Monday, April 29, 2013

B’NGIR VILLAGERS THREATEN FAST OVER FOREST CLAIM ISSUE


STATE EDITIONS
B’NGIR VILLAGERS THREATEN FAST OVER FOREST CLAIM ISSUE
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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1Members of Kandul Budha Khadya Surakshya Mahasangha, Bandhpada in Deogaon block threatened to hold a fast unto death before the District Welfare Office (DWO) here from May 13 if the individual and community claims over forest as per the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 are not settled in their favour.
According to a petition submitted to the DWO, Balangir and other officials, villagers of Sialjore, Sarasmaal, Sandhijore, Antarla Budhabahal and Dumerjore had submitted community claims over forest on April 4, 2011. Moreover, on May 30, 2012, nine villages namely Brahmani Jore, Pulaskhandi, Chormara, Jhikermal, Dahimaal, Rugudipali, Chhatapipal, Taalpali and Ghatul Dunguri also had submitted their community claims.
However, even as years have passed away, not a single community or individual claim over forest was settled due to the slipshod attitude of the authorities, alleged the villagers.

B’NGIR VILLAGERS THREATEN FAST OVER FOREST CLAIM ISSUE


STATE EDITIONS
B’NGIR VILLAGERS THREATEN FAST OVER FOREST CLAIM ISSUE
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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1Members of Kandul Budha Khadya Surakshya Mahasangha, Bandhpada in Deogaon block threatened to hold a fast unto death before the District Welfare Office (DWO) here from May 13 if the individual and community claims over forest as per the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 are not settled in their favour.
According to a petition submitted to the DWO, Balangir and other officials, villagers of Sialjore, Sarasmaal, Sandhijore, Antarla Budhabahal and Dumerjore had submitted community claims over forest on April 4, 2011. Moreover, on May 30, 2012, nine villages namely Brahmani Jore, Pulaskhandi, Chormara, Jhikermal, Dahimaal, Rugudipali, Chhatapipal, Taalpali and Ghatul Dunguri also had submitted their community claims.
However, even as years have passed away, not a single community or individual claim over forest was settled due to the slipshod attitude of the authorities, alleged the villagers.

ACTIVIST HURT IN COP ASSAULT AT SUKTEL SITE Tuesday, 30 April 2013 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar


ACTIVIST HURT IN COP ASSAULT AT SUKTEL SITE
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar.
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4Social activist and documentary filmmaker Amitabh Patra was assaulted by the police while he was covering the villagers’ protests against the Lower Suktel Irrigation Project at the dam construction site in Balangir district on Monday when the project construction work entered 21st day.
The project area turned into a battleground with the police assaulting several people, including Patra who also works for a private TV channel.
Speaking to this correspondent at the hospital here, Patra said, “To disperse the people opposing the project, the police made a lathi-charge. The police were assaulting a girl brutally before me and I was covering the incident. Hence, the police targeted and brutally assaulted me. I do not know the fate of my camera and mobile phone and other items of my TV channel. The incident took place before the SDPO and the Sub-Collector which is unfortunate in a democracy.”
Patra sustained injuries on his head, nose, back and leg and has been admitted to the District Headquarters Hospital here.
On the other hand, Balangir SP R Praksh told this correspondent, “Amitabha  Patra was staying in the area since last two days and  instigating the people. More than 300 people were present with deadly weapons. They were warned by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate to disperse peacefully. Lenin Mohanty and Amitabh Patra instigated the agitators to indulge in violence and forcibly entered the dam site. In that skirmish between the police and the agitators, Amitabh Patra got injured and was sent for medical examination.”
Sixteen persons were arrested from the spot. They would be medically examined before being forwarded to court, the SP added.
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Sunday, April 28, 2013

MP WANTS GAS GUJARAT-PARADIP PIPELINE VIA BALANGIR


MP WANTS GAS GUJARAT-PARADIP PIPELINE VIA BALANGIR
Monday, 29 April 2013 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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Member of Parliament from Balangir Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo has submitted a proposal to the Union Ministry of Petroleum to supply natural gas from Gujarat to Paradip via Balangir to spur industrial activity in this district and the State.
Singh Deo pointed out that the minerals found in Balangir district are not adequate to attract and set up steel, coal-based and other industries. So, to boost industrial development and business activities in the district, he has submitted a proposal for supply of natural gas through pipeline from Gujarat to Paradip via Balangir.
“Once this proposal is approved and the pipeline passes through Balangir, it will attract a lot of industries, including power, steel and  fertiliser besides other investments to the district,” he said.
Gujarat has progressed rapidly after it got the Hajira-Bjiepur-Jagdishpur natural gas pipeline and it attracted a lot of industries. Various industries were set up near the gas pipeline, Singh Deo pointed out. For development of manpower, the second campus of the XIMB is going to be set up in Balangir, besides an institute to impart training to unemployed youths to equip them with various skills and provide employment, Singh Deo said.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Rail Roko by BJD



