Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dharna in Anna’s support at BalangirInbrief
27 DECEMBER 2011 PIONEER HITS: 4
Dharna in Anna’s support at Balangir

Balangir: Members of the Balangir Citizens’ Forum and the district unit of India Against Corruption led by Bhavani Satpathy and Dr LK Mahapatra staged a dharna on Tuesday before the Collectorate in support of Anna Hazare’s fast. They demanded early passage of a strong Lokpal Bill in Parliament. “We will carry forward our agitation in support of Anna Hazare and participate in his Jail Bharo movement,” said Mahapatra.

BSNL workers stage dharna

Balangir: Members of the BSNL Mazdoor Sangh led by Lalit Nayak on Tuesday staged a dharna in front of the BSNL office demanding implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the management and the sangh. They criticised the apathetic attitude of the BSNL’s TDM towards their demands.

Animal sacrifice in Sulia Yatra continues despite HC ban WEDNESDAY, 28 DECEMBER 2011 00:56 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 105 User Rating: / 0

Animal sacrifice in Sulia Yatra continues despite HC ban
WEDNESDAY, 28 DECEMBER 2011 00:56 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 105
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Defying prohibitory orders clamped by the district administration, ‘sacrifice’ of hundreds of animals on Tuesday morning at the Sulia festival at Saan Khala under Tusura police station, threw an open challenge to court orders and pained animal rights activists with its gory and hideous scenes on the spot.

Sulia Yatra is a traditional festival of the local tribals, held every year on the first Tuesday of the Hindu calendar month of Pausha.

Every year hundreds of animals, buffaloes, goats, hens and sheep are ‘sacrificed’ at the altar of Sulia Budha, the local tribe’s revered god. While the tribals held the view that they offered animals to the god after fulfillment of their individual wishes, the rationalists and the animal lovers opposed it as the worst kind of cruelty to animals and termed it as the most inhuman practice. Sulia Yatra is observed at two places, Khairaguda and Kummuria. Majority of animal ‘sacrifices’ earlier took place at Khairguda.

In 2006, the High Court directed the Balangir district administration to stop the hideous practice at the main yatra centre. And, accordingly, the administration took hard steps and the ‘sacrifices’ at Khairguda (the main centre) came to a halt.

But, strategically, the tribals only shifted their yatra site to Saan Khala and carried out their age-old tradition as usual, not affected by the court ban or the administration’s prohibitory orders. Following the imposition of prohibitory orders, they had created a new khala (sacrificing ground).

This year, the district administration had clamped prohibitory orders in three places — Bad Khala, Saan Khala, and Nuaan Khala.

According to reports, notwithstanding the prohibitory orders, the tribals continued their sacrificial rituals at the Saan Khala on Tuesday morning and created the new ground — Nuaan Khala, informed Paschim Odisha Adivasi Kalyan Sangha Secretary Niranjan Bisi.

Tribals have a distinct identity and their customs, rituals and worships are totally different. They are strongly opposed to the attempts to impose non-tribal culture and tradition upon them.

“Hundreds of animals are being killed in broad daylight everyday in the Balangir town and elsewhere. Is it not cruelty to animals? Bisi asked.

He further asked, “If we, the tribals, sacrifice animals to our gods once in a year at a secluded place inside the jungle, why should the non-tribals object to it?” The tribals would carry on their customs, rituals and practices including offering of animals to deities, he asserted.

No animal sacrifices took place at the main puja place. Asked to comment on killing of animals at the Saan Khala, where prohibitory order was clamped by the district administration, Balangir Sub-Collector Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan said he would look into it and action would be taken as per law.

“We demand action against the persons who violated the rule of law. The Sulia Sanskar Manch is also contemplating to file Contempt of Court against those officials responsible for the lapses,” said manch convener Santanu Naik, reacting to the killing of animals at the place where prohibitory order was clamped

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

4 children, teacher injured in Balangir mishap

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20 DECEMBER 2011 PIONEER HITS: 5
4 children, teacher injured in Balangir mishap

Balangir: Four schoolchildren and a woman teacher of Swami Vivekananda Siksha Kendra, Sikabahanga, sustained injuries when the school bus carrying them skidded off the road at Lethipali near Saantpur, eight km from here on Tuesday morning. They were admitted to hospital. Three students and the teacher were shifted to the VSS Medical College Hospital, Burla for further treatment.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fighting Maoists major task: New Balangir SP SUNDAY, 18 DECEMBER 2011 00:11 PNS | BALANGIT HITS: 19 User Rating: / 0 PoorBest

Fighting Maoists major task: New Balangir SP
SUNDAY, 18 DECEMBER 2011 00:11 PNS | BALANGIT HITS: 19
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Along with tackling the normal law and order problems, fighting the Maoists in the district would be the major priority of the police. This was stated to the media by new SP of Balangir Praksh R on Saturday.

In response to a question on fighting the Maoist menace in Khaprakhol and Tureikela blocks he said, “We will intensify the movement of forces in interior areas to tackle the Maoists’ challenges.”

The special squad formed during the previous SP’s tenure has been dissolved and a special team on the spot would be constituted to deal with special situations, Praksah R said.

“We will see that the High Court’s order (on animal sacrifice) is implemented during the forthcoming Suliaa Jatra,” he said.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Forum seeks community rights over forest FRIDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2011 23:23 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 3

Forum seeks community rights over forest
FRIDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2011 23:23
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The Balangir District Forestry Forum demanded accelerating the process of awarding community claims over forest as per the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006.
A delegation of the forum led by Thabir Charan Meher, Kulmani Sahu and others, today submitted a memorandum to the district collector SN Dey in this regard and urged him to expedite the individual/community claim over the forest.
In Balangir district, a total of 1,753forest rights committees have been formed and a total of 956 individual titles over forest have been distributed. However, so far no single community claim over forest has fulfilled even though 88communityclaims over the forest have been submitted at the Sub Divisional level forest rights committee, pointed out Kulmani Sahu of the forum.
We appraised the district collector of the situation and urged him to expedite the implementation FRA in the district, informed Sahu further.
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Balgopal ends hunger strike

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FRIDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2011 23:18
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Balgopal ends hunger strike
Balangir: Former MP Balgopal Mishra, who was on an indefinite fast here demanding official declaration of all drought-affected districts of the State as drought-hit since December 12, withdrew his agitation on Friday. He ended the fast as the State Government on Thursday declared 17 districts as drought-affected. On Thursday night, Mishra was admitted in hospital, where he came to the district Collectorate. He was offered fruit juice after he withdrew his hunger strike.
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Anganwadi workers hold demo in Balangir
Balangir: Members of All Odisha Anganwadi Ladies Workers’ Association, Balangir unit, led by its president NirupamaSaraf and secretary Abhamayee Purohit, today staged a demonstration before the collectorate demanding fulfillment of their 14-point charter of demands, which include regularisation of their job as Government job and reinstatement of all the suspended Anganwadi employees etc. Among others, Kusha Panda and Arun Sahu addressed the gathering.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Balgopal’s fast enters 4th day THURSDAY, 15 DECEMBER 2011 22:45 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 3

Balgopal’s fast enters 4th day
THURSDAY, 15 DECEMBER 2011 22:45
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Former MP Balgopal Mishra’s indefinite hunger strike before the Collectorate here entered the 4th day on Thursday. Mishra is on dharna since December 12, demanding declaration of “all drought-affected areas of Odisha as drought-hit”.
On the second day of his fast, Collector SN Dey met Mishra at the fasting site and requested him to end the fast, saying he had conveyed the matter to the Government.
The agitating leader felt anguished over dilly dallying by the Government over the issue.
He said the next code of conduct would be in force by January 15. “In such situation how any package could be declared for the farmers,” he asked.

BSNL staff stage dharna at Balangir THURSDAY, 15 DECEMBER 2011 22:40 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 2 •

BSNL staff stage dharna at Balangir
THURSDAY, 15 DECEMBER 2011 22:40
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The executive and non-executive employees of Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) on Thursday staged dharna before the Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) main office at Balangir district headquartres, demanding fulfillment of their 13-point charter of demands.
The dharna agitation was led by union president Ghanashyam Mahananda, UK Chhatar, Rajendra Sa, PR Bhoi and Brahmananda Bariha.
Their demands included immediate absorption of ITS officers as Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) employees, refund of spectrum charges of `8,313 crore to BSNL, refund of notional loan of `7,500 crore with interest to the Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL), discontinuation of the Telecom Advisory Committees and cancellation of licenses to private telecom companies illegally providing 3G services.
The employees organised dharna to protest the poor financial condition of the BSNL for which the management is responsible. They also demanded the absorption of ITS officers as employees of BSNL. “Though they are not Bharat Sanchar Nigam employees, they are ruling over the BSNL employees. So they should be immediately absorbed into the Bharat Sanchar Nigam or should quit and work elsewhere,” said Mahananda.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Upgrade Titilagarh to dist: Lawyers’ body TUESDAY, 13 DECEMBER 2011 22:20 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 4 User Rating: / 0

Upgrade Titilagarh to dist: Lawyers’ body
TUESDAY, 13 DECEMBER 2011 22:20 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 4
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Normal life in Titilagarh town, 70 km from here, was disrupted following a 12-hour bandh call given by the local Bar Association, which demanded Titilagarh sub division to be declared as a district on Monday.

Shops and business establishments were closed. Buses were off the road. However, train services were functioning normally except detaining of Bilaspur Tirupati Express at Titilagarh Station for 15 minutes. We have been demanding declaration of Titilagarh as a district since long. Our representatives could not represent the case of Titilagarh before the State authorities when districts were created in Odisha during late CM Biju Patnaik’s regime.

In February, we had organised a protest and gave six month time to the Government to consider our demand,” said Titilagarh Bar Association president Sanjaya Behera. Unless the Government takes action from Monday, there would be relay hunger strike, warned Behera. The bandh proceeding is peacefully, said Revenue officer and in-charge Sub-Collector of Titilagarh SB Tripathy.

