Saturday, May 31, 2014

Letter to PM Sri Modi: Proposal for BHU branch in Puri and NRU in Kalahandi

Dear Honorable Prime Minister Sri Modi,
At first let me congratulate you heartily for the grand election success for BJP and alliance under your able leadership. This happened first time in Indian history for a non-congress party and first time since last 30 years for any political party. 

I am also very thankful to you for including a very able and committed tribal leader like Sri Jual Oram from western Odisha in your cabinet. Another Odia leader Sri Dharmendra Pradhan found a place in your cabinet as a upper house MP from Bihar. This shows your party's great affection towards Odisha and Odia, unlike the previous congress party during UPA-II which had not given a single minister position to the tribal and backward western bordering Odisha that had elected six congress MPs in 2009, one of them was a former chief minister and other one was a former union minister.

You have always touched the sentiments of all Odia people, when you equate your native birth place "Somnathdham" and "Jagannath Dham". Your spiritual attachment towards lord Jagannath and personal visit to Puri echo the sentiment of all Odia people, who consider lord Jagannath above all religion, caste, creed, etc and part of Odia living and culture. Therefore, despite having a popular CM as Sri Naveen Patnaik, you remained as most popular personal choice for PM in Odisha irrespective of electoral results.

1). In the past, previous UPA Govt. had proposed and established branches of Aligarh Muslim University in various other states that also focuses on Islamic studies along with other education. At the same time values of ancient Indian practice in human health and medicine are getting widely popular recently. For example, curcumin, an ingredient of turmeric or haldi, that is coincidentally of my scientific research interest is being realised to be substance that can help in curing cancer, Alzheimer disease etc, there are few reports such substance could lower high blood pressure, bad cholesterol and higher sugar level in human body. Many such ancient Indian practice has recently caught the imagination of modern scientists. 

One of the general sentiment of Odisha people that your Govt. should establish branches of Banaras Hindu University in char-dham in East (Puri), West (Dwaraka), South (Rameswaram) and North (Badrinath). Such institution will focus in advance learning, education and research using modern science and technology that are of relevance to ancient Indian wisdom, culture, scientific ideas, health and medicine to largely benefit human civilisation in today's world. Establishing such University branches in Puri, Dwaraka, Rameswaram and Badrinath will not only converge modern science, technology, medicine and theory with the ancient Indian practice that could be of high beneficial for today's world but also ancient Indian philosophy, humanities etc hidden in many different aspects of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc could be tapped through modern theories, philosophy, science and technology. 

2). Similarly, development of Bhawanipatna, centrally located in KBK-Kandhamal districts and also in South Western Odisha dominated by tribal, will impact economic growth of one of the most backward and tribal pocket in India. Central Govt. has already identified Bhawanipatna along with Bhubaneswar in Odisha under the program to improve socio-economic condition of urban poor.  I urge you to kindly include Bhawanipatna among 100 new cities proposed by your Govt. enabling with the latest in technology, infrastructure etc.

3). At the same time, a national rural university (a detailed proposal is attached for consideration) or institute of technology for rural development should be established in Kalahandi as justified in the attached proposal.

I hope you will sincerely consider these three cases and do the needful.

