Sunday, July 31, 2011

Farmers lock agri officials in Balangir

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Farmers lock agri officials in Balangir
July 31, 2011 11:03:30 PM
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PNS | Balangir

Demanding extension of the deadline of crop insurance, large numbers of farmers in Patnagarh and Loisingha blocks of Balangir district staged Rasta Roko on Saturday.

The crop insurance forma have to be signed by the local Agriculture Department officer. The day being a Saturday and the bank transaction time ending at 1 pm, a large number of forms could not be signed by the officer by that period.

As a result, hundreds of irate farmers demanding insurance cover and extension of the deadline staged the Rasta Roko at Patnagarh. They burnt tyres on the different roads connecting Patnagarh, including the Balangir-Patnagarh highway.

Later, the agitating farmers locked the local Assistant Agriculture Officer and other departmental employees inside their office.

Earlier too, several farmers staged a road blockade before the block office in the evening at Loisingha demanding extension of the crop insurance time.

The farmers submitted a memorandum to the local BDO demanding that the deadline be extended till August 15.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Drought threat looms large over Balangir July 30, 2011 11:34:21 PM

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Drought threat looms large over Balangir
July 30, 2011 11:34:21 PM
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SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

Drought seems to be looming large over Balangir district due to inadequate and erratic rainfall during the monsoon season now, with more than 50 per cent of Kharif paddy crop wilting. Since the beginning of the Kharif season, the uncertainty of rainfall has been haunting agricultural operations in the district.

In June, there was almost 50 per cent deficient rainfall. Farmers expecting that there would be good rainfall in July, which would help carry out the agricultural operations, but they are totally let down due to the inadequate and irregular rainfall in July too.

According to official sources, against the normal average of 336mm in the district, it has received a total of 185.5 mm rainfall till July 29 last,

which is woefully inadequate to carry agriculture operations.

As a result, virtually the farm operations have come to a standstill. The paddy plants in the nursery bed have already become old as the ideal time of planting the seedlings raised in the nursery bed is 21days from sprouting. Already, the plant seedlings in the nursery bed have become 40-45 days old.

Once the plant becomes old, the yield reduces drastically. Already in many parts of the district, the agricultural operations have been halted due to shortage of water.

Further, the seedlings planted have begun to wilt due to shortage of water. This is serious development, pointed out a worried Agriculture official. First of all the moisture stress in the soil is noticed due to shortage of water. There after the plants start yellowing. Already, this condition has been noticed in many parts. Once the yellowing process starts, the plant dies if it does not get water within three to seven days, he maintained.

Unless there is heavy rain within three to four days, the plants in the field are sure to perish, explained the official. Ironically, in spite of occurrence of numerous droughts in the district, there has been hardly any increase in the assured irrigation sources.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sindol projects opposed despite Govt 'clarification'

BHUBANESWAR | Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Sindol projects opposed despite Govt 'clarification'
July 26, 2011 10:35:28 PM

SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

The proposed Sindol power projects have run into further controversy even after the State Government "clarified" its position on the project. Many quarters, including intellectuals, in western Odisha are questioning the projects on several points

Former Sambalpur MP Bhavani Shankar Hota has questioned the projects on many grounds, including its cost effectiveness and utility. The Sindol hydro-power projects, if implemented, would bring untold miseries and devastation to the people of the area, he said.

According to the opponents of the project, what is being touted as a new project is, in fact, the Hirakud Stage III project abandoned due to stiff opposition by the people and also by political parties, including the present ruling party.

As per the official advertisements issued, the three barrages at Deogaon in Sambalpur district and Kapasira and Godhaneswar in Subarnapur and Boudh districts will be of 811.8 metre, 919.50 metre and 1017.50 metre in length, generating 100, 100 and 120 MW of hydroelectricity with costs of Rs 861 crore, Rs 818 crore and Rs 939 crore, respectively.

Surprisingly the height of each barrage was not mentioned which would have significant bearing on the people of the area.

