Posts filed under ‘Breakdown in Balangir’
BALANGIR: The district administration is all set to open seasonal hostels for children of migrant labourers.
At present, 101 hostels are functioning in the district where 3,070 children are staying. Last year, the administration had opened 106 centres in which 3,621 children were accommodated.
Sources said this year the State Government has set a target of 5,000 children of migrant workers for the district administration to be accommodated in the seasonal hostels. The hostels will be opened in Bangomunda, Turekela, Muribahal, Belpara, Patnagarh and Khaprakhol blocks of the district.
As per the guidelines, the survey for identification of migrant families will be conducted and a proposal will be submitted to the State Government for opening the hostels by the Education Department of the district. During their six to eight months stay at the hostels, education will be provided to them.
Sources said huge distress migration occurs every year from Balangir and other KBK districts to brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh due to lack of work after kharif crop.
The number of migrant workers is estimated to be around two lakh and the number of migrant children is around 25,000.
The district Child Welfare Committee (CWC) is also providing all technical support to the district administration in opening and management of the hostels.
District Project Coordinator of Sarva Sikshya Abhiyan (SSA) Dhananjay Mohapatra said seasonal hostels will be set up in the migration-prone villages before they migrate to other States.
Consultation meetings with migrating parents are going on to finalise locations for the proposed centres.
Similarly, recruitment of caretakers, village-level education coordinators and cook for hostels will be conducted soon, he added.
Lalit Bhoi of Badbanki village in Turekela block in the district has decided to migrate in search of job as he is not able to get work even after applying for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Similarly, Surdas Pradhan of Bijamal village in Muribahal block feels that he would migrate if he would not be able to get work under the flagship scheme soon.
Bhoi and Pradhan are not solitary instances of poverty stricken people unable to get the benefits of MGNREGS. In fact, the MGNREGS, aimed at providing employment to rural poor, has miserably failed in the district.
According to sources, 2,72,527 households in the district have been issued job cards. Out of them, 61,339 households applied for works in 2013-14 and 47,393 households have been provided work till now.
While in the present month, 5,904 households are engaged in work, 2,086 households have completed 100 days of work. Among those who completed 100 days of work, 463 households were linked to the housing schemes like Indira Awaas Yojana. According to latest estimate, about 68.2 per cent of the budget for the scheme has been spent till now including labour payment and construction work.
The major road blocks in implementation of MNREGS are non-payment and delayed payment of wages to the labourers and shortage of field staff for preparation of muster rolls. Sources said people are not getting work during lean period. They also alleged that the officials were providing work as per their whims and caprices.
As per a conservative estimate, more than one lakh people have migrated in search of livelihood from the district to other places in and outside the State. The district has also more than 1,000 certified bonded labourers.
According to a survey of Western Odisha Migration Network (WOMN), a network of civil society organisations and academicians working in the district, more than 80,000 people from Bangomunda, Turekela, Belpara, Muribahal, Saintala and Khaprakhol blocks have already migrated.
“Balangir is a poor and migration prone district. MGNREGS has all the ingredients to address labour migration due to acute poverty and unemployment. However, to realise the same, the administration needs to identify the vulnerable people and implement MGNREGS during the lean period. But it has failed to provide timely works as well as the payments,” said Jatin Kumar Patra, an activist working on the issue.
Project Director of Balangir DRDA Pabitra Mandal said the administration is taking steps to provide work in all the revenue villages. “We are preparing plans and very soon the works will start,” he said.
PATNAGARH: Starvation has reportedly claimed two more lives in western Odisha. In a span of 13 hours, two deaths were reported in a family in Sargimunda village in Kandhenjhula gram panchayat of Belpada block in Balangir district. The two have been identified as Bishnu Majhi (42) and his 37-year-old wife Parbati. Bishnu was a migrant labourer. He had planned to migrate this year too but with Parbati taking ill, he had to cancel the plan.
While the five-member family comprising the couple and their three sons Katha (17), Tikelal (14) and Laba (9) had no other source of income, their eldest son Katha availed of a loan of ` 10,000 from a labour ‘sardar’ for treatment of his mother before leaving for Andhra Pradesh to work in a brick kiln.
But the loan money was not enough for treatment of Parbati and maintenance of the family. Sans food and treatment, Parbati died on December 8.
The following day, immediately after Bishnu completed Parbati’s final rites, he complained of illness and had to be admitted to the Patnagarh sub-divisional hospital. He breathed his last on December 9 night.