Kendu leaf procurement price hiked TUESDAY, 13 DECEMBER 2011 23:12 PNS | BHUBANESWAR HITS: 10 User Rating: / 0 PoorBest

Kendu leaf procurement price hiked
TUESDAY, 13 DECEMBER 2011 23:12 PNS | BHUBANESWAR HITS: 10
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The State Government on Tuesday enhanced the procurement price of the Kendu leaves by five paise per kerry (bundle) of 20 leaves and `10 paise per kerry of 40 leaves. Forest Minister Debi Prasad Mishra told the State Assembly that as per the decision taken at the Kendu Leaf Advisory Committee meeting held here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, the procurement price of Kendu leaf per quintal was also raised from `1,900 to `2,170.

Government has also decided to cover all the pluckers and binding labourers under a Jana Shree Bima Yojana he added. The Government would provide `22 crore in shape of premium for insurance coverage. This new initiative would benefit around 8 lakh poor ST and other backward classes. In case of natural death during the Kendu leaf operations, the nominee of the labourer would get `30,000 as compensation, while `75,000 in case of permanently disabled or unnatural death would be paid to the beneficiary or the nominee. A labourer with partial disability would get `37,500. Under the scheme, two children of a labourers would get `100 per month while studying in IX to XII standard as scholarship.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Publish White Paper on drought: Balgopal Mishra MONDAY, 12 DECEMBER 2011 21:42 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 2 User Rating: / 0

Publish White Paper on drought: Balgopal Mishra
MONDAY, 12 DECEMBER 2011 21:42 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 2
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Former MP of Balangir Balgopal Mishra on Monday launched an indefinite hunger strike before the district Collectorate demanding official declaration of all drought-hit areas of the State as “drought-affected.”

“Revenue Minister Surjya Narayan Patro during his visit to Balangir on August 17 announced that 16 districts have been affected by drought, six of them, including Balangir, badly. After the statement of the Revenue Minister, it was expected that drought would be declared by the Government basing on the eye estimation reports and by invoking the Relief Code,” said Mishra

The flood havoc of September was created thanks to the mismanagement of the Hirakud water flow by the authorities, which diverted all the attention from the drought situation, Mishra said further.

“Let the Government declare the status of drought situation in the State by publishing a White Paper on drought within 72 hours,” he said.

Even after four months why no relief has been extended to farmers, Mishra asked. Moreover, the Government should provide relief to farmers at par with the assistance for the flood-affected farmers of the coastal areas, Mishra demanded further.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

‘State Budget should reflect people's aspirations' SUNDAY, 11 DECEMBER 2011 21:58 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR

‘State Budget should reflect people's aspirations'
SUNDAY, 11 DECEMBER 2011 21:58
SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR
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To ensure peoples' participation and to reflect peoples' aspirations in the State Budget and acquaint them with it and its process, a pre-budget consultation meet for Balangir was held here on Tuesday.
The budget is prepared by bureaucrats where involvement of people at the grassroots is very less. There should be more peoples' participation in budgetary process, observed farmer leader Uday Singh Thakur.
Besides taking steps for creation of more irrigation facility in the district, special attention should be given to the displaced person, Thakur opined, adding that more hospitals should be opened at the Gram Panchayat level for better delivery of healthcare and services to the rural people.
The Odisha Budget and Accountability Centre of CYSD along with ADHAR organised the consultation meet.
The needs and aspirations of the people of the district will be reflected in the forthcoming budget, observed Prakash Barik of Odisha Budget and Accountability Centre (OBAC), CYSD. Over last seven years, the OBAC is carrying out the process, Barik informed.
A sample survey in 22villages of the district revealed four priority areas of Balangir district, namely education, health service, women and child development and agriculture, pointed out Nandi Kishore Sandh of Balangir district budget watch group.
There should be more number of regular teachers, better infrastructure in schools and better monitoring of functioning of the schools to realise the desired objective of Right to Education Act (RTE), Nandi said further.
For better delivery of health care and services in the district, the number beds of district headquarters hospital should be increased to 500 and more mobile teams should be engaged to deliver health care services in rural areas. The ICDS system in the district should be strengthened and steps should be taken to ensure their transparency through social audit and public hearing, Nandi asserted.
By constructing a barrage on Tel river, irrigation could be provided to 20,40,00 hectares of land in Kalahandi, Balangir, Sonepur and Boudh districts. This would lead to submergence of 100 hectares of Government land, pointed out a retired engineer Premraj Sai. Sai presented a paper on irrigation prospect in the district.
The health care system which is reeling under vacant doctors' posts is also suffering from the problem of "deputation".
"A doctor posted in rural areas is being brought to district headquarters hospital or other hospitals on deputation. This makes it difficult for a doctor to serve properly to the patients in all the hospitals at a time," pointed out Patnagarh MLA KV Singhdeo. Uma Shankar Sahu stressed the need for addressing the issue of dropouts in schools and migrant children in the district.
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Saluja on Maoist hit list SATURDAY, 10 DECEMBER 2011 22:32 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 7 User Rating: / 0 PoorBest

MLA Saluja on Maoist hit list
SATURDAY, 10 DECEMBER 2011 22:32 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 7
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Kantabanji Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja now seems to be on the hit list of the Maoists as per the warning given in the ultras’ posters that surfaced on Saturday.

Several such posters were posted in different parts of Katabanji town. The posters were purportedly written by the Central Division Commander of the Nuapada CPI(Maoist).

As Saluja is allegedly engaged in corrupt activities and encouraging timber mafia, he would be killed, the posters threatened.

Saluja said, “My workers have intimated me about the threatening posters. This is for the second time that such posters have come up against me.

“I believe there is a conspiracy to kill me by police. After getting details tomorrow, I shall write a letter to the Chief Minister and even raise the issue in the Assembly,” he told this correspondent over phone, when contacted.

Contacted, Balangir SP Abinash Kumar said, “We are verifying and looking into the matter.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Balangir celebrates Home Guards Day

Balangir celebrates Home Guards Day

Balangir: The 50th annual Home Guards Day was observed here on Tuesday with district SP Balangir Awinash Kumar taking salute of the parade. He lauded the crucial role of the Home Guards in maintaining law and order, traffic, night patrolling and natural calamities. They are also in forefront in tackling the Maoists in Khaprakhol and Tureikela blocks of the district.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Balangir ICTCs run short of technicians; HIV testing hit THURSDAY, 01 DECEMBER 2011 23:13 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 3

Balangir ICTCs run short of technicians; HIV testing hit
THURSDAY, 01 DECEMBER 2011 23:13
SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR
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Even as the World AIDS Day was observed on Thursday with much fanfare with a new theme “Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, Zero AIDS-related deaths”, the vacant posts of laboratory technician in Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (ICTCs) opened in the migration-prone rural areas of the district, have hit the detection and diagnosing of HIV/AIDS patients.
According to sources, out of the 14 blocks of the district, only in five ICTCs located at Balangir, Titilagarh, Patnagarh, Kantabanji and Chudapali, required number of counsellors and laboratory technicians are found. The technicians at Government PHC of Saintala, Loisingha and Degoan have been given training on HIV/AIDS too. But in the most migration-prone areas, where people are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, such as Tureikela, Khaprakhol, Muribhal, Sindhekela, Tusura and Gudvella, there is no laboratory technician to test the infection of the disease. In the district headquarters hospital, there is only one lab technician who is in charge of both the sections of the ICTC.
“Mere counselling is not enough and it is futile to expect poor persons to go to distant places to test their blood. If a poor person returns from an ICTC without being tested, it becomes very difficult to bring him again to the testing centre,” pointed out an NGO worker.
So far 492 persons have been detected as HIV positives and 68 persons have died due to AIDS, informs CDMO Dr Vikrant Kindo. The CD4 machine is being installed here in the district and it would be functional after the technician joins here, Kindo informed. In the Balangir ART Centre, a total of 220 people are on pre-ART and 80 people are under ART treatment, he said.
Meanwhile, the Link Worker Scheme, which was working in the rural areas in the district since 2009 for identification of HIV/AIDS, treatment and linkages with different schemes, has been closed in the midway leaving its workers and patients in lurch.
“HIV/AIDS remains one of the biggest global challenges for our generation. It is essential to combat it through effective awareness campaign and education. Odisha is considered vulnerable due to a large number of persons resorting to distress migration. Balangir is highly prone to HIV/AIDS. Awareness is necessary,” said MP and convener of parliamentary committee on HIV/AIDS Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo.

52,000 quintals BPL rice, wheat sized THURSDAY, 01 DECEMBER 2011 23:12 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 3

52,000 quintals BPL rice, wheat sized
THURSDAY, 01 DECEMBER 2011 23:12 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 3
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Acting on a tip-off under the direction of SP Awinash Kumar, a special squad-led by Inspector Ranjan Patnaik on Thursday raided the godown and residential premise of a storage agent, Gopal Agrawal in Loisingha and seized 50,000 quintals of BPL rice and 2,000 quintals of wheat stored illegally.

Agrawal is the storage agent for 12 gram panchayats of Loisingha block.

During verification, Agrawal could not show valid documents in support of the stored items. He was immediately taken into custody, said Inspector Pattnaik.

Prior to this, there was widespread allegation in the concerned panchayat areas about regular irregularity in delivery of PDS rice and wheat to the BPL consumers and the tribal people were the worst victims of such bungling as nobody heard their grievance.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Drought: Bt cotton farmers hit hard in Balangir, Subarnapur WEDNESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2011 23:53 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 10 User Rating: /

Drought: Bt cotton farmers hit hard in Balangir, Subarnapur
WEDNESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2011 23:53 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 10
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After the Kharif paddy and groundnut crops were badly damaged this year in the district due to irregular and scanty rainfall, cash crop cotton, which is dubbed as white gold, has also been affected, thanks to the scanty, irregular and untimely rainfall and absence of irrigation facility in Balangir and Subarnapur districts.

Farmers who had grown Bt cotton clandestinely have suffered a lot. Few farmers narrated their woes before the farmer’s commission which visited Balangir on November 21.

