Archive for February, 2016
BHUBANESWAR: Centre today made the highest ever allocation of Rs 4682 crore for Odisha in the railway budget for 2016-17 and accepted some of the major demands of the State by sanctioning Jeypore-Malkangiri and Jeypore-Nabarangpur railway line projects.
The allocation for Odisha in 2016-17 is 30 percent more than Rs 3712 crore alloted for the state in 2015-16. Appreciating the enhancement of allocation for Odisha, chief minister Naveen Patnaik requested railway minister Suresh Prabhu not to revise this downwards like last year. Actual allotment was 35 percent less than the budget allotment for Odisha in 2015-16, he said.
The Junagarh-Ambaguda railway line via Nabarangpur, Berhampur-Sambalpur and Banspani-Barbil railway line projects with partnership of the state government were also sanctioned in the budget. Besides, the railway minister also conceded one of the major demands of the state government by extending the eastern dedicated freight corridor from Kharagpur to Vijayawada through the coast of Odisha.
Other new railway line projects sanctioned for Odisha include the Barsuan-Banspani, Bandamunda-Rourkela and Narayangarh-Bhadrak third line.
The Khurda Road-Bolangir railway line project has received the highest allocation of Rs 240 crore compared to Rs 195 crore last year while the Haridaspur-Paradip railway line project has got allocation of `200 crore against Rs 36.8 crore in 2015-16.
Allocations for other projects include Daitari-Banspani (Haridaspur-Jakhapura third line)-Rs 12.87 crore, Talcher-Bimlagarh-Rs 150 crore, Bhadrak-Nirgundi (3rd line)- Rs 135 crore, Jarapada-Budhapank (3rd &4th line)-Rs 200 crore, Budhapank-Salegaon-Rs 170 crore and Angul-Duburi-Sukinda Road-Rs 150 crore and Jaleswar-Digha-Rs 2 crore.
Besides, provisions for different doubling projects have also increased substantially. While Rs 220 crore has been alloted for doubling of 174.11 kilometer Sambalpur-Talcher railway line, Rs 419 crore has been provided for 182.11 kilometer Sambalpur-Titlagarh railway line doubling project. Provision for other doubling projects include Delang-Puri-Rs 8 crore, Banspani-Daitari-Tomka-Jakhapura-Rs 241 crore, Rajathagarh-Baranga-Rs 1 crore, Viazianagaram-Sambalpur-225 crore and Koraput-Singapur Road-Rs 39 crore. However, a token allotment of Rs 1 lakh has been made for 12 kilometer Cuttack-Barang doubling project.
An allocation of Rs 12.5 crore has been made for Brundamal-Jharsuguda fly over for joining downline while Rs 10 crore has been allocated for Khurda Road-Vizianagaram bypass.
The East-West rail corridor will connect Odisha through Bondamunda-Rourkela-Jharsuguda and Brajraj Nagar stations while the East Coast Rail Corridor will connect Odisha through Jaleswar-Balasore-Bhadrak-Cuttack-Bhubaneswar-Khurda Road-Berhampur stations.
Pardip will get special connectivity under all India scheme to connect important ports of the country. Besides, Puri will also developed as a national centre for religious rail tourism and connected with other pilgrim centres of the country.
Following is a report from the Sambad:
SAMBALPUR: The Koshal State Coordination Committee (KSCC) has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare separate Koshal State during Kisaan Sammelan, scheduled to be held at Bargarh on February 21.
The members of KSCC, who met here on Sunday, decided to appeal to the Prime Minister to announce Koshal, comprising western Odisha districts, as separate State under Article 2 and 3 of the Constitution. They resolved to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister over the demand during the Kisaan Sammelan. It was decided that members of KSCC from across the region would attend the meeting and press for the demand by holding placards at the venue. They also decided to use social media to reach out to Modi.
KSCC chief coordinator Pramod Mishra said they have decided to intensify their agitation over the demand. The agitation would be resumed with a ‘dharna’ in front of Governor’s House in Bhubaneswar on March 8. At least 2,000 people from each district of the region would join the demonstration. It will be followed by another ‘dharna’ at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in the last week of April, he added.
This apart, the KSCC will observe Odisha Divas on April 1 as Black Day in each western Odisha district besides Athamallik sub-division in Angul district, Mishra said.
Moreover, a bicycle rally will be organised and the participants would move across the region to mobilise opinion on the demand. The KSCC will also launch a massive membership drive across the region soon, he said.
Bhubaneswar, Jan 9: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said Left Wing Extremism (LWE) continues to be a major concern for the state and it needs to be handled effectively.
“Though we have been able to contain the menace to areas bordering our neighbouring states, recent movement and activities of the Maoist cadres in districts of Bolangir, Kalahandi, Kandhamal and Boudh is worrisome,” the chief minister said, addressing the annual conference of senior police officers here.
He said the state government has already created adequate resources in terms of manpower, equipment and other logistics supplemented by the deployment of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to handle the Maoists’ activities.