Thank you and with best regards

Rabi Paddy Damaged in Rain

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), May 28, 2014
BHAWANIPATNA/BALANGIR: Rabi paddy crop in several acres of land have been damaged in Kalahandi and Balangir districts due to low pressure induced rains on May 25 and 26.
In Kalahandi district, paddy was grown in 65,409 hectares (ha) of land. Of this, 61,388 ha is under irrigation coverage of Indravati. The Agriculture Department had expected production of 35 lakh quintals of rabi paddy and the crops were in various stages of harvesting.
As per an assessment of the department, about 30 per cent of paddy crops including those already harvested have been damaged in the rain. The affected pockets are Junagarh, Kalampur, Jaipatna and Dharamgarh blocks that are irrigated by Indravati.
For procurement of rabi paddy, 55 procurement centers have been opened. But, only 19 centres have store rooms where paddy can be kept. The rest do not even have sheds. Although farmers had demanded that all the procurement centres should be provided necessary infrastructure in wake of untimely rain, no step has been taken so far.
There has also been delay in procurement process. As on today, registration of farmers at the procurement centres is on and they are issued tokens.
According to sources in Civil Supply Department, only 1000 quintals of paddy were purchased in Kalampur block till Monday.
In Balangir, the rain damaged paddy crop in over 500 acres of land. Sources said most of these crops were harvested and kept in the open for threshing. The most affected areas are Bangomunda, Khaprakhol, Titlagarh, Loisingha and Deogaon.
Antaram Rajput, a farmer of Antapali village, said he had cultivated paddy in more than 10 acres of land and after harvesting, he had kept the stock in the open. The entire stock was washed away in the rain.
Deputy Director of Agriculture, Balangir, Manoranjan Mallick said the department will submit an assessment report on damaged crop to the Government soon.

Odisha has promised to resolve Bauxite shortage issue: Vedanta

First Post, May 29, 2014
Bhubaneswar: Already incurring huge loss due to non-availability of local raw material to feed its alumina refinery project at Lanjigarh, Vedanta Group on Wednesday said the Odisha government has promised to resolve the Bauxite issue soon.
"We have been told the state government is giving top priority to Bauxite supply to the Lanjigarh plant. Chief Minister has assured us the issue will be resolved very soon," Vedanta Chief Anil Agarwal told reporters in Bhubaneswar after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The company utilises only 25 percent of the capacity of its refinery at Lanjigarh in the backward Kalahandi district, Agarwal said, adding: "We are importing Bauxite to run the plant and therefore incurring losses." However, he said, the situation would improve once the company was provided local raw material linkage. "The Chief Minister is very positive and told us the matter will be resolved on top priority," Agarwal said, adding that the state government also felt there was already delay in providing local Bauxite to the Lanjigarh plant. Noting that Vedanta had license to produce 17 lakh ton of aluminium and 50 lakh ton of alumina per annum in the state, he said "We will be the biggest contributor to the state exchequer in aluminium sector and the largest employment giver in Odisha." Besides seeking Patnaik's support for getting local raw material, Agarwal also held talks with Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra over the matter. The 1 million ton per annum (MTPA) Lanjigarh refinery had to be shut down for nearly seven months in 2012-13 and was running much below its installed capacity after it reopened in July 2013 due to acute shortage of Bauxite. With the Centre denying permission for Bauxite mining in Niyamgiri Hills after the Supreme Court ordered referendum saw all 12 gram sabhas in the Hills reject the proposal, Vedanta has been pleading with the Odisha government for an alternative site to source raw material to run the plant. Replying a question, Agarwal said "Yes, the CM has indicated about alternative Bauxite mines in the state." On the company's smelter at Jharssuguda, Agarwal said the aluminium plant was also not running with full capacity. "We have been told to utilise full power from our 3,600 MW power plant at Jharsuguda. Earlier, we were supplying power to the state. However, the Chief Minister told us to run the smelter to full capacity and create more jobs," he said. Agarwal said the Chief Minister also asked the company to set up downstream industries in aluminium sector. "There is huge potential to set up at least 100 such units by different people. They can manufacture auto-parts, aircraft parts and others in the downstream units," Agarwal said. Vedanta Group also claimed it was the only company which has made huge investment in Odisha without waiting for provisions from the state government while others demand facilities before investing. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Congratulation to Pushpendra Singh Deo for getting the cabinet rank in Odisha Government

Times of India, May 21, 2014
BHUBANESWAR: BJD president Naveen Patnaik in his fourth term as chief minister is likely to retain at least nine ministers from the previous team, including six in the cabinet rank, sources said here on Tuesday.