“I have been cultivating cotton since 1990.I own 15 acres of land and have taken lease of another five acres, where I have cultivated BT cotton this year,” said Khageshwar Sahu of BankiBahal village. He added that he used to get 180-200 quintals of cotton every year.

However, this year first of all we have been hit hard due to irregular rainfall. By the end of September and October, there was no rain, which affected as many as 70 per cent of crop. This has led to a loss of `16,000 per acre. Even though the MSP of cotton has been fixed at `3,300, it is being sold at `3,800. We are facing trouble in getting Bt cotton seeds. Hence, the Government should make arrangement for supply of the seed as we are purchasing it at high price, Sahu said.

“I have taken up BT cotton cultivation in 100 acres, said Jatin Panigrahi of Anandpur in Sonepur district. There was acute shortage of fertiliser in the beginning in Birmaharajpur block. I purchased fertiliser through a dalal (middleman) at a higher price of more than 40 per cent of MSP to save crop. The insurance premium for cotton is quite high. Production would be around 7 quintals per acre and there is no market facility for the BT cotton I have cultivated. The MSP is too low and it should be increased. The insecticide supplied to us is almost the same at market rate which hardly makes any difference,” added Panigrahi.

The Bt cotton is a risky investment in the absence of assured irrigation. Cultivation of the crop also requires heavy use of fertiliser, insecticides, besides the high cost of its seed. Rather than going for the banned BT cotton, we are advising the farmers to go for approved variety cotton seeds and adopt the integrated pest management to get more production, explained an official in the agriculture department.

In our eco system, besides the harmful insects, there are also beneficial insects. Spraying of pesticides and insecticides kills the eco-friendly insects first and then the harmful ones, he informed.

The seed dealers and seller have induced a wrong conception that BT cotton is free from pest attack though it is susceptible to sucking pests like Jassids, Aphids, Mealy bug, among others, he explained further.

This year cotton cultivation has been taken up in 35,300 hectares in Balangir and due to unseasonal and erratic rain cotton production has been affected to a great extent, said SMS (cotton) K Murmu.

“We have all along advised the farmers not to go for BT cotton in view of rain fed condition of the district,” Murmu added.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Month-long stir for Kosal State from Dec 23 MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 23:30 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 14

Month-long stir for Kosal State from Dec 23
MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 23:30
SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR
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The Kosal Kranti Dal (KKD) will launch a movement in the entire ‘Kosalanchal’ region to sensitise people about its demand for a separate Kosal State from December 23 to January 23 next.
This was announced to the media on Sunday by KKD chief Pramod Mishra. The entire ‘Kosalanchal’ has been divided into five zones along with Boudh and Athmallik subdivision of Angul district, he said.
Commenting on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s move to create four smaller States out of the existing UP, Mishra observed that it is high time the Government of Odisha adopted a resolution in the State Assembly in favour of a Kosal State. All political parties should come forward to join hands for formation of a separate Kosal State, Mishra said.
The month-long movement in Balangir district would start from Harishankar on December 23, and simultaneous Yatras would be organised in the other districts of the region, Mishra informed.
“After this movement, we will visit New Delhi and put forth our demand of creation of a separate Kosal State to Centre leaders. We will also stage a dharna before the Parliament during its next session,” Mishra informed further.
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Inbrief MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 22:17 PIONEER HITS: 3 •

Inbrief
MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 22:17
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Farmers stage dharna in Balangir
BALANGIR: Farmers of Loisingha and other areas of Balangir district, led by former MP Balgopal Mishra, on Monday staged a dharna before the district Collectorate here. They demanded that all drought-hit areas of entire Odisha be officially declared as drought-affected. The protesters also urged the State Government to provide bonus to pensioners of the drought-affected areas as the flood-hit old age pensioners in the areas have been given.

Balangir DM visits hybrid paddy crop cutting MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 22:19 PNS | BALANGIR

Balangir DM visits hybrid paddy crop cutting
MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 22:19
PNS | BALANGIR
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District Collector SN Dey inspected the hybrid paddy crop cutting at Ranipali village, 15 km from here, on Sunday.
The farmers of Balangir are very hard worker and production of around 40 quintals per acre of this variety of paddy seed needs to be popularised so that farmers could get more output, observed Dey after seeing the crop.
“I have taken up RIL-030 paddy cultivation in 2 acres of land,” said a farmer Laxminarayan Mahakur.
The Agriculture Management Technology Agency (ATMA) has given hybrid seeds of RIL-030 and RIL-060 of Rallias India Limited to the farmers.
“In this village, 17 farmers have taken up the cultivation of this variety of paddy, and in our district this hybrid variety has been taken up in 1,000 acres. Although the seed cost is high, its high yield will compensate the initial investment,” said Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) Manoranjan Mallick.
A comparative crop cutting of the hybrid variety and Swarna variety was taken up. “We undertook a crop cutting of the Swarna variety in a patch of 5 square metres and the yield was 17.2 kg and the per-acre production was 27.52 quintals. The crop cutting result of RIL-030 from a patch of 5 square metres showed a production of 33.019 kg, and calculated in terms of acre, the yield was 52.80 quintals per acre,” said an agriculture official.
Later, Dey formally launched the sunflower cultivation under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) in the village. Among others, Prabhat Biswal, UP Singh, Seed Development Manager of Rallis India, statistical officer and other agriculture and company officials were present during the

Sunday, November 27, 2011

42 students take ill after eating breakfast
SUNDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2011 22:40 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 16
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At least 42 students of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya at Solbandh in Patnagarh block suffered from dysentery and nausea on Sunday.

According to sources, the students fell sick after taking their morning tiffin of suji halwa.

On being informed, a medical team rushed to the school and started treatment of 14 students who were admitted at the Patnagarh hospital. The conditions of students have improved now.

“We suspect it to be a case of food poisoning,” said SDMO Patnagarh Dr Bhimsen Meher.

The sources said in case of any emergency, the students would be shifted to the district hospital.
Writer Pruseth passes away
FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2011 22:34 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 26
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Eminent writer, columnist and academician Narayan Pruseth passed way at his residence in Bargarh on Friday morning. He was 70. Popularly known as Narayan dada, he was associated with several cultural and literary associations. He was also a member of the Odisha Sahitya Academy and a Senate member of the Sambalpur University.

Although Pruseth was in academician in profession, he was closely associated different journals, newspapers and journalists of Balangir and other parts of western Odisha. He was one of the founder members of the Balangir District Journalists’ Association.

Writers, journalists, politicians and other sections of people condoled his demise and described his death as loss of “one of the glorious persons of western Odisha.”

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Balangir migrant labourer dies after falling from train FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2011 00:56 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 9 User Rating: / 0

Balangir migrant labourer dies after falling from train
FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2011 00:56 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 9
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Even as the Government is making tall claims of providing job work to people at their doorsteps and improving the livelihoods of the rural poor and checking distress migration, yet reports of rural poverty-stricken people are migrating in search of jobs livelihoods to neighbouring States, only to lose their lives and face various ordeals.

According to reports, Gautam Bhoi (26) of Bijamaal village of Muribahal block in Balangir district was going to Andhra Pradesh accompanied by his wife Sangita (24) to seek jobs in the brick kiln industry.

Gautam set out on migration on November 21 along with some residents of his in-laws’ village Mundpadar in Bongomunda block. While going to Andhra Pradesh, on the way he fell down from the train on November 22. His wife jumped from the train in an attempt to save him.

“We have got information that while Gautam has died, his injured wife has been admitted to a hospital at Rayagada,” said Bhajaram Raam Sahu of the Jana Mukti Anusthan.

He said this year; the police administration has taken a drive to check illegal migration by arresting 22 brick kiln owners from Andhra Pradesh at Kantabanji a few days ago. But people are migrating clandestinely. When asked, they would say they have gone for Ita Gadhi (brick construction) in Andhra Pradesh.

Even today, Basant Deep, a young migrant from Balikhamar village has been missing since last three years.

The absence of records of migrants and their unsafe way of migration are really creating difficulties to trace/or rescue them or to extend any help to them in case of any incident. The panchyat must keep a register of the migrants, which would reveal their names, destinations of migration so that in case of any eventualities necessary support could be extended, said Sahu further.

“I have not received any information so far on this incident (Od Gautam’s fate),” said District Labour Officer (DLO) PK Bhoi. “I will look into the matter,” he added.
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Edu Secy’s Balangir visit raises high hopes FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2011 00:53 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 10 User Rating: / 0

Edu Secy’s Balangir visit raises high hopes
FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2011 00:53 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 10
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The two-day visit of Commissioner-cum-Secretary of School and Mass Education Aparajita Sarangi to Balangir district on November 23 and 24, was not less than a VVIP visit, as her visit everywhere evoked curiosity among the people and also sent waves of fear among teachers and other officials associated with school education.

Sarangi’s first-ever visit to Balangir resulted in cancellation of deputations in Patnagarh area, withholding of salary of 52 teachers and placing of as many as six teacher under suspension for dereliction of duty, disengagement of two Siksha Sahayaks (SS), besides rewarding 19 persons including 17 teachers, one BRCC and a chairman of a school management committee, for their good work. Even she had a satisfactory learning from her field visit too.

“My visit to this district is a satisfactory one with very high response from the people,” Sarangi told mediapersons at the end of her visit on Wednesday evening.

“While the work of teachers in rural areas is good, but the work of teachers in municipality and other urban area is very poor,” she said ruefully. “Why this is happening despite so many trainings is surprising and we are looking into this aspect,” she said.

Sarangi lauded public cooperation, saying it has been very encouraging. “We visited Aampali, a remote village in Patnagarh block, only to find the students reading under a tree despite sanction of money for construction of the school building.”

Funds were sanctioned in 2006 for construction of the school building which has not been completed till today. Immediately after her visit, the Allahabad Bank agreed to make payments and the school building would be ready by December, 15, she added.

