Posts filed under ‘Sambalpur’

Jharsuguda airport expected to usher in economic development in western Odisha

Following is a report from the TNIE:

By Express News Service; JHARSUGUDA: The second major airport of Odisha at Jharsuguda is expected to open up new avenues for economic development in the mining belt of the State. Former Jharsuguda Chartered Accountant Association member Mukesh Shah said the airport will not only benefit the residents of the town but also those from the adjacent mining district of Sundargarh.  “As per history, the airport was initially set up by the Royal Airport during the British rule in 1942 and was used by war planes during World War II. Similarly, during the Indo-Pak war in 1971, the same facility was used by war planes”, he said.

If everything goes as per plan, then flight operations from the airport will start from the last week of July. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate it even as the process is underway to secure category 4C licence for the airport to make it eligible for landing and take-off of A-320 Airbus aircraft. Sources said the airport was accorded category-B licence in May qualifying it for flight operations. Subsequently, efforts have been made to equip it with category 4C licence for landing and take-off of bigger aircraft.

Recently, a team of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), led by Mumbai-based Deputy Director S Saxena and a team of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) had conducted separate inspections of the ancillary facilities and security measures at the airport. Sources said the airport has been equipped with surface lighting and ancillary instruments making the runway capable of ensuring safe landing of planes even during inclement weather and night hours.

“After getting 4C licence from DGCA, A- 320 Airbus-type aircraft can land and take off from this airport”, said Jharsuguda Airport Director S K Chouhan, adding that the airport is equipped with an ATS tower, a runway with required length and electrification, emergency health and other associated facilities.

As per the MoU signed between the Central and the State governments, the security arrangements will be looked after by Airports Authority of India (AAI). Sources said spread over a sprawling 909 .22 acres, Jharsuguda airport is ready to become a reality after financial contribution of Rs 175 crore by the Centre and Rs 50 crore by the State Government. Besides, an additional 275.55-acre land has been acquired for the airport.

Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kishore Das said the economy of the coal-belt and industrial Jharsuguda district has been in doldrums for long and regular flight operation entails huge prospects to open up new economic vistas for the region.

Flight operations likely from July last week If everything goes as per plan, then flight operations from the airport will start from the last week of July
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate it. The security arrangements will be looked after by Airports Authority of India.

Following is a report from the Sambad:

JSG

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July 25, 2018 at 4:25 am Leave a comment

Kosali language movement

TNN | Amava.Bhattacharya

With the elections about a year away, western Odisha finds itself in conflict with the rest of the state. Part of the issue is Kosali, a language yet to find a place in the Eighth Schedule. Amava Bhattacharya traces its genesis

Labour minister Susanta Singh on Tuesday sought the replacement of the word ‘Utkala’ in ‘Bande Utkala Janani’ with ‘Odisha’. By proposing this change in the de facto state anthem, the BJD leader from Bhatli in Bargarh has turned the lens on the aspirations of western Odisha, a region that is markedly different from northern and coastal Odisha that were part of the historical Utkala kingdom.

Western Odisha’s aspirations have ranged from better infrastructure to a demand for more political attention, to even a separate Kosal state. Central to its identity is the Kosali Language Movement, a socio-political and literary movement. While its literary goal – to prove that Kosali is a language and not a dialect of Odia – has more or less been achieved, its political goal – inclusion of Kosali in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution – is yet to be realized. With elections scheduled for early next year, political parties are expected to raise the emotive language issue to target each other and gain votes in a region that comprises almost half of Odisha’s population.

Kosali (also referred to as Sambalpuri or Kosali-Sambalpuri) is spoken in 10 districts of western Odisha – Bargarh, Boudh, Subarnapur, Jharsuguda, Balangir, Deogarh, Sambalpur, Nuapada, Sundargarh, Kalahandi and the Athamalik subdivision of Angul, besides Raigarh, Mahasamund and Raipur districts of Chattisgarh. For a long time, the language spoken in this vast region, part of the ancient kingdom of Dakshin Kosal, was considered to be a dialect of Odia, but the language movement led by writers, historians, politicians and linguists has punched holes in this theory.

Proponents of the Kosali Language Movement say it is a direct derivative of Sanskrit and belongs to the Ardha-Magadhi Prakrit group of languages as opposed to Magadhi-Prakrit to which Odia belongs. There is significant difference between Kosali and Odia in terms of morphology, semantics, syntax and phonology, they add.

“Kosali is a separate language. It bears as much resemblance to Hindi as it does to Odia,” says Tila Kumar, professor of sociology at the Delhi School of Economics. A frequent traveller to western Odisha, Kumar says he has seen first-hand the difficulties faced by students in government schools in the region.