Villagers said that the couple were not keeping well for a long time due to malnutrition. The family has reportedly not received any BPL rice for the last three months.
The Belpada tehsildar Abhimanyu Majhi met the couple’s children on Tuesday to find out if they are covered under any social security measures.
No effect of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) on Balangir migration
Of the 72 students of Budhamunda Village Primary School in Belpada block, just half line up for morning prayers in their crumpled, unwashed uniform.
What about the rest?
“Many of my friends have migrated with their parents to work in brick kilns. I will also follow them in a few days,” said Dipakanta Pradhan (10), a student of class 3.
The scene was the same at an anganwadi (mother and child) centre in Tentulimunda village in the same block, more than 400 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, where just eight out of 25 children wait for their food to be served.
About 200 out of the 247 families in Tentulimunda migrated to work in brick kilns in Andhra Pradesh last year. This year, villagers said more would follow because of acute drought in the region and no sign of government-sponsored programmes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).
Surveys by Western Orissa Migration Network (WOMN), a consortium of voluntary organisations, have revealed more than 150,000 people from Balangir migrate every year to work in brick kilns and construction sites of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. At least 45,000 of them are in the age group 1-14, and a majority of them do jobs specially designed for them in the kilns.
Talking to HT, Orissa women and child development minister Anjali Behera said she would ask the collector and SP of the district to ensure that neither the parents nor the children migrated.
“I will look into the matter seriously,” Behera said.
Balangir collector SN Dey said he was not aware of anybody migrating from the district so far. “We have told the people to wait for the poverty line survey, which will start soon. Programmes like mid-day meal (MDM), the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and MGNREGS are going on smoothly in the district,” he said.
Tentulimunda looks barren. Farmers have left many unharvested paddy fields for their cattle to graze because there is no point harvesting them.
According to the agriculture department figures, in most areas up 75% of the crop has been damaged due to severe drought.
“We have no option to migrate,” said Abhimanyu Bag (40).
What about the MGNREGS? They are few and far between, he said.
Last year, there were just two works. However, people prefer not to work in them. “Payment is very late. It takes five months to get your dues,” he said.
In Balangir, the CBI is probing irregularities in the MGNREGS in response to a Supreme Court order.
The migration of families, along with the children, defeats the purpose of central government-funded programmes like MDM and the ICDS in Balangir, ranked as one of the country’s most backward districts.
The allocation for MDM and the ICDS in 2010-11 in the district was more than R30 crore.
According to the 2001 census, Balangir has a population of more than 1.3 million, of whom more than 261,000 are covered under MDM and another 200,000 under the ICDS.
The 2011 census says Balangir has a provisional population of more than 1.6 million.
However, the figures of children covered under MDM and the ICDS stand unchanged.
Anganwadi workers maintain migration notebooks for listing the migrant families.
Teachers too usually mark migrant children absent. However, they complain most often their superiors put pressure on them not to do so because that would reflect the failure of MDM.
“So we strike a balance. If 50 students migrate, we list 20 just to save our jobs,” said a teacher on anonymity.
The Odisha Government had appealed to the Centre for sanctioning a Special package of Rs.4500 Crores for the development Projects in undivided KBK Districts, by far the most backward region of the Country. As was expected, the Centre ignored Odisha’s appeal.
Whereas Mamata Bannejee had recently submitted a request for sanctioning special assistance of Rs.21,600 Crores to Bengal, to bail out the State from financial crisis and the Centre ( courtesy Pranab Mukherjee ) promptly sanctioned the same.
Please read the details from the appended Article published in the Pioneer, dated the 8th August’11.
Such step motherly attitude of the UPA Government at the Centre is not only shocking but also condemnable. Such discriminatory treatment towards Odisha clearly reflects that the present Government in Delhi does not consider Odisha as a part of the Nation and it has to fend for itself. If that is so, then why should State supply Coal andIronOre to other States with a paltry sum of Royalty ?? Let the State be allowed to charge the International Market Price to all Consumers outside the State and to those Consumers ( in Odisha ) supplying Power to other States. Let the State control all Mines and Minerals of the State and generate resources to meet State’s financial needs.
This is a serious matter and all Intellectuals of the State should react to UPA’s ( more appropriately the Congress Party’s ) step motherly attitude towards Odisha.
