing urban local body (ULB) election in western Odisha turned violent on Monday when Congress and BJP activists, along with some lawyers, seeking deferment of the polls, tried to prevent BJD candidates from to file their papers at the municipality office here.

Trouble started when BJD aspirants accompanied by hundreds of supporters came to file their nominations. The protesting lawyers, under the joint action committee (JAC) banner, hurled tomatoes and plastic chairs on BJD nominees. A woman candidate of the ruling party fell down in the melee and sustained minor injuries.

The agitators also beat up a BJD candidate, Akhaya Pradhan, when he was returning after filing his papers. They also threw eggs other at candidates while they were returning after filing nominations.

Police resorted to mild lathicharge to rescue the candidates from the clutches of the agitators. Two FIRs were lodged at Town police station by either side following the incident, said IIC of Town police station Satya Kumar Nanda.

"At least 20 BJD aspirants and three independents managed to enter the office and file their nominations," said election officer Loknath Tiwari.

Sources said the JAC was angry over the ruling party's decision to contest the election, although the latter had earlier extended its support to their call for poll boycott over establishment of Orissa high court bench at Bhawanipatna. The lawyers as well as Congress and BJP have been demanding postponement of elections till a permanent bench of HC was set up here. State election commissioner Ajit Tripathy ruled out deferment of the polling day. "The date for filing of nominations was extended, but there is no occasion as of now to shift the polling day," he told mediapersons in Bhubaneswar.

President of Kalahandi Bar Association Daitari Pradhan said the BJD had betrayed the people of Kalahandi. "The people will give a befitting reply to the ruling party in the next assembly election," said Pradhan. The lawyers' association also condemned the police action and called for an emergency meeting to decide the future course of action.

Former BJP MLA Pradipta Naik and Congress MLA (Bhawanipatna) Dushmant Naik also accused the Naveen Patnaik-led party of reneging on its promise.