Posts filed under ‘Balangir’

PM unveils several projects in western Odisha

Following is a report by PTI:

Balangir (Odisha) Jan 15 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday launched a slew of central Government projects worth over Rs 1,550 crore in Odisha and said they would play a key role in accelerating the state’s development.

Affirming the Centre’s resolve to expand connectivity in Odisha, he said education, coupled with connectivity, would lead to speedy development and overall progress of all sections of the society.

“I am happy to unveil projects worth Rs 1,550 crore in areas like education, connectivity, tourism and culture,” Modi said while inaugurating and laying foundation stone for a series of projects, mainly in the railway sector, at a function here.

During his third visit to Odisha in as many weeks, the prime minister dedicated to the nation the electrification of Jharsuguda-Vizianagaram and Sambalpur-Angul railway lines spanning 813 km, which have been completed at a cost of Rs 1,085 crore.
The project aims to ensure seamless rail connectivity on the line and reduce journey time. It will also reduce diesel consumption and greenhouse gas emission, a senior railway official said.

Modi also inaugurated the doubling of 14.2 km Barpali-Dungaripali and 17.3 km Balangir-Deogaon rail lines, completed at a cost of Rs 189.3 crore. They are part of the 181.54 km Sambalpur-Titlagarh doubling project.

Describing connectivity as a catalyst for progress, Modi said it would boost trade, commerce and tourism, besides helping farmers in taking their produce to the mandis.
Strong connectivity would also propel industrialisation, which in turn would create enormous opportunities for employment generation, he said.

A Multi-Modal Logistics Park (MMLP) at Jharsuguda, built at a cost of Rs 100 crore, was dedicated to the nation by the prime minister. Spread over 28.3 acres, the MMLP is adjacent to the Howrah-Mumbai main line, 5 km from Jharsuguda Railway station.
Several industries, such as cement, paper, aluminium, refractory, pig iron, sponge iron and steel pipe, located in and around the area would benefit from the facility, Modi said.
He also inaugurated the 15-km-long Balangir-Bichhupali railway line laid at a cost of Rs 115 crore. It is part of the new 289-km Balangir-Khurda Road line which connects to Howrah-Chennai main line on Khurda roadside and Titlagarh-Sambalpur line at Balangir.

The line would connect coastal Odisha with western region through Sonepur, Boudh, Puranakatak, Daspalla and Nayagarh, synchronising development across the state. The line would also benefit many micro, small and medium enterprises and cottage industries, and generate opportunities for the mining sector.

The prime minister flagged off a new train on Balangir-Bichhupali route which would benefit commuters of the region, besides connecting Bichhupali to Jharsuguda and Vizianagaram main line through Balangir.

A bridge between Theruvali and Singapur Road station, constructed at a cost of Rs 27.4 crore, was inaugurated on the occasion. The bridge reestablishes the linkage over Nagavali river, which was washed away during floods in July 2017.

These apart, Modi inaugurated renovation and restoration works at Nilamadhav & Siddheswar Temple at Gandhaharadi in Boudh, Paschim Somnath group of temples, also in Boudh, and Ranipur Jharial group of monuments in Balangir, an official of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said. He inaugurated six Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) at Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri, Phulbani, Bargarh and Balangir through video conferencing. (PTI)

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February 3, 2019 at 1:40 am Leave a comment

Drought threat looms large over western Odisha

Following is a report from OTV

Bhubaneswar: While Odisha may have registered a healthy 12.9 percent surplus rainfall this monsoon season, drought threat looms large over a significant portion of western Odisha.

Bargarh, which is also known as the ‘Rice bowl of Odisha,’ along with areas of Sambalpur, Nuapada and Sundergarh have been badly affected by deficit rainfall this monsoon season.

It is to be noted that this is the third consecutive year that western Odisha is facing a drought situation.

In the beginning of the monsoon this year, farmers were quite optimistic after good spells of rain, however as the paddy crops began to ripen, rain subsided.

