Saturday, November 29, 2014

President’s Itinerary

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), Nov 29, 2014
BHUBANESWAR:  The State is gearing up for President Pranab Mukherjee’s two-day visit from Saturday. Mukherjee will attend the golden jubilee celebrations of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya and Rama Devi Women’s College in the Capital City. At Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, he will attend the function at Utkal Mandap from 5.55 pm to 7 pm and felicitate 18 illustrious alumni of the college. On Sunday, Mukherjee will move to Kalahandi where he will inaugurate the Vivekananda memorial building at Ramakrishna Ashram in Rampur. Sources said he will then fly to Puri by helicopter to visit the 12th century Jagannath temple.
The President would reach the temple at 2.30 pm and stay there till 3 pm. “From 1 pm to 3 pm, the temple will remain out of bounds for normal visitors due to security reasons. The temple periphery has been spruced up in the wake of the President’s visit,” said Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal. Mukherjee will leave Puri for Bhubaneswar at 4.20 pm. At the Capital City, he will preside over the golden jubilee function of Rama Devi Women’s Autonomous College for an hour from 5.15 pm before returning to New Delhi at 6.35 pm.

Gold spots in Nabarangpur

The Telegraph (Kolkata), Nov 29, 2014
Bhubaneswar, Nov. 28: Some good news for the state. Traces of gold have been found in the tribal-dominated Nabarangpur district, while fresh iron ore and bauxite deposits have also been discovered in various parts of the state.
The state geology department stumbled on the traces of gold during one of their routine explorations, steel and mines minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick told the Assembly today.
Director, geology, has already submitted a report on the findings to Mallick. The metal has been found in an area of 1,926 hectares in Nabarangpur district.
Speaking about the sudden discovery of the yellow metal, Mallick said: “Traces of gold have been found at Jharigram and Seraguda in Nabarangpur district. The government has already accepted the application to issue lease for its exploration.”
Sources in the mining department said Hindustan Alloy and Kaustuv Mining Smelting Private Limited had applied for exploration of gold. However, it is yet to be ascertained whether it would be commercially viable.
In a related development, hundreds of people have been engaged to explore diamonds at Anabadi village under Haguda panchayat in Koraput’s Bandhugaon block, about 650 km from here. The place is also reported to have yielded a lot of cat’s eye, a semi-precious stone.
A district official said businessmen from the neighbouring states, including Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, reached the place to search for diamond and other gemstones.
One of the villagers, Bhaskar, 43, said: “Businessmen from other states have come here and bought the valuable stones from us.”
Additional district magistrate Ekadashi Jena said: “We have informed the state geology and mining departments about the sudden discovery of valuable stones in these remote parts of the district. We have no idea about the nature of the stones.”
Besides gold, Mallick’s department has confirmed that new iron ore mines have been found at Rakama–Marsuana in Keonjhar district and Khandadhar, Deungula, Sagasahi, Bandhala, Kusumdihi, Roladihi, Randa, Damur in Sundargarh district.
“We have taken steps to estimate the iron reserves in the newly located areas,” said an official.
The steel and mines department also confirmed that 0.45 tonnes reserve of manganese ore has been found at Mutukudur, Rangua and Kenamenta in Sundargarh district, Mallick told the Assembly today.
Interestingly the state government has also stumbled on rich reserve of bauxite at new mines in Rayagada, Kalahandi, Koraput, Kandhamal and Sundargarh districts. This is good news for the government that has found it tough to hand over the Niyamgiri bauxite mines to the Vedanta for its Lanjigarh refinery plant in Kalahandi district.
In Kalahandi district, the new bauxite mines have been found at Keluamala with deposits of 49 million tonnes, Krushnamali (28.3 million tonne), Samarmali and Gunupur with deposits of 21.69 million tonnes.
“We have so far estimated 220.956 million tonnes of bauxite in the newly discovered bauxite mines in Rayagada, Kalahandi, Koraput and Kandhamal districts. As there is stiff opposition to hand over the Niyamgiri mines, we are planning to give some of the newly discovered mines to the Vedanta and other groups who are interested to set up their industries in the state,” said a senior official of the steel and mines department.
Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal has met chief minister Naveen Patnaik twice in the last six months and appealed to the state government to save the plant that is running at less 30 per cent of its installed capacity.
Besides gold, iron and bauxite, new gemstones and graphite mines have also been discovered in the state. While gemstones have been located in few pockets of Mayurbhanj district, graphite has been found in Angul district.
“ However, the state government is yet to make an assessment of these deposits,” an official said.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