Naveen will take oath at Raj Bhawan around 10 am on Wednesday. With him 11 cabinet and 10 ministers of state (MoS) are expected to be administered the oath of office, party sources said.

"Though last minute changes cannot be ruled out, all those chosen for ministerial berths have been communicated," a senior BJD functionary said.

Those chosen for cabinet berths are Damodar Rout, Bijayashree Routray, Debi Prasad Mishra, Bikram Keshari Arukh, Lal Bihari Himirika, Pradip Maharathi, Badri Naryan Patra, Jogendra Behera, Pushpendra Singhdeo, Usha Devi and Pradip Amat.

The ministers of state (MoS) are Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Arun Sahu, Ramesh Chandra Majhi, Ashok Panda, Sanjay Dasburma, Sudam Marandi, Prafulla Mallik, Pranab Prakash Das, Pradip Panigrahi and Snehangini Chhuria.

Naveen has dropped as many as five from the previous ministry. They are S N Patro, Maheswar Mohanty, Niranjan Pujari, Rajanikanta Singh and Subrat Tarai.

In the new ministry, six previous cabinet ministers, Damodar Rout, Bijayashree Routray, Debi Prasad Mishra, Bikram Keshari Arukh, Lal Bihari Himirika and Usha Devi, have managed to retain their positions. For Jogendra Behera, it is the first time. Badri Narayan Patra, who was MoS in the previous ministry, was promoted to the cabinet rank.

Former ministers Pradip Maharathi and Pushpendra Singhdeo are set to return to the ministry in the cabinet rank. Pradip Amat was speaker in the outgoing assembly.

Among the MoS, there are six new faces.

They are Sanjay Dasburma, Ashok Panda, Pranab Prakash Das, Sudam Marandi, Prafulla Mallik and Snehangini Chhuria. Of the rest four, Arun Sahu and Ramesh Majhi were in the previous ministry, while Atanu returns to the ministry after a gap of more than one and half years.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rabi Paddy Procurement Pace Goes Slow

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), May 20, 2014
BHAWANIPATNA: Even as the farmers of Kalahandi district have been sustaining loss due to delay in Dalua (rabi) paddy procurement, the district Agriculture department and Primary Agricultural Co-operative Societies (PACS) have failed to speed up the process this year.
During the current season, there is an apprehension of considerable delay in paddy procurement as only 12 rice mills have qualified to lift paddy from 55 paddy procurement centres of PACS.
Even as the district level Paddy Procurement Committee set a target to procure 35 lakh quintals of paddy at a meeting on May 14, no target from State Government has been communicated to the district.
Sources said during the current season, the paddy procurement will be made through 55 centres of PACS. As per norms, only 12 rice mills have qualified to lift paddy from the procurement centres for milling.
At the Paddy Procurement Committee meeting, it was decided that the rice mills, which have achieved 50 per cent of target in the last kharif procurement season, will participate in the current Dalua paddy procurement season. If the rice delivery target is relaxed by 25 per cent, 43 mills can lift paddy from the centres, said an official of Agriculture department.
The registration of the farmers was started on Monday at the paddy procurement centres of the PACS and by the time the process over, the procurement will be considerable delayed. Out of 55 procurement centres, only 19 have permanent shed and 32 have pucca pindi (platform) without shed. Others are located in open field.
In previous years, the paddy stock of the farmers dumped in the open yards was damaged due to pre-monsoon rain. This year also, if the stock is not lifted by fastening the procurement process, the farmers are slated to sustain loss again.
A district official said the Regulated Market Committee (RMC) has been asked to procure adequate number of tarpaulin of different sizes to protect the paddy stock in open yards from rain.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Congratulatory Message for Arka Keshari Deo !

