Thursday, February 27, 2014

BALANGIR LOK UTSAV GETS OFF TO COLOURFUL START Friday, 28 February 2014 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

BALANGIR LOK UTSAV GETS OFF TO COLOURFUL START
Friday, 28 February 2014 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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The annual cultural extravaganza Balangir Lok Utsav, which kick-started here on Tuesday, enthralled the audience with the participants performing several mesmerising cultural programmes.
 MP Kalikesh Narayn Singh Deo inaugurated the festival. Recalling steps taken by his grandfather late RN Singhdeo for the development of art and literature of Balangir and western Odisha, Singh Deo hoped that it would go a long way in providing a valuable platform to the artists, besides reviving and promoting local art and culture. Singh Deo also requested district Collector M Muthu Kumar to submit a proposal for the holistic development of the Kosal Kala Mandal.
Artists Ghasi Ram Mishra and Harishankar Sai were felicitated on the occasion for their contribution to art and culture. Several cultural events, including Bihu dance of Assam, held the audience spellbound. Among others, SP R Prakash and DRDA Project Director Pabitra Mandal spoke.
However, the turnout of people was comparatively less than the previous years because of the ongoing HSC examinations. Many denizens expressed unhappiness over the timing of the festival when the examinations are underway.  
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Bolangir LOk Ustav on ThirdDay (27thFeburary ,2014) by SudhirMishra



Santosh SinghSaluja,(MLA kantabanji )Bolangir P RaviPraksh,Sarthak Sarangi (SP kalahandi),Nitish Shekhar (SP Sonepur)Bolangir DistrictCollector M.Muthukumar andExecutiveofficerof Bolangirmuincipality Sri Santosh Behera,Sri BishnuKedia,Prashantkhamari are seen on the dais.

ais

BolangirMP performs Bhumipuja of TEL water supply project in Bolangir .27thFeburary2014

27thFeburary2014
BolangirMP performs Bhumipuja of water supply project in Bolangir .
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Bolangir ;Member of Parliament from Bolangir Kalikesh Narayn Singhdeo performed the Bhumipuja of Water supply project at Larkipali today.. 

Water from River Tel in Tarbha block of Sonepur district  would be supplied to  Bolangir town.

The total cost of the project is estimated at 55crores and the project would completed within 24months .After completion of this project, the water scarcity of Bolangir town would be over, said Sri Singhdeo .

This project was sanctioned during his tenure as Planning and coordination Minister, informed AUSinghdeo who was accompanied by his two sons Kalikesh Singhdeo and Arkesh Singhdeo to the function.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bihudance of(Assam)in Bolangir LokMahostav-2014By SudhirMishra/Bolangir 25th February 2014

The annual cultural extravaganza ,Bolangir LokMahostov2014  has started from today and will continue till 28th of Feb .However the LokUstav is being held at a time when the HSC Board  Examination ,has  started from today.Moreover other examination are also going and it would discourage people to visit Lok Ustav   .Many feels that the Ustav should not coincide with date of HSC Examination.

Monday, February 24, 2014

AU’S SON ARKESH LAUNCHES PUBLIC CONTACT DRIVE Tuesday, 25 February 2014 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

AU’S SON ARKESH LAUNCHES PUBLIC CONTACT DRIVE
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

With the elections round the corner, political parties have stepped up their activities in both urban and rural areas in Balangir district.
The Biju Janta Dal (BJD) has bolstered its campaign in Balangir town with Arkesh Narayan Singh Deo, another son of local sitting BJD MLA Ananga Uday Singh Deo, carrying out his public contact programme and visiting various parts of the town on Monday and interacting with people.
Speculations are rife here that Arkesh Singh Deo is keen to contest from the Balangir Assembly constituency after AU Singh Deo has been elected to the Rajya Sabha recently.
“I have started this mass contact programme to strengthen relations with the public, party workers and to strengthen the BJD’s base in urban and rural areas and to make them aware about the welfare measures undertaken by the Naveen Patnaik Government for upliftment of poor and downtrodden people,” said Arkesh Singh Deo.
It may be mentioned that Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, another son of AU Singh Deo, is already the BJD Lok Sabha member representing the Balangir seat.
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