Hota said, "In response to our allegation about the heights of the three barrages, the Minister of Energy has now come out with a prompt clarification by saying that the heights of the barrages have been reduced by 2 metre in case of Deogaon (Sindol-I), 2.7 metre in case of Kapasira (S-II) and 1.7 metre in case of Godhaneswar (S-III) from what was stipulated in the DPR (Detailed Project Report) of 1994. By implication, the Government is saying that the problems of displacement will be tackled by reducing the heights of the barrages."

This could only be ascertained if the DPRs of 2003 and 2007 are made public. "If there were no separate DPRs for 2003 and 2007, then basing on which DPR the then Minister of Energy (Surjya Narayan Patro) in 2003 wrote to his party MLA Sanatan Bisi to the effect that due to certainty of huge displacement and submergence the project was being abandoned," questioned Hota

According to Hota, the other points remain unanswered as follows; With an investment of Rs 2,618 crore, the OHPC (Odisha Hydro Power Corporation) will generate 1,090 MU having an installed capacity of 320 MW. But the great Hirakud Dam, known as the Asia's largest earthen dam, has a capacity of 275.5 MW at present whereas the actual installed capacity is 367.5 MW. But the actual figure of production at present would be about half of what is being provided. The total installed capacity of Upper Kolab, Rengali, Balimela, Indravati and Burla hydro power stations is 2,255 MW whereas the average generation (in the peak-period) as on July 20, 2011 was only 919.5746 MW.

On the basis of the above calculation, the actual production capacity of the Sindol projects may be around 150 MW instead of (proposed) installed capacity of 320 MW.

The MoU has been signed, but the Government has not come out with any cost-benefit analysis of the projects, he said.

In this context, Hota demanded a socio-economic survey of the localities on both sides of the river Mahanadi as the reservoir would engulf all the sides. Further, the Government should undertake an assessment of loss to the people and also to the Government on account of Kendu leaf and other minor forest produces like timber and bamboo.

Separate assessment for loss or damage to fisheries and prawn cultivation along the river should also be undertaken as the entire river belt is known for good and costly quality of prawn and fish, he said.

Hota, answering to a question, said it is not a worthy project which will only achieve a target of about 150 MW (on practical experience and empirical basis) with an investment of Rs 2,600 crore that is likely to be escalated to around Rs 5,000 crore by the time of completion by 2016.

"It is a better proposal to invest less than half of the project money in expanding and strengthening the existing infrastructure at Hirakud and Chiplima to achieve the same target without any social cost of displacement of people and destruction of forest and fertile cultivable land, Hota said.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Proposed Sindhol power projects opposed in west Odisha

BHUBANESWAR | Sunday, July 24, 2011 | Email | Print |

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Proposed Sindhol power projects opposed in west Odisha

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July 23, 2011 11:35:05 PM

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SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR

The decision of the State Government to construct the three-stage Sindhol hydro-electric project downstream of the Hirakud river to generate 320 mw of power, has evoked strong reaction among the common people, political parties, social organisation in the whole of western Odisha including Balangir, Sonepur, Boudh and Sambalpur.

Forming a joint company between the Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) and the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) an MoU was signed by the Government of Odisha, the OHPC and the NHPC in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday in Bhubaneswar.

A total of Rs 3000 crore would be invested for implementation of the first phase of Sindhol-I, Sindhol-II and Sindhol-III with an installed capacity of 320 MW.

The project envisages construction of a barrage on the Mahanadi to utilise the surplus water of the Hirakud reservoir for production of electricity. In the first phase, implementation of the Unit-I project will be accelerated. The barrage is 40 km away from village Deogaon and 90 km from Chipilima. The second unit is 30 km from village Kapasira and the third barrage will be at Godhaneswar, 40 km away.

The joint venture company will set up the project Sindhol-1(100MW) in Sambalpur Sindhol-II in Sonepur and Sindhol-III in Boudh district on the downstream of Mahanadi.

“The project will displace large number of people in the entire Kosalanchal region. In the past, people of this region rose in stiff opposition to the Manibhadra dam project which had to be shelved. This time also, people will oppose the Sindhol projects tooth and nail,” said Kohal Kranti Dal president Promod mihsra.

