Posts filed under ‘Sonepur-Binka-Charada-Khaliapali-Kotsamlai-Birmaharajpur’
Following is a report from the Sambad:
BALANGIR: The demand for direct bus communication from Puri to Patali Srikhetra Sonepur is gathering steam ahead of the Sunia festival. People of Balangir have pitched in with their counterparts of Sonepur for the long pending demand.
Sunia festival is celebrated in Bhadrabh month of Odia calendar as the Odia New Year by some communities. The day is also observed as Vamana Jayanti – the day when Lord Vishnu appeared in Vamana (dwarf) incarnation.
The festival is of great importance to Puri where thousands of devotees throng. The festival is also celebrated with much fanfare in Western Odisha districts on the same day.
Researcher Purusottam Mishra said Patali Srikhetra has significant historical importance. It is believed that Lords Jagannath and Bhalabhadra and Devi Subhadra were kept hidden in the caves of Trikut hill near Sonepur for 144 years following the invasion of Raktavahu.
A local Ghasiram Panda said despite the historical importance of Sonepur, communication link to Puri still eludes the residents. The Tourism Department needs to provide bus services to Puri at the earliest, he added.
Similar demands were made by the residents of Balangir. Secretary of Srota Swati Sahitya Sanskruti Gabesana Parishad Sandip Kumar Kuanr said direct communication from Patali Srikhetra and Harishankar to Puri is the need of the hour keeping in mind the upcoming Sunia festival.
The State Government should take necessary steps in this regard, he added.
BHUBANESWAR: The state government will revive eight defunct panthikas through the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
These include the panthasalas of Kapilas, Deulajhari, Bargarh and Charchika, Wayside Amenities Centre (WAC) of Jajpur Road, tourist complex of Sonepur and food court at Puri. “The bidders have been finalized,” said tourism minister Maheswar Mohanty.
The government has already brought 11 out of the 31 defunct panthasalas or panthikas under PPP mode, said a government officer in the tourism department.
Besides, he said the government’s amenities centre at Lulung near Baripada is defunct since 2009 due to Maoist problem. Though bidder was selected for operation on PPP mode in 2012, they declined to take over. He said the department is taking steps to make it functional. Similarly, the panthika at Bargarh is non-functional due to staff shortage. The government is taking steps for its renovation, he said.
The officer said the government would invite fresh bid for the panthasala at Sunabeda. “Earlier, the bidder selected for this panthasala declined to take over the property. We have invited fresh bid for this purpose,” he said.
Fishermen row their boat as they set off for a day’s work on the Mahanadi River near Subarnapur, above 300 kilometers (187 miles) from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneshwar, India, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout).
Following is a report from the Sambad:
Balangir, June 23: The ambitious project of solar fencing, taken up by Sonepur forest division in the Barpahad reserve forest to minimise human-animal conflict, has run into troubled waters as the project remains incomplete even after a year of its launch.
Taking advantage of the open space, herds of elephants are still venturing into villages that border the forest, often causing damage to life and property. Residents of these villages bordering the Barpahad forest allege elephants were often found straying into the villages in search of food and water through the open space where the solar fencing has not been done.
Sonepur forest range sources said that the solar fencing had been taken up along the 102km perimeter of the Barpahad reserve forest early last year and 49km of solar fencing work had been completed. However work on the remaining 53km could not be done because of a fund crunch leaving the area open for elephants to stray into nearby villages.
“The elephants are eying the water bodies of the village this summer and the local residents are not allowing old persons and women to go to the village pond to fetch water,” Ramjee Sa, a member of the Vana Surakshya Samiti (VSS), said.
Loisingha forest officer Sankirtan Nag said that a herd of 25 elephants, which were earlier in Barapahar forest, were now roaming in the villages of the Loisingha forest area causing widespread fear. “The elephants frequent the ponds during daytime and settle near the water bodies after sunset,” Nag said. Though they have been receiving complaints from the villagers, they can do little in the absence of technical knowledge to handle the elephants.
The villagers have been facing this problem for the past few weeks. This comes at a time when there is severe water crisis. The villagers are now depending on wells and bore-wells, which are drying up fast. Light showers in the last few days have failed to help much.
Divisional forest officer (DFO) of Balangir Raj Kishor Sahu admitted that elephants from Barpahad were straying into the adjoining villages through the areas where solar fencing have not been taken up. “I have sent a proposal to take up 27km of solar fencing of the Barpahad forest that fall in the Balangir division. There would not have been any problem had fencing been taken up in both the divisions simultaneously,’’ the DFO said.
Spread over 4658.70 hectares, Barpahad reserve forest in Sonepur district is home to 28 elephants, says the forest department.