Posts filed under ‘Subarnapur’

Khurda road-Balangir rail project likely to be delayed further




March 11, 2018 at 2:46 pm Leave a comment

Expedite printing of Bhima Bhoi’s unpublished books

Following is a report from the Telegraph:

Sonepur: District collector Dasarathi Satpathy urged the Odisha Sahitya Akademi to take steps to bring out the unpublished manuscripts of saint poet Bhima Bhoi.

Speaking on a two-day seminar, organised by the akademi here on Wednesday, the collector said the district administration would extend all co-operation to the akademi in this regard. Satpathy said: “The poet has a special place in the field of spiritual literature. I request the Odisha Sahitya Akademi to do something to print the unpublished works of the saint poet. The district administration will co-operate with it in this regard.”

The poet’s many works have not come to light as it has not been published, and the original manuscripts are gathering dust at the Bhima Bhoi Samadhi Pitha Trust at Khaliapali village, about 20km from here.

Benudhar Pradhan, a poet of Sonepur, said it was very sad that the saint poet could not find a publisher. His works, especially the poems, have illuminated the world and yet many people do not know about his unpublished work till now. “It is high time some person or organisation must take the initiative to publish the unpublished works of the poet. And I strongly believe that the sahitya akademi is the right agency to take up it,” Pradhan said.

He said it was unfortunate that people were still in dark about the poet even more than 120 years after his death.

It was in the 1860s, when Bhima Bhoi came to Khaliapali, which was Sonepur state at that time. He wrote numerous poems, preached and propagated Alekhism or Mahima Dharma and professed the philosophy of Sunyabada (nothingness). The poet died in 1895 at Khaliapali where now stands his memorial temple called Sunya Mandir and a monastery where some followers of Mahima Dharma live. The monastery had a treasure of the original manuscripts and books of the saint poet. Some of the manuscripts were taken away by a few people and research scholars, but they were never returned.

The trust now has 14 manuscripts, including eight palm-leaf ones. Mahanadi Sahitya Sansad president Prabhudatta Rath said the district administration must take proactive actions for publication of the poet’s unpublished works.

“It is the duty of the administration to send proposals to the Odisha Sahitya Akademi for publication of the saint’s works. The initiative must begin from the district administration,” Rath said.

February 24, 2018 at 6:33 pm Leave a comment

Khurda Road-Balangir rail line project gets Rs 625 crore allocation

Following is a report from the TOI:

BHUBANESWAR: The Centre has sanctioned the highest allocation of Rs 625 crore to Khurda Road-Balangir (289 km) new line project in the Union Budget 2018. It is one of the oldest and important projects of the state which will connect western Odisha with coastal part of the state.

The project was sanctioned in 1996-97, but the railway has completed only 66 km between Khurda Road and Nayagarh stations from Khurda Road side. It has not completed the first patch of 19 km from Balangir side. It has set a target to complete the project by March 2021. The state government has formed a joint venture with the Ministry of Railways to carry out the project.

On delay of the project, Umesh Singh, general manager of the East Coast Railway (ECoR), said a four-km patch of forest land between Nayagarh and Nuagaon has created problem in progress of the project. “We will solve this forest land issue with the state government and complete the work in the section soon,” he added.

Besides this, state has five other important projects include- Paradip-Haridaspur new line, Angul-Sukinda new line, Talcher-Bimalagarh new line, and doubling of two railway lines- Sambalpur-Titlagarh and Sambalpur-Talcher.

Angul-Sukinda new line (113 km) was sanctioned in 1997-98, but it is yet to be completed. A total of 38 per cent of the project is completed. Though the state government has formed a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with Rail Vikash Nigam Limited (RVNL), Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) and Jindal Steel Power Limited to carry out the project with a cost of Rs 1750 crore, it will still take one more years to complete the project by June 2019. This year, the Angul-Sukinda project got Rs 200 crore like last year.

Another old and significant project is Paradip-Haridaspur new line (82km) which was sanctioned in 1996-97 got Rs 200 crore like last year. Only 80 per cent of the work has been completed till date. Railways sources said the project will be completed by June this year. Keeping the project delay in mind, the government has formed a SPV with the Railways.


February 15, 2018 at 12:57 pm Leave a comment

Market worry for cotton growers in Sonepur and Boudh districts

Following is a report from the Sambad:Cotton

Following is a report from the TNIE:

SONEPUR/BOUDH:Cotton crop grown in Sonepur and Boudh districts would be ready for harvest in next two months. But the farmers are a worried lot. In absence of an organised market for sale of their produce, they are left at the mercy of a spinning mill owner in Sonepur and middlemen.

Since Kolkata-based mill owner procures cotton at less than market price, the farmers have to travel to a cotton market in the neighbouring Balangir.This year, cotton has been grown over 3,000 hectares (ha) of land in Birmaharajpur, Ulunda and Tarbha blocks and some pockets of Sonepur. But, the district administration has made no effort to rope in agencies for procurement or open mandis.

While a decision was taken to open mandis two years back, there has been no headway in this direction. This has exposed the growers to middlemen who are on the prowl to purchase cotton at low price.

Although in a meeting of the District Level Monitoring Committee for Cotton presided by Sonepur Collector Dasarathi Satpathy held in October last year, it was decided that a cotton mandi would function under Regulated Market Committee (RMC) at Birmaharajpur, work on the structure and its godown is far from complete. Only after its completion, RMC can invite the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to open procurement centre at the mandi.

Earlier, due to the intervention of former Sonepur Collector Bhawani Shankar Panda, the spinning mill was procuring cotton at market rate and the purchase amount was directly deposited in the account of farmers. The arrangement  was in place for three years till Panda retired in March this year. The farmers alleged that now the spinning mill owner is dictating terms as far as procurement is concerned and they are forced to travel all the way to Balangir to sell cotton at a mandi there. They said if the old system is put back in place, the procurement problem would be resolved.

The situation is no way different in Boudh where the farmers also sell their produce either at the Sonepur spinning mill or mandis in Balangir and Phulbani.The officials, however, said steps are being taken to streamline the procurement system. While Deputy Director of Agriculture, Sonepur, PK Samantray said RMC was working on developing a mandi at Birmaharajpur, secretary of the RMC Banamali Nayak said a godown is being constructed at Badkhamar village. Nayak said once the construction is complete, RMC would move the CCI for procurement of cotton.


September 21, 2017 at 10:32 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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