“The Government of India has stopped funding for the Residential Care Centre (RCC) the children of migrant labourers. We have arranged funds from different schemes and it would be opened by December 15,” Sarangi said.

The bicycle distribution scheme is going well in the district and the distribution of uniforms would be over by December 31, she added.

“One good thing I learnt from the district is supply of carpet to students in the schools where there is shortage of furniture. We are going to experiment it, in other districts too,” the Secretary was happy to note.

She said, “However, the monitoring and supervision part in school education in the district is very poor. Almost all the CRC/BRCC and School SIs are not at all moving to rural areas. We are carrying out an assessment of their performance and action will be taken against the errant officials.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Loan, seed, irrigation, storage glitches hit farming in Balangir

Loan, seed, irrigation, storage glitches hit farming in Balangir
TUESDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2011 23:53 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 5
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There is problem in getting timely loans from banks, shortage of seeds and fertiliser, irregular electricity supply, lack of irrigation, besides unavailability of agricultural labourers in rural areas, intermittent drought affect adversely agricultural operations in Balangir and Subarnapur, said the farmers in the two districts to a four-member farmers commission headed by SM Pattnaik on their visit to Balangir on Monday.

The major problem affecting us are absence of irrigation and timely credit from banks, said a farmer of Belpada block Premananda Sahu.

When we get loan from bank after lot of harassment, either it is in the middle of the crop or even towards the end of crop, which forces us to go for borrowing at heavy interest rate, Sahu said.

“We had to run to block office to get seed, fertiliser and insecticide for around 10 days which increased the cost of farming,” pointed out another farmer Santosh Patel of Damepali of Khaprakhol block.

“With easy availability of rice in rural areas due to rice at `2 per kg scheme, getting agricultural labourer in rural area has become a Herculean task. The labourers, who were earlier working in our field used to take paddy as their wage but now they are reluctant and demanding money at inflated rate, which has created a lot of difficulties for farmers, Patel further said.

Migration has also added to the woes and many a people, who are going for migration to earn more and some even are receiving money from the dalals in advance rather than toil in field, Patel pointed out further.

The district administration should check migration from the district, besides ensuring irrigation to farmer’s field, Patel suggested.

Besides, the problem in getting loans, farmers are also facing problem in soil testing.

“We have to wait for long days to get our soil test results at Patnagarh,” said president of Baghbahali village under Patnagarh block Seshdev Bhoi. It affects our cultivation process, Bhoi maintained.

The electricity which is supplied to us comes at its own sweet will and we are dependent on it and there is nobody to regulate it. However, the electricity department never fails to send its bill in the month end, said Abhimunayu Mundaof Larkipali.

It takes days to get loans sanctioned from a bank and the middle man and corruption play a crucial role without which it is difficult to get the loans, informed Karmu Nayak. Incentives should be provided to farmers to encourage fencing of fields, Nayak added.

The absence of rain in the early stage affected the cotton seedlings. Again farmers took up plantation. However, the dry spell of September and October affected the cotton crop and damaged it up to 70 per cent, said Khageshwar Sahu of Bangibahal village.

The Government should make arrangement for supply of BT cotton seed. While BT cotton has been allowed in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, why the Odisha Government should not allow it? When I took the cotton to Jogimunda cotton mandi, it was not purchased and I had to bring back it to my house, said Khageshwar Sahu of Bangibahal village.

There was acute shortage of fertiliser in Birmaharajpur area of Sonepur district and I had to purchase fertiliser through a dalal at 40 per cent more than the declared price, Jatin Panigrahi of Anandapur village of Sonepur district informed.

This year cotton cultivation has been badly affected and insurance coverage should be provided. The insurance premium for cotton crop is very high and it should be reduced, Panigrahi said.

The check dams should be constructed in such a way that they should really serve the purpose of providing irrigation to the farmer’s field, a few farmers demanded.

Other problems that were brought to the notice of the commission included checking the dalas in Mandi system, miller’s harassment to farmers, better irrigation facility to farmers and treating agriculture as industry.

“We are listening to all the problems of the farmers of the districts. Farmers have specially complained of water shortage, problem in getting seed, timely supply of fertiliser and marketing problem. Besides these districts, we will also tour other districts and take into account the problems of farmers. We would recommend solutions to the Government after that,” said SM Pattnaik to mediapersons.

Other members who were present were Vice Chancellor of, OUAT Dr DP Roy, Sudhakar Panda, Gadadhar Parida, besides Deputy Director, Agriculture (DDA) Manoranjan Mallick.

Monday, November 21, 2011

‘Job-oriented training can check migration in Balangir’ TUESDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2011 00:21 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 4 User Rating: / 0 Poor

‘Job-oriented training can check migration in Balangir’
TUESDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2011 00:21 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 4
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Distress migration in Balangir is a cause of concern for everybody and it can be tackled by taking a series of steps, including sensitising the people, streamlining the migration process, and upgrading the skills of unemployed boys and girls by imparting them various vocational trainings like tailoring, mason work, motorcycle repairing, dress designing and plumbing.

“Migration cannot be stopped totally from the district but it can be streamlined and reduced by sensitising people about migration and its impact and by providing them extra job opportunities by imparting them various life skill vocational training, which can be employable. Once a youth acquires a life skill vocational training, he would hesitate to go for brick making and face the ordeal,” observed Pradeep Mahapta of Udyaam at a workshop on a district level workshop on adverse impact of migration and distribution of vocational training certificates to youth, held at Titilagarh on Wednesday last.

With the completion of the training, the youth would be able to become self dependent and hesitant to go for migration. Even if they would go for migration, it would provide them additional opportunities to earn more both in local and outside States, observed Titilagarh Sub Collector Biswanath Sahu in the workshop.

Balangir correspondent of The Pioneer, Sudhir Mishra, spoke about drought and distress migration in the district and stressed on streamlining the process of migration. As the youth have acquired life skill vocational training, they would become self reliant, which would help slow down migration further, Mishra asserted. Titilagarh Sub Collector Sahu, Udyaam president Kannanbala Das and activist Padreep Mahapatra gave away vocational training certificates and equipment to the rural boys and girls. Murali Charan Das proposed vote of thanks.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

ABVP bandh hits life at Balangir SATURDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2011 23:19 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 20 User Rating: / 1

ABVP bandh hits life at Balangir
SATURDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2011 23:19 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 20
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Normal life in Balangir town was affected on Saturday as a result of a 12-hour dawn-to dusk bandh call given by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

The ABVP activists, led by Hitesh Sahu, Himanshu Mishra and RK Sahu, demanded appointment of Lecturers in different colleges in the district headquarters town.

They also protested against the stoppage of admission to the Balangir Ayurvedic College in the current academic session by the CCIM due to absence of requisite Lecturers and paramedical staff.

The ABVP activists were supported by the Students’ Unions of different colleges of the town. Shops and business establishments were closed. Private buses were off the roads.

Banks, Post Offices and Government offices, including the CDMO office, were also closed

The activists squatted before the district Collectorate and burnt tyres on the roads.

Friday, November 18, 2011

22 AP labour Sardars arrested at Kantabanji SATURDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2011 00:43 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 10

22 AP labour Sardars arrested at Kantabanji
SATURDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2011 00:43 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 10
22 AP labour Sardars arrested at Kantabanji
SATURDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2011 00:43 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 11
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In a bid to streamline the migration process and put an end to illegal migration from this district, under the direction of Balangir SP Awinash Kumar a team of police personnel led by inspector Ranjan Pattnaik on Thursday raided three hotels of Kantabnji town and arrested 22 Sardars (labour contractors) of Andhra Pradesh, who had come to recruit labourers from the district. Besides, three hotel owners of Kantabanji were taken to custody.

“We arrested the contactors as they could not produce valid papers to recruit labourers from this district. The Sardars showed letters of the Andhra Pradesh Government, but they are not valid in Odisha. The labour contractors should have applied to the Odisha Government through local District Labour Offices which had to be approved by the Odisha Government. After getting approval, they would be eligible to take labourers from Odisha,” said Inspector Ranjan Pattnaik.

The contractors and hoteliers have been booked under various Sections of IPC including 367 (kidnapping and confining as slaves) 368, 371 (dealing humans as slaves) and 120(b) (conspiracy) and Section 14 of the Sarai ACT of 1967 and Section 4 of the Hotel and Establishment Act of 1956, Pattnaik said

“During our raids, we found that a majority of hotel owners were not keeping ID proof of occupants,” he pointed out further. All the arrested persons were forwarded to court on Friday.

The arrest of the labour contractors at took a new turn in the evening as several Congress workers, led by their party’s Kantabanji MLA Santosh Singh Saluja, gheraoed the local police station demanding release of the arrested persons. The police resorted to mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Maoists gun down ward member in Balangir TUESDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2011 23:34 SUDHIR MISHRA/ LALMOHAN PATTANAIK | BALANGIR/JEYPORE HITS: 21