General secretary of the regional outfit’s Yuva Morcha Priyabata Sahu pointed out: “If the project is executed, it would submerge large areas of Birmahajpur and Sonepur in the Subarnapur district. According to a preliminary survey, in 1990, it would submerge 118 villages and 37,000 hectares of total land including reserve forests, village forests and residential areas in Sambalpur, Sonepur, Boudh and other parts in western Odisha.”

Similar reactions have come forth from Boudh too. “At least 30 villages under 8 gram panchayats of Kantamal constituency in Boudh district are going to be submerged besides large tracts of land including historical monuments,” said Congress leader Kanhei Dang. He expressed concern over the inevitable situation.

In Samablpur, the MoU also evoked sharp reactions among the people. The claim of the Government that there would be no displacement of people in the project areas is nothing but an eyewash, people say.

Meanwhile, former MP Bhavani Hota addressing mediapersons on Friday in Sambalpur observed that the Sindhol hydro power project is nothing new. Earlier it was known as stage III of Hirakud Dam. When the Government tried to construct a dam at Tikarpada and Manibhadra over the Mahanadi, it had to be shelved due to opposition from the entire western Odisha. The claim of generation of 320 mw power is also questionable, Hota said.

Former Balangir MP Balgopal Mishra said, “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is in the habit of neglecting and betraying the people of western Odisha. In 2003 he had assured that there would be no further construction over the Mahanadi. But by signing the agreement with NHPC and OHPC hurriedly without taking the people of this region into confidence, it proves that he has again betrayed the people of this western region.” Mishra called upon the people to resist this arbitrary and anti-people decision of the Government.

Even though the Government is going to construct the power projects at Degaon, Kapasira and at Godhaneshwar, the height of the dams has not been mentioned. The Government should clarify the position, said Rajnan Panda of Water Initiative Odisha (WIO).

WIO demanded total public consultation in the concerned areas before execution of the projects. Rather than going for big power projects, Government should go for other measures to provide assured irrigation to farmers from micro irrigation and other methods, Panda advised.

Meanwhile the All Koshal Students Union, in an emergency meeting here, threatened to launch an agitation demanding scrapping of this project, as they perceive this project as anti-people which would bring more disaster in practical terms to the people of this area than any development.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Minor held captive in Karnataka brick kiln July 22, 2011 10:06:32 PM

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Minor held captive in Karnataka brick kiln
July 22, 2011 10:06:32 PM

SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

In a shocking incident, which has come to light a girl child of Khaprakhol in the district is being held captive in the brick kilns of Karnataka. She had migrated there along with her parents in January.

Reports said Kuni Bariha (10), along with her parents Haridas Bariha and Jayanti Bariha of Nandupala in Khaprakhol block had migrated to the brick kilns of Karnataka through a sardar( middleman) of Phulkimunda village Balraam, without taking any advance.

Later, they along with other families were taken to Bengaluru station and then to a brick kilns at Sulipuli.

As there was no work in that brick kiln these family member migrated to another brick kiln nearby Bethkanala. As this matter came to the notice of owner of the first brick kiln Sobha madam she brought them back and rebuked them and told them to go home but detained the daughter. After return to Nandupalla, Jayanti narrated the incident before the Khaprakhol police.

“My daughter Kuni has been detained there. With no options left we returned to our village,” informed Jayanti further. However, IIC of Kharpol PS N Kiro said “We are yet to get a formal complaint from the parents of that detained girl.” When contacted, District Labour Officer(DLO) PK Bhoi said “I am yet to get a formal complaint.” The matter has been taken up with International Justice Mission Bangalore, to trace and rescue the girl informed a NGO activist Sanjaya Mishra.

Ironically, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is going to hold a two-day session on child rights and protection in Bhubaneswar soon, rather than in any place of Western Orissa and KBK region from where large numbers of child migration and violation of their rights, opined the intellectuals.

Minor held captive in Karnataka brick kiln

BHUBANESWAR | Saturday, July 23, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Minor held captive in Karnataka brick kiln
July 22, 2011 10:06:32 PM
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SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

In a shocking incident, which has come to light a girl child of Khaprakhol in the district is being held captive in the brick kilns of Karnataka. She had migrated there along with her parents in January.