“Odia-speaking teachers find it hard to communicate with students here. Certain words have different meanings. For example, ‘ghuri’ means kite in Odia but it refers to the village deity’s altar in Kosali,” he adds, attributing the lower exam success rate in this region, particularly in the Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput zone, to Odia and not Kosali being the medium of instruction in schools. In a memorandum submitted in 2011 to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Kosali Development and Discussion Forum, an organization working for the cause of Kosali, had listed education and administrative efficiency as a reason to seek official recognition of Kosali. “Civil servants from other areas who do not have rudimentary knowledge of Kosli language cannot communicate with citizens, resulting in miscommunication,” the memorandum says.

The Kosali Language Movement is a relatively young phenomenon that gained momentum in the 1970s and 80s. It brings to the fore questions such as what constitutes a language, what differentiates it from a dialect and how important language is to political aspiration, explains Pritish Acharya, a professor of history at the Regional Institute of Education in Bhubaneswar.

“A language gains from the number of works written in it and there has been an explosion of writing, drama and films in Kosali,” says Acharya, a native of Bargarh.

The literary journey for Kosali authors has been both fulfilling and rewarding. While it has always had a strong oral repertoire, the first written work in the language is a poem by one Madhusudan published in the magazine ‘Sambalpur Hitaisini’ in 1891. Verses were composed by a number of poets like Chaitana Das, Balaji Meher, Laxman Pati and Kapila Mohapatra in the early years of the 20th century. The poems were characteristic of Kosali works at the time in that they dealt mainly with rural life. A leading light in Kosali is Khageswar Seth, a dalit fisherman who wrote prolifically in both Sambalpuri and Odia. Caste equations coloured the Odia-Kosali binary as those working in the ‘dialect’ were looked down upon for primarily belonging to the ‘lower’ castes.

A major boost to the language was given by the All India Radio station in Sambalpur, commissioned in 1963. It broadcast programmes, especially music, in Sambalpuri and helped it gain greater acceptance. The following decades saw a flowering of works in Kosali. ‘Rangabati’ written by Mitrabhanu Gauntia become a household name. Sabyasachi Mohapatra’s award-winning ‘Bhukha’ (1989) became the first full-length feature in Kosali; the language got its first novel – ‘Bilasini’ by Dhanpati Mohapatra – in 1990 and Prayagdutta Joshi wrote his seminal ‘Koshali Bhasar Sankshipta Parichaya’ in 1991. Poet Haldar Nag emerged as an icon with his unique style and inspired the emergence of ‘Haldardhara’, a brand of poetry paying tribute to him. In 2012, the Registrar for Newspapers for India enlisted Kosali in its language list. Today, Sambalpur University offers a diploma course in Sambalpuri studies.

Despite being the second-most popular language in a state that is itself the first to be formed on the basis of language in 1936, Kosali has found it harder to notch up political victories. The year 2003 was a watershed moment for language movements as the Centre passed the 93rd Constitutional Amendment to enable the possibility of inclusion of other languages in the 8th Schedule. In the same year, it set up a committee led by Odia littérateur and IAS officer Sitakanta Mohapatra to determine the criteria for inclusion of more languages in the 8th Schedule. The committee submitted its report in 2004 and recommended the inclusion of 38 languages. Kosali/Sambalpuri is one of them. Eighteen years later, the fate of these languages remains unclear.

“The report of the committee is under consideration. No time frame can be fixed for the inclusion of more languages in the 8th Schedule,” reads the government’s official line.

While central recognition has proved to be elusive, state recognition, too, has been lukewarm. In 2014, days after the Centre declared Odia as the sixth classical language of India, the Naveen Patnaik government threw its weight behind Kosali and recommended its inclusion in the 8th Schedule.

Naveen has time and again pushed for the inclusion of Kosali in the 8th Schedule, most recently while campaigning for the Bijepur byelection in Bargarh district. But Odisha remains one of the few states to have only one official language. The Orissa Official Language Act of 1954 recognizes Odia as the official language of the state even though Kosali is estimated to have around 2 crore speakers.

July 14, 2018 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

What happened to the center for Kosli language research?

KL

April 7, 2018 at 4:07 am Leave a comment

Ancient sculpture of Nataraja unearthed at Durgapali, Sambalpur

Following is a report from the TNIE:

SAMBALPUR: The recovery of an ancient stone sculpture of Nataraja at Dungrapali, located on downstream of Hirakud Dam, by teams of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is believed to throw more light on the flourishing Shaivism  in the region.INTACH teams, who are documenting both tangible and intangible heritage along both sides of the Mahanadi river in the State, stumbled upon the ancient sculpture on the embankment of the Devi water body.