IPPs invest Rs 33,000 cr on their projects in Odisha

Business Standard, Nov 23, 2014
Independent power producers (IPPs) have invested Rs 32,991 crore on their proposed coal-fired projects in after entering into memoranda of understanding (MoU) with the state government.
Among the 28 players that have inked pacts with the state government, two have commenced commercial production. The two companies are firm and Ltd.
Sesa Sterlite has fully commissioned its 2400 Mw (4x600) power project at Bhurkamunda near Jharsuguda. The company has invested Rs 8038 crore on the plant.
GMR Kamalanga has commissioned three 350 Mw units of its proposed 1400 Mw power plant at Kamalanga in Dhenkanal district. It has invested Rs 5590 crore.
Others like Ltd (JITPL), Ltd and were in the advanced stage of commissioning their projects.
The IPPs that have made substantial investments on their projects are JITPL (Rs 4564.26 crore), Monnet Power Company Ltd (Rs 4100 crore), Ltd (Rs 4850 crore) and Ind-Barath Energy Utkal Ltd (Rs 2954 crore).
The IPPs have a combined production capacity of 37,000 Mw. The state's share is pegged at around 6000 Mw from these projects.
Odisha is currently facing an unprecedented rise in demand for power fuelled by rural, industrial and economic development. Capacity addition of about 50,000 Mw is coming up in Odisha through state initiatives, Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs), NTPC and private IPPs.
Two UMPPs, each of capacity 4000 Mw are planned in the state. While the state grid will get 1300 Mw from the first UMPP at Bhedabahal near Sundargarh, the second UMPP proposed at Narla in Kalahandi district would supply 2000 Mw to the state.
NTPC is setting up two super thermal power plants in the state, each with capacity of 1600 Mw at Darlipalli in Sundargarh district and Gajamara in Dhenkanal district.
While Odisha is making all out efforts to expedite and provide necessary fill-up to the void created to meet the surging energy demand in the country, the most hindering factor for implementation of these projects is fuel security which is at stake due to the Supreme Court ruling. The apex court in its August 24 order had scrapped the licenses of 204 coal blocks allocated between 1993 and 2010.
The 18th Electric Power Survey of (CEA) has forecast the peak demand of 5322 Mw and annual energy requirement of 33113 million units (MU) for Odisha for 2015-16. The peak power demand is expected to rise to 6749 Mw and annual energy requirement to 52566 MU for 2021-22 for the state.

Letter of Sachin Kumar Agrawal to Ministry of Panchayati Raj on Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra

Respected Minister,
Ministry of Panchayati Raj, GOI.

It was 20th August 2009 when the then Union Panchayati Raj Minister Dr. C.P.Joshi,  during a Workshop on NREGA announced that every  Gram Panchayat across the country will have a Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra. In the same workshop the minister outlined the importance of the Sewa Kendra by mentioning it as a single window for information relating to NREGA. Moving a step further, the guest of honour of the workshop, Shri Rahul Gandhi unveiled the design model of the proposed Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra.

Crores of rupees are being allocated by the said ministry for the construction of these Sewa Kendras. However no importance is given to monitor whether these Kendras are functioning properly or not. 

Through this letter of mine I would like to bring to your kind notice about such a Sewa Kendra in the Kalahandi District of Odisha which was constructed four years back in 2009-2010 but is yet to get inaugurated. The said Sewa Kendra lies in the Mahaling Gram Panchayat under the Golamunda Block (Kalahandi District, Odisha). I came to know about this Sewa Kendra from a local news daily “Sambad” articulated on 21st November 2014 in its Sambalpur Edition. 

I request you to take the matter and demand an explaination from the concerned authorities at the district and the state level about such a negligence. Also order the authority concerned to make necessary arrangements for its opening and efficient functioning. 

I as a responsible citizen brought this matter to your knowledge and hope that you as a representative of the people will take this issue  as seriously as I did and exercise your responsibility and accountability towards people.

