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.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Balangir farmers protest inadequate fertiliser supply

Balangir farmers protest inadequate fertiliser supply
THURSDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2011 22:00 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 2
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The farmers here once again gheraoed the Collectorate on Thursday reiterating the same demand. They contended that a farmer is given only one packet of Urea which is not enough and the dealer is unable to provide the fertiliser to all farmers.

Led by Zilla Kurshak Mahasangha president Sudhir Parischha, the farmers held a rally in the town and gheraoed the district collector’s office.

After prolonged discussion in the presence of police, media and Agriculture Department officials, the district collector assured the farmers to supply 100 tonnes, which would be distributed among the farmers.

District collector SN Dey directed enquiry into allegations about black-marketing of Urea and fake fertiliser license holders.

Later speaking to mediapersons, Dey said, “We have a stock of 110 tonne of urea fertiliser in the district. We have decided to supply 100 tonne through different dealers.”

Another rake of fertiliser is expected to arrive in the district very shortly, informed Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) Manoranjan Mallick.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Balangir robbery solved, four held WEDNESDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2011 22:08

Balangir robbery solved, four held
WEDNESDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2011 22:08 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 0
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The police have claimed to solve the daylight robbery case that occurred almost a month ago in the heart of the town by arresting four youths from village Risida in Kalhandi district on Tuesday.

The four accused have been identified as Biswadeepak Patra, Ranjan Naik,Giridhari Behera, and Kailash Kumra. These four miscreants came on two motorcycles and while two entered house of Sunil Behera of Rugudipada on August 19 at 11.30 am wearing helmets and the other two waited outside. Barging inside they terrorised the wife of the house owner and administered her an injection and decamped with gold ornaments, some cash. Solving the robbery had become a challenge for the police.

Under the direction of SP Abinash Kumar, a police team consisting ASI Sarojini Samad, inspector in-charge Bimalendu Satpathy, SDPO Mahendra Kumar Patel and Seshdev Barik conducted a raid and nabbed them from Rishida on Tuesday. Police took the help of mobile tracking technology to nab them, ASP Srikant Mishra told the media on Wednesday. These youth do not have any previous criminal record in Balangir district, ASP said.

Balangir farmers block roads, demand supply of urea WEDNESDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2011 22:13

Balangir farmers block roads, demand supply of urea
WEDNESDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2011 22:13 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 0
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Notwithstanding the crop loss this year in Balangir district due to irregular rainfall, irate farmers, mostly of Puintala block, on Wednesday held Rastaroko before the Collectorate protesting against the shortage of urea fertiliser and its black-marketing.

A few days ago, the Balangir police had raided some godowns and arrested a Markfed official for blac- marketing of fertiliser.

“We demand that the Government provide fertiliser without further delay,” said an agitating farmer, Brundaban Naik. “The district administration is callous. We came to the local shop for fertliser, but we were told to go to Sudpara, where too we did not get it. So, we came here with our demand for supply of urea,” said another farmer, Lal Behari Kheti. “We suffered loss due to drought. Whatever crop we have, we want to save it, for which fertiliser is needed,” he added.

In Balangir district, paddy cultivation is undertaken by two methods: broadcasting and transplanting. While a majority of lands was covered by the broadcasting method, the transplanting method was targeted to be taken up in 76,000 hectares. But due to the scanty rainfall the transplanting operation could not be undertaken. It was hardly taken up in about 15,000 hectares of land in the beginning.

After the rains in August and September, farmers have taken up transplanting operation. And mostly these farmers expecting a good yield are in need of urea, explained a Government official.

It was planned that 39,760 metric tonnes (MT) of fertilisers, including 19,000 MT of urea, would be supplied during this year’s kharif crop for the district. But about 15,000 MT of urea has been supplied so far. The farmers who have carried out transplanting of paddy late need urea for the top dressing operation, said an agriculture official.