Lord Shiva is also known as Nataraja – the Cosmic Dancer. It is believed that the idol dates back to 7th or 8th century.  The idol has been kept in the custody of the district Collector and will be put up for display in the new museum coming up at Sambalpur.  Similarly, the top portion of old Gudeswar temple was also recovered and stored safely in the district collectorate. The recovery was made on the information of residents of Durgapali to the INTACH teams.

Historian and culture enthusiast Deepak Panda, who is leading the teams in Sambalpur, said it seems to be the ‘Chuda’ or ‘Amalaka’ of an ancient temple. It is four feet high, three feet wide and weighs around 200 kgs.  Panda further informed that the idol reflects Lord Shiva in Tandava form and since it was protruding from earth, it is believed that there could be a temple beneath. A clear picture will emerge after excavation, he said.

He further revealed that many such ruins of temples, which have been collected by locals, are being studied. It is suspected that the temple of which the ruins belong may have been damaged by invaders, Panda said. Seven teams, which were flagged off by Chairman of INTACH LK Gupta on January 15, will document the heritage, bio-diversity and food habits of people residing along the banks of the Mahanadi. They will cover nearly 1,000 km on the both sides of the river from upper reaches of Hirakud to its merger with the Bay of Bengal near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur.  The work also entails cultural mapping of Mahanadi, which has around 50 per cent of its total course flowing in Odisha. The team will cover undivided Sambalpur, Sonepur, Boudh, Angul, Nayagarh and Cuttack districts under the project.

March 28, 2018 at 3:43 am Leave a comment

Odisha not bothered to know why its newborns are dying: CAG

Following is a report from the TOI:

BHUBANESWAR: Though Odisha tops the list of states with the highest rate of newborn deaths, it did not bother to find out the causes behind it, a latest report of the comptroller and auditor general of India (CAG) has pointed out. The CAG report for general and social sector for 2015-16, tabled in the state assembly on Saturday, pointed out that a committee of the government medical colleges and hospitals (GMCHs) were supposed to review the deaths once in a month. However, these did not conduct any review to identify the causes of death in past three years. “During 2013-16, the committee did not meet at all. The state government did not ensure sitting of the committee at regular intervals,” the CAG report said.

“Though the neonatal mortality rate (death of newborn within 28 days per 1000 livebirths) of the state was the highest in the country….the GMCHs had not conducted any death review to identify the causes of death,” the audit watchdog pointed out.

According to Sample Registration System (SRS) 2013, the neonatal mortality rate of Odisha stood at 37 compared to the country’s average of 28.

The health department had formed a committee in 1984 to review causes of deaths occurring in government medical colleges and hospitals. Ending the system in September 2013, the department directed the medical colleges to conduct review of the deaths by their clinical departments. However, the colleges did not conduct any review in the past three years, the CAG said

The report also pointed out that the hospitals did not conduct any prescription audit, which ensures rational use of medicines and discourages promotion of a particular brand. The health department issued an order in September 2012 that such audits would be done annually by a engaging professional agency. A senior officer of the health department said the review process will start soon.

September 18, 2017 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

Odisha fourth from bottom among low-growth States

Following is a report from the pioneer:

Here is a reality check for Odisha when the State Government is aggressively on the path of image makeover as the State was tugged up along with 15 other States as a low-growth one by the country’s planning watchdog Niti Aayog in its latest report ‘Ease of Doing Business: An Enterprise Survey of Indian States’ released last month.

Significantly, the new classification of high- and low-growth States in the country by the Niti Ayog is based on the computation of a median annual Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) from annual real GDP growth rates of the States for the period 2004-05 to 2013-14, whereby the States that experienced equal to or above the median rate are tagged as high-growth ones and those fell below as low-growth States.

Odisha in this Niti parameter could record an average year-on-year growth rate of only 6.59 per cent for the period 2004-05 to 2013-14 and, hence, fared poorer than States like Bihar, which with a year-on-year growth rate of 9.45 per cent prettily grouped among the high-growth States. The story doesn’t end there. Even among the 16 low-growth States, Odisha’s average year-on-year growth rate is only higher than three States, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and Manipur.

More shockers the report delivered are: In Odisha, not even 32 per cent enterprises have availed the benefit of the State’s much-touted Single Window System owing to poor implementation on the ground. Also, only 22 per cent enterprises in the State have any knowledge about their environment category and, thereby, the State finished second from bottom. Moreover, in access to finance by enterprises in Odisha, the State’s entrepreneurs did speak of greater amount of obstacle in access to institutional finance.

