Archive for September, 2014

Bus service from Puri to Patali Srikhetra sought

Following is a report from the TNIE:

BALANGIR: The demand for direct bus communication from Puri to Patali Srikhetra Sonepur is gathering steam ahead of the Sunia festival. People of Balangir have pitched in with their counterparts of Sonepur for the long pending demand.

Sunia festival is celebrated in Bhadrabh month of Odia calendar as the Odia New Year by some communities. The day is also observed as Vamana Jayanti – the day when Lord Vishnu appeared in Vamana (dwarf) incarnation.

The festival is of great importance to Puri where thousands of devotees throng. The festival is also celebrated with much fanfare in Western Odisha districts on the same day.

Researcher Purusottam Mishra said Patali Srikhetra has significant historical importance. It is believed that Lords Jagannath and Bhalabhadra and Devi Subhadra were kept hidden in the caves of Trikut hill near Sonepur for 144 years following the invasion of Raktavahu.

A local Ghasiram Panda said despite the historical importance of Sonepur, communication link to Puri still eludes the residents. The Tourism Department needs to provide bus services to Puri at the earliest, he added.

Similar demands were made by the residents of Balangir. Secretary of Srota Swati Sahitya Sanskruti Gabesana Parishad Sandip Kumar Kuanr said direct communication from Patali Srikhetra and Harishankar to Puri is the need of the hour keeping in mind the upcoming Sunia festival.

The State Government should take necessary steps in this regard, he added.

September 16, 2014 at 6:51 am Leave a comment

Sundargarh to revive potato, onion cultivation

Following is a report from the TNIE:

ROURKELA: Smarting under trader manipulated market which swings vegetable prices in either ways, the Sundargarh district administration has launched fresh attempts to boost local production of potato and onion.

The farmers in the tribal-dominated district had abandoned potato and onion cultivation almost 25 years back due to lack of storage facilities. Sources said the move comes after the district having a total population of above 21 lakhs was affected by steep hike in prices of the two staple vegetables recently.

Deputy Director of Horticulture (DDH) Basudev Sahu said about 210 hectares (ha) of land having sandy loam soil across 17 blocks of the district have been taken up for potato farming. Shortly, 4,200 quintals of seeds would be supplied and cultivation activities are expected to start from first week of September.

He said each hectare would require 20 quintals of seed and after 105 to 120 days of farming, the district would be able to harvest about 42,000 quintals of potato. About 20 ha with loamy soil will be taken up for onion cultivation and 20 quintals of seeds have reached seedling stage, he added.

Sahu said transplantation of onion seedlings would begin by mid-September. By December, the district would be able to harvest 3,000 quintals of onion with each hectare producing between 150 and 200 quintals.

On the flip side, the farmers may face trouble in case of bumper harvest as the district lacks Government-owned cold storage facilities. The administration pins hope on a private cold storage at Rourkela.

Seven new cold chamber facilities with combined capacity of 65 tonnes in Nuagaon and Bisra blocks have been lying defunct in absence of three-phase power connection. At the Zilla Parishad meeting on Wednesday, Sundargarh Collector Bhupendra Singh Poonia asked WESCO officials to ensure power supply to the facilities at the earliest.

Agriculture officials admitted that potential farmers of Panposh and Bonai sub-divisions had abandoned potato and onion farming 25 years back, the reasons being closure of two Government-owned cold storages at Kuanrmunda and Rajmunda.

According to a marketing intelligence officer, Rourkela city needs around 600 quintals of potato and 200 quintals of onion on daily basis. While bulk of the tuber comes from West Bengal and the rest from Uttar Pradesh, Nasik in Maharashtra supplies onion.

Civil Supplies Officer (CSO) Abhiram Pradhan claimed that the district’s daily requirement of potato is around 1600 quintals and 600 quintals of onion. The department is keeping a close watch on the price of the two items.

A wholesaler Arun Prasad welcomed the district administration’s move towards gaining self-sufficiency in potato and onion production.

