Wednesday, January 29, 2014


The Pioneer, Jan 29, 2014
Kalahandi Collector Bijay Ketan Upadhyaya launched a women support centre programme in the district on the occasion of the 65th Republic Day on Sunday.
The Collector said women support centres, which originally aim to support single women such as widows, divorcees, abandoned, differently-abled and unmarried adult women to benefit from State’s land and social security entitlement schemes, has the potential of bringing a slow social revolution.
The programme will be implemented with support from NGO Landesa.
The Collector stated that the centres would function as exclusive cells from each tehsil office to identify and facilitate land allocation to single women and woman-headed families under different State laws and schemes. All the tehsildars were instructed to position women nodal officers, essentially of the rank of RI or ARI, at each centre.
The programme will train revenue officials on the provisions for securing women’s land rights through a series of workshops and training programmes while Anganwadi workers will be trained to identify single women
 and women-headed households in the rural areas through a unique enumeration system.
Besides, the centres will also identify the women who are eligible for other entitlements like housing schemes, pension schemes, identity papers and food security schemes from the BDOs.
After Ganjam, Mayurbhanj and Koraput, Kalahandi is the fourth district to launch this programme.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sharing cost of Khordha-Balangir appreciable but Lanjigarh road-Talcher and Junagarh-Malkangiri do need too!!!

Dear Honorable Chief Minister Mr. Patnaik,
I am very pleased and happy to learn that Odisha Government has decided to share 50 % of the total cost of Khordha-Balangir railway line. In addition the state Govt. will provide land for this project free of cost to Indian railways. I am personally thankful for this move by the state Government and my heartiest congratulation to you.

Similarly, it is important for the state Government to equally realize the fact that unless Odisha Government takes a proactive move for sanctioning projects like Junagarh-Nabarangpur-Jeypore-Malkangiri and Lanjigarh road-Phulbani-Talcher railway lines, the Indian Railways may buy decades after decades to even approve and implement such projects in backward region of the state as it happened for Lanjigarh road-Junagarh and Khordha-Balangir lines earlier.

Lanjigarh road-Phulbani-Talcher line will not only bring backward and tribal Kandhamal district to the railway map for the first time, it will also connect Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Balangir (Titialagrh and Kantabanji region), and Nabarangpur district directly with Bhubaneswar and Cuttack by joining Kordha-Balangir route at Puruna Cuttack (or Charichok). This will make accessible to large part of inaccessible KBK and Kandhamal region from the state capital directly and help in countering Maoist activities in the region. Beside that this line will facilitate alumina/coal transportation for NALCO from its refinery in Damajodi to its Smelter in Angul by reducing distance about 100 km, thus, it has commercial and industrial benefits.

Junagarh-Nabarangpur-Jeypore-Malkangiri route will also for the first time bring rail connectivity to Nabarangpur and Malkangiri districts.

With the current rate of progress and political will of the central Government, it is difficult to imagine that the planning commission will approve these two projects in any near future. Hence, innovative action and political will of the state Government are urgently needed to implement these two proposed railway lines in the most backward KBK-Kandhamal region of the state. Your vision and far-sightedness for the railway development of KBK-Kandhamal is solicited.  
For instance, the state Government must provide free land and initial cost as part of 50% sharing cost to start Junagarh-Nabarangpur-Jeypore-Malkangiri and Lanjigarh road-Phulbani-Talcher railway lines for immediate implementation and sanctioning of these two projects by the planning commission.

Therefore, I request you to kindly propose to the Indian Railways to provide free land and 50 % cost sharing of the total cost for the Lanjigarh road-Talcher as well as Junagarh-Nabarangpur-Jeypore-Malkangiri projects which will bring rail connectivity to tribal dominated backward Kandhamal, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri districts and at the same time force the planning commission and Indian Railways to immediately approve and sanction these projects.

Thanking you

With best regards

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Vedanta Gyanshree Award encourages Meritorious students in Kalahandi Utsav

Orissadiary, Jan 23, 2014
Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Kalahandi: Vedanta Gyanshree Award is designed to felicitate the meritorious students and toppers of the 10th and 12th Board Examination in Kalahandi district. The scheme came into existence in the year 2007-08 when Vedanta Aluminum Limited, Lanjigarh proposed to be part of the education promotion process in Kalahandi district and encourage the outperforming students of ICSE, CBSE, OBSE from Kalahandi. 