WB gets Rs 21,614 cr Central package, Odisha plea for Rs 4,500 cr ignored
August 08, 2011 1:10:18 AM, PNS | Bhubaneswar
The Centre has granted a package of Rs 21,614 crore to West Bengal, which included Rs 9,240 crore in grant in aid, to tide over its acute financial crisis. “We have received a fax message which says that the Centre has given us an allowance, not a package, of Rs 21,614 crore,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata.
Mamata could manage to get the Central assistance barely some months after assuming office at the Writers Building. On the other hand, Odisha’s 11 year old BJD Government headed by Naveen Patnaik, however, have spent all its energies in persuading the Planning Commission as well as the Centre to release a special package worth only Rs 4,500 crore for Special Plan for backward Kalahandi Bolangir Koraput(KBK) region.
For last three years Odisha Government is asking the Union Government to provide the much needed grant of Rs 4,500 crore for KBK region, which is the poorest zone of the country. Chief Minister Patnaik has written half a dozen letters to Prime Minister and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission urging them for the support.
Minister Planning and Coordination A U Singh Deo has approached Montek Singh Ahluwalia several times in this regard. And BJD MP from Balangir Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo has also met the Members of Planning Commission to impress them for the support time and again. But nothing has happened so far. How and why West Bengal got the assistance and not Odisha. The statement issued by Banerjee explains how the Trinamool Congress led Government could get the assistance Mamata said, “Though I am not fully satisfied, I congratulate the Prime Minister and the Union Finance Minister. I know they will have to follow rules.
Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee from West Bengal came to the rescue of the State Government. It is not that Pranab Mukherjee helped Mamata as his party is in coalition with the Congress. The Union Minister Finance had arranged special funds for West Bengal when left front was in power also. Contrary to Pranab’s inclination towards Bengal, a senior Congress leader from Odisha urged the Prime Minister not to grant funds under Special KBK Plan to the State as the BJD Government misutilises public money.Jibanendra Mahanty E-mail: email@example.com —-
Centre should nt grant money to this useless GOVt, see the past record, KBK money always remain un utilised by Odisha, once vajpayee sanctioned 1500 crore, the useless buggers at the helm of the affair could spend only some 361 crores, rest were returned…Odia politicians and officers cant improve odisha, there no will…even the attitude of voters also not progressive…In spite of political stability and absence of opposition for last 12 years,what is the big thing the state has achieved??Only in papers we have recvd FDI…not a single project is absolutely through…people have been made lazy with 2 rupees rice, u wont get workers in villages now ,they dont want to work 30 days…well centre ‘s attitude is always like that …right from British India days…soila puara bhaga nahin…dpmDurga Misra Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Problem with Nabin is that he himself has failed to dictate terms when he was in a similar position as that of Mamta is to day. The crocodile was holding the key portfolios of both Steel as well as Mines minister but he totally failed to do justice to rectify anti people mining policy but now sheds tears that center is not listening to him. The failed coward now blames others.
We talk of special packages, but if we look at the records of utilisation of funds, we find a sorry state of affairs. When the already allocated funds are not utilized, with what face Nabina can dare to ask for special package? KBK is in dire state, situation has not improved despite spending crores of rupees, CBI inquiry is already on in the huge NREGA corruption worth over Rs. 550 Crore, Corruption in almost all the developmental works is the Mantra to govern the state, and if the special package even if it comes by the grace of Lord Jagganath ( even thy land is also sold by greedy Nabina to eagle eyed Anil Agarwal of Vedanta).
I agree with Durga Prasad Mishra ji and would like to add that we can not expect to bring in a change for the better till this bugger is in charge of the state. He will sell each and every inch of land of the farmers and tribals before flee back to USA from where he has come. Puppet in the hand of Pyari can not do any good to the people of the state.Pravin Patel Email: email@example.com
-Just asking grant from the center is not enough. The Odisha govt. must give details of the previous expenditure on KBK.
-Despite so many central grants why the KBK is in a sorry state? It is because the state govt. has failed to implement the grants and mismanaged the money.
-Many of the central grants are returning to the centre as the Odisha govt. is unable to spend the money.
In this situation, the KBK area should be declared as a union territory. There is no pointing in asking packages after packages and swallowing all the money meant for poor people.