NAB P’GARH LAND FRAUD KINGPIN SOON: SP Monday, 24 February 2014 | PNS | BALANGIR

NAB P’GARH LAND FRAUD KINGPIN SOON: SP
Monday, 24 February 2014 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
Samajwadi Party Balangir district president Arun Mishra on Saturday demanded that the main accused in the Patnagarh fraudulent land transfer case occurred in 2006 by some Agra and New Delhi based companies, including the Taj Gases, be arrested soon.
Around 10 private companies had taken around 600 acres of land on three-year lease from farmers belonging to various villages under the block, promising a good amount of rent to them. Some middlemen and teshil officials helped the companies grab these lands fraudulently from the farmers.
On the basis of a report published in The Pioneer in 2007-08, the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Northern Division) ordered for an inquiry. Being confirmed that the company officials, teshil official and middleman were involved in the scam, the RDC also recommended strong action against the accused. Even though a few people were arrested in this connection, key accused Mahesh Tyagi of Taj Gases has not yet been arrested.
In a recent development, a company with the help of some dalals reportedly felled some eucalyptus trees from a piece of land owned by one Somenath Sahu of Gunghutipali village and took away the logs on February 18 last.
“The private companies, which fraudulently took away several acres of land from farmers, are now cutting trees from those land patches. The land should be returned to the farmers and steps be taken to arrest the main accused in the case,” demanded Mishra.
He further said the party activists would resort to agitation if the district administration does not take appropriate action soon. Meanwhile, a complaint has been lodged in the Patnagarh police station vis-à-vis the tree felling. 
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Beautiful flowers by SudhirMishra


BALANGIR LAWYERS BEGIN 2-DAY STIR Saturday, 22 February 2014 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

BALANGIR LAWYERS BEGIN 2-DAY STIR
Saturday, 22 February 2014 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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The Balangir District Bar Association began a two-day close-office agitation from Friday to press for their demand of establishment of a permanent High Court Bench here.
Hundreds of members of the association sat on dharna in front of the District Collectorate and the District and Sessions Judge courts as mark of protest.
Various offices belonging to Government and private organisaions, excluding schools, colleges and markets, remained closed.
“In protest against the Government’s continuous neglect, we have called this two-day shutdown agitation. We would take the next course of action at a meeting to be held Saturday,” said senior lawyer Bhavani Satapathy.
Notably, the shutdown is just as an addition to the ongoing cease-work agitation which the lawyers in the district have been resorting to since February 3 last.



                                                        

BALANGIR HAILS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR MEDICAL COLLEGE

BALANGIR HAILS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR MEDICAL COLLEGE
Saturday, 22 February 2014 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
People from all sections of society including leaders form ruling BJD and main opposition Congress in the district has welcomed the Union Government’s announcement for establishment of a medical college in Balangir. Senior Congress leader Narsingha Mishra and Lok Sabha member from Balangir Kalikesh Naraynan Singh Deo welcomed the move.
Notably, Mishra while serving as the Chairman of Western Odisha Development Council had took initiative for setting up of the medical college at Balangir in 1999 and the then Union Minister Sharad Yadav had laid the foundation stone.
However after 2000, with the change of Government, the construction of the medical college came to halt. The foundation stone for this medical college was laid twice by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
“I am grateful to CM Naveen Patnaik for recommending a medical college at Balangir. However the Union Government will give only 75 per cent of estimated budget of Rs 189 crore for the project which is too small as medical college will cost more than Rs 300 crore. Hence, the State Government will bear the rest amount which is more than 50 per cent of the total cost,” said Singh Deo.
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The Incomplete medical college at Bolangir- By SudhirMishra 21st Feburary2014

The incomplete medical college at Bolangir -- Center has announced setting up a medical college at Bolangir which has been welcomed by people here. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

CM PROMISES PROPER REHAB OF SUKTEL DISPLACED Wednesday, 19 February 2014 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