In the important indicator of dealing with legal issues, enterprises in Odisha speak of facing legal disputes unlike States like Bihar, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Uttarakhand where none of the enterprises have reported of facing any legal disputes, reveals the Niti Ayaog report.

While the Odisha Government has pulled up its socks to come as the number one business-friendly State, the Niti Ayog report pricks the reality prevailing notwithstanding averments. Odisha didn’t figure in the top -3 in the vital indicator of time taken for getting approvals across all areas of doing business. An entrepreneur can start his business in just little over two months in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Odisha fared the poorest by taking 95 long days to provide electricity connection to an upcoming enterprise when Karnataka takes only 31 days.

Moreover, when Odisha claims itself as a power-surplus State, it didn’t figure in top -3 States led by West Bengal and Delhi where enterprises faced the least power shortages of 11-13 hours in a month.

Odisha rated as low-growth State. (From the Hindu)

More hurdles in setting up new businesses vis-a-vis other States: NITI Aayog

Despite the government claiming to have provided business-friendly environment to investors and attracting huge investments in past decade-and-a-half, Odisha has been categorised as a low-growth State in the country in the latest NITI Aayog survey.

High growth States

The NITI Aayog’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Report: An Enterprise Survey of Indian States’, released on Monday, points at more hurdles in setting up new businesses in Odisha compared to other States. The 15-high growth States include Bihar, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Sikkim and Meghalaya.

The NITI Aayog and IDFC Institute, its knowledge partner, have classified States on the basis of their average annual real growth rate using State Gross Domestic Product from 2004-05 to 2013-14.

Median average

“We calculated the median average annual growth rate, which turns out to be 8.14%. The States that experienced annual average growth rate equal to or above the median were classified as high-growth States and those with annual growth rate below the median were categorised as low-growth States,” the study stated. At a growth rate of 6.59%, Odisha falls in low-growth category.

According to the study, enterprises in high-growth States reported fewer regulatory hurdles. This establishes an empirical link between superior regulatory environment and better economic performances.

Power connection

“On average, enterprises reported taking 52 days, 61 days, and 76 days for getting electricity, water, and sewerage connections respectively. The World Bank 2017 Doing Business report ranks India at number 25 for getting electricity connection and it is estimated that getting the connection takes about 46 days. It takes an average of 31 days to get electricity connection in Karnataka, 32 days in Gujarat and around 95 days in Odisha,” says the report.

Odisha is listed among States with lowest proportion of enterprises having knowledge of their environment category. Only 22% of enterprises in Odisha are aware of their category.

Similarly, the age distribution of high-growth and low-growth enterprises shows that in general, the share of young enterprises is higher in the high-growth States than in the low-growth States.

Around 20% of enterprises in Odisha are young whereas percentage of young enterprises in Bihar is above 70%.

September 9, 2017 at 6:44 pm Leave a comment

Drought cloud over Nuakhai in western Odisha

Following is a report TNIE:

Drought scare looms over the celebration of mass agrarian festival Nuakhai slated to be observed on August 26. With drought stalking districts of Nuapada, Balangir, Kalahandi and rain-fed areas of Bargarh, the peasants and marginal farmers have been robbed of their purchasing power.

On the other hand, the situation has come in handy for labour sardars who are on the prowl offering advance to lure gullible landless and poor peasants to migrate to alien lands promising greener pasture.
With no money in hand and aware of the impending drought, the landless and poor have been caught between poverty and tradition. While the helpless peasants need money to celebrate Nuakhai, they also have to sustain their families.

Caught in this dilemma, they land in the trap of labour sardars who offer them advance money for Nuakhai celebration and traffic them mostly to brick kilns where they are forced to work in inhuman condition.

With rains failing farmers in the districts of Nuapada, Balangir, parts of Kalahandi besides Padampur sub-division in Bargarh, it is said that the sardars will have a flourishing trade this year. With successive crop loss and debt burden haunting the farmers, the labour sardars are looking forward to traffic more people trapped in poverty and debt.

While Nuapada Labour Officer Mukta Lal Naik could not be reached, the lone clerk in his office said no labour contractor has applied for licence as yet in the district.
Similarly, Assistant Labour Commissioner, Balangir Saroj Ranjit said fresh registration of labour contractors has not yet begun. Registration will start after Nuakhai, Ranjit added.

August 27, 2017 at 5:56 am Leave a comment

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