September 16, 2014 at 6:47 am Leave a comment

HC Bench at Balangir demanded;Balangir lawyers, Narasingh Mishra meets CJ

Following is a report from the TNIE:

BHUBANESWAR: Balangir Bar Association has requested Chief Justice of Orissa High Court, Justice Amitava Roy, to consider Western Odisha town of Balangir as suitable location to establish a permanent High Court bench. A delegation of the Bar Association, accompanied by Leader of the Opposition Narsingh Mishra, on Monday met Justice Roy at Cuttack.

Speaking to mediapersons, Mishra, a former president of the Bar, said the Chief Justice has assured that a decision would be taken keeping the interest of the State and its people in view. Mishra said Balangir and Baripada have earlier served as Circuit benches of Patna HC before the Orissa HC was set up in Cuttack in 1948.

September 16, 2014 at 6:38 am Leave a comment

Jharsuguda shortlisted for no-frills airport

Following is a report from the TOI:

NEW DELHI: No-frills airports are all set to become a reality in India. Aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Tuesday said that five cities — Teju (Andhra Pradesh); Hubli and Belgaum (Karnataka); Kishangarh (Rajasthan near Ajmer) and Jharsuguda (Odisha) — have been identified as the places that will first get no-frills airports.

“It will not be correct to call them low-cost airports. They will have no frills. Airports Authority of India (AAI) has developed this model airport, without compromising safety and security. This will result in low cost of operation and make it viable for the airlines to run their services. AAI is committed to commencing work in this financial year at the five locations,” the minister said at his 100-day press conference.

These airports will, to begin with, have airstrips long enough to handle turboprops like ATR and Q-400. “They will have no carousels or conveyor belts. Only the security hold areas at these airports will be air-conditioned. They will have no aerobridges,” said a senior Airports Authority of India (AAI) official.

The terminal buildings will be single storey with simple structures unlike the fancy glass-and-steel structures in the metros. Also, these airports will have mobile air traffic control units instead of big ATC towers. “Each of these airports would cost Rs 55 crore to Rs 85 crore. They should be ready in two-to-three years,” said the official. The five cities were selected from a list of 50 places across the country. Finalization of low-cost airports was among the list of achievements which included the aviation ministry disposing off over 9,100 old files and removing over 15 truckloads of useless items from the Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan headquarters in Delhi.

“As many as 12,977 files have been reviewed, 3,839 files have been recorded and 9,146 files have been weeded out,” aviation ministry joint secretary G Asok Kumar told reporters.

Raju on Tuesday launched DGCA’s know-your-rights portal. DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar said the portal will provide information on the rights of passengers in cases of delays, cancellation and denied boarding, lost, delayed, misplaced and damaged baggage; and on matters related to booking, airfare components and refund of air tickets. The grievance redressal mechanism, names of nodal officers and their contact numbers would be shared with the public on the portal.

Kumar said the government has come out with new measures for physically challenged flyers. Two window seats will remain blocked for them till 24 hours before departure. “Delivery of check-in baggage will be given to them either at the ladder point or exit of escalator belt. Airlines will give special training for their staff for this purpose.”

September 16, 2014 at 6:33 am Leave a comment

Road to link western Odisha with south Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 28: A 656-km road trip from Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh to Rourkela — which at present takes 13 hours — will be reduced to six, once the Biju expressway is completed by 2019 end.

Launching the corridor project, chief minister Naveen Patnaik today said: “Now, it takes 13 hours to go from Jagdalpur to Rourkela, but after completion of this project, it will take just six hours.”

Naveen said: “The expressway will connect many border towns of west and south Odisha and also pass through one of the most backward regions of our state. It will immensely help boost the economy of west Odisha and the KBK districts.”

The corridor envisages an investment of Rs 3,200 crore and will connect eight districts. It will be the link between the west Odisha districts of Bargarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh with four KBK districts — Koraput, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Nuapada. The roads will be developed in two phases. While the first phase will be over by May 2017, the second phase is expected to be over by 2019 end.

Of the 656-km roads, 51km will pass through Koraput district, 48km through Nabarangpur, 100km through Kalahandi, 120km through Nuapada, 141km through Bargarh, 54km through Sambalpur, 26km through Jharsuguda and 116km through Sundargarh district. In the first phase of this project, 254km will be converted into four lanes and 402km will be made a two-lane stretch. Out of this 402-km stretch, 250km will be made four-lane and the rest 144km will remain as two-lane.