Best regards,Sanjib E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why it is a surprise that Center did not agree to spend any more money for KBK ? Orissa has been getting money for KBK but it has nothing to show. Often some money has been spent haphazardly or money has been directed somewhere else or the money was sent back unused or may be it vanished into deep pockets of somebody. It has become a popular thing to do in Orissa to beg on bended knee from the center and when the center does not give any money for nonproductive purpose, Orissans cry
foul.Does KBK deserve to be given money ? Of course it does but not the way money is asked for nor the way it used or abused. The typical way has been: Let us ask for some money, and if and when money is obtained , then we will think of some projects ! So when money is obtained, lousy projects are undertaken in a hurried way by lousy
administrators in a short time wth any time left over after thinking about the projects . In addition, when even specifically some projects are assigned by the center for KBK, they are whisked away to some where else. Only recently Mamata, when she was Railway ministe,announced that Kalahandi would be location of wagon factory, but it
was whisked away somewhere else ! So it seems KBK all along has been used for getting resources from the center, but when resources are obtained, nothing is really done for Kalahandi. The situation is similar to what happens to beggars in big cities in India. There are Mafia organisations who control begging trade. Deformed beggars are recruited by these Mafia groups and are placed in touristy places where thse beggars get money from compassionate folks. But at the end of the day, Mafia bosses collect the money leaving a small portions for the beggars. So Orissa government has been acting as dalal for Kalahandi and the center is not willing to be conned into such
Kalahandi is simply not on the radar of Orissa government, which simply sheds crocodile tears. It is not that Orissa does not know how to launch good program where it focusses its mind on it. Just click this link to see the news of programmed up grading of Cuttack and viccinity as reported in Sambad today. But then KBK is no where near BBSR, where people think that folks in KBK are just pseudo citizens
of Orissa !
I think, KBK desreves to be given urgent priority for upgrading by the center as well as the state but the developmental work should be undertaken directly by the central government in a planned and determined way.The central government has a good record in doing developmental works in Union territories.Just look at all the centrally administered territories ! If they could do it in Andaman and Nicober, they certainly can do it in KBK. If the Orissa government can not do the job, it should admit it, and ask the center to take over the implementaion of projects. If Chidambaram was asked to tackle the Naxal problem by requesting armed forces because Orissa government could not control the problem, he could be asked for transforming KBK in to a viable place. It will be good for KBK as well as good for Orissa. And certainly it will be a better model to counteract the Naxal menace.Arjun Purohit Email: email@example.com
If we need real development of KBK, it should be declared as Union territory , SEZ must be created for electronics/ software industriespharma industries , where water consumption and pollution is ZERO, Look at BADDI in HP, 700 pharma companies came up and change the living condition of people and the same thing haapened with Uttarakhand. Before declaration of SEZ the conditions of these people were much better than that of ORISSA …yet the steps taken by GOVT really changed the fate of people,,
As Mr Purohit says that KBK is used to get money from centre and for looting only…is right…politicians including KBK politicians,who are bunch of useless jokers and have no sympathy for the people who voted them and never raise their voice for the people including Bhakta,who has hardly done anything for the poor…all r enjoying power and the people of KBK are so docile and spineless that they hardly raise their voice…against the injustice done to them by their voted KBK leaders…This is the irony…
Health wise so poor that they cant go fora bloddy revolution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1Durga Misra Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are lessons to be learnt fromSikkimtoo. A series of dams to be constructed for hydro power generations were scrapped by the strong protests of the people. Here Nabin has gone mad to acquire land even at the cost of grossly misusing the police force for POSCO.
NowSikkimhas almost all the big pharmacy companies having established medicine manufacturing plants with huge investment since there is zero pollution and suitable climatic conditions.
Here in KBK also there is near zero pollution in the areas where there are no Vedanta type culprits. State actors should avoid polluting industries in KBK and other areas too by devising special packages for zero polluting industries and invite them to make investments that will be good for the people as well as earn revenue for the state unlike the eagle eyed looters of mineral wealth who have no love for the poor people of the area. Ask for a special incentive like that of exemption from payment of income tax and other sops that too for a limited period. Only problem for the gangsters in power is that they may not get any kick back the way they are believed to be paid by the mineral looters who ink MoUs for getting iron ore or bauxite etc.Pravin Patel Email: email@example.com
This is what Orissa govt. is doing towards western Orissa, KBK and tribal belt:http://wp.me/pFC4h-Xv
Best regards,Sanjib Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The spectre of drought has haunted the Balangir district this year, as the monsoon rain has turned truant, with the district hardly recording any significant rainfall both in the month of June and till mid-July.