CM PROMISES PROPER REHAB OF SUKTEL DISPLACED
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday laid foundation-stone for a slew of projects, including a bridge, grid substation, a mega lift irrigation point, and launched 108 Ambulance service in the district.
Addressing a gathering here after cutting ribbons for the projects, Patnaik said, “Balangir is one of the major districts of western Odisha and our effort will continue for its development.”
He said the Lower Suktel Project would boost irrigation facility and his Government would take adequate attention to rehabilitate the displaced people Balangir MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo said the opposition parties have become zealous of the BJD Government’s developmental programmes in the district.
He lamented that while the State Government has announced to provide land and bear 50 per cent expenditure, the Centre has disappointingly overlooked Khurdha-Balangir rail line demand in the recent Railway Budget. 
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CM Naveen Pattnaik addressed apublic meeting in Bolangir today(18th Feb) at RNsinghdeo sports complex,after laying series of foundation stone of Roads, bridges and LI points and inauguration of 1O8Ambulance service



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Sun playing Hide and seek -The beautiful Sun -by Sudhir Mishra Bolangir/11th February 2014.

By
Sudhir Mishra/Bolangir
11th Feburary2014
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The beautiful Sun.
Since time immemorial The Sun is giving us light and has supported human life and other living beings in this planet.while its early morning and Sunset rays looks beautiful and beneficial ,the mid day sun is harsh.

However today all of a sudden around 4pm suddenly sun was engulfed in cloud and it went behind cloud for few minutes.I captured few photographs of sun-rays coming from them and coming out of it.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Another story inWater Integrity Network blog Odisha Groundwater Bill shortcomings Written by Sudhir Mishra/Bolangir,

Odisha Groundwater Bill shortcomings

Written by Sudhir Mishra, a Balangir (Odisha) based journalist working with The Pioneer, a leading Indian newspaper. His contact email is sudhirmishra1@rediffmail.com
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, as felt  by 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 mention 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 to achieve an all encompassing legislation on ground water, the forum maintained.

Water Shortage in Western Odisha due to deviation from traditional water and land usage-one of my stories published inthe waterintegrityblog.com/category/south-asia/‎


Water Shortage in Western Odisha due to deviation from traditional water and land usage(

South Asia | Water Integrity Network blog)

waterintegrityblog.com/category/south-asia/
Written by Sudhir Mishra, a Balangir (Odisha) based journalist working with The Pioneer, a leading Indian newspaper. His contact email is sudhirmishra1@rediffmail.com 
This year in 2011, a grim reality of acute water shortage has been looming large over the western Odisha’s rural populace (an area in eastern India that is prone to droughts) , thanks to the scanty and erratic monsoon and rapid decline in the traditional water bodies and traditional water conservation practices. It is greatly affecting the agricultural operations and crop production and the rural economy as a whole.
This crisis is going to compound in the coming years, as the traditional water conservation mechanism of western Odisha has been declining rapidly over the years due to the compulsions of the developing society like the population explosion, changing land usage and modern agricultural practices. Since time immemorial, the traditional water bodies conserve rainwater to meet the water needs of the people, to recharge the groundwater and to provide irrigation to the crops. In the undivided Balangir and Kalahandi districts of western Odisha, there were about 300 traditional water harvesting structures (TWHS) that irrigated 33 per cent of land, which is now down to 5 per cent only.
In Kalahandi district of Western Odisha, there were 120 TWHSs, out of which around 85 have now been converted to residential plots. Following the conversion of the TWHSs into residential plots for the housing purpose, the problem of flash floods in the habitations has now arisen, as the rain water finds no place to be stored during the heavy downpour and creates floods.
The population explosion has led to clearing up of the forests and loss of forests resulted in more soil erosion resulting in siltation of water bodies. The encroachment further aggravated the woes. In addition, more emphasis is being laid by the government-industry-contractors nexus on large-scale irrigation projects following which the popularity of water harvesting structures has declined. The Government is promoting farm ponds to provide assured irrigation, but small farmers having land less than one acre, find it difficult to dig such a pond. Instead, the Government should emphasize on digging of TWHSs in the fields which can be dug in small areas and water can be stored till five to six months.
The traditional tribes like the Kuda tribe of Balangir and the nomadic Bhunjia tribe were experts in digging wells and ponds and could predict the presence of water in an area just by viewing the soil. They are now working as daily wage labourers, as no new water bodies are being created in the area, leaving very less skilled people having the traditional knowledge.
The past generations inhabiting this area had great scientific knowledge of water management. They had also anticipated the climate change and ill-effects for which they had developed such a large network of traditional water bodies to save crop besides meeting their other basic needs and the traditional cropping pattern was done according to the water availability.
One local saying very beautifully sums up the importance of TWHSs, ‘khet ke muda te, ghar ke bhudha te’. It means that there should be a water harvesting structure for the providential need of cultivable fields that saves us from the drought just like the very presence of an elderly person guides the family in crisis.
Ironically, we are blindly following other models which have brought a lot of unseen problems for the poor farmers of this region and it is time be looked back towards our traditional wisdom to use the scarce water resources.