I could not find the email address of Honourable Minister in your website and hence sending the email to your address. Also, I am attaching the  news article for your easy understanding of the matter and authenticity of my claim.

Thank You Sir.

Sachin Kumar Agrawal,
Dharamgarh, Kalahandi, Odisha
Contact Number: 9861965410

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

BPUT to Complete Video Conferencing by Dec

The New Indian Express, Nov 12, 2014
BHUBANESWAR: The video conferencing network being established by Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) is all set to become operational by the first week of December.
The technical university had come up with a proposal to link Governor’s Office, Employment and Technical Education and Training (ETET) Department and BPUT’s camp office in Bhubaneswar with their headquarters in Rourkela, through video conferencing.
The network will also include the five constituent colleges; College of Engineering and Technology (CET), Government College of Engineering (Keonjhar), Government College of Engineering (Bhawanipatna), Parala Maharaja Engineering College (Berhampur). All colleges are affiliated to BPUT.
The decision was taken with an aim to boost communication between different stakeholders of technical education in the State. Currently, any communication between the University and Government is carried out manually. It involves BPUT officials travelling from their headquarters in Rourkela to ETET Department in Bhubaneswar to complete any official communication.
The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has been given the responsibility of installing the video conferencing network. BPUT Registrar Mihir Nayak said the hardware for the network has already been installed in constituent colleges, ETET Department, Governor’s Office and BPUT’s camp office in Bhubaneswar. The NIC officials are now developing the software that will link the entire network. After first phase installation, BPUT will connect private colleges to the video conferencing network in the second phase.

Kalahandi Targets Rabi Crop in 2.6L Hectares

The New Indian Express, Nov 10, 2014
BHAWANIPATNA:  Agriculture department of Kalahandi district has targeted to cover 2.6 lakh hectares (ha) for rabi crops in 2014-15. Of the total area, about 1,12,300 ha has irrigation facilities.
During preparation of annual agriculture plan for 2014-15 rabi season recently, Deputy Director of Agriculture, Kalahandi circle informed that out of total irrigated areas in the district, Indravati Irrigation Project covers 67,461 ha. Farmers in the tail end of irrigation canals have been sensitised to adopt short duration crops particularly non-paddy crops.
The thrust has been given on cultivation of pulses, summer paddy and oilseed crops during the season. Around 1,19,760 ha will be covered under pulses including Moong (yellow gram) in 47,000 ha, Kulthi (horse gram) in 23,848 ha, Biri (black gram) in 17,440 ha and Chana (Bengal gram) in 14,500 ha. Summer paddy will be cultivated in 65,000 ha mostly in the Indravati irrigated pockets.
Similarly, oilseed is targeted to be cultivated in 33,062 ha in the district. Of the total area, 11,941 ha will be covered by mustard, 10,556 ha by groundnut, 2,400 ha by linseed and 4,465 ha by sunflower. Onion will be cultivated in 5,205 ha.
According to department sources, due to above normal rainfall during July and August and heavy rainfall in September in most parts of the district, the residual moisture condition as well as water level in several irrigation reservoirs have reported improvement. Farmers will get good result in terms of coverage and production of pulses and oilseeds, the sources added.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Government plans to open 24x7 shelters for marginalized people

The New Indian Express, Nov 1, 2014
BHUBANESWAR: To ensure round-the-clock accommodation for the marginalized sections of society, the state government has planned a new scheme - shelter for the urban homeless under the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM).

People such as beggars, street children, destitute persons, the terminally ill and septuagenarians would be accommodated in the shelter, official sources said.

"The shelters would be developed on the lines of model night shelters. Round-the-clock accommodation facilities for the destitute and the additional feature of a kitchen will be part of the scheme," state housing and urban development official Jyoti Ranjan Mishra said.

Other components of the shelters are separate bathroom and toilets for women, recreation room cum library and supporting staff, he said.

An estimated Rs 40 lakh has been earmarked for construction of one shelter which would accommodate as many as 50 people, official sources said.

Although the government would bear the maintenance cost of the shelters, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society groups, youth clubs and women self-help groups (WSHG) will be roped in for better management. The government will give Rs 1,200 per person as grant every month towards the maintenance cost, sources said.