Maoists gun down ward member in Balangir
TUESDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2011 23:34
SUDHIR MISHRA/ LALMOHAN PATTANAIK | BALANGIR/JEYPORE
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Barely three months since the killing of BJD block president and MP nominee Rajkishore Panda on the eve of Independence Day in August this year by suspected Maoists, Maoists on Monday night gunned down another panchayati raj institution leader in Khuripani village in Khaprakhol block of Balangir district.
According to initial reports, the Maoist called out ward member of Khuripani village, Krushna Punji, from his house and shot him dead.
Punji's body with bullet injuries was found near a tamarind tree on Tuesday morning at the village, about 100 km away from here. Punji is stated to be a supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). BJP leader of Balangir district and the party's leader in the State Assembly Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo has come under threat of the Maoists several times.
The Balangir Divisional Committee of the Maoists left a leaflet at the village stating that Punji was a police informer.
"We are looking into the incident from all angles," said Superintendent of Police of Balangir Awinash Kumar while speaking to The Pioneer over telephone. The combing operation is in progress in the area, he added. Meanwhile, the Manpur division of the Maoists pasted posters in different parts of Raighar and Umerkote areas in Nabarangpur district asking the people to boycott voting in the November 30 by-election to the Umerkote Assembly constituency. They also warned the ruling BJD leaders to refrain from poll campaigning, sources said.
Though there was high security alert in the constituency with sufficient number of police personnel being deployed, the incident took place as there is a sizeable Maoist presence in the area as per intelligence sources.
The Maoists have called a bandh in Malkangiri district for two days from Wednesday. Posters and banners were found in all parts of Balimela, Kalimela and Podia areas of the district demanding transfer of Malkangiri Collector Balwant Singh as he "had failed in implementing development work in the remote areas as promised at the time of his joining in the district." They also asked the Government to fulfill their demands as assured by the State Government during the abduction of then Collector R Vineel Krishna.
The Maoists also blocked the roads from Balimela, Kalimela, Sikhpali and Podia of Malkangiri district by felling trees and digging big holes on the roads. The OSRTC and private bus services from Jeypore in Koraput district to Malkangiri district were suspended from Tuesday night and the passengers who were on their way to Malkangiri were left stranded at the Jeypore bus-stand.
No Government and private buses will ply to Malkangiri on Wednesday and Thursday from Jeypore, said both the OSTRC DTM and general secretary of Private Bus Owners' Association Durga Tripathy here.
Due to the security problem, the programme of BJD MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra to Umerkote for campaigning on Thursday was cancelled and Jeypore BJD MLA Rabi Narayan Nanda, who was camping in Umerkote, returned to Jeypore, sources said.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Punish fake certificate holders: Tribals FRIDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2011 23:12 SUDHIRMISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 3 User Rating: / 0 PoorBest

Punish fake certificate holders: Tribals
FRIDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2011 23:12 SUDHIRMISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 3
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Hundreds of tribals of Balangir, Sonepur, Boudh and other parts of western Odisha gheraoed the Collectorate here on Friday, demanding action against the fake caste certificate holders.

The tribals, dressed in their traditional attires and flaunting their traditional arms and weapons along with placards came marching through the town and rallied at the Collector's office under the leadership of Niranjan Bisi, Brajakishore Singhbhoi and Satyanarayn Bhoi of the Zilla Adivasi Kalyan Sangh.

"We had submitted a list of 357 fake caste certificate holders to the administration and only 31 fake certificates were cancelled in last four years. Many fake tribals have obtained a stay order against it. It is the duty of the State Government to vacate the stay order and punish the fake certificate holders," said Paschim Odisha Adivasi Kalyan Sangh general secretary Niranjan Bisi.

Bisi said a State-level scrutiny committee was formed to look into the cases of fake caste certificates and it has passed final order only in six cases since January, 2010. He alleged that following formation of the committee, a Vigilance cell was formed to protect influential persons who hold such fake certificates. "We demand withdrawal of State-level scrutiny committee. All fake caste certificates should be cancelled as per the Odisha Caste Certificate for ST/SC Rule of 1980," observed Bisi. He also demanded that criminal proceedings should be initiated against those non-tribals who have enjoyed the benefits of tribals under the fake certificates and the amount of such benefits in terms of money should be recovered from them.

We are taking today's rally to register our protest that even today fake caste certificate holders are enjoying the benefits too. We demand immediate action them. Unless it is done, tribals would force to take up arms in future, Brajakishore Singhbhoi, president of Balangir Zilla Adivasi Kalyan Sangh said further. The SC/ST atrocity Act is being misused and tribals are not getting justice properly, Singhbhoi said. Rather than taking action against them, officials are harassing the genuine tribal's observed Sri Niranjan bisi alleged further. Tribals are being harassed in the district .Rather than taking action against the accused the police is threatening the victim, alleged Sri BK Singhbhoi President of Zilla Adivasi Kalyan sangh.False cases, against the tribals should be withdrawn.

Moreover tribals of Niyamgiri in Kalahandi should be provided protection and the lease of forest are cancelled further and the Gandhmardarn Mountains which is a source of livelihood of thousands of tribal's of western Odisha should be declared a National property, observed Bisi further. Later they submitted a memorandum to CM through district administration.

Jumbo menace continues to hit Subarnapur, Balangir farmers THURSDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2011 23:12 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 5 User Rating: / 0

Jumbo menace continues to hit Subarnapur, Balangir farmers
THURSDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2011 23:12 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 5
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The ordeal of farmers of Subarnapur and Balangir districts is far from over even after losing their Kharif paddy crop, due to irregular and scanty rainfall this year.

As the winter sets in, they are facing another ordeal -loss of standing paddy crop, due to marauding group of jumbos from nearby forest in Subarnapur and Balangir district.

According to reports, around 16 jumbos have damaged paddy crop in Seragada, Dhuleshwar,Chouhanpur, Hathilimunda in Birmahajpur block of Sonepur district. These areas shares borders with Redahkhol forest and elephants are coming from there.

Around 20 elephants have damaged paddy crops in Lachhipur,Chhhatkhol and other adjoining areas in Sonepur block Similarly in Ulunda area around six elephants have damaged crop of farmers, explained a forest official.

"The damage to paddy crop is going on since last 15 days and as per our report around 500 acre of paddy crop has been damaged in our district. The main reasons for coming of so many jumbos from forest, towards paddy filed in plain land and damaging it, are due to availability of fodder, adequate drinking water, bushy forest area, absence of mining and blasting activity in this area and a safe habitat" points out forest range officer of Sonepur Sushil Tripathy.

"It is a gross misconception that jumbos are coming out to eat paddy crop in the field. Elephants are coming out as their habitat has been damaged and these areas were once their corridor. The movement of elephant towards paddy field and damaging paddy crop is more of a fun and amusement", Tripathy further added.

Besides Sonepur, the farmers of Balangir district have also been affected due to jumbo menace. According to reports last night around 30 elephants are moving in and around Bendra, Bakti, Asurmunda and Katapali and other villages in the Loisingha range in Balangir district.

Three persons have a providential escape on Saturday morning as these persons were coming to Bhalimunda Market to sell chillies on their bicycle. Seeing the elephant these people somehow fled from that spot leaving their bicycle and chilly which they were carrying to market for selling. At least paddy crop of four farmers have been damaged in Katapali village and if all the damaged paddy land is calculated it would be more than 50 acre, said Promod Bagarti of Katapali.

When contacted the Loisingha forest range officer says he cannot say the exact area of crop damage in his area now as he is away. Repeated attempts to contact Balangir DFO RK Sahu over the cell phone failed.

Official lodges FIR against MLA Saluja THURSDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2011 23:23

Official lodges FIR against MLA Saluja
THURSDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2011 23:23 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 18
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Alleging misbehaviour, criminal intimidation and casting aspersion on his caste, deputy director Planning and Statistics Batakishore Paruaa lodged an FIR in Town Police station, against Kantabanji MLA Santosh Singh Saluja on Wednesday.

It may be recalled that during the Planning Board meeting held on November 1, there was a heated exchange of words among the members and officials.

The Town Police have registered a case (no 282) under section 294/506 of IPC and 3 of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocity Act against the MLA, informed Inspector-in-Charge Town PS Bimalendu Satpathy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Balangir BJD protests petrol price hike

Balangir BJD protests petrol price hike
Balangir BJD protests petrol price hike
WEDNESDAY, 09 NOVEMBER 2011 23:57 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 7
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Biju Janta Dal activities of the party’s Balangir unit, led by Kailash (Tima) Mahanty, Harekrushna Sarangi, Ashok Ratha and Damayanti Bag, on Wednesday staged a dhrana before the district Collectorate here protesting against the recent hike in the price of petrol and describing the UPA Government’s decision as anti-people. They demanded immediate rollback of the decision.

While Naveen Patnaik is striving hard to ensure development of Odisha, the Centre is constantly neglecting the State and taking anti-people steps like the hike in price of petrol, said the speakers. They lauded the efforts of Minister AU Singh Deo and local MP Kalikesh Narayn Singh Deo for development of Balangir district.

The BJD activists later burnt effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the district administration.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

BJP demo catches people off guard in Balangir TUESDAY, 08 NOVEMBER 2011 23:52 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 11

BJP demo catches people off guard in Balangir
TUESDAY, 08 NOVEMBER 2011 23:52
PNS | BALANGIR
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Monday's closure of petrol pumps due to the demonstration by BJP Yuva Morcha activists not only caught people off guard but also brought major embarrassment to the party in the absence of proper coordination.
According to reports, after demonstration and closure of petrol pumps by the activists in the town, they reached a petrol station at Madhipali located on the outskirts of the town.
According to sources, seeing that the petrol pump was open and carrying out business, a heated exchange between the agitators and petrol pump staff ensued.
It is alleged that the agitators heckled petrol pump attendants.
Angry over this development, the petrol pump owner lodged an FIR at the Sadar police station alleging that BJP workers abused his staff using derogatory words and snatched Rs 5,000. "We have received an FIR in this connection," informed Inspector-in-Charge of Sadar PS, Srimanta Barik.
"We should have publicised our programmes more to reach the people effectively," said district BJP president Prabhas Panigrahi, reacting over the apparent confusion cause by the agitation.
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Monday, November 7, 2011

BJP, BJD, SP demand rollback of fuel price hike TUESDAY, 08 NOVEMBER 2011 00:04 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 10 User Rating: / 0

BJP, BJD, SP demand rollback of fuel price hike
TUESDAY, 08 NOVEMBER 2011 00:04 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 10
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Protesting the recent hike in the petrol prices and demanding its rollback, members of the BJP Yuva Morcha led by Anil Panigrahi staged a demonstration before petrol pumps on Monday morning, forcing the retail fuel outlets to down their shutters.

“We took the steps to close down the petrol pumps in order to register our protest against the price hike and demand a rollback,” said Anil Panigrahi. All petrol pumps will remain closed till 6 pm in the evening. This development put a lot of pressure on people depending on two-wheelers and four-wheelers as well as on the transport operators.