Rail Roko by BJD
Saturday, 27 April 2013 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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Burning of an effigy of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a Rail Roko and arrest of local MLA AU Singh Deo for obstructing roads, marked the Hartal in Balangir called by the BJD protesting the Centre’s “step-motherly attitude” towards Odisha and allocation of inadequate funds for the KBK region.
Normal life in Balangir town was affected during the 12-hour Hartal. Shops and other business establishments remained closed. Both private and Government buses were off the roads. Banks, post offices and petrol pumps were also closed.
BJD activists led by district vice-president Bhavani Hota, Arkesh Singh Deo and Harekrushna Sarangi held Rail Roko at the local railway station detaining the Titilagarh-Howarh Ispat Express for two hours.
“While Bihar was given Rs 12,000 crore of special funds by the Centre, Odisha was given only Rs 1,200 crore,” AU Singh Deo said. The UPA Government granted Rs 12,000 crore to Bihar just to save it from collapse in an event of withdrawal of support by the Samajwadi Party and other parties, he said.
“Unless the Centre takes remedial measures for Odisha, we will request Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to organise a dharna by the BJD before Parliament,” Singh Deo said further.

BALANGIR JUMBO DEATH LEAVES MANY QUESTIONS UNANSWERED


BALANGIR JUMBO DEATH LEAVES MANY QUESTIONS UNANSWERED

Friday, 26 April 2013 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar==

The death of an elephant near Kesipali in Agalpur block a couple of days ago has left many questions answered. The forest officials got report about the death of the elephant on Tuesday evening, according to Balangir DFO Abhiram Nayak.
The incident has led to suspicion of involvement of poachers in the killing. Forest officials only a small piece of tusk from the dead jumbo. But, the vital point is how the forest officials remained unaware of such an incident even as a vast chain of forest personnel at the village and block levels like Forest Guards and Rangers and various forest committees, Vana Suraksha Samitis are working in the areas.
As the body of the elephant was in a decomposed stage a layman would say that it must have been killed or have died eight to 10 days ago. But how the information did not reach forest officials is intriguing.
The postmortem of the elephant has, meanwhile, been completed, and, according to the report, the animal died “due to shock”. This has raised more questions such as in what situation the elephant died “due to shock”.
Ironically, the concerned forest range officer is on leave. President of Youth Congress, Balangir Lok Sabha constituency, Akash Mishra told this correspondent, “We demand a through inquiry into this incident. And all this has happened due to an unholy nexus between corrupt forest official and antisocial elements.
The man-animal conflict in this region is rising thanks to the faulty policy of the Government and lack of adequate forest cover. The Government should take appropriate steps to protect forests and save elephants.”



IRATE STUDENTS DAMAGE EQUIPMENT IN SITE


IRATE STUDENTS DAMAGE EQUIPMENT IN SITE
Friday, 26 April 2013 | Pioneer | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar.
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Irate students of the Sushree Institute Technical Education (SITE) at Sadeipali, who were appearing at the sixth semester of examination of civil engineering on Thursday, damaged the CCTV in the examination hall and other equipments and the laboratory in the institute.
The students went on rampage after some of them were allegedly found copying during the examination by a flying squad. After the examination was over, the students gathered and damaged the equipments.
The Balangir Sadar police were inquiring into the incident.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

DECOMPOSED JUMBO BODY FOUND IN BALANGIR


DECOMPOSED JUMBO BODY FOUND IN BALANGIR
Thursday, 25 April 2013 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

The finding of the decomposed body of an elephant near  Kesipali village in Agalpur block on Tuesday evening has raised apprehension of activities of poachers in this area. Balangir Divisional Forest Officer Abhiram Nayak said, “I got information yesterday evening and visited the spot. The dead elephant was around 12 to 13 years old and its body was decomposed and it had no tusk.” 