The situation is quite severe in Sohela and Bijepur block of Bargarh, sources said.

Farmer outfits have urged the government to take necessary steps to provide water pumps and pipe connection to sustain cultivation.

In Nuapada district, after three consecutive seasons of drought-like condition, farmers had hoped that this year would be a silver lining. On the contrary rainfall was not as expected.

The condition is no less grim in Sambalpur district where hundreds of farmers and other locals led by BJP MLA Rabi Naik stormed to the streets demanding drought-hit status for Kuchinda sub-division.

Cultivators have warned that if the government does not take any proactive steps to mitigate the condition and provide adequate compensation, they would intensify their agitation.

“If the government does not ensure quick disbursement of crop insurance and compensation, we will launch protests,” farmer leader, Vimal Joshi said.

Meanwhile, the administration has assured to assist the farmers in tackling the situation.

“We have already begun arrangements to provide diesel pump sets at subsidised prices. This apart, we are also providing water connection from canals and other water sources to affected farmlands at subsidised rates,” said deputy director of Agriculture department in Bargarh, Dinabandhu Gandhi.

October 28, 2018 at 1:44 pm Leave a comment

Ganda Baja – a musical tradition of western Odisha

 Following article is from EPW:

Ganda Baja is a prominent folk musical tradition of western Odisha. The players of this art form belong to the Ganda community (a Dalit community, largely from parts of western Odisha that border Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh). Generally, the Ganda are landless people mainly dependent on Ganda Baja and weaving for their livelihood. Since their traditional occupation of weaving has been failing with mill-made clothes flooding the market, they have been reduced to landless agricultural labourers. Some among them have also migrated to urban areas in search of livelihood.

“Baja” is a collective of musical instruments, including membranophones (the dhol, nisan, and tasa or timkidi), an aerophone (muhuri), and an idiophone (jhumka). This Baja is traditionally played during marriages, childbirth ceremonies, idol immersion processions, some administrative occasions, funeral processions, etc. Each occasion’s music has a distinct beat and tenor. For example, the “Jhi Bahar Par” (music for daughter’s departure to her in-laws’ place) is played when a bride is escorted out of the village by friends and relatives as she leaves for her marital home. The “Dargad Par” is played when a wife wails and mourns her husband’s death. Songs are specifically learnt for the occasion. The composition of “Dargad Par” evokes fear and awe in the listener.

The Ganda Baja is a way of living, a cultural manifestation of life in western Odisha. These days, the traditional genre has undergone tremendous change. A Ganda Baja troop consists of a minimum of five members in different capacities. They are Muhuria (the person who operates the muhuri), Dhulia (the person who operates the dhol), Taslia (the person who operates the tasa), Nisnia (the person who operates the nisan), and Jhumkia (the person who operates the jhumka). Five members is the minimum strength of the troop, but six members is considered a sound quorum for the group, with one dhol, one muhuri, one jhumka, one tasa and two nisan. The group has the flexibility of extending it to eight members, if there is a demand for dancers (a man in the outfit of a woman) from their clients. It is believed that a troop is stronger with a larger number of members in varying capacities. The members have learnt this art form from their forefathers, having travelled together and performed with them since childhood. Due to the stigma associated with the community and the practice of untouchability, they learn this art form from their family members as a livelihood skill.

The members of the community mainly earn during the marriage season. Earlier, they used to perform for three to five days. Now, it has reduced to a maximum of two days. Earlier, the agreements between the patron and the Ganda Baja troop were through the jajmani system in these areas and were usually oral contracts. The wage rates offered to them were very low and they had to accept whatever amount was offered. Once they entered into an agreement, sometimes their patrons had exclusive and absolute rights over their services for a particular period of time (usually three or five days). For this stipulated time they were like bonded labourers. In some instances, the party engaging them would pressurise the troop to beat drums all night so they could drink and dance. Sometimes they would even have to walk for hours and cover long distances carrying heavy instruments to reach their destination. And, at times, they would have to wait for long hours for food, once they reached there.