“Everybody, including the daily-wagers, has holidays for rest or personal work, which we don’t have. At least for a few hours we got respite due to this close-down,” confided a petrol pump employee requesting anonymity. Earlier on Saturday, a huge rally was taken out in Titilagarh by the BJD youth wing led by its general secretary Abhimanyu Sahu, Promod Pradhan and others, protesting the 5th price hike in 10 months. They said the price hike would further hit the common man and strongly demanded that the hike be called off immediately.

In a related development, district president of Samajwadi Party Arun Mishra condemned repeated hike in the price of petrol and termed the measure as anti-poor. It would hit the common man hard, Mishra said and demanded its rollback.

Friday, November 4, 2011

‘Declare areas hit by erratic rainfall as drought-hit’ FRIDAY, 04 NOVEMBER 2011 22:28 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 1 User Rating: / 0

‘Declare areas hit by erratic rainfall as drought-hit’
FRIDAY, 04 NOVEMBER 2011 22:28 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 1
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Farmers of Puintala, Loisingha and Balangir blocks, led by former MP Balgopal Mishra and farmer leader Udayasingh Thakur, on Friday went around in a procession through the town and gheroed the district Collectorate, demanding all the areas of the State, which has been hit due to irregular rainfall and subsequent drought ,should be declared as drought affected .

Farmers of the district have suffered four times from the beginning of cultivation of paddy crop due to irregular rainfall, pointed out farmer leader Thakur. As a result paddy cultivation could not be taken up in many fields. And in those lands where paddy cultivation was not taken up through broadcasting method, transplanting could not be taken up in the paddy filed due to lack of rain. Further the rains in first week of September further destroyed the pulse crop also. Notwithstanding all this, the Government is yet to declare Balangir as drought hit, Thakur said further.

The demands are not about declaration of Balangir district as drought hit, but for the entire farmers of Odisha who have been affected by drought, said Balgopal Mishra

“The Revenue Minister announced in August that there is drought situation in 16 districts of the State and out of them six districts are badly affected. “In the Relief Code there is a provision that the Government can announce drought seeing the crop condition and necessary relief assistance can be given to farmers as per the relief code, immediately. Why the Government has not declared it as drought affected till today, it is surprising, said Mishra. In the present day Government farmer suicides are taking place on every two days,” he further alleged.

“We held this rally to draw the attention of Government to the plight of not only farmers of Balangir, but also of entire Odisha and we demand immediate declaration those parts suffering crop loss due to erratic rainfall as drought affected points out Balgopal Mishra further.

Addressing the gathering other farmer leaders criticised the anti farmers attitude of Naveen Patnaik Government and favouring the industry.

Later they submitted a 16point charter of demands to President of India through the Collector, which includes declaration of all those parts of the State , hit by drought, “as drought affected” and waiving of loan, early completion of irrigation projects in the districts which include Lower Suktel, Hariharjore ,hike in MSP of paddy to Rs 2, 000, and payment of Rs 20,000 as compensation to farmers towards the damaged caused by elephants within a month.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Subarnapur migrant worker dies in train sans treatment TUESDAY, 01 NOVEMBER 2011 22:06 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 17 User Rating: / 0

Subarnapur migrant worker dies in train sans treatment
TUESDAY, 01 NOVEMBER 2011 22:06 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 17
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It is common to find a large number of people from Balangir district resorting to the course of migration every year to brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to earn bread. But, more often than not, that lands them in a world of torture and exploitation.

This time the report of the death of a labourer during journey in a train and the trauma of the accompanying persons from neighbouring Subarnapur district has shocked many.

Sources said Santanu Biswal and Tarunkumar of Kandhpali village under Menda panchayat of Subarnapur district had migrated to Chennai two months ago and were working at a spare part company. Another person of nearby Ardda village had also migrated to Chennai with the same mission. As Tarunkumar fell ill, he was sent back to his home along with two ohers. While returning, Tarun Kumar died at Vijayawada station on October 27. He could not avail treatment due to lack of money. Seeing the dead body, the Viziaanagarm railway police detained the other two.

However, after the detained migrant labourers communicated the news to their family members, Dhruba Biswal, father of Santanu submitted a petition to Subarnapur Collector Gagan Behari Swain to rescue his son and others.

The DC took up the matter with his Vizianagaram counter part and requested him through a fax message to take step for the smooth release of the two detained laboueres. Getting the fax message, the Vijanagaram district administration intervened. The dead body after 24 hours was stinking and so was consigned to flame after discussion with his family members. The local Rotary Club and Municipality provided all support. Then the detained persons were let off, who soon returned home.

To incident made the Subarnapur district administration to sensitize the local people here to go through registered contactors to outside States after holding a village meeting. “Necessary instructions were issued to all gram panchayats of the district to ensure the registration of migrant labourers taken by contractors. Besides, the contractors were asked to register with the DLO”, District Collector Swain said.

Declare Balangir drought-hit: BJP TUESDAY, 01 NOVEMBER 2011 22:08 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 4

Declare Balangir drought-hit: BJP
TUESDAY, 01 NOVEMBER 2011 22:08 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 4
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BJP members led by district president Prabash Panigrahi and others staged demonstration before the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) office on Tuesday, demanding Balangir district to be declared drought-hit. The agitation coincided with the District Planning Board (DPB) meeting at the DRDA conference hall under the chairmanship of Revenue Minister Surjya Narayan Patro.

Panigrahi said, “We are demonstrating here demanding declaration of Balangir district as drought-hit and announcement of necessary concession to farmers and assistance to families of those who have committed suicide. While the Government is over-concerned for the flood-affected areas, it is neglecting the severe drought in this region.”

However, the Revenue Minister who faced the ire of the agitating BJP members at the venue of the DPB meeting said, “Today morning, I had visited six tehsils of the district and interacted with farmers. The drought situation in the entire district is grim and after getting the report from the district Collector, necessary steps would be taken to declare the district drought-hit. Patro announced that Balangir district would definitely be declared drought-affected in due course.
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Monday, October 31, 2011

Non-consumers slapped with electricity bills in Balangir MONDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2011 22:47 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 3 User Rating: / 0

Non-consumers slapped with electricity bills in Balangir
MONDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2011 22:47 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 3
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Tarasia Khamari of Sibtala village under Chudapali section was surprised to receive an electricity bill (NoC4627474) of `938 towards his consumption for last September. Reason: His house was not connected with electricity under the Kutir Jyoti Programme.

Khamari was not the only man to get such a bill. More than 175 villagers of Sibtala gram panchayat under the Chudapali electric section received such bills and were asked to make payment.

In a majority of the cases, either the meter was not installed after electricity connection or the connection itself was made to the houses. But the villagers were asked to pay the electricity dues, rued a labour union leader Lalit Nayak on Saturday last.

As per the rules, after the section officer’s verification and certification about a new connection, the consumer is issued a bill. But in this case, WESCO officials made the bills bypassing the norms, Nayak alleged.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Balangir: Hard time for groundnut growers as soil lacks moisture FRIDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2011 22:35 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 4

Balangir: Hard time for groundnut growers as soil lacks moisture
FRIDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2011 22:35
SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR
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After paddy crop suffered heavy loss, thanks to the irregular and scanty rainfall in the district this year, the farmers are again in trouble in harvesting groundnut crop due to lack of moisture in the soil.

Groundnut is a 100-110 days crop, which grows inside sandy loam and well-drained soil and is widely cultivated in Patnagarh, Titilagarh, Deagoan and Agalpur, among other blocks of Balangir. It is grown during the Kharif season and farmers usually sow it in June and harvest it by September as the soil remains wet during the time.

There are two types of groundnut plants — runner and bunch types — cultivated in the district. Balangir has mostly rain-fed conditions. The groundnut crop cultivated in the rain-fed conditions requires rain during its flowering and just before harvesting, says an agriculture official.

However, this year, there has been much irregularity in rainfall in the district.

First, there was excessive delay in rains and then there was irregular and scanty rainfall, which affected the sowing of the crop. After becoming ready, a farmer has to harvest it by uprooting the plant. If there is moisture in the soil due to rain, the plant is easily uprooted. As there has been no rain in the month of October, the soil remains hard here. As a result, the ground nut farmers are finding it difficult to do the harvesting act.

“We have cultivated groundnut in four acres of land and in the absence of rain, we are finding it difficult to harvest the crop. If the crop remains within the soil for next 20-25 days, it would be susceptible to attack by rats and termites,” says a farmer Chitta Sahu of Agalpur block.

As the soil has been hard, whenever a farmers is trying to uproot, a large amount of groundnuts are lost in the soil. Further, digging requires additional labour and pain.

Groundnut is mostly cultivated in Adabahal and Kursud gram panchayats in Titilagarh block. As the soil has been hard, farmers are finding it difficult to harvest. In the absence of rain, some farmers are bringing water in bullock carts and spraying it over the roots of the groundnut plants so that it can be uprooted easily. But this is a difficult task and puts additional burden on the farmers, says the agriculture official.

This year groundnut cultivation has been taken up in 6, 900 hectares all over the district and it is widely grown in Patnagarh and Titilagarh areas, in particular. The groundnut productions in the district could go up further with better application of fertiliser and management practices, says Deputy Director of Agriculture Manoranjan Mallick.

Groundnut, which has a readymade acceptance and cash value, is facing threats from other promoted cash crops like cotton. The area under groundnut cultivation is declining rapidly and people are increasingly evincing interest in cotton cultivation in those lands.

Ironically, even though there is insurance cover for the crop, hardly has any insurance been done for the farmers. With soil becoming hard, it seems the fate of the farmers has been sealed off.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

House panel unhappy with Balangir hospital blues THURSDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2011 22:50 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 3

House panel unhappy with Balangir hospital blues
THURSDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2011 22:50 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 3
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A House Committee of the State Assembly led by Prabhat Biswal visited the district headquarters hospital on Wednesday evening and got a glimpse of the poor state of affairs there. The hospital was recently in news for crashing of ceiling fan in gynaecology ward which created scare among the patients.