But the clamour for urea seems to be a misplaced one as the old paddy seedlings planted in the second week of September may not give a good yield and the effort may go in vain, said an official under condition of anonymity.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

56 LPG cylinders seized at Patnagarh

56 LPG cylinders seized at Patnagarh.
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Balangir: In a bid to check hoarding and black-marketing of LPG cylinders and streamline the distribution of LPG supply to people at Patnagarh town in Balangir district, a special squad led by Inspector of Police Ranjan Pattnaik under the direction of SP Awinash Kumar raided various establishments on Monday and seized 56 LPG cylinders stocked illegally by hotels, shop owners and black marketers. While 32 LPG cylinders were recovered from one Arun Subudhi, 15 from the establishment of B Raju and nine from one Pritam Wadwani.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New barrages over Tel, Undher rivers mulled WEDNESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2011 00:06 PNS | TITILAGARH (BALANGIR) HITS: 18 User Rating: / 0

New barrages over Tel, Undher rivers mulled
WEDNESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2011 00:06 PNS | TITILAGARH (BALANGIR) HITS: 18
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While the rest of Odisha, particularly the coastal region, is under grip of severe floods in the Mahanadi system, the people in the State’s western part could think of barrages over rivers Tel and Undher.

Planning & Coordination and Excise Minister AU Singh Deo gave this assurance to the people attending the ruling BJD’s Jana Sampark Abhijan on Sunday.

“Building small barrages over Undher and Tel can be surveyed as per the requirement of the people of Titilagarh town,” he told the gathering to its loud applause.

Stating that funds are not a problem in the Naveen Patnaik Government for construction of the barrages, the Minister said the Government would undertake the projects after survey and feasibility studies are conducted. He, however, said that the purpose of the small barrages would help maintain temperature of Titilagarh town, which uses to boil during summer. This has been a major demand of the people of Titilagarh, who experience temperature of 48 degree Celsius during hot summer.

This apart, the barrages would also be helpful for the irrigation purpose, the Minister pointed out.

“I couldn't believe the public response at the BJD gathering,” said Arkesh Narayan Singh Deo, the young scion of Balangir. Balangir BJD MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo also spoke on the occasion. Youth BJD general secretary Abhimanyu Sahu, who was the prime mover of the rally, said this royal family has brought both economic and social changes in this part of the State.

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Farmer dies after losing land in Balangir TUESDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2011 22:42 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 0 User Rating: / 0

Farmer dies after losing land in Balangir
TUESDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2011 22:42 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 0
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Even as the district, along with other parts of western Odisha is reeling under a severe drought due to scanty and irregular rainfall resulting in loss of Kharif paddy and reports of farmers suicide are coming at regular intervals, yet in a shocking development, a farmer Lingaraj Sahu (55) of village Ghumer in Patnagarh block died.

Earlier, Lingaraj had lost his mental balance after losing his land to a company. Ghumer village shot into limelight four years ago as the land of poor farmers were transferred to different companies in a fraudulent manner by their agents in connivance with local tehsil officials and influential people of Patnagarh to promote Jatropha cultivation.

According to sources, ten companies New Ace Builder and Developers, New Delhi,Taj Gases Private Limited ,Agra, Enercore Diesels Private Limited ,Delhi, Supertech Printing Private Limited Delhi, Sparsh Medicare Private Limited Delhi, LEFIN (India) Private Limited, Delhi, Cladyin Hoteland Resort Private Limited Delhi, Millennium Steel Cast Private Limited Delhi, Fasteck Sofwares Private, Delhi and Siyaram Energy Private Limited, Delhi acquired total of 358.43acre of land and a total of 70 sale deeds were executed.

Nine of these companies are registered in New Delhi and only one company Taj Gases is in Agra. Moreover, the address furnished by others is their broad area and not the detailed address.

According to reports, in 2005 Mahesh Dixit of Taj Gases of Agra along with locals including Bikram Acharya and one Sushil Pradhan held a meeting in the village Ghumer where Mahesh appealed and requested villagers to give their land on lease for three years so that he could start a dairy farm and set up an incense stick factory. Mahesh took a pledge in the local village temple to win the hearts of the people. And as the gullible people were convinced somehow, they brought them to Patnagarh and registrations of their land were completed till late night and the farmers land was transferred to company overnight. Sources said Mahesh purchased land on behalf of three companies.

Lingraj lost 5 .23 of land in this process including 1.5 acres of Bahal land which was also sold in the name of Att land. When one day -he went to collect Mahul (Mahua flower) from his field, he was driven away by the company agent saying that land no longer belongs to him . This made him further depressed.

Lingaraj was poor farmer, was who was managing his life somehow. He along with the others villagers gave his land and as he lost all his land, he became mentally unstable and died.