Reports said Kuni Bariha (10), along with her parents Haridas Bariha and Jayanti Bariha of Nandupala in Khaprakhol block had migrated to the brick kilns of Karnataka through a sardar( middleman) of Phulkimunda village Balraam, without taking any advance.

Later, they along with other families were taken to Bengaluru station and then to a brick kilns at Sulipuli.

As there was no work in that brick kiln these family member migrated to another brick kiln nearby Bethkanala. As this matter came to the notice of owner of the first brick kiln Sobha madam she brought them back and rebuked them and told them to go home but detained the daughter. After return to Nandupalla, Jayanti narrated the incident before the Khaprakhol police.

“My daughter Kuni has been detained there. With no options left we returned to our village,” informed Jayanti further. However, IIC of Kharpol PS N Kiro said “We are yet to get a formal complaint from the parents of that detained girl.” When contacted, District Labour Officer(DLO) PK Bhoi said “I am yet to get a formal complaint.” The matter has been taken up with International Justice Mission Bangalore, to trace and rescue the girl informed a NGO activist Sanjaya Mishra.

Ironically, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is going to hold a two-day session on child rights and protection in Bhubaneswar soon, rather than in any place of Western Orissa and KBK region from where large numbers of child migration and violation of their rights, opined the intellectuals.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Health alert in Balangir after dengue claims life July 21, 2011 10:19:23 PM

BHUBANESWAR | Friday, July 22, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Health alert in Balangir after dengue claims life
July 21, 2011 10:19:23 PM
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PNS | Balangir

Diptiprakash Ray, youth from Balangir, died on Monday in Rourkela of dengue fueling a suspicion of the spread of the disease in the district.

According to reports, Dipti was referred to a private hospital in Burla after he was suspected to be suffering from dengue. He tested positive at the hospital in Burla and was referred to Ispat General Hospital (IGH) in Rourkela for treatment. However, he died soon after reaching Rourkela. Following the incident, the district administration sounded an alert across the town to prevent the spread of the disease.

Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Dr Vikrant Kindo held discussion with the municipal councilors on Wednesday evening, where the councillors were sensitised on sanitation in their respective areas. He also emphasised on the need not to use the stagnant water breeding mosquitoes.

According to sources, the Health Department officials, meanwhile, have visited the house of the deceased and collected blood samples of the other family members.

A team of entomologist from NIMR, Rourkela, and National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDC), Bhubaneswar, also arrived in Balangir to study different larva and mosquitoes. The team members advised the district administration to take vector control measures, informed CDMO Kindo.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bt cotton now sown in large parts of Balangir July 20, 2011 10:18:42 PM

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Bt cotton now sown in large parts of Balangir
July 20, 2011 10:18:42 PM
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SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir

Buoyed by last year’s impressive cotton sale, which fetched more than Rs 3,200 per quintal, be it Bt cotton or others, farmers here have taken up cultivation of the crop in a large patch of land, including in far-off villages, even as the ideal sowing time is over and uncertainty of rainfall looms large in the district.

Cotton crop grows very well in the light sandy soil, which is a 150 to 180 days crop. As the cotton seeds sown in June did not germinate, after the rain of first week of July, farmers have geared up for the cotton cultivation in a bigger way with a hope to earn more cash than the previous year.

As the ideal sowing time is over, we are advising the farmers not to go for cotton crop in view of late and uncertainty of rainfall and absence of assured irrigation in the district, warns an official of the Agriculture Department here.

Cotton crop badly requires rain after 90 to 120 days since sowing so that the ball bursts which results in flower. If a farmer sows the cotton in July, by 90 days it would be end of September-October. The rainfall is quite uncertain then. If no rain occurs, it would lead to serious crop loss, the official explains.

However, hardly are the farmers heeding to our advice. They hope that there would be rain in October and so they have taken up cotton cultivation in a big way, the official reveals.

According to recent official reports, cotton cultivation has been taken up in 28,100 hectares of land in the district. Rather than going for non-Bt cotton seeds, the farmers are taking up Bt cotton in a bigger way.

Cotton crop is most susceptible to Ball Worm pest. To counter the pest attack, the genetically modified cotton, Bt cotton, seed was launched. The pest attacking the Bt cotton crop dies as it releases a toxin.