The state government has asked the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) to identify land for the shelters. The scheme would be launched in the state capital in the initial phase on a pilot basis. As many as six shelters will be built in the city.

The scheme would also be extended to 30 district headquarters, besides three more cities - Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Rourkela - where NULM has already been implemented.

"We have also asked the municipal commissioner and executive officers of around 33 urban local bodies to submit proposals regarding establishment of such shelters," Mishra said.

Since the existing night shelters in the city are not properly maintained, the state government has asked the BMC to prepare a comprehensive city-wide night shelter plan with the component of management of such shelters on a professional basis, official sources said.

The state government also sanctioned Rs 2 crore for construction of two more night shelters in Bhubaneswar and one each in Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela and Bhawanipatna.

Gedcol to Scale up Solar Power Generation Plans

The New Indian Express, Nov. 1, 2014
BHUBANESWAR: Green Energy Development Corporation Limited (Gedcol) has decided to scale up its solar power generation plans at Manamunda Industrial Estate in Boudh district to 50 mw.
The nodal agency for new and renewable energy in the State has already entrusted Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) with establishment of a 20 mw solar plant at the industrial estate at `170 crore.
Gedcol will float tender for the additional 30 mw soon and sites have also been identified at Kantamal in Boudh and Karlamunda in Bhawanipatna district for establishment of solar power projects of 20 mw each. Nearly 270 acres of land has been earmarked at Kantamal and 220 acres at Karlamunda, Gedcol Managing Director Hemant Sharma told mediapersons here.
He was attending the Odisha Solar Conference-2014, hosted by TiE Cleantech SIG in association with Canyon Consultancy here on Friday. The Odisha Government is also planning to come out with a comprehensive State Solar Policy which would address policy issues, laws and regulations, consumer and producers’ interest, etc. “The policy would be based on the National Policy, which is set to be announced soon, for ensuring proper harmony in direction between the Central and State,” Sharma said.
He, however, pointed out that the direction for solar power development in Odisha will have to be different in scope and feature. The concept of Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects will not be amenable to the State as it is virtually impossible to find 2500 acres of barren land at a stretch required for the purpose.
“For Odisha, the way forward is through solar parks of smaller capacities. We have submitted our recommendations to the Centre in this connection,” he said.
Solar power generation in Odisha is set to touch 100 mw by 2016-17 while 13 mw has already been installed. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has, in fact, targeted an installed capacity of over 5000 mw in Odisha in the next three years.
“Renewable energy being the focus area of the BJP-led Central Government, a target of achieving 100,000 mw of solar power generation has been set for the next five years. 40,000 mw each would be taken up through international private investment and traditional agencies while 20,000 MW would be undertaken by different Ministries,” said Advisor to MNRE Praveen Saxena.
Among others, State Science and Technology Minister Pradeep Kumar Panigrahi, Secretary Forest and Environment RK Sharma and president, TiE, Bhubaneswar, JB Pany also spoke.

President Pranab Mukherjee to visit Odisha from Nov 29 on two days tour

Orissadiary, Oct 31, 2014
Bhubaneswar: President Pranab Mukherjee to visit Odisha from Nov 29 on two days tour. President Mukherjee will attend the golden jubilee celebrations of Rama Devi Women’s College and Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya during his two-day Odisha tour.  
As per the itinerary, Mukherjee would arrive at Biju Patnaik airport in the state capital at 5.35 PM on November 29 in a special flight from Varanasi and then would head straight to Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya to inaugurate its golden jubilee celebration at 6 PM. At 7 pm he would leave for Raj Bhawan, where he would have night halt, informed sources.

The next morning the President would leave for Raipur by a special flight and from there he would leave for Madanpur-Rampur in Kalahandi district and inaugurate Vivekananda Memorial Hall inside the local Ramakrushna Ashram at 12.40 pm, source added.

The President would then return to Bhubaneswar and where he would inaugurate the new campus of Utkal University of Culture between 4 pm to 5 pm at Madanpur near Khurdha. He would return to Bhubaneswar and inaugurate the golden jubilee celebration of Ramadevi Women’s College at 5.55 pm and at 7.25 pm, he would fly back to New Delhi.
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