On the Eve of 18th Kalahandi Utsav , Sesa Sterlite  has   given to 5 meritorious students of Kalahandi district on the third day of in the presence of renowned dignitaries of Kalahandi region such as Sri Bikash Mohapatra-Revenue Divisional Commissioner-Berhampur, Sri Bijay Ketan Upadhay-Collector ,Jalaj Malpani-Vice President Finance(Sesa Sterlite Limited), Koustav Ratan Kundu-Head HRD (Sesa Sterlite Limited).The Company has been Providing Laptops since Last 6 years.

On the Occasion of Gyanshree Award Mr Malpani addressed in his speech that Sesa Sterlite has been creating a good rapport with the community and is being proud for associating with the development of the region. Though the area is rich of mines and minerals and basically bauxite but still these are not being utilized, which can reduce the incidents like “chopping of labors hand in Kalahandi issue. The area can be developed by Industrialization”.

Collector in his speech said that for making a proper action plan to make the area developed in term of Agriculture and Industrialization simultaneously. He told the students to become a good citizen of state and be a part of the developmental process of Kalahandi. The students who received the Laptops are Durga Prasad Dora,Jayant Sahoo,Debasish Das,Sonali Rath and Ankita Sahoo.

Company has also doing a campaign on girl’s education “OUR GIRL OUR PRIDE”. On that day DAV Students also performed a kui dance. Sesa Sterlite has been awarded a certificate from district administration for best performance / stall where all the CSR activities have been displayed with Banner and Television.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


The Pioneer, Jan 22, 2014
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been urged to take appropriate steps to open the proposed regional campus of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU), Amarkantak in Kalahandi district.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, Associate Professor in the American University of Beirut Digambara Patra said the Department of Higher Education (DHE) of the State has not yet taken serious move for the proposed branch of the IGNTU in the district since the past four years.
Earlier, the IGNTU at Amarkantak had received a proposal from the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) to open a regional campus at Kalahandi. As per the policy of the University, the State Government was informed on August 24, 2010 to provide infrastructure facilities like a minimum of 300 acres of land, approach road and electricity supply and accordingly the State Government was asked to facilitate with the infrastructure facilities, no response was received from the State Government, said the university sources, adding, “The proposal is still pending with the State Government.”
The State Government had tried to find out suitable land in Kandhamal district, but it could not be materialised. Since then no action has been taken by the DHE, Patra alleged.
The educationist said Kalahandi is better than Kandhamal in terms of land availability, communication, electricity and water facility. It can serve nine tribal dominated districts of the State, he said, adding, “There are many other suitable Government sites in Kalahandi including a site near Kesinga having all required infrastructure for such an establishment.”
Patra said the carelessness of the DHE has delayed three years to establish the IGNTU campus in Kalahandi. The university authority at Amarkantak is waiting for a suitable land in the district, but the State Government’s lackadaisical attitude is creating confusion in the mind of the Kalahandi people, he added.

Naveen Patnaik lays foundation stones in Kalahandi

Jagaran Post, Jan 22, 2014
Bhawanipatna (Odisha): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has inaugurated a market yard and laid the foundation stone of sub-station at Golamunda block in the backward Kalahandi district.
"The state government is keen to develop infrastructure in backward pockets in order to achieve inclusive growth," Patnaik said after inaugurating the market yard of Tumra and the proposed 33/11 KV sub-station at Keagaon under Golamunda block.
The Chief Minister arrived at Balisingha helipad under Narla block and inaugurated a newly constructed bridge over Precho Nala and laid the foundation for a piped water supply scheme in Balisingha Gram Panchayat besides laying foundation for construction of a high-level bridge over River Ret on Dad Pur-Rupra Road.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Kalahandi Utsav of Folk Art Forms

The New Indian Express, Jan 16, 2013
The 18th Kalahandi Utsav-2014, a platform to showcase folk culture and development activities in the district was inaugurated at Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium here on Tuesday. The Utsav will continue till January 17. Torches from nine different religious and historical places reached here giving the function a start. As many as 88 folk teams from different parts of the State and outside will perform during the Utsav.
Steel and Mining Minister Rajanikanta Singh inaugurated the inaugural function. MLA Pushpendra Singhdeo, Zilla Parishad Chairperson Srimati Majhi, Bhawanipatna Municipality Chairman Aditya Nanda, Collector Bijay Ketan Upadhyaya, SP Sarthak Sarangi and Malkangiri SDPO Pinaki Mishra were also present.
Ghumura Guru Maheswar Saraff of Moter, Mahendra Naik of Sanyasi Kundamal and Singer Gautam Patel of Bhawanipatna were felicitated on the occasion. Folk dances like Ghadel, Dandari, Madili and Ghumura of Kalahandi and Singha Khela, Paik Akhada and Chhau dance from outside the district were  staged.
An exhibition consisting of 320 stalls including 120 stalls of Pallishree Mela has been organised at the venue.