The Kharif paddy cultivation of the district is totally dependent on the monsoon rainfall but it has been severely hit due to scant rainfall till date. There was shortage of paddy seeds and fertiliser this year but farmers had taken up the paddy cultivation with high hope of good rainfall. However, contrary to their expectations, the inadequate rainfall has withheld the agriculture operations.
According to official sources, against the normal average rainfall of 202.8 mm in June, the district received a rainfall of 105.5 mm, a 48 per cent deficit rainfall. Rather than any improvement, the situation continues to be depressing and till July 12 last, the district has received a rainfall of 64.5 mm against the normal rainfall average of 360 mm.
Against the target of paddy cultivation in 1,87,000 hectares of land, the cultivation has been taken up in 75,404 hectares only, barely on 40 per cent of land, said official sources. The irregularity of rain has further brought agriculture operations, now at various stages, to a grinding halt.
“We have noticed moisture stress condition in the soil and unless there is rain within five to seven days, the moisture stress condition would spread to the plant resulting in yellowing and browning and eventual death/wilting of the plant,” said an agriculture official. However, there are reports of paddy plant getting brownish due to shortage of water. We desperately need rain within a week to carry forward the agriculture operations, he maintained. Ironically, most of the Mudas and Katas and other sources of water are in dry condition. Hence, the farmers have no option left except rain.
Even if now rain occurs, the whole agriculture operations would be over by the end of August and it would affect the yield. Barely a few days are left for the Hindu calendar month Shravan to end but still the roads and fields are dry. By July 15, agriculture operations should be going on full swing but this year the situation is different, rued a farmer.
Failure to establish medical college in Bolangir is no accident, because the political structure of Orissa is such that real problems of Western Orissa never gets its share of concern . Our legitimate concern are regarded
neither by the ruling BJD , and what is even more disheartening, nor by the powerful nexus of “intellectuals” and the mandarins who mostly come from the coastal area. For them the priority is to establish most human resource institutions, especially well funded ones(central) in the sixty mile zone. Neither logic nor equity, not even pragmatics matter. Here are couple of new examples. Silently without much fan fair, Central Institute of Design is coming up in BBSR, even though Sambalpur-Bargarh-Sonepur corridor excel any part of Orissa in textile design. Against all logic and pragmatics, ESCI medical college is not starting in Rourkela. In this case even the blessing and approval of Insurance folks did not matter. Airport Jharsuguda airport can not take off even after most of the dots are connected. Ominous sign is even though next five year plan is not yet in place, the only announcement so far has been that Orissa will be getting one of the eleven world class university and that would be based in BBSR. This follows the same pattern as before. Even when not single kilowatt of energy is produced in BBSR, Central Institute of Power Management is coming up in BBSR. Consistent with the same pattern, Institute of Steel Research is established in Puri. All our protests and petitions based on sound logic have been put aside. If Orissa would have worked as Orissa, which needs overall growth in all areas, and the formal and informal decision makers would really thinks of Orissa as a whole, these folks would have been protesting against such arbitrary decision making.
I am especially disappointed with A.U.Singhdeo. Just see today’s Sambad in the section of debates in Orissa legislature. Apparently,a report on regional discrepancy was sponsored by the state government at a cost of 35 lakhs and it was submitted after 4 years and five months. Singhdeo,the minister responsible,appointed a subcommittee to examine the report and recommendations are supposed to have been submitted by March,2009, that is exactly two years ago. So nothing is happening. I would have thought that Singhdeo who represents KBK, the most wretched place in Orissa having most of its population under poverty line would have acted promptly in the interest of his constituency. How and why folks in Bolangir vote such a person to represent them is beyond me. Now with tongue in cheek, he says he would see the completion of the medical college in three years only after he is elected again ! Unbelievable. I still do not understand why Nain’s government is not fulfilling its pledge to takeover the medical college. As you know, after the last budget, he boldly announced that Orissa has a surplus, and development will not be hindered in the state because of lack of money. I do not understand why the handful of Males from Western Orissa are putting his feet on fire; in stead they have become sycophants for the government.
We are really running out of options. The traditional measures are not working. The current political structure is not responsive to our needs. The only option available to us is to have our own state so that we can shape our own destiny, just as Telengana is trying. Enough is enough.