“I have taken up Bt cotton cultivation in my land as it is disease-free. Earlier, I used to cultivate the non Bt varieties. In 2001, there was severe pest attack for which I have chosen Bt cotton in my field this time, confides a farmer of Belpada block.

Confirming the earlier reports, another farmer says: “The first time I had sown Bt cotton did not germinate and I sowed it once again. I have brought the seeds from one Sukru who has enough stock of seeds and fertiliser and is ready to give the seed on heavy discount. In our village and nearby villages, people have cultivated Bt cotton in the fallow and Gochar land, leaving any space for animals to graze.”

With paddy cultivation coming to a virtual halt due to inadequate rain, cotton, which is a drought resistant crop, has been taken up by the farmers anticipating rainfall in September/October end. When asked about the increasing use of Bt cotton seeds, SMS cotton SK Murmmu of Agriculture Department says, “Officially, we do not have any reports of Bt cotton being cultivated in the district.”

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Distress migration hits children's studies in Balangir

Distress migration hits children's studies in Balangir

BHUBANESWAR | Wednesday, July 20, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back
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Distress migration hits children's studies in BalangirJuly 19, 2011 11:21:21 PM

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Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

Even as the Government is taking special drive to enroll the children in the schools between the age group of 6 to14 years, yet a number of children are out of school due to poverty and migration.

While poverty is the key factor in depriving them of education, migration to far-off places by their parents every year to earn livelihood leads to discontinuance of their studies.

"Due to migration to brick kilns of Hyderabad, my four children had to discontinue their studies," said Jhati Dharuaa of Dumbari Guda village in Belpada block. Every year around 30 to 40 households migrate to brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh where they stay for six to eight months with their children remaining cut off from regular studies.

We have provided assistance to 15 most vulnerable children in 10 villages of Kapani gram panchayat (GP) in Belpada block. All these children were identified in a village meeting by using Participatory Rural Appraisal Method. After identification and enrollment of the children, we provide them with necessary supports like books, dress, pencil, and other school items to continue education," informed Sunita Tripathy, programme officer of YCDA.

As a part of special enrollment drive, a total of 55,000 students were enrolled in schools in the district, informed District Project Coordinator (DPC) Sushant Chopdar.

With monsoon playing truant this year and drought staring in their face, once again, number of persons going for migration to earn livelihood to far-off places would increase, which would affect the education of the poor and vulnerable children in the district, sources said. Email |


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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nine Koraput tribal youth kill contractor, land in Pune jail July 15, 2011 10:46:55 PM

Nine Koraput tribal youth kill contractor, land in Pune jail

July 15, 2011 10:46:55 PM

DEAR ALL

I ENCLOSE THE NEWS FOR YOUR PERUSAL

YOURS

SUDHIRMISHRA/PIONEER/BALANGIR

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BHUBANESWAR | Saturday, July 16, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back

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Nine Koraput tribal youth kill contractor, land in Pune jail

July 15, 2011 10:46:55 PM

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Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

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At least nine tribal youth who had migrated to Pune for work beat their contractor to death after they picked up a brawl with him over payment of wage. They were identified as Bikram Rayta (14), Celia Rayta (16), Gupta Samantha (15), Pitto Samantha (15), Raju Rayta (12), Nuri Majhi (11), Tipru Majhi (12), Saiba Majhi (13) and Baqlli Samantha (15).

According to reports, the tribal youth of Kadojhola, Tandipur, Najha of Chanabada gram panchayat of Dismantapur block in Koraput had migrated to Pune after the labour contractor Bhimsen Samantharay, promised them jobs and `4, 000 per month as salary, nine months ago.

Allured by the promises, the youth had gone to Hadapsar in Pune and started working in a construction site. However, the contractor did not pay the promised sum to the workers. Moreover, the children were not provided regular meals. They were also compelled to do hard and tiresome work in inhospitable work atmosphere. For long eight months, the contractor did not pay them money.

When the youth started demanding their wage, rather than giving them money, the contractor threatened them with dire consequences. Enraged over the behaviour of the contractor, the labourers assaulted him with a wooden stick resulting in the death of the contractor. Next day, another official of the company lodged a complaint with police following which the latter arrested the nine workers. Later they were sent to jail.