When I saw Arka Keshari Deo babu in few news report, I found he is young but realised his body language needs to be improved to be a good politician for long run. Frankly, he is not alone, there are many other elected MLAs in Kalahandi who are even worst except Dibya Shankar Mishra babu. Some of the BJD MLAs even do not respond if you bring an issue related to Kalahandi and afraid to even talk to Naveen Patnaik, such MLAs are like a slave of individual than a leader of a constituency or party. They should learn from Damodar Rout how to be a leader even without making Naveen Patnaik upset. However, I felt Arka has a very positive sign and he is eager to learn unlike many others. Nothing wrong in learning new things in politics. Today everything is scrutinized, even how many debate you participate in the parliament. If someone wish to be a long time politician, it is better to do some good visible work in the initial phase. Arka babu should be advised by his supporters to be aggressive in the parliament raising different issues. Both Bhakta babu and late Bikram babu impressed Odisha assembly during their first term as MLA and could stay longer where many of our elected member from Kalahandi could not do. Public perception is very important in politics. Even in royal family of Kalahandi, Udit Pratap Deo babu could not achieve what Bikram babu could achieve in politics, because Udit babu rarely was spontaneous with people. Arka should learn this lesson, secondly he should add some aggressiveness and boldness just like Bhakta babu and Dibya Shankar Mishra babu. It is important to be vocal and strong in the parliament on issues related to Kalahandi. I recall when late Bikram babu was strongly fighting issues like survey for Junagarh-Ambaguda rail line and Khariar-Jeypore rail lines, Central University, National Highways 201 and 217 etc during UPA I in the parliament. We also saw Bhakta babu strongly fighting for Wagon factory, IIT/central university, NH, Vedanta issue etc. during UPA 2 in the parliament. It is not good to be a nice boy in the parliament rather debating issues rationally. Issue may not always necessarily be of Kalahandi, Bikram babu's one of the favorite debate was foreign policy, Bhakta babu's was environment, poverty, food security etc, PK Deo's was Lokpal, etc etc. I wish Arka babu builds himself as a great politician and put Kalahandia mark in the national level, at the same time he works something good for his constituency.

Congratulations to newly elected MP and MLAs from Kalahandi in 2014

MP: Arka Keshari Deo

MLA (Lanjigarh): Balabhadra Majhi
MLA (Narla): Dhaneswar Majhi
MLA (Bhawanipatana): Anam Naik
MLA (Junagarh): Dibya Shankar Mishra
MLA (Dharamgarh): Pushpendra Singh Deo

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Kalahandi Sets Seed Replacement Target for Paddy at 65 Per Cent