Bandh called by pro-Vedanta group affects life in Lanjigarh

The Hindu, Jan 17, 2013
Normal life was affected during a bandh observed at Lanjigarh in Odisha’s Kalahandi district on Friday demanding provision of bauxite mining facilities to Vedanta for smooth running of its alumina plant.
During the shutdown, called by Lanjigarh Anchalika Bikas Parishad (LABP), local inhabitants took out rallies and staged demonstrations in support of their demand.
Shops and business establishments remained closed and vehicular traffic was disrupted due to the bandh, official sources said.
Leaders of the Parishad said though Vedanta’s alumina refinery was set up at Lanjigarh ten years ago, the company was now struggling for existence due to non-availability of Bauxite mine.
President of the Parishad, Sridhar Pesnia alleged that despite an MoU between VAL and Odisha government for provision of Bauxite mine through Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) to run this plant, not a grain of ore was made available to the plant, causing apprehension about closure of the refinery.
The company is managing to get Bauxite ore from outside the State and country but it is highly expensive. Stage one environment clearance was accorded for mining in Niyamgiri, but stage 2 environment clearance was refused.
He demanded that Bauxite be made available from any source to the plant for the running of the plant and to revive the economy of the area.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Letter of Bajarang Agrawal on Violation of Human Rights in Dharamgarh

The Chairperson,
Odisha Human Rights Commission

Bajrang Agrawal,
Social Activist,
Dharamgarh, Kalahandi, Odisha.

Date: 3rd January 2014.

Sub: Violation of Human Rights in Dharamgarh


This letter in reference to the arrest of one Mr. Digambar Dhuria and his group for their protest against Odisha Chief Minister Shri Naveen Pattnaik during his recent visit to Kalahandi.

Chief Minister scheduled his visit to the District on 31st December 2013. As per his schedule he made his visit to different pre-decided places. During his visit to lay the foundation stone of Tendapalli-Behera Bridge in the Kalahandi District of Odisha, he was shown black flag by a small group who were unhappy with the Chief Minister’s step-motherly attitude towards development of Kalahandi during his tenure.

Showing flag or banners is a way of protest. Even under various sub-sections of Article – 19 of the constitution of India, protest and demonstration, have been considered a basic human right. Not only in India, but in many countries across the globe same process of protest either by showing flags or banners or others.

The person in concern, Mr. Dhuria and his group is under police custody in Dharamgarh Sub-Jail. Not only this, they have been charged under various sections of the IPC which signals a clear-cut human right violation. IPC sections which have been invoked for protest are:

IPC – 147: Punishment of Rioting
IPC – 148: Rioting, armed with deadly weapon
IPC - 149: Unlawful Assembly
IPC – 358: Assault or Criminal Force on Grave Provocation
IPC – 125: Waging War against Asiatic Power
IPC – 121 (A):  Waging, or attempt to wage war against government of India
IPC - 124(A):  Sedition

This action of the Odisha Government has been condemned by civil society groups, Congress and BJP representatives and local public.

I, therefore, request you to seek an explanation from the Odisha Government for such a hefty and hasty decision to arrest the protesting group. The detention has been made Unbailable. Please consider the request at the earliest and make efforts to bring the concerned group out of jail.

Your action in restoring the Human Right will be truly appreciated and we will always be grateful.

I am attaching a newspaper article with this letter for your detailed understanding.

Thank You

Bajrang Agrawal
Contact Number: 09178094600, 09853540330

Copy To:
1.    Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission 
2.    Shri Bijay Ketan Uppadhyay, Collector , Kalahandi 
3.    Lala M.K. Ray , Sub-Collector, Dharamgarh-Sub Division
4.    Shri Sarthak Sarangi, SP, Kalahandi, Odisha 
5.    Bhakta Charan Dash, MP, Kalahandi, Odisha
6.     Pushpendra Singh Deo, MLA-Dharamgarh, Kalahandi 

Friday, January 3, 2014