According to Bidyut Mahanty, a social activist of Koraput, the youth are currently staying in a juvenile home in Pune. Expressing concern over the incident, another leading social activist Achyut Das said the incidentwas just the tip of the iceberg which speaks volumes about tribal exploitation.

“I have forwarded mail to office of Teres de Homes of Pune where the workers have been put up. CJ George, an official has been requested to look into the matter and take it up with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and State Commission for Protection of Child Right (SCPCR),” Das said, who added that he was planning to send a fact finding team to Pune to ascertain the situation.

Reports further said that the parents of the youths are unaware of the fact that their children are languishing in jail.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Detailed Survey of KantabanjiRaipur line yet to start

Spectre of drought haunts Balangir July 14, 2011 11:07:30 PM

BHUBANESWAR | Friday, July 15, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back
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Spectre of drought haunts Balangir
July 14, 2011 11:07:30 PM
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Sudhir Mishra | Balangir
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The spectre of drought has haunted the Balangir district this year, as the monsoon rain has turned truant, with the district hardly recording any significant rainfall both in the month of June and till mid-July.

The Kharif paddy cultivation of the district is totally dependent on the monsoon rainfall but it has been severely hit due to scant rainfall till date. There was shortage of paddy seeds and fertiliser this year but farmers had taken up the paddy cultivation with high hope of good rainfall. However, contrary to their expectations, the inadequate rainfall has withheld the agriculture operations.

According to official sources, against the normal average rainfall of 202.8 mm in June, the district received a rainfall of 105.5 mm, a 48 per cent deficit rainfall. Rather than any improvement, the situation continues to be depressing and till July 12 last, the district has received a rainfall of 64.5 mm against the normal rainfall average of 360 mm.

Against the target of paddy cultivation in 1,87,000 hectares of land, the cultivation has been taken up in 75,404 hectares only, barely on 40 per cent of land, said official sources. The irregularity of rain has further brought agriculture operations, now at various stages, to a grinding halt.

“We have noticed moisture stress condition in the soil and unless there is rain within five to seven days, the moisture stress condition would spread to the plant resulting in yellowing and browning and eventual death/wilting of the plant,” said an agriculture official. However, there are reports of paddy plant getting brownish due to shortage of water. We desperately need rain within a week to carry forward the agriculture operations, he maintained. Ironically, most of the Mudas and Katas and other sources of water are in dry condition. Hence, the farmers have no option left except rain.

Even if now rain occurs, the whole agriculture operations would be over by the end of August and it would affect the yield. Barely a few days are left for the Hindu calendar month Shravan to end but still the roads and fields are dry. By July 15, agriculture operations should be going on full swing but this year the situation is different, rued a farmer.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

E-pest surveillance training of kharif held at Balangir July 12, 2011 9:38:46 PM

BHUBANESWAR | Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back
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E-pest surveillance training of kharif held at Balangir
July 12, 2011 9:38:46 PM
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PNS | Balangir

Encouraged by last year’s performance in tackling the pest menace through e-pest surveillance, a two-day State-level training programme on e-pest surveillance of kharif-2011, under RKVY Green Revolution –II, was held at the Regional Institute of Training and Extension (RITE) at Larikpali here on Monday.

Organised jointly by State Agriculture Department and National Council of Integrated Pest Management, New Delhi, it was attended by agriculture officials of Balangir, Sonepur, Kalhandi and Nuapada districts.

Earlier, when there was a pest attack, it took days to get information from the field and there was delay in taking remedial measures to tackle it. As farmers used to get advisory late, there was a huge loss of crop. With e-pest surveillance, agriculture officials must visit the village and maintain the record of pest attack in rice.

The data collected from the field would be sent to the scientist at ICAR, NICPM and OUAT, which would analyze the information and advise the district and block level authorities to take necessary steps.

“The farmers would also be intimated through SMS mode. At best, one to two days would be required to tackle any situation arising out of pest menace,” explained an agriculture official here.

In 2009, there were around 8,000 hectares of paddy affected due to pest in Balangir and Sonepur district. However, in 2010, thanks to e-pest surveillance, we were able to take necessary steps and tackle pest menace, an agriculture official disclosed.