NABARANGPUR KENDU LEAF DEREGULATION A CONSPIRACY’ Thursday, 25 April 2013


NABARANGPUR KENDU LEAF DEREGULATION A CONSPIRACY’
Thursday, 25 April 2013 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR | in Bhubaneswar
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Challenging the recent decision of State Government towards deregulating Kendu leaf (KL) business in Nabarangpur KL Division only for 2013 session and its claim to be the first State in the country recognizing ownership rights of the pluckers over KL, Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), NGO that fought for individual and community rights over forest produce under the ambit of the Forest Rights Act, vehemently criticized the move here.
At a Press meet, the outfit charged that the Government was playing with the fate of around 8 lakh families engaged in KL business and strongly criticized the Government for sudden deregulating KL collection and sale in Nabarangpur in the mid of KL season. It said simply asking the Gram Sabhas to take over the KL trade without making the pluckers aware on their rights and responsibility and organizing them properly may prove hazardous for KL pluckers since they need time to organize the phadi and set up the tendering etc.
The outfit also questioned as to why the Government has not deregulated KL in Balangir and Patnagarh region, where best quality and processed KL are produced compared to Nabarangpur region?
The members of the outfit alleged that deregulation in Nabarngpur district was done because the Forest Department was continuously struggling in KL business due to serious corruption within its department. In 2010-11, the Vigilance had seized around Rs 8 crore from a Ranger (KL) from the Nabaranpur KL Division, it said.
CSD convenor Gopinath Majhi alleged, “In KL business, the State Government has been exploiting the KL pluckers in the name of welfare, insurance, sleepers, umbrella etc and has paid them only 17 per cent of the final auction price of KL while the lion share of 83 per cent is illegally grabbed.”
Attending the meet, Zilla Adibasi Kalyan Sangh president Braja Kishoresingh Bhoi said, “While other major KL producing States like Chatisgarh, MP and Maharshtra have shared the maximum income (60 per cent to 80 per cent) with the pluckers abolishing State’s royalty on KL, the Odisha Government has continued to exploit its Kl pluckers by sharing only 17 per cent of the final auction price of Kl.”
The outfit called upon the State Government to implement the PESA, Act, 1996 and Forest Rights Act, 2006 in its true sprit to realize the betterment of tribals and forest dwellers, extend ownership rights over minor forest produce (MFP) including KL amongst the KL pluckers, transfer the State’s control over KL operation to pluckers, abolish illegal State’s royalty on KL, pay a standard of 80 per cent of final price to the pluckers, return back the Rs 1.40 crore of royalty illegally collected per year to the poor KL pluckers at least from last 2006 to 2012, facilitate the pluckers to organize themselves in the form of cooperatives, groups to do the KL business themselves by extending support in providing KL markets/KL contractors, Phadi centers and infrastructure, advance rolling funds to the cooperatives to make prompt payment to Kl pluckers and allow the SC/ST Department replace the Forest Department/OFSDC in the facilitation of KL operation by the Gram Sabha / KL pluckers.
In the Press meet, CSD members from Jharsuguda, Nabaranpur, Bolangir, Sambalpur, Nuapada, Sundargarh, Koraput, etc participated.
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Saturday, April 20, 2013

B’NGIR BJD PROTESTS CENTRE’S ‘NEGLECT’ TOWARDS KBK


STATE EDITIONS
B’NGIR BJD PROTESTS CENTRE’S ‘NEGLECT’ TOWARDS KBK
Sunday, 21 April 2013 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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BJD members Balangir district led by their president and local MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, on Saturday staged a dharna before the district Collectorate here protesting against the Centre’s “neglect” towards the backward KBK region in Odisha while at the same time showing favour to Bihar by allocating Rs12,000 crore for development of that State.
Singh Deo said the KBK (Kalahandi, Balangir, Koraput) districts are one of the country’s most backward regions with 70 per cent of its people living below the poverty line. The State Government had submitted a proposal of Rs4,500 crore to the Centre for development of this region. But the Centre has approved a meagrr Rs1,250 crore during the 12th Five-Year Plan period, which works out to be Rs250 crore per year.
A Central Cabinet Committee has approved Rs 12,000 crore under a Special Plan for Bihar under the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF). Interestingly, all the 38 districts of Bihar, including its capital Patna, are covered under the BRGF programme whereas only 20 out of the 30 districts of Odisha are included in the BRGF programme. Singh Deo pointed out.
“I urged the Central Government to reconsider its decision and grant Rs4,500 crore for the KBK region,” he said.
Among others, Bhabani Hota and Abhimanyu Sahu addressed the gathering at the dharna site. A delegation led by the MP submitted a memorandum on the party’s demand to district Collector Debraj Mishra.
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CASH STASH, SILVER SEIZED FROM BUS AT P’GARH


STATE EDITIONS
CASH STASH, SILVER SEIZED FROM BUS AT P’GARH
Sunday, 21 April 2013 | Pioneer News Service | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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2Acting on a tip-off, a team of police led by SDPO Patnagarh Sunil Joshi seized cash of Rs26.76 lakh and 2.683 kg of silver from a Balangir-Rapirur bus at Patnagarh, 40 km away from here on Friday night.
The police questioned the bus conductor, who could not explain the legal source of the money and silver.
We have registered the case and we are interrogating the bus conductor for getting more information in the case, and we have seized the cash under Section 102 of CRPC, said SDPO Sunil Joshi to this correspondent.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The dry Suktel River Bed ---


SUKTEL PROTESTERS BURN EFFIGIES OF CM, MP, MLAS Friday, 19 April 2013 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR |


SUKTEL PROTESTERS BURN EFFIGIES OF CM, MP, MLAS
Friday, 19 April 2013 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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Burning of effigies of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Balangir MLA AU Singh Deo, Balangir MP Kalikesh Singh Deo (all of the BJD) and Congress MLAs Santosh Singh Saluja and Surendra Singhbhoi for allegedly neglecting the tribal causes marked the ninth day of protests against the construction work for the Lower Suktel Irrigation Project on Thursday.

