Friday, December 20, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kalahandi Cotton Farmers Hopeful of Good Retur

The New Indian Express, Dec 17, 2013
Published: 17th December 2013 09:29 AM
Last Updated: 17th December 2013 09:29 AM
About 50 per cent of cotton plucking has been completed in Kalahandi district and about four lakh quintal of cotton is expected to be procured this year.
For this season, the cotton was grown in 43,056 hectares (ha) in the district which is highest among the districts in the State.
According to Agriculture department sources, initially about six lakh quintals of cotton were expected to be produced in the district.
But, about 20 per cent of the crop was damaged due to heavy rain that lashed the district in the effect of cyclonic storm Phailin.
Deputy Director of Agriculture, Kalahandi Range, Kailash Chandra Behera said about four lakh quintals of cotton production is expected.
However, he hoped that the loss would be compensated as the crop was of good quality and would fetch better price. Besides, the farmers, who opted for intercropping method, would harvest about 2.5 quintals of arhar per hectare. For procurement of cotton, mandis have been earmarked at Karlapada, Utkella, Utchlla and Biswanathpur. Karlapada and Utkella mandis have started functioning while others will start soon.
The mandis will run on a weekly basis and registered cotton trading organisations will procure the cotton from the specified mandis.
Temporary mandis may also come up at some places depending on the demand. According to reports, cotton was sold at the rate of `4300 per quintal against the supporting price of `4000 at Utkella mandi on December 4.
It has raised hope among the farmers that cotton may fetch better price if the procurement is strictly monitored by the administration.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sachin Kumar Agrawal's Letter to Governor of Odisha: Declare Dharamgarh as NAC

Dr. S.C.Jamir,
Honourable Governor of Odisha,

Sachin Kumar Agrawal,
Member, Marwari Yuva Manch,
Dharamgarh Branch, Kalahandi, Odisha.

[Sub: Declaring Dharamgarh as NAC]

Date: 07-Dec-2013

Respected Sir,
Kalahandi, a district of Odisha, is regarded as one of the backward districts of the state. With two
Sub–Divisions (SD), namely Bhawanipatna SD and Dharamgarh SD, and 13 Blocks in it, Kalahandi is located at the South-Western part of the State. Dharamgarh Town is the HeadQuarter of Dharamgarh

The demand for declaration of Dharamgarh Town as NAC has already spanned over 10 years.
Dharamgarh is a fast growing town both in population and popularity. However, it still lacks in
basic amenities for its people. Although it fulfills every criterion needed for declaration of NAC, no
major step has been taken by the government in power for the same. Even if steps have been taken,
the cumulative period of 10 years devaluates it to zero. Development is yet to knock at its door and
pervade throughout.

Dharamgarh in past 5-7 years has grown in population unimaginably. It has grown as a socio-economic  hub and as a centre for Health-Care Services, Education, Business and other important attributes. In recent future from now, say 5 years, it is going to experience an unpredictable addition in all major fields, leave apart population.

With the growing population resulting in growing demands, a balance in Demand-Supply Chain has
totally been neglected. Call it the callousness of the Gram Panchayat in furnishing the facilities or
of the Sub-Divisional Administration in monitoring these issues, nothing seems to be going the way
expected. Hence, the demand for declaration of Dharamgarh Gram Panchayat as NAC seems genuine
and must be addressed at the earliest.

In Kalahandi as a whole, there is only “One Muncipality” (In Bhawanipatna) and “Two NACs”
(One Each in Junagarh and Kesinga). Even after fulfilling all required criterion, Dharamgarh Town is
sobbing for the NAC Tag. Although the District Administration has forwarded the required documents
with maps, the government is yet to consider it seriously. Your intervention in this regard is highly
essential and will be cordially welcomed.

The problems which have been troubling time again and are being overlooked by the concerned
authorities are:

1. Poor Street Light Facility & Poor Maintenance
2. No Drainage Facility
3. Encroachment of Road by Cattles leading to fatal accidents
4. Issues relating to Vending Zone (Leading to encroachment and related problems)
5. Lack of proper and scheduled Waste Collection and Disposal Facility
6. Lack of attitude of the GP and The Administration to address the problems during rainy seasons.
7. Many others

Along with this letter, I am attaching a newspaper article which further details the issue.
Also attached are two other related diagrams for easy understanding of the issue at large.
Our team appeals you to take a serious note of the whole matter and take immediate steps without further delay.

Thank You.

Sachin Kumar Agrawal
Member, Marwari Yuva Manch,
Dharamgarh Branch, Kalahandi, Odisha – 766015.
Contact Details:

Copy To (Via Mail):
1. Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India.
2. Shri Naveen Pattnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha
3. Shri Bijay Ketan Uppadhyay, Collector Kalahandi.
4. Shri Lala A. K. Ray, Sub-Collector, Dharamgarh Sub-Division.
5. Shri Bhakta Charan Dash, MP-Kalahandi, Odisha.
6. Shri Pushpendu Singh Deo, MLA-Dharamgarh, Kalahandi