Indoor patients complained of inadequate food and poor sanitation. Biswal wanted to know from the medical authorities as to why Rs 20 was being spent on food for patients while the Government has sanctioned Rs 50 per head. He also directed the GED department to take necessary steps to improve sanitation and other conditions within 15 days. Mediapersons drew his attention to poor repair in electricity wiring in the hospital even though Rs 8 lakh was spent over such repair, and wanted action against whoever was concerned.

Later House Committee leader Biswal and other members held a review with district- level officials on different departments. He pulled up the local DFO who was unable to present the amount received for different projects. The team expressed unhappiness over the NH road condition and directed the department to repair it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sahara power plant official attacked in Balangir SUNDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2011 23:19 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 6 User Rating: / 0

Sahara power plant official attacked in Balangir
SUNDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2011 23:19 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 6
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The proposed 1,320 megawatt thermal power plant by Sahara Group at Luthurbandh, Titilagarh, is once again in the news, as one of its official’s was allegedly attacked on Sunday morning, by people opposing the setting up of a power plant there.

Reports said that the advisor for land acquisition in the proposed 1,320 MW thermal power plant, Niranjan Panda, was allegedly attacked in Luthurbandh village, 10 km from Titiligarh town, by people opposing the setting up of the thermal power plant.

Panda was invited by a local, Narendra Bisi, to hold discussions regarding the sale of land to the company and also held discussions with a woman of Mahada village, for the transfer of land.

While he was returning to Titilgarh, he was attacked by people opposing the Sahara power plant there at Luthurebandh.

His vehicle was damaged and Panda sustained injuries, informed ASP Srikant Mishra over phone to this correspondent. When the administration issued an advisory to the Sahara officials not to visit the village for land acquisition purpose, why he did he come to the village, complained the agitators.

IDCO is acquiring the land and Sahara company officials have no role to play here. Irate villagers assaulted the officials, informed Sahara Prakalpa Birodhi Manch leader, Balkrishna Sandh, over telephone to this correspondent.

But Titlagarh Sub-Collector, Biswanath Sahu, said: “In order to prevent any untoward and unpleasant situation, we have verbally suggested power plants officials to avoid visit to that area in odd hours. However, there is no restriction on movement of anybody. So far, IDCO has acquired 237acre of private and 86 acres of Government land for the proposed of setting up this power plant,” said Sahu.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bear population dwindles due to habitat loss in West Odisha WEDNESDAY, 12 OCTOBER 2011 00:06 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 5 User Rating: / 0

Bear population dwindles due to habitat loss in West Odisha
WEDNESDAY, 12 OCTOBER 2011 00:06 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 5
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The death of three bears on May 8 last in a village in Subarnapur district has once again brought the man-animal conflict to the fore.

According to reports, at least three bears died on the day at Puleshar village of Kenjriapali Gram Panchayat under Birmaharajpur block when they came in contact with a live wire fence in a paddy field.

When the bears arrived at the paddy field, two of them tried to get through but were electrocuted. The rest also touched the live wire but was left seriously injured. It died later, Forest official sources said.

By the time the Forest Department officials reached the spot to probe the incident, villagers were about set the carcasses on fire. Seeing the officials, they fled and the former recovered one carcass only.

Every year around seven to ten people are injured in bear attack and mostly the victims are the poor men.

A majority of incident of bear attack has occurred at Ulunda, Birmaharjpur and Lachhipur areas of Subarnapur district. Besides Subarnapur, incidents of bear attack have also occurred in Sambalpur, Redhakhol, Boudh and other parts of western Odisha.

“In our area sloth bear is usually found which is semi-carnivorous.

The animal eats fruits, sugarcane, honey and white ants and usually resides in bushy and thorny forest near water streams. Usually, the bear moves in sunrise and sunset time and drinks water twice in the morning and evening. It usually moves alone. However, in mating time both male and female move together.

It is usually a shy animal and attacks a person if somebody comes in front of it. Moreover, if a person comes close to its habitat, the bear gets furious and attacks him. If the bear is irritated, then also it attacks,” explains an official of the Forest Department.

The main reasons for increasing number of attacks on human beings are loss of habitat, absence of food items, decline in availability of water and overcrowding. Bear usually lives in bushy, thorny forest, not in deep /dense forest near human habitation. As its habitat is being lost due to a variety of factors, it ventures into human habitation resulting in man-animal conflict.

“In recent times, a change in its behaviour has been noticed. In Redhakhol area, a sloth bear guarding the dead body of person and eating his flesh came to our notice. This is something a new development,” points out Forest Ranger of Sonepur-Birmaharajpur Sushil Kumar Tripathy.

Unlike tiger and elephant census, there is no special survey on the bear population. The skin of a bear has high demand for its medicinal values. Besides, its gall bladder is also highly useful. Moreover, the skin of a bear is also used in Tantric rites.

“We don’t have any reports of poaching of a bear in our area, says a Forest official. A special survey of bear should be taken to ascertain its number and step should be taken to conserve its habitat. Moreover, a corridor should be created wherein bear could stay peacefully and get adequate food and water,” opined an official of the Forest Department.
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Female elephant found dead in Sonepur SUNDAY, 09 OCTOBER 2011 00:53 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 7 User Rating: / 0

Female elephant found dead in Sonepur
SUNDAY, 09 OCTOBER 2011 00:53 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 7
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A female elephant, about 11 years old, was found dead in an elephant-proof trench dug at Bajipali village of Rengali panchyat of Sonepur block in Subarnapur district, 50 km from here.

The elephant proof trench was dug near Bajikhol, 30 km from Sonepur, five years ago to prevent elephants from coming out of the forests. Over the years, wild grass has gown there.

The ill-fated elephant unknowingly put her feet at the spot and fell into the trench four days ago. As she fell into the two-and-a-half-meter deep trench, her legs came upwards and she failed to stand up again.

An elephant has to stand up first .As she could not do so she remained inside for long and died due to suffocation. “As the place is located away from the village, the event came to our notice only on Friday night, said a forest official.

There is no electricity in the area, informed a forest official after returning from the spot when asked to comment on the reported electrocution of the elephant.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Starry-eyed surprise FRIDAY, 07 OCTOBER 2011 21:51 PIONEER User Rating: / 0 PoorBest

Starry-eyed surprise FRIDAY, 07 OCTOBER 2011 21:51 PIONEER User Rating: / 0 PoorBest
by Sudhir Mishra on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 7:17am
DEAR all
I enclose a story published in the Pioneer for your perusal.
Yours
SudhirMishra/Pioneer/Balangir
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Starry-eyed surprise
FRIDAY, 07 OCTOBER 2011 21:51 PIONEER
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US spacewalker Mary Ellen Weber says her team never saw the Great Wall on her astronaut mission. She spoke to Shana Maria Verghisabout the next phase of human travel outside Earth’s orbit
Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei had said way back in 2003, that he never saw the Great Wall of China from space. Astronaut Larry Chiao took photos of a glistening Lake Nasser in Egypt from orbit, that have mistakenly been identified as the Wall. And US astronaut William Pogue supposedly said he thought he saw it too. But what he observed, was apparently the Chinese Grand Canal.

The whole deal around The Wall and space increasingly sounds like a space-age fib. A fact, confirmed by another astronaut, Mary Ellen Weber, who was at the American Centre in the Capital, during what has been declared as International Space Week.

Weber, who did two space flights, in 1995 and 2000, was primary contingency spacewalker on the first flight and also belongs to the first class of 14 international astronauts of 1992. The former bronze and silver medallist in skydiving, who took part in what was apparently the world’s largest freefall in 2002 (with 300 people), commented that when the shuttle passed over China “we eagerly looked but saw nothing. But we decided to say we saw it during the 45 minutes when the ship was in Earth’s orbit.” To the question about what other astronauts saw, she told us, “Maybe they wanted to see it, but couldn’t. And decided to do the same. The fact is we saw nothing. And it was daytime.” She added, “Night time viewing sometimes provides better results. From a glimpse of the world’s city’s, none stood out, except Las Vegas. It was colourful because of lights from all the signage.”

Weber said during two years of training, before her first flight, much of her time was in simulators, experiencing zero-gravity “where they give you devious situations to problem solve. Though it is never like real experience.” As for mental fitness, the lady remarked, “We’ve got health support but you are to handle everything yourself and rise to the occasion. However, divorce is often an issue with astronauts. Couples tend to be separated for longer durations. Even living in different cities.”

Weber, who was interested in the CERN project and its quantum physics aspect “from a scientist point of view “was unaware that about 100 Indian scientists are involved in it.” She added, “Till the shuttle programme ended, space flights were about pilots and aviator, rather than the domain of pure scientists. All that will change. Future mission will have physicists and science experts.”

She knows that NASA studies currently are “into different life-sciences. And that there are also some sections devoted to astrophysics. As well as to different earth and planetary sciences.”

Her experience comes from flying planes with expertise in space-station and space craft systems.

Weber’s face lights up, remembering the thrill “of flying a P-38 Jet,” to get a feel of “real-time environment.” P-38’s were the only US fighter aircraft to be made (by Lockheed) during World War II.

She also shared that the main reason she left NASA, was over the size of the space suits.

“They made budget cuts. A casualty was the medium-sized space suit.”

Weber, who is barely about five foot two something “found that I didn’t have enough reach and could not get my arms around the pack of the large-sized ones they now have.” She explained further, “Space-suits are expensive to maintain. Since they are designed almost like mini-spaceships with protection against meteors and other forces. So the idea was to reserve them for taller people.”

As for effects of space on her body. She remarked, “Various studies show it is affected by micro-gravity. Eye-sight gets diminished too. There are other effects like radiation which causes cancer, as there is no protection against solar winds.” Weber went on, “Some people take days to recover in hospital. Another big thing is in space, something happens called ‘fluid shift. Which means there is one-third less of water in your body and your weight decreases in orbit. So if you want to lose weight go to space! When we get back to Earth, we need fluid in our bodies to stand up and be conscious. Lucky for me, I felt great, except that sensors in my ear for balance were messed up for a little bit.”