The protests have been continuing by members of the Zilla Adivasi Kalyan Sangh led by Braja Kishor Singhbhoi and Niranjan Bisi and members of the Lower Suktel Budi Anchal Sangram Parishad.

“Let the dam construction stop first. We are opposing this big project as it would ruin the villages of this area and tribal people. We are also protesting against the police attack on tribal women who are undergoing treatment and demand action against the concerned officials. The alternatives suggested by the Budi Anchal Sangram Parishad should be considered by the Government,” said Zilla Adivasi Kalyan Sangh president Braja Kishore Singhbhoi.

“The Government wants to construct dam spillway by using force. More than 90 per cent tribal people of this area would be affected and displaced. As per the rules, the tribal cannot be displaced from their lands. The project has not taken approval of the Forest Rights Committee as per the Forest Right Act. It has also not been approved in Gram Sabha,” said the general secretary of Odisa Adivasi Kalyan Mahasangh.

Meanwhile, a team of civil society activists led by Saroj Padhee of the Human Rights Law Network,(HRLN) visited the Lower Suktel project area and dam site on Thursday and interacted with villagers.

However, Balangir Superintendent of Police R Prakash told this correspondent, “The allegation of assault on protestors by police is false. The assembled protestors prevented police from performing their lawful duty. They had tussled with police officers on duty and tried to catch hold of lathis of police personnel. In this regard, a case has been registered at the Sadar Police station and it is under investigation.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

AAMA POLICE SAMITI FORMED IN BALANGIR


AAMA POLICE SAMITI FORMED IN BALANGIR
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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After introduction of PCR van service in Balangir town to provide prompt police service to tackle law and order situation effectively, now comes another step, Aama Police (our police) to ensure protection to community with help from the public.
The entire Balangir town has been divided into 21 beats, and for each beat a Constable and a Home Guard have been deployed. The beat officer would patrol the beat area.
The beat officer would visit each household of the area to collect data about the number of persons staying there and the persons with criminal antecedents and criminal activities. The police personnel would try to identify themselves with the people of the locality, which would help in detection of fugitive and criminal elements staying there.
The beat officer along with his assistant would be given training to carry out their duties effectively. The names of the beat officers along with their mobile phones would be displayed at prominent places so that people could contact them when required, informed Balangir SP Ravi Prakash.
An Aama Police Samiti with a strength of 20 members has been formed at Balangir, which would meet once in a month at the Town police station on the second Saturday where the members would discuss the problems of their locality.
Rather than mere complaining, the general public would help the police identify the problems and solve them, which would go a long way in curbing crimes with support from the community, said Prakash.


Monday, April 15, 2013

SUKTEL PROTEST CONTINUES, ONE WOMAN AMONG 7 HELD Tuesday, 16 April 2013 | PNS | BALANGIR |


SUKTEL PROTEST CONTINUES, ONE WOMAN AMONG 7 HELD
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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The agitation by the Lower Suktel Budi Achal Sangram Parishad against the construction of spillway construction at Pardhiapali on river Suktel entered its seventh day on Monday, with police taking into custody seven protestors, including a woman, when they tried to enter into restricted area in the project work site.
Supporting the agitators, members of the Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti and Lok Shakti Abhijan president Prafulla Samantary visited the spot and addressed the people.
 "The environment clearance to the project has lapsed. The project cost has touched Rs 1,300 crore. The sudden starting of construction of the dam, without consulting the local people and undertaking fresh environmental and economic impact assessment, is not proper. The step is nothing but to woo the urban people of the district headquarters, who are going to get water if the project takes off, because the general elections are approaching. The Government should talk with the villagers going to be affected by the project before starting the project. Besides, the Government should also look into the alternatives of the project suggested by people," said Samantarya, who strongly criticized the police action against the innocent protestors.
Adivasi Kalyan Sangh also extended their support and joined in the agitation against dam. "We demand pattas for the landless tribals, not the dam. Besides, the district administration should also identify those people who have occupied the land of tribals and initiate steps to vacate them and restore the lands to the tribals as per Section (23) of the Odisha Land Reforms Act 1960," said Adivasi Kalyan Mahasangha president Niranjan Bisi.