This company fraudulently registered people’s land in their name. This is not the only case in Ghumer village .Villagers of Jaalpali, Aintulanga Ghunghutipali and Telkhochhapar have also lost their land in this process. Moreover reports of such companies purchasing land in Belpada and Khaprakhol have also been noticed said a social activist Promod Bagarti. Lingaraj’s mother had died two years ago in a state of extreme desperation as their land was lost forever.

The whole thing came to light after the poor villagers were refused entry to their land to collect Mahua flowers fallen there. The company officials told them that they are taking their land on lease and yet they were debarred from collecting Mahua flower fallen there.

They approached us and narrated the entire episode and urged us to take steps to get back their land, reveals Saroj Barik of NGO ADHAR, who is fighting the case for these people to get their land back.

Agriculture in the district is at the crossroads. The Government is promoting cash crops and this has provided avenues to multinational companies to grab land from gullible farmers by offering different alluring packages. See the Ghumer case.

“The company promised to set up dairy farm, incense stick so that people especially the youth would get jobs. And once the Jatropha is planted it would start giving them returns for 40 years. With the basic schemes of Government like PDS and MGNREGA in shambles in the drought prone Patnagarh, the poor farmers could not resist the ‘alluring offer’ and they become victim of it, said Saroj further.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Team led by Odia astronomer discovers rare galaxy MONDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2011 23:59 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 12

Team led by Odia astronomer discovers rare galaxy
MONDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2011 23:59
SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR
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An Indian-led international team of astronomers has discovered an enigmatic object in the sky using the Giant Meter wave Radio Telescope (GMRT). The GMRT, the largest in the world and the most powerful radio telescope in the low frequency range of 150-1500 MHz of National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (NCRA-TIFR), has been widely used by astronomers from all over the world.
Observing at low radiofrequencies with the GMRT is like making a deeper archaeological excavation’ to unravel the past history of jet-activity of the black holes. Multiple evolutionary processes, driving evolution of galaxies and clusters of galaxies have been discovered by the team using the GMRT.
Dr Ananda Hota of Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA), Taiwan, discovered this exotic galaxy having a combination of properties never seen before and dubbed it SPECA (Spiral-host Episodic radio galaxy tracing Cluster Accretion). SPECA is only the second spiral as opposed to elliptical galaxy known to produce large, powerful jets of subatomic particles moving at nearly the speed of light. This is probably the most exotic galaxy with a black hole and has the potential to teach new lessons about how galaxies and clusters of galaxies formed in the early universe.
It also is one of only two galaxies to show that such activity occurred in three separate episodes. The reason behind this on-off activity of the black hole to produce jets is unknown.
“The on-going TIFR GMRT Sky Survey (TGSS) is going to discover more SPECA-like galaxies and Dr. Hota’s discovery is a potential demonstrator,” said Dr Sandeep Sirothia of NCRA-TIFR.
“This kind of reborn radio galaxies are the laboratories to understand many puzzling aspects of black holes,’’ said Dr Chiranjib Konar of ASIAA. SPECA is a `missing link’, rare in the nearby universe, but is anticipated to be common in the early universe when black holes, galaxies and clusters were very young in their formative era, informed Dr. Hota.
This is probably the first evidence of the process of growth and regulation of clusters of galaxies by supersonic in fall of matter from the cosmic-web and black holes to control that by outflow of powerful jets.
“It is an outstanding discovery that is very important for cluster formation models and highlights the importance of sensitive observations at meter wavelengths provided by the GMRT,” said Padmashri awardee Prof Govind Swarup, FRS, who is considered the ‘father’ of Indian radio astronomy and the chief architect of the GMRT.
In addition to Dr Hota, Dr Sirothia and Dr Konar, the research team includes Dr Youichi Ohyama, and Dr Satoki Matsuchita of ASIAA, Suk Kim and Professor Soo-Chang Rey of Chungnam National University in Korea, Professor DJ Saikia of NCRA and Dr Judith H Croston of the University of Southampton in England.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wesco tells consumers to avail one-time settlement scheme TUESDAY, 06 SEPTEMBER 2011 22:56