She said the future of space-travel next could be Mars. “We went to the Moon. We couldn’t keep going there, because people lose interest. So that’s what’s in store for a space-faring civilisation.”

“We are getting better at operations, since the time we started to fly with the Wright Brothers. Now we have to focus on other aspects like traffic control. The shuttle programming and the risk involved, taught us valuable information about leaving and returning to a place. Is there more we could learn from it? Yes. But is a trade-off. Like picking a career. You have to focus on what you are good at. So NASA decided to end lower orbit missions into space (upto 2000km from Earth), for new orbits and asteroids.” All human space missions have been Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

The astronaut continued, “There are two people with different ideas about the next course. NASA is to build its own rockets. And the commercial sector to build space ships. Now it looks like there will be public and private sector partnerships. And also more international ventures.” She concluded, “I developed a greater respect for saving the environment after my spacewalk. And because of international aspects of space travel, I think I’m competent to talk about successful future collaborations.”
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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Balangir tribal body threatens stir on fake certificate issue SATURDAY, 01 OCTOBER 2011 14:09 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 17

Balangir tribal body threatens stir on fake certificate issue
SATURDAY, 01 OCTOBER 2011 14:09 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 17
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Protesting against the alleged inaction of the Government in taking swift action against the fake tribal caste certificate holders, who are undeservingly enjoying the benefits meant for tribals, Paschim Odisha Adivasi Kalyan Mahasangh has threatened to gherao Rajbhavan on January 28, 2012.

A resolution to this effect was adopted in the recent general body meeting of the Sangh held at Balangir on September 25. The meeting was attended by representatives of Sonepur, Balangir, Nuapada, Debagarh and others districts of western Odisha, where in Executive Engineer, RWSS, Manohar Nayak, was the chief guest.

Since the last four years, the tribals are submitting memorandums to the District Collectors, the Chief Secretary, the Chief Minister and others to take immediate action against fake caste certificate holders. They had gheroed the district collectriate of Balangir to press for their demands here.

However, the Government has failed to take prompt action in fulfilling the genuine demands of the tribals, besides action against the fake caste certificate holders.

The SC/ST Development Department (SSD) has remained a mute spectator and the Chief Minister has also not shown any urgency in solving the problems of tribals, said Secretary General of the Mahasangh Niranjan Bisi.

As the Governor of Odisha is the constitutional authority and protector of tribal rights, we believe his intervention would bring swift justice to tribals. Hence, to seek his intervention, we are going to gherao the Governor House on January 28, 2012, warned Bisi.

The adivasi body submitted a total list of 352 fake caste certificate holders in Balangir district. Out of the 352 cases, the Vigilance has inquired and submitted report on 189 cases to the State Vigilance cell. Out of the 352cases, only 16 have been dismissed and at least three employees have obtained stay and are continuing with their job, Bisi informed further. It is the duty and responsibility of the Government to vacate the stay and give them prompt punishment as they are enjoying the benefits of tribals fraudulently. Criminal proceeding should start against them besides recovering the financial benefits from them, Bisi demanded. In Sonepur district, out of the 152 complaints submitted, inquiry report has been submitted in 90cases and only in 12 cases, final order has been passed.

Same is the case in Baragarh, where out of the 204 cases, only in three cases, final order has been passed .In Boudh, 178 cases have been submitted. Similarly in Kalhandi, 88cases of fake caste certificate holders have been submitted, Bisi pointed out further.

While in Nawrangpur, 304 cases of fake caste certificates have been submitted, in Sambalputr, 8 cases have been submitted. The highest number of cases submitted in Kondhmaal is 898, Bisi said.

The Adivasi forum also condemned the brutal killing of MLA Jagabandu Majhi and demanded CBI inquiry into it.

It also criticised the apathetic attitude of tribal welfare Minister Lal Behari Himirika in solving the problems of the tribals. Besides emphasising the preservation Adivasi culture, the outfit demanded better amenities in tribal villages. Among others, Bharatchandra Kishan, JogindraBhoi, Braj Kishore Sing Bhoi, Satyanarayn Bhoi attended the meet.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Heritage Walk at Balangir on Tourism Day 28 SEPTEMBER 2011 BALANGIR | PNSHITS: 3

Heritage Walk at Balangir on Tourism Day
28 SEPTEMBER 2011 BALANGIR | PNS HITS: 3
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District Collector SN Dey flagged off a Heritage Walk on Tuesday from the PR High School to the PWD bungalow here to create awareness about the rich heritage of the country and the State. Principal of State Institute of Hotel Management, Balangir, Chandrakant Mahapatra administered the pledge to all participants to be the “goodwill ambassador of the country and adhere to the highest code of conduct and not to do anything to tarnish the image of the country.” Later, the members of State Institute of Hotel Management, tourist officers, academicians, mediapersns and historians visited the Dhabaleshawr Temple at Belkhandi, 60 km from here, in Kalahandi district. The temple is located on the confluence of the rivers Tel and Utoiee. Principal of Government Women’s College, Bhawanipatna, and Reader in History Siba Prasad Nanda explained the historical backgrounds and significance of this temple and the area .He suggested more excavations in this area to ascertain the exact conditions prevailing in ancient times.
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Cash for kerosene scheme in Balangir in the offing WEDNESDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER 2011 01:30 PNS | BHUBANESWAR HITS: 33

Cash for kerosene scheme in Balangir in the offing
WEDNESDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER 2011 01:30 PNS | BHUBANESWAR HITS: 33
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PDS (public distribution system) consumers in Balangir district will get cash subsidy for kerosene. The State Government has decided to take Balangir as the pilot district for implementation of Cash Subsidy for kerosene, a national project according with a recent decision taken at a meeting of State Food and Civil Supplies Secretaries in Delhi.

Taking the cue, Commissioner-cum-Secretary Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Welfare Madhu Sudan Padhi has taken the lead in making arrangements to implement the programme in the State.

Accordingly, the State Government has requested the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for funding of the pilot project in Balangir. The State Government’s letter to the Centre mentioned that an estimated amount of `2 crore would be required for developing a system for ensuing direct transfer of cash to the bank and post office accounts of the beneficiaries under the pilot project in the district.

At present, the district has a population of 16,58,574 as per the Provisional Census Report and 3,67,776 ration card holders under the BPL, AAY and APL categories.

The process will involve digitisation of the existing ration cards on the database of the National Population Register (NPR) as has been compiled by the State’s Director of Census Operation, reduplication, issue of bar-coded ration cards, training of entrepreneurs having set up common service centres (CSC) at the GP level.

This apart, printing and distribution of ration cards, developing application software for printing bar-coded coupons of the GP-level CSC, IEC activity, creating awareness and others were also parts of the system to be placed before implementation of the project.

Besides, the State Government has also decided to request the Centre in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to sanction `3 per month for printing of bar-coded coupons for each beneficiary family which would be used for transaction of kerosene at the FPS level and later read into the system as proof of sale for subsequent transfer of subsidy to the account of the beneficiary.

“The pilot project will require about three to four months for its implementation,” said a senior official, adding that the aim of introducing the system is to check black-marketing of kerosene and ensure that the needy people get the benefit.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Probe illegal appointments in ordnance factory’ MONDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 2011 21:38 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 1

‘Probe illegal appointments in ordnance factory’
MONDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 2011 21:38 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 1
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Members of the Balangir District Educated Unemployed Forum, led by Santanu Nayak, on Monday, staged a dharna before the Collectorate here demanding an inquiry into the irregularities in the appointment of DBW workers in the ordnance factory at Badmal.

According to their petition, several candidates got appointment in the Defence factory as DBW workers on the basis of fake residential certificates. The matter came to the limelight during the tenure of the then Balangie Collector, Vijay Arora.

After the issue came out in the media, the High Court ordered a joint verification of fake residential certificate holders, who were recruited as DBW workers, said the agitators.

According to them, the present Collector SN Dey had directed the Sub-Collector of Titilagarh and General Manager of the Ordnance factory for a joint verification of the illegal residential certificates. But the inquiry report has been suppressed. “We demand publication of this report and a CBI inquiry against those who have got appointment on the basis of fake residential certificates,” demanded the unemployed youth.

“We are going to submit the report shortly,” informed the Sub-Collector of Titilagarh, Biswanath Sahu, over phone to this correspondent.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Balangir girl rescued from brick kiln in Bangalore FRIDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 2011 23:22 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 6 User Rating: / 0

Balangir girl rescued from brick kiln in Bangalore
FRIDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 2011 23:22 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 6
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A minor girl, Kuni, of Phulki Munda village in Balangir district was left behind by her parents in a Karnataka brick kiln in June, 2011 was rescued by Bangalore police on Thursday.

DSP (Rural), Bangalore Kumarswamy said the girl along with her parents had been brought by a middleman here. Her parent fled from the brick kiln on the pretext of going to market to purchase essential items. And they did not return. But the minor girl was left behind.

A freelance journalist Premanada Mishra brought the incident to the limelight by posting it to different sources and in the internet.

The incident was also published in The Pioneer on July 23, 2011.Following publication of this news the NHRC took suo motto cognisance of the incident and directed the Karnataka police to trace out the girl, informed Mishra

“I got a call from Bangalore police on Thursday evening who informed me that NHRC has taken suo motto cognisance of this incident and instructed them to trace the and asked me for more details, informed Mishra further.

“After getting the order from NHRC to trace the girl we launched a search and could locate the girl in village Suli ,near Hospate, Bangalore .The girl was found to be staying with other Odia labourers children there, informed DSP Kumarswamy to this correspondent over phone.

“We have contacted and informed about the incident to Balangir Superintendent of police.” The girl would be sent with ASI and constable to his native village within a day and they are expected to arrive in Balangir by next day evening or one day late,” he informed.

“The girl has been rescued and the process of handing over the girl to his parents is on. She is expected to arrive here within two days, informed the SP.