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), May 15, 2014
Kalahandi, once the cause of global embarrassment for India due to poverty and starvation deaths, today stands tall with its rice production. In the last one decade, Kalahandi has emerged as one of the important paddy producing districts of Odisha. New technologies, farming equipment and awareness among farmers apart, seed replacement rate (SRR) is being attributed as a major factor behind rise in paddy production in the district.
SRR is a measure of how much of the total area of crop has been sown with certified, quality seeds rather than farm-saved seeds.
The SRR for paddy crop in the district was mere 14.56 per cent (pc) in 2006, 19.02 pc in 2007 and 27.49 pc in 2008. From the year 2009, there have been a gradual increase in SRR and last year, it was 52.17 pc.
In the ensuing kharif season, the district has set an ambitious target to reach the seed replacement rate of 65 pc. And to meet the target, an order for 61,133 quintals of high quality paddy seeds has been placed with Odisha Seed Development Corporation and Odisha Agro Industry Corporation.
Accordingly, certified and hybrid seeds of desired varieties have been stocked by the Odisha Seed Supply Corporation (OSSC) Limited which will be supplied through primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACs) in the district. Paddy seed stock has been created in the seed godown of Agriculture Department located on Arkabahaeli farm premises in Bhawanipatna.
“At present, certified seeds are being sent to PACs and authorised dealers of OSSC”, said the Additional Agriculture Director (Input), Balgopal Mishra. So far, 20,547 quintals of certified paddy seeds have been supplied to the district of which, 7,623 quintals lifted by PACs and OSSC dealers.
Similar plans have been drawn for other crops. The Agriculture Department has targeted to supply 16.5 quintals of high quality Maize seeds, 60.1 quintals of Arhar, 59 quintals of Mung, 111.55 quintals of Urad dal seeds, 770 quintals of Groundnut, 11.5 quintals of Sesame, 8.25 quintals of Ragi and 4.7 quintals of Niger seeds to farmers for cash cropping.
“Our objective is to improve the seed replacement rate of paddy and other crops through scientific crop management under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for higher productivity,” said a senior officer of the Directorate of Agriculture and Food Production.
The Agriculture Department has also set an ambitious target for the district under the Seed Village Programme in the kharif season. It aims to grow paddy seeds in 1,305 hectares (ha) of land and cover 90 ha under non-paddy crop seeds, mostly Arhar and Mung dal under Seed Village Programme. It will be implemented by OSSC through interested farmers.
The Seed Village Scheme is a viable model of participative production of quality seeds with the involvement of farmers. This makes it possible for seed production at reasonable cost and ensures timely availability of quality seeds to farmers. “This Programme ensures supply of quality certified seed of high yielding varieties to the farmers in time at affordable prices besides ensuring quick multiplication of new seed varieties in a shorter time in the district based on the crop situation”, said Mishra.
The Agriculture Department has also targeted to supply 16.5 quintals of high quality Maize seeds, 60.1 quintals of Arhar, 59 quintals of Mung, 111.55 quintals of Urad dal seeds, 770 quintals of Groundnut, 11.5 quintals of Sesame, 8.25 quintals of Ragi and 4.7 quintals of Niger seeds to farmers for cash cropping

Monday, May 12, 2014

Kharif Crop to Cover 3.83 Lakh in Kalahandi

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), May 12, 2014
Considering the soil and climatic condition of the district suitable for growing various crops, Kalahandi administration has drawn up the agriculture strategy for kharif season.
With Met office forecasting less rainfall during the monsoon this year, the strategy has given a thrust on non-paddy crops and change in the cropping pattern during the season. Though there is no change in paddy coverage area, focus will be given on commercially viable medium and short duration paddy crop.
As per the agriculture strategy document released at a meeting here on Wednesday, the net crop coverage area in the district will be 3.83 lakh hectares (ha) with paddy targeted to be raised in 1.9 lakh ha like previous year.
With Kalahandi emerging as one of the leading districts of the State in maize and cotton production in the recent years, it is targeted to cultivate maize in 1.97 lakh ha and cotton in 45,850 ha against 1.81 lakh ha and 43,056 ha in the last kharif season respectively.
These apart, different types of pulses will be grown in 83,400 ha and oil seeds in 16,000 ha as per the strategy. Due to forecast of rainfall, it is targeted to cover more area with mixed cropping. An awareness drive will be launched to persuade farmers to switch over to other crops from paddy. Collector Bijayaketan Upadhaya and Deputy Director of agriculture Angada Sahoo released the agriculture strategy document in presence of agriculture, revenue and irrigation officials.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Kalahandi's New Crisis: Chemical Laced Water