He said there is no reason why police cannot counter the inroads made by the Maoists into central Odisha.
“I exhort the district SPs and senior officials in the headquarters to fight the menace with renewed enthusiasm and commitment backed by meticulous planning. Besides, they should take special interest to ensure timely payment of personal claims of police personnel who die,” said Patnaik.
Expressing concerns over crime against women and children, he asked the SPs to personally monitor the progress of investigation in case of sensitive cases of crime against women and children.
He also asked the senior police officials to make district visit during first week of every month regularly.
“Besides inspecting police stations, they must visit some of the complainants and assess the performance of police. I will review the outcome,” said Patnaik.
He asked the police authorities to focus on some other areas in the days to come.
“We have to prepare for urban terrorism, attack on vital establishments and coastal infiltration. We have to strengthen our institutional setups and response mechanisms so that timely preventive actions can be taken,” said the chief minister. (IANS)
Bhubaneswar: In three years only a meagre 7,912 persons have been allotted loans through Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), reports have found.
Proving the immense failure of the scheme, the reports have analysed that the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Ministry set up for guarantying employment of youth while boosting the skills of State’s local youth, has not been able to reach out to the locals, amid banks’ indifference to pay the PMEGP loans, the sources alleged.
The Ministry of MSME have said that the scheme has not been fruitful in the State, sources added.
Out of the 7,912 beneficiaries, only 70 have been paid loans in Boudh district, 76 in Sonepur,79 in Kandhamal,84 in Deogarh,87 in Gajpati, while Malkangiri had the lowest granted district with 49 persons allocated the loan.
Likewise 243 person have been issued loans in Angul,382 in Baleswar,234 in Bargarh,362 in Bhadrak,142 in Bolangir, 373 in Dhenkanal, 392 in Ganjam,259 in Jagatsinghpur,376 in Jajpur, 128 in Jharsuguda,189 in Kalahandi, 297 in Kendrapara,128 in Koraput, 634 in Mayurbhanj, 117 in Nabarangpur, 178 in Nayagarh, 111 in Nuapara, 166 in Samblapur, 314 in Sundargarh, 551 in Puri,634 in Khurda, while Cuttack district hailed the most loaners with 779 being given loans.
The concerned Minister of MSME Department, Yogendra Behera said he had discussed the banks’ such lack of enthusiasm with the District Collector at the tri monthly DCC meeting for granting loans to the backward youth for their skill enhancement.
Even though the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is widely perceived as a tool to reduce migration from villages to cities for work, this hardly holds true in the case of Odisha.
Distress migration from the KBK region of Odisha continues unabated despite decade-long implementation of the rural employment scheme.
Residents of Budamunda, a small habitation in Belpada block of Odisha’s Bolangir district, narrate the job scarcity affecting livelihood better than anybody else. The village has about 135 households. Now 100 families have migrated to work in harsh conditions in brick kilns of southern Indian States.
“Villagers cannot be assured of adequate jobs to remain here. Many have bitter experience of waiting for months to get their MGNREGA payments. Under the circumstances, migration remains the only option,” said Rupdhar Deep, a resident of Budamunda, who was rescued from bonded labour in the past.
In Mallickpada village in neighbouring Patnagarh block, 100 out of 233 students enrolled in the village school have accompanied their parents to other States this year. The story of migration often ending in bondage and torture at workplaces is quite common in districts such as Nuapada, Bolangir, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Subarnapur and Boudh.
“The MGNREGA had received tremendous response in rural and tribal regions for ushering employment and investment on rejuvenation of natural resources and productive assets. However, the performance of MGNREGA in Odisha in comparison with other States was quite discouraging,” said Umi Daniel, a prominent researcher on migration and poverty.
In 2012-13, Odisha provided an average of 46 work days to people availing the scheme. But in the ensuing years, the figures show a downward trend. While in 2013-14, average work days were 35 days, in 2014-15 it came down to 31 days. In terms of providing 100 days of guaranteed employment to families, the figure is abysmally low at 5 per cent in 2012-13, 9 per cent in 2013-14, and 6 per cent in 2015.
‘Not many have bank accounts’
Further, an average of 9 per cent people get 40 to 50 days of work during last three years. Only 62 per cent of job card holder families are having bank accounts in their names, while 24 per cent have their accounts at post office, says a study by a forum of civil society organisations of south and western Odisha. Rest 15 per cent of MGNREGA beneficiary families are yet to open an account in their names.
The Odisha government in response to a query in the State Assembly recently had informed that 1,35,713 workers migrated from different districts in 2014. Highest 40,751 had migrated from Bolangir district, where only 4,000 families were provided 100 days of work in 2014-15 while average 34 of days of work were made available to people.
“Apart from unavailability of work, the delay in payment under MGNREGA had hit rural populace in KBK region. Most of workers want day’s wage after completion of day’s work. Due to this reason, most people prefer to work in other States than availing the same in their own village,” Mr. Daniel said.
“The delay in payment under MGNREGA had also hit rural populace in KBK region”