The BJD, which is yet to establish its supremacy in the west and south Odisha even after 14 years in power, aims to reap benefits from the corridor. The expressway was launched two days before the Nuakhai festival, a famous festival of west Odisha and KBK region.

The ruling party is, therefore, leaving no stone unturned to perpetuate the legacy of the leader after whom the expressway is named.

Naveen,

who

has won four back-to-back elections invoking the Biju magic, is trying to make the most of this famous name. Though Naveen has bettered his father’s record as chief minister, he realises that the larger-than-life image of Biju babu still fires the imagination of the Odias.

Biju Patnaik, Naveen’s father, is credited with the establishment of Paradip port and the construction of the famous expressway to the port. The spree of naming schemes after Biju babu started after Naveen became chief minister of the state in 2000.

Reacting to this, leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said: “If we critically analyse various schemes announced by the state government in the past 14 years, we can easily conclude that it is much ado about

nothing

. Most of the projects, either fully funded by the state or centrally sponsored, have not taken off.”

Stating that using Biju Patnaik’s name in various schemes or projects amounts to disrespect to the legendary figure, Mishra said: “The present economic corridor will not be that helpful for socio-economic development of west Odisha, which has been neglected over the years. The area badly needs irrigation for development of agriculture, agriculture infrastructure such as cold storage, market and agro-based industries instead of such projects. Construction of roads may be necessary, but it should not be at the cost of agriculture and allied activities.”

September 5, 2014 at 10:59 am 1 comment

Western Odisha Bandh over Kosal State

Following is a report from TNIE:

SAMBALPUR:  The supporters of Kosal State have called for Western Odisha bandh on Tuesday. Under the banner of Kosal State Central Co-ordination Committee (KSCCC), they have been demanding separate State comprising 10 districts of Western Odisha besides Athamallik sub-division of Angul district, based on linguistic and cultural affinity.

Chairman of Kosal Kranti Dal (KKD) Pramod Mishra said 103 organisations will participate in the bandh. Explaining that Kosal State is a long pending demand, he said it should have been granted along with formation of Telangana. “If State and Central Governments do not look into the genuine demand, we will intensify the agitation,” he said.

Meanwhile, members of the Sambalpur District Bar Association have decided to stay away from the bandh. According to reports from Nuapada, people have not yet received any information regarding the bandh call and  there would not be much impact of the bandh there.

Bike Rally

Balangir: Balangir unit of Kosal State Coordination Committee took out a motorcycle rally in the town on Monday. Its members called upon the people to participate in the bandh over separate Kosal State demand.

Gopalji Panigrahi of Balangir Action Committee said the fight for Kosal State will continue till the demand is fulfilled by the Government.

September 5, 2014 at 10:50 am Leave a comment

Nuankhai celebrated in Western Odisha

Following is a report from the TNIE:

SAMBALPUR: Nuakhai, the agrarian festival of Western Odisha, was celebrated with gaiety and religious fervour across Western Odisha on Saturday.

With rain lashing the district, people chose to remain indoors and spent time with their families in performing the rituals and enjoying the festivity. The Nabanna (newly harvested rice) was offered to Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur, at the stipulated lagna (auspicious moment) between 10.58 am and 11.13 am. During this period, families also offered the Navanna to their respective Istadevata (presiding deity) and Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of Wealth) as a mark of gratitude for a bumper harvest, good rain and a favourable weather.

While it was Goddess Samaleswari in Sambalpur, it was Patneswari in Balangir, Sureshwari in Sonepur, Sekharbasini in Sundargarh and Manikeswari in Kalahandi whowere worshipped. Being an agrarian festival, the eldest in each household in rural pockets worshipped their paddy fields and cattle. Womenfolk woke up early in the morning to perform Nuakhai rituals that began withdecoratingthe house with ‘jhoti’. While children in colourful attire enjoyed their holiday to the fullest, devotees across the region thronged Samaleswari temple. Later in the evening, ‘Nuakhia Bhetghat’ were organised by different socio-cultural organisations.

September 5, 2014 at 10:46 am Leave a comment


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