The New Indian Express, May 9, 2014
It’s a water problem of a different kind in Kalahandi. Unlike other parts of the State which are reeling under water scarcity, Kalahandi has a good number of water bodies, albeit many of them are high on chemical content.
According to Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS), Kalahandi division, there are 16,909 tubewells, 830 wells and 239 piped water supply projects in rural areas of the district. Under Bhawanipatna Municipality, PHD has 572 tubewells, 205 under Kesinga NAC and 100 in Junagarh NAC to meet the water needs. Locals, though, said the water they drink is laced with chemicals beyond permissible limits.
Sources said at many places, people have sunk tubewells in their houses which also affect the water table. Both the Rural Water Supply Department (RWSS) and the PHD do not have any figure on the number of private tubewells sunk so far in rural and urban areas of the district and there is no mechanism to monitor or test the groundwater before allowing sinking of tubewells by individuals. Such indiscriminate and unplanned sinking of tubewells can affect the water table of wells which have been the traditional method of getting drinking water.
The RWSS and Central Ground Water Board, however, test the quality of water from public tubewells in the district and according to one such test report, there is high level of nitrate, iron and fluoride in shallow and deep aquifers in many parts of the district.
The permissible limit of nitrate is 0.3 mg per litre, iron 1.5 mg and fluoride 1.5 mg per litre. But, as per the test report, iron content is between 1.4 mg and 2.3 mg per litre in villages like Tarapur, Padigaon, Khamarhaldi, Makarsola, Jakabaheli, Baddharpur, Kesala and Sirpur. Similarly, high quantity of nitrate has been reported in Kesinga, Dharamagarh, Baldiamal, Sargiguda, Badbasul, Pastikudi, Daspur and Narla villages. There is no respite from fluoride either.
Ironically, authorities have failed to take preventive steps by way of regular testing of tubewell water and providing alternative safe drinking water in the affected pockets.
Gohirapadar village in Narla block, situated along the State Highway and only 20 km from the district headquarters, is a pointer. High percentage of fluoride was traced in tubewell water and fluorosis-related ailments were reported in a number of villages in and around Gohirapadar such as Ghugurbahal and Suknabhata six years back. Promptly, the Rural Water Supply Department swung into action and asked the villagers not to use tubewell water.
As an alternative, it declared to supply safe pipe water to the villagers. Though pipe water supply was ensured, it was done by sinking a deep borewell in the village where high percentage of fluoride was also traced. Now, almost all the children of the area are suffering from dental fluorosis.
At Gohirapadar village, fluoride level is 2.02 mg per litre of water, 1.8 mg in Brundabahal of Golamunda block, Limser 1.8 mg and at Bordipada, Grindul, Bandhpada, Tumura, Badbhuin and Hanspada villages the level is 1.6 mg per litre of water.
In Bhawanipatna town, water has calcium carbonate which makes it corrosive and hard.
Executive Engineer of RWSS division, Kalahandi, Bijayanand Samantrai said steps will be taken soon to provide pipe water from rivers to Gohiapadar and Barabakhara villages.
Samantrai said in rural areas of Kalahandi, there are 200 piped water supply projects of which, 131 are borewell-based, 65 from rivers by digging intake wells and 24 are sourced from springs using hydraulic pressure. In future, river-based piped water projects will be set up in Kalahandi and borewell-based piped water supply projects converted to river-based ones in phases, he added.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dharamgarh KV be functional from June

Reported by Anshuman Patra
Orissapost, May 8, 2014
Dharitri, May 8, 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014

9 Polytechnics in State Await Central Nod

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), May 3, 2014
The State Government has requested the Centre to accord approval to nine polytechnics to start functioning from 2014-15 academic year as the buildings have already been completed.
In a letter, Chief Secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra has requested Ashok Thakur, Secretary in the Department of Higher Education of Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) to advise the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to accord approval to the polytechnics at the earliest.
The polytechnics are located at Jajpur, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Puri, Angul, Bargarh, Boudh, Koraput and Nayagarh.
The Chief Secretary said the new buildings have been inspected by the expert team of AICTE.
Steps have been taken to correct the deficiencies highlighted by the team. As pointed out by the team, library books along with required journals and personal computers will be available by July, 2014, he said.
Mohapatra said applications have been received for recruitment of laboratory assistants and lecturers by the Odisha Staff Selection Commission (OSSC) and the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) respectively. The recruitment process for these posts is expected to be completed before the start of the 2014-15 academic session, he added.
The MHRD had proposed to set up 22 Government polytechnics in the under-served and uncovered districts of the State under the scheme of ‘Submission on Polytechnic’.
The State Government has made a provision of `12.30 crore for each polytechnic to be set up. In August, 2013, the AICTE had given its nod to eight polytechnics to commence classes in the 2013-14 academic year.