Scientists from National Council of Integrated Pest Management (NICPM), New Delhi, Dr RK Tanwar, AKKanojia, SP Singh, S.Satiyya Kumar, A.A.Jafre and Asif Iqbal, DDA plant protection, Bhubneshwar, Kalidas Viswas and Deputy Director of Agriculture, Balangir, Manoranjan Mallick, imparted the training.
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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bus owners threaten stir from July 19 July 10, 2011 12:29:08 AM

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BHUBANESWAR | Sunday, July 10, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back

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Bus owners threaten stir from July 19
July 10, 2011 12:29:08 AM
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PNS | Balangir

The All Odisha Private Bus Owners Association has threatened to go on “indefinite strike” from July 19 if the Government does not announce hike in the price of bus fares within July 18.

This was announced by the General Secretary of the Association Debendra Kumar Sahoo after the general body meeting of the organisation held in the district for the second time.

“After the price hike of diesel on June 23, we submitted our demands to the high power technical committee headed by Transport Commissioner on June 27.

We had earlier given time till Bahuda Yatra to Government .However; we decided to extend the deadline till July 18.”

However, Sahu parried the question on the amount of hike the Association wants saying it is for the Government to decide the reasonable bus fare hike, keeping in view, increase in prices of many items including diesel, mobile and chassis.

There would be no more disruption of bus service due to conflict between two bus owners associations and the State association would intervene and sort out the matter, Sahu announced further.

The general body also decided to hold more meetings in the western parts of Odisha to strengthen its organisation Among others, president of the Association, Prakash Mishra, Debasis Nayak, Manas Patra, Suryakanta Parida, and Praveen Mishra were present.
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Codify forest preservation works: Forum July 08, 2011 10:35:06 PM

Codify forest preservation works: Forum
July 08, 2011 10:35:06 PM
BHUBANESWAR | Saturday, July 9, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back
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Codify forest preservation works: Forum
July 08, 2011 10:35:06 PM
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PNS | Balangir

The Balangir district forestry forum has stressed on maintenance of record and codification of efforts in preservation of forest by different forest protection committees in different villages in the district.

In its recent meet held at Karlabahali village, 45km from here, the district forestry forum on Thursday deliberated on the problem faced by different village protection committee and passed different resolutions.

Forest has been a source of livelihood to people dwelling in and around the forest by providing them fuel, fodder, medicinal herbs, various NTFPS like mahul and char etc, besides providing good environment. Even as the forest has been continuously giving, community contribution towards forest has been very minimal.

The forum also decided that each member of a family in a village would contribute at least one rupee in a year and the collected amount would be deposited in the village forest protection fund, informed Kulamani Sahu of District Forestry forum, Balangir.
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BHUBANESWAR | Sunday, August 7, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back Crop situation in Balangir grim, admits Minister August 06, 2011 9:33:59 PM

BHUBANESWAR | Sunday, August 7, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back

Crop situation in Balangir grim, admits Minister
August 06, 2011 9:33:59 PM
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PNS | Balangir

The crop situation in Balangir district is grim in view of erratic and inadequate rainfall and absence water in the minor irrigation (MI) and other projects. This was told to the media on Friday by Revenue Minister Surjya Narayan Patro after visiting Bargaon, Talsar, Bhata, Bhadra, Badgonmunda and Kapsila villages in Saintala, Degoan and Gudvella blocks and interacting with farmers.

Balangir district has received a deficit rainfall of 43 per cent, and as a result, paddy crop in 89,050 hectares of land out of the 1,20,508 hectares has been affected badly. Due to the absence of adequate rainfall, the transplanting process has also not been taken up in the district.