Wesco tells consumers to avail one-time settlement scheme
TUESDAY, 06 SEPTEMBER 2011 22:56
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PNS | BALANGIR
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With a view to increasing its revenue collection and reducing the outstanding dues; the Wesco authorities here on Tuesday announced a scheme, approved by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC), to provide relief to consumers by offering a one-time settlement of their dues.
In the Balangir Electrical Division alone, there is a total outstanding due of Rs 61 crore, and the outstanding dues among the domestic consumers stand at Rs 46.37 crore, informed Wesco Deputy Manager (Finance and Commerce) Artatrana Behera at a Press conference.
The total outstanding dues of the Balangir Circle, which includes the Balangir, Sonepur and Titiligarh Divisions, would be more than Rs 150 crore, informed newly-posted Superintending Engineer of Wesco, Balangir, Rajeshwar Mishra
All non-domestic consumers have been has been divided into three categories — A, B and C. Behera appealed to the consumers to take advantage of this scheme and clear their dues. The domestic consumers would be covered later, informed Behera further.
The Wesco’s transmission and distribution loss is around 40 per cent in this circle, said Mishra
Mediaperons drew the attention of the Superintending Engineer to the rude behaviour of the Wesco authorities towards the consumers when they make queries about the reasons of frequent disruptions of power and the time taken to restore power and the non-functioning of the fuse call centre and its phone.
Mishra said that even after privatisation of power supply and distribution since 1997, the Wesco’s financial position has not been good. “We appeal to customers to clear their outstanding dues and take advantage of the one-time settlement scheme,” he said. Among others, Wesco Executive Engineer Yagyesh Chandra Patra and SDO RN Mishra were present atn the meeting.
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Balangir observes Nuankhai with pomp SATURDAY, 03 SEPTEMBER 2011 23:47 S

Balangir observes Nuankhai with pomp
SATURDAY, 03 SEPTEMBER 2011 23:47
SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR
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Nuankhai, the festival of eating newly sprouted paddy and subsequent Behtghat and cultural extravaganza was observed on Rishi Panchami day on Friday here along with other places of western Odisha with pomp and gaiety amidst drought and number of farmer’s suicide is raising day by day.
As per the designated auspicious time, new paddy was offered to Goddess Pataneshwari Devi and the auspicious time was 10-10.28 am . KV Singh Deo along with his family members and others eat Nabanna in the palace here. Besides, them several leading personalities also ate Nabanna along with their family members and other well wishers.
People in the western Odisha initiate preparations for the event for around 15 days in advance. Nuakhai is understood to have nine colours and as a consequence nine sets of rituals are followed as a prelude to the actual day of celebration.
These nine colours include: Beheren (announcement of a meeting to set the date)Lagna dekha (setting the exact date for partaking of new rice)Daka haka (invitation)Sapha sutura and lipa puchha (cleanliness)Ghina bika (purchasing)Nua dhan khuja (looking for the new crop)Bali paka (final resolve for Nuakhai by taking the Prasad (the offering) to the deity) Nuakhai (eating the new crop as Prasad after offering it to the deity, followed by dancing and singing)Juhar bhet (respect to elders)
After eating Nabarnna the Juhar Bhet programme starts. In the evening a Nuankhai bhet ghat programme was held in the town hall on Friday here . The impact of Nabanna was such virtually all the road wore a deserted look, even today most of the shopkeepers have downed their shutters. While on the one hand people are celebrating Nabanna, yet at the same time farmers are worried as what to do in view of crop loss.
Nuankhai also heralds the stark reality of poor people of this region, distress migration. According to reports ,local sardar have started giving small advances of Rs 2000 to3000 to people for managing their Nuankhai expense .After that they will go for migration to brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu for six to eight months to work in inhuman condition and face exploitation.
In view of drought this year migration from this region would increase manifold. Those who are dancing and enjoying party in the name of Nuankhai should have a glimpse of the condition of farmers in view of drought, points out a civil society activist. Nabanna festival in western Odisha ,this year, could be well described as “Cheerless Nuankhai” , in view of drought, rising in number of farmer’s suicide and crop loss, the proposed Sindhol project threatening displacement and submergence of people and their land and rising pollution level, affecting the farmers and their land in western Odisha.
And in all this process it is the farmer who is suffering most, points out Dr Sanjiv Karmee of Department of Bio technology, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