Things, however, are changing. Currently, a contract is completely based on mutual agreement. Slowly, the community is demanding market-negotiated wage rates. Income encompasses payments in both cash and kind. The minimum rate is ₹ 5,000 per performance, and the maximum is ₹ 15,000, shared by the members of the troop. They have around 30 performances for different occasions over seven to eight months in a year.

Ganda Baja is still a major source of livelihood for this community in a large part of western Odisha. Modern music has seriously affected the livelihood of the Baja troops, resulting in the gradual disappearance of this age-old traditional art form. In 2014, folk artists from western Odisha had staged a protest in front of the legislative assembly demanding the status of Adikala (primitive art) for Ganda Baja. On that occasion, they tried to foreground two issues: their strong attachment to their culture, and their earnings from their occupation. They vociferously argued that their culture was their occupation too, which is why there is an urgent need for the revival and promotion of Ganda Baja.

Sujit Kumar Mishra (sujitkumar72@gmail.com) teaches economics at the Council for Social Development, Hyderabad.

October 21, 2018 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Rethinking Kosli Identity: Language, literature and culture of western Odisha

Down load a PDF copy here: Rethinking Kosli Identity- Language, Literature and Culture of Western Odisha

September 23, 2018 at 4:57 am Leave a comment

Govt of India to open model degree colleges in three western Odisha districts

Following is a report from the Sambad:MDC

September 16, 2018 at 2:19 am Leave a comment

University status for Rajendra College sought

By Express News Service

BALANGIR: Balangir Lok Sabha member Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo on Monday sought university status for Rajendra (Autonomous) College. Kalikesh, who visited the college, held discussions with the staff over several issues including safety and staff crunch. He instructed the authorities concerned to solve the issues hampering the college’s development.

The MP also interacted with the State Home Secretary and the Balangir SP to sort out problems regarding safety on the college’s campus.Notably, Rajendra (Autonomous) College became a full-fledged degree college after the affiliation of Commerce faculty in 1964-65 and Science faculty in 1965-66. From 1978-79, it started offering post-graduate courses in Arts, Science and Commerce.

From 1967 to 2002, this college was under Sambalpur University. Currently, it is an autonomous institution as declared by UGC. The college is NAAC accredited as B++. The library of the college has more than 1 lakh books.

July 30, 2018 at 2:14 am Leave a comment

Narasingha demands agriculture university in Balangir

Following is a report from the https://www.telegraphindia.com:

Balangir: Local MLA and leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra has slammed the state government for not responding to the long-standing demand of the local people for the establishment of an agriculture university here.

Talking to newspersons here on Sunday evening, Mishra said that the state government had taken a decision in 2014 to set up an agriculture university in the Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) region. Ever since, the people of Balangir have been demanding that the agriculture university be set up in Balangir.

“The people of Balangir have been demanding the agriculture university for the last four years. I have also personally supported the demand and have contributed my bit,” he said. Mishra said that several local outfits have hit the street demanding the agriculture university. “At various times, the local people have launched protest drives demanding the university here. But the government is not responding to the demands of the people,” he said.

Mishra said he had written to chief minister Naveen Patnaik on June 28 requesting him to take up the project at the earliest. “I have written to the chief minister recently to honour the demand of the people of Balangir and take steps to set up the university here,” he said.

Mishra said that he had also requested the chief minister to set up a government engineering college in the region. “Balangir doesn’t have any government engineering college. I have requested the government to set up an engineering college here,” he said.

He has also urged upon the government to take over the Balangir Law College. “There is no government law college anywhere in Odisha. The law college here has adequate infrastructure. It is high time the government takes it over so that it becomes the state’s first government law college,” he said.

July 27, 2018 at 2:02 am Leave a comment

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