Archive for July, 2016

Classes to begin at eight Model Degree Colleges this year in Odisha

Following is a report from Prameya News7:

Bhubaneswar: Classes at the eight Model Degree Colleges established in educationally backward districts in the State will start from the current academic session with the Higher Education department releasing the list of subjects to be taught in these colleges on Saturday.

The Model Degree Colleges were opened in Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Boudh, Deogarh, Nuapada, Subarnapur and Nayagarh districts. Three streams like Arts, Science and Commerce will be there in these colleges.

As per the notification, while 160 seats will be there in Arts and Science streams, 80 seats will be available for Commerce stream.

Besides the compulsory subjects like English, Odia, Environmental Studies in the three streams, Honours subjects like Economics, Education, Sociology, Political Science, and Anthropology will be available in Arts stream while Honours facility in the subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Botany and Zoology will be available in Science stream. Commerce honours subjects will also available in these colleges.

The gross enrolment ratio (GER) in these districts is lower than the State’s average of 11.3 per cent , which the Government intends to improve to 30% by 2022.

The colleges are to come up under the Central Government’s Model Degree College (MDC) scheme, mooted during the UPA-I regime for the country’s 374 districts with poor gross enrolment ratio (GER). The GER is the number of enrolled students as against every hundred eligible students.

The State has currently 720 degree colleges with a capacity to admit 2.16 lakh students.

July 21, 2016 at 8:51 am Leave a comment

Update on Khordha-Balangir rail link

Following is a report from the TNIE:

BHUBANESWAR: Expressing displeasure over the “tardy” progress of the Rajsunakhala-Bolagada section of the Khordha-Bolangir rail line, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today asked transport department to ensure that Nayagarh town is connected by March next year.

At a high level meeting here, Patnaik expressed his displeasure while reviewing the progress of Rajsunakhala- Bolagarh section which had earlier been targeted to be completed by June, 2016.

Stating that the rail link was of great importance to the state, Patnaik directed the officials to complete land acquisition, obtain clearance from the Forest and Environment Ministry at the earliest to expedite the project.

He also directed the officials to ensure rail connectivity to Sonepur by expediting the work being undertaken from Balangir side.

The Chief Minister asserted that the state government was providing all cooperation for the rail projects and expects its timely completion.

He lauded the land acquisition process in Nayagarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Subarnpur districts and directed the revenue department officials to keep constant track in that regard.

The state government has promised 50 per cent of the expenditures to be incurred for the Khurda-Bolangir project besides providing land free of cost for the 289 km rail link.

So far land for 109 km has been transferred to the railways for the project.

Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi said, “As per the directive of the Chief Minister, the work started from Bolangir side last December.

The target is to complete the 16-km railway line work by 2018.”

The survey work for the Khurda-Bolangir rail project was done way back in 1945. It had a budget of Rs 1,100 crore.

The project is expected to benefit five districts Nayagarh, Khurda, Boudh, Sonepur and Bolangir

July 18, 2016 at 4:46 pm 1 comment

Farmers insecure over dams on the Mahanadi

Following report is from The Statesman:

Farmers across Western Odisha feel insecure over the war of words between the ruling BJD and Opposition BJP regarding construction of dams and barrages upstream of river Mahanadi by the Chhattisgarh government.

The Hirakud command area spreads across 935 square kilometer and water from the reservoir irrigates both during the kharif and rabi season. If the water is retained in Chhattisgarh, a large stretch of this area will starve of irrigation during the non-monsoon seasons.

“Instead of adopting a confrontationist attitude, the Odisha government should talk to the BJP and the Chhattisgarh government. They should work together and find a solution beneficial to farmers of both the states,” said G Suryanarayn, a leading farmer of Gourtikra village in Bargarh district coming under the Hirakud command area.
“Political statements by BJD or BJP will not solve the problem, it is farmers of the state who will be at the losing end”, he remarked.

Similarly, Ramsagar Sahu, another leading farmer under the Sasan canal system sees the political gamesmanship of the BJD as disastrous for farmers.

Instead of threatening agitations, the CM ought to have talked to his Chhattisgarh counterpart and arranged for a meeting between officers of both the states.

“Had Biju Patnaik been alive he would have picked up the telephone and spoken to the Chhattisgarh CM rather than allow his party workers make meaningless noises,” he remarked.

Bijay Behera, a businessman cum environmentalist said the BJP leaders in Odisha are a worried lot as they understand the political fallout if Chhattisgarh goes ahead with the projects. Even industrial circles are worried as they fear that once there is less inflow of water to Hirakud, industrial water used will be the first casualty since the policy for using water is drinking, irrigation , power generation and then industrial use.

It may be recalled that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written a letter to the Prime Minister drawing his attention to the construction of barrage and dams by the Chhattisgarh government and questioning the silence of the Central Water Commission. The ruling BJD has adopted a resolution objecting to such ‘ arbitrary’ decisions taken by the Chhattisgarh government and said it will voice its protest at every given forum. The Opposition Congress and BJP have, on their part demanded an all party meeting to discuss the issue.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Narasingha Mishra has also written to the PM and the CM. He suggested that he was willing to convene all party meeting, if the CM , for some inexplicable reason is reluctant to do so.

July 18, 2016 at 4:38 pm 1 comment

State urges Centre to widen more NHs in western Odisha

Following is a report from prameyanews7:

Bhubaneswar: The State Government on Wednesday urged the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to develop more National Highways(NH) in southern and western Odisha.

Chief Secretary AP Padhi placed this demand before the Central Government officers while reviewing NH projects at the State Secretariat with the senior officers of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. He emphasised on development of the National Highway from Vizag to Jagdalpur which connects Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh passing through Sunki, Koraput, Jeypore, Nabrangour, Buriguma and Kotpad in Odisha.

Padhi too stressed on expediting works of the Vijayawada-Ranchi Corridor connecting Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand and early completion of Berhampur-Rayagada road development work.

Currently, a total number of 22 NHs are passing through Odisha. The are NH 16, 18, 20, 26, 49, 53, 55, 57, 59, 63, 130C, 143, 149, 153B, 157, 220, 316, 326, 326A, 353, 516 and 520. The total length of these roads in Odisha is around 4,849.42 km. While the State PWD has been assigned to develop 3,387 km, the NHAI has undertaken works for the rest 1462.42 km.

By now, the PWD has completed 867.39 km roads and set a target to complete 489 km roads during the current year. Chief Secretary directed the department to fix monthly targets for completion of works.

Similarly, the NHAI has completed development works of 610 km roads and work for 529 km roads is now underway. The bidding process for around 243 km has been completed and the projects for development 596 km are in the pipeline.
Works Secretary Nalinikanta Pradhan requested officers of the Ministry to sanction the road projects submitted by the State Government. Out of 44 proposals of Rs 1,047 crore submitted, the Centre has given in principle approval for only 12 proposals of estimated cost of Rs 400.97 crore.

Apart from this, Centre has approved two projects of Rs 148 crore under Inter State Connectivity Scheme and two others of Rs 198 crore under the Economic Importance Scheme.

The issues relating to land acquisition, disbursement of awarded compensation, forest clearance and DGPS survey were also discussed.

July 17, 2016 at 5:58 pm 1 comment


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