Balangir observes Nuankhai with pomp SATURDAY, 03 SEPTEMBER 2011 23:47 S

Balangir observes Nuankhai with pomp
SATURDAY, 03 SEPTEMBER 2011 23:47
SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR
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Nuankhai, the festival of eating newly sprouted paddy and subsequent Behtghat and cultural extravaganza was observed on Rishi Panchami day on Friday here along with other places of western Odisha with pomp and gaiety amidst drought and number of farmer’s suicide is raising day by day.
As per the designated auspicious time, new paddy was offered to Goddess Pataneshwari Devi and the auspicious time was 10-10.28 am . KV Singh Deo along with his family members and others eat Nabanna in the palace here. Besides, them several leading personalities also ate Nabanna along with their family members and other well wishers.
People in the western Odisha initiate preparations for the event for around 15 days in advance. Nuakhai is understood to have nine colours and as a consequence nine sets of rituals are followed as a prelude to the actual day of celebration.
These nine colours include: Beheren (announcement of a meeting to set the date)Lagna dekha (setting the exact date for partaking of new rice)Daka haka (invitation)Sapha sutura and lipa puchha (cleanliness)Ghina bika (purchasing)Nua dhan khuja (looking for the new crop)Bali paka (final resolve for Nuakhai by taking the Prasad (the offering) to the deity) Nuakhai (eating the new crop as Prasad after offering it to the deity, followed by dancing and singing)Juhar bhet (respect to elders)
After eating Nabarnna the Juhar Bhet programme starts. In the evening a Nuankhai bhet ghat programme was held in the town hall on Friday here . The impact of Nabanna was such virtually all the road wore a deserted look, even today most of the shopkeepers have downed their shutters. While on the one hand people are celebrating Nabanna, yet at the same time farmers are worried as what to do in view of crop loss.
Nuankhai also heralds the stark reality of poor people of this region, distress migration. According to reports ,local sardar have started giving small advances of Rs 2000 to3000 to people for managing their Nuankhai expense .After that they will go for migration to brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu for six to eight months to work in inhuman condition and face exploitation.
In view of drought this year migration from this region would increase manifold. Those who are dancing and enjoying party in the name of Nuankhai should have a glimpse of the condition of farmers in view of drought, points out a civil society activist. Nabanna festival in western Odisha ,this year, could be well described as “Cheerless Nuankhai” , in view of drought, rising in number of farmer’s suicide and crop loss, the proposed Sindhol project threatening displacement and submergence of people and their land and rising pollution level, affecting the farmers and their land in western Odisha.
And in all this process it is the farmer who is suffering most, points out Dr Sanjiv Karmee of Department of Bio technology, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Groundwater Bill suffers from shortcomings: Forum

Groundwater Bill suffers from shortcomings: Forum
02 SEPTEMBER 2011
SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR
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The Odisha Groundwater (Regulation, Development and Management) Bill, 2011, which was placed before the State Legislative Assembly in the monsoon session, suffers from many loopholes, feels the Odisha Water Forum.
While the forum appreciates the initiative of the Government of Odisha to regulate development and management of ground water, it is concerned about the fact that the Bill does not address the fundamental concerns regarding ground water management.
The bill proposes to form Ground Water Regulation Authority (GWRA) that will regulate extraction of ground water in the notified areas (where water is scarce). But, without bringing ground water into the public trust domain, the authority of the GWRA might be challenged in the court of law, as the land owner has the right to ground water under the Indian Easement Act, points out a Press release of the Odisha Water Forum.
Similarly, the Bill exempts extraction of ground water for the domestic and agricultural use in the notified areas from taking permission from the authority. But, the definition of agriculture in the Bill could very well include industrial agriculture, commercial agriculture and the allied industries. The bill again does not talk about the right of the landless on ground water, role of the Gram Panchayats in the management of ground water, equity and environmental concerns.
Since 1970, the Government of India has been urging the States to legislate for the regulation and management of ground water. Though four decades have passed since the Government felt its urgency first to regulate ground water, Odisha has not been successful in enacting law for ground water. This bill has not been put in public domain to get the feedback from the concerned citizens and organizations, which contravenes the spirits of the State Water Policy 2007, the forum said.
Meanwhile, the forum has appealed to the State Legislature to postpone the enactment of law for the time being and do it after referring the model bill of July 29, 2011, incorporating the present concerns and consulting the citizenry.
While Odisha has waited so long for this legislation, it won’t hurt to wait for a few more months and come out with an all encompassing legislation on ground water, the forum maintained.
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