Odiaha: Shortage of doctors in Kalahandi district

Orissadiary, Dec 11, 2013
Report by Debadatta Panda, Kalahandi: There is a shortage of doctors inKalahandi district. Against the sanctioned strength of 175, mostly 60 in primary health centres (PHCs), are vacant. Even the 165-bed Bhawanipatna district headquarters hospital has only 19 doctors, said chief district medical officer Surendra Mohapatra. He said a few doctors are unauthorized absentees, some are pursuing post-graduate studies and a few are on leave. Mohapatra said 40 posts of nurses, 17 auxiliary nurse Midwife (ANMs) and 20 sweepers and attendants are also vacant in the hospital. "Due to staff shortage, doctors have to do night duty continuously for seven days. We need sufficient number of doctors and other staff to run the hospital," he said. Official sources said though the state government declared there should be one gynaecologist in each block of the district, only five are engaged in 13 blocks. Out of 5, three are working in Bhawanipatna district headquarters hospital that receives at least 600 cases a month. One gynaecologist is posted at Dharmagarh and another at Kesinga.  Mohapatra said Jaiptana, Madanpur-Rampur and Junagarh blocks need one gynaecologist each, adding that posting of gynaecologists in the remote Thuamul-Rampur and Lanjigarh blocks will arrest the infant mortality rate.Demanding the gyenaecologist post to be filled up at the CHC Junagarh the Nagarika Adhikar Surakshya Manch and Junagarh Sambadika Sangha had filed application before the Collector Kalahandi in his grievance cell and basing on that it is known that the dist. Administration has written letter to the Govt regarding this to fill up the post immediately. One of the reasons for vacancies is that doctors and other staff are not keen to serve in remote areas. Recently, an ANM resigned in Trilochanpur village of Lanjigarh block when we asked her to stay there. We need roads, power supply and cellphone connectivity to convince people to work in interior areas," said Mohapatra. Kalahandi collector  said we have appraised the state government about the staff shortage in the district hospital. - See more at:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Vedanta’s Lanjigarh Rehabilitation colony hailed as a model

Zeenews, Dec 10, 2013
Bhubaneswar: Vedanta’s Rehabilitation colony in Odisha's Kalahandi district has come in for praise by a UNDP panel for its unique features and has been hailed as a model colony for others to emulate.

Niyamgiri Vedanta Nagar, located at the foothills of the picturesque mountain, houses 121 displaced families who opted to stay in the area close to Vedanta's Lanjigarh refinery, a senior company official said.

Each family has been provided a pucca house with toilet, water and electricity facilities. Built within a perimeter wall, the colony has been provided with all modern facilities like black top road, drainage, market complex, temple, school building and a well-equipped community centre with provision for Television and music, he said.

Apart from its neat layout, what is impressive is the provision of primary schooling and medical facility within the campus itself.

The pre-schooling facility provided for the tiny tots in the age group of three to five years has an average enrolment of around 35 children, mostly tribals, who are provided with breakfast and food supplements to encourage the habit of attending school and getting formally educated.

For middle-school students a computer centre with an instructor has been provided. Livelihood initiatives have been given a boost, especially for women. They are engaged in mid-day meal, tailoring, phenyl making etc.

Impressed by the facilities provided in the colony, a UNDP panel which visited several such resettlement areas in the state including Lanjigarh, gave a report to the state government showering praise, sources said.

The panel also felt that the colony can work as a model for others to emulate, they said.

What has added to the development of this colony is the fact that around 75 individuals opted to work in the plant rather than opt for a lump sum compensation, an official said.

Today, after undergoing suitable training, they are drawing more than fifteen thousand rupees a month and have started commuting in motorcycles.

This colony is becoming a model village and looking at their life style the villagers of nearby Rengopali and Bandhuguda have expressed their interest to give up their land to the plant in the palli-sabhas held in 2012 and live in this colony which has all the modern amenities. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

No Infra at Mandis for Paddy Procurement

The New Indian Express, Dec 9, 2013
By Uma Shankar Kar - BHAWANIPATNA
Mandis (market yards) of primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) do not have sufficient infrastructure for smooth procurement of paddy in this kharif season. Besides, there are not enough rice mills tagged with these mandis to lift paddy.
Sources said 71 lakh quintals of surplus paddy have been produced in the district in the current kharif season. Odisha Civil Supply Corporation has entrusted 118 mandis run by PACS to procure paddy on its behalf. However, out of these mandis, only 18 have permanent sheds and godown facilities to protect paddy from natural calamities. Besides, only 48 have pucca houses whereas the rest mandis are located in open fields without having sheds. As a result, in the event of bad weather, the procured paddy is likely to be damaged.
Unfortunately, no step has been taken to construct permanent sheds in mandis despite the fact that the PACS as well as regulated marketing committees earn profit from procurement.
Apart from lack of infrastructure in the mandis, less number of rice mills has been tagged with mandis to lift paddy this season. Against 87 rice mills last year, only 63 mills were found eligible this year based on their performance in the last procurement season.
To meet the crisis, district administration has decided to construct permanent sheds in the existing mandis in a phased manner.
During finalisation of annual action plan under Biju KBK Yojana for 2013-14 in August, the officials concerned proposed to construct sheds with pucca platforms in one or two mandis each in five blocks which produce more paddy in the first phase. Each of these pucca sheds will cost `10 lakh. The blocks are Jaipatna, Junagarh, Kalampur, Dharamgarh and Koksara and the block officials have been asked to submit their requirements to Government for approval.

However, the proposals which were approved by the State Government’s Planning & Coordination Department are yet to reach the district administration for implementation. On the other hand, Cooperative Department has also not taken any step to fund the PACS to construct permanent platforms, sheds and storage facilities.