Although the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed immediate repair of lift irrigation (LI) points and release of water from MIPs through canal to fight drought conditions, most of the irrigation facilities are in a dry state

As such, only nine per cent of the total land of the district is having irrigation facilities. The Government is still striving to complete the Lower Suktel Project for irrigation. The land acquisition process for the project is expected to be over in three months. Besides this, after the completion of the Lower Indra Project in Nuapada district it would also provide irrigation to parts of Balangir district.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Delay in monsoon to hit cotton farming in Balangir July 08, 2011 12:10:13 AM

BHUBANESWAR | Friday, July 8, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back

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Delay in monsoon to hit cotton farming in Balangir
July 08, 2011 12:10:13 AM

SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir
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With monsoon rain playing hide and seek with farmers bringing inadequate rainfall in June, cotton cultivation is in trouble in Balangir district.

Promoted as the alternative cash crop in the district and dubbed as ‘white gold’ in view of huge economic viability to farmers, cotton crop, which requires less water than paddy, has not progressed significantly in the district this year.

Cotton gets cultivated in 150-180 days and and it requires light sandy soil.

The ideal sowing should have been over by the end of June. However, absence of rainfall has affected the cultivation this year. Against the normal 201 mm rainfall, the district has received 105 mm, almost 50 per cent less than average rainfall. Encouraged by last year’s bumper productions and better remunerative prices, the agriculture officials have set the target of cotton cultivations in 30,000 hectares this year. Till July 4, cotton cultivation in the district has been taken up in 13,600 hectares only.

The ideal sowing of cotton is supposed to be over by June end. The delay in sowing and other process will affect the yield of the crop.

In such a scenario, reports suggest that cotton cultivation has been taken up in Saintala, Titilagarh and Muribahal area. “We advise farmers to go for intercropping rather than single cotton crop to minimise the loss. A farmer should take up cultivation of mung, biri, and cowpea to minimise the loss as after 75 days, there would get an assured source of income,” says an agriculture official here.

As there has been already delay in sowing up cotton, farmers should go for other crops rather than cotton, says an official here. Amidst all this, there are reports that Bt cotton has made entry into the cotton filed of farmers. Reports further reveal that farmers from nearby Andhra Pradesh have taken cotton cultivation in a large part of land in Sonepur district.
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Old Sanskrit college runs sans regular employees in Balangir July 01, 2011 9:54:56 PM

BHUBANESWAR | Saturday, July 2, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


Old Sanskrit college runs sans regular employees in Balangir
July 01, 2011 9:54:56 PM
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SUDHIR MISHRA | Balangir
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A Sanskrit college here is facing shortage of lecturers over last few years even as Sanskrit is considered as the mother of all languages and the Government often shows its commitment for protection and propagation of the classical language.

Bidyabhusan Sanskruta Mahavidyalaya at Balangir, the only Sanskrit college of western Odisha, is running with three deployed lecturers and the principal of Women’s College, Balangir, taking the additional charge of principal of the institution. The only regular lecturer of the college retired on June 30 last.

Established by Maharaja of Patna State, Prithiwraj Singhdeo, in 1912 in Balangir to popularise Sanskrit education in the area, Bidyabhusan Sanskruta Mahavidyalaya was once a prime educational institution in the KBK region. After Independence, the Government had taken over the institution, where education in Prathama, Madhyama,Upsashtri, and Sashtri stream are imparted.

“In this college high standard of Sanskrit teaching used to be imparted. Only those who have passed out Acharya courses from Jagannath Sanskrit University or from Sadasive Kendriya Vidyapitha taught here. But now, with most of the lecturer posts lying vacant, the education standard has been hit,” said a local who demanded that the Government should fill in the vacant posts immediately.

Sources said a total of 10 lecturer posts, including that of the principal, are lying vacant in the college over the past few years. Two departments are in charge of management of the college. While the school and Mass Education Department manages the ‘Prathama’ and ‘Madhyama’ classes, the ‘Upa Sastri’ and ‘Sastri’ courses come under the Higher Education Department.

“It is unfortunate that the Government has not acted in proper way to fill in the vacant lecturer posts. On June 30 last, the only regular lecturer retired. Hence, the studies of more than 150 students will be badly affected,” said All Koshal Students’ Union (AKSU) secretary Dolamani Pradhan, who has filed a PIL in the Odisha High Court in August 2010 seeking immediate appointment of lecturers in the staff-strapped colleges of Balangir, including Rajendra College, Ayurvedic College, and Bidyabhusan Sanskruta Mahavidyalaya.
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