Acute water crisis looms large over western Odisha February 05, 2011 7:21:08 AM Sudhir Mishra | / The most significant aspect of thisstory .It has been posted in the South Asia | Water Integrity Network blog waterintegrityblog.com/category/south-asia/‎


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 1) BHUBANESWAR | Saturday, February 5, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back 

Acute water crisis looms large over western Odisha
February 05, 2011 7:21:08 AM


Sudhir Mishra | Balangir


Besides being in a state of shock following the unseasonal rain-hit 
massive crop loss recently and currently reeling under an intense cold 
wave, another grim reality of acute water shortage and water insecurity 
is looming large over the western Odisha rural populace and farmers, 
thanks to the scanty and erratic monsoon and rapid decline in the 
traditional water bodies and conservation mechanism.

This year, monsoon had reportedly been deficit in several parts of 
western Odisha. Balangir district recorded only 69.28 mm rainfall 
against the normal 202 mm in June, a 65 per cent deficit. However, it 
received excess rainfall in July. Against the normal rainfall of 360.50 
mm, it received 
370.70.mm, an excess of 2.8 per cent.

Again in the crucial month of August, it received a deficient rainfall 
of 252.7 mm against the normal 333.60 mm, a deficit of 24.3 per cent. 
Similarly in September, it also received a little excess rainfall than 
its normal average, said an agriculture official.

The monsoon arrived here late. Although widespread distribution of 
rainfall was received till the first week of August, the subsequent 
erratic and deficient rainfall affected the agricultural operation in 
many parts of the district following which the crop production was 
affected, stated the agriculture official.

Besides, the less quantity of rainfall is going to trigger acute water 
crisis in the forthcoming summer as the traditional water conservation 
mechanism of western Odisha, namely muda, kata, bandh, bandhali, sagar 
and others, has declined rapidly over the years.

Earlier, the traditional water bodies used to conserve rainwater not 
only to meet the water needs of the people, but also to recharge the 
groundwater and provide the life-saving irrigation to the crop. In the 
undivided Balangir and Kalahandi districts, there used to be large 
number of traditional water harvesting structures (TWHS) like muda, 
kata, bandh, bandhali, jor, naal chhuan, chhala and sagar.

Earlier, there were around 300 traditional TWHSs, while Patnagarh town 
alone had 100 water bodies of its own. In the erstwhile princely State 
of Patna, 1, 31,744 acres of land were irrigated by around 9,087 TWHS. 
“In each village, there were around five water bodies irrigating 75 
acres of the village land. However, 60 years thenceforth, the total 
percentage of the land irrigated by the TWHS has declined from 33 per 
cent to a mere 5 per cent,” pointed out Sanjay Mishra.

The Kuda tribe of Balangir possesses the unique ability of predicting 
the presence of water in an area just by viewing the soil as they are 
experts in digging wells and ponds, informed Sanjay and rued that they 
are now working as daily labourers.

There had been a nomadic tribe called Bhunjia who used to dig a pond 
where ever they stayed for two to three years and departed. They had 
better water science knowledge and could locate the place to detect 
water.

“They had dug a bandh, known as Bhulia bandh, near Juba in Belpada,” 
said Jatin Patra of Patnagarh. There used to be an area called 
Jalchhar, now being encroached and converted into bahal land (low 
cultivable land). “It had also been a general belief then that digging 
of a muda or kata was a punnya kama (pious work) following which the 
zamindars and gountias (village lords) used to dig numerous mudas and 
katas, especially beside the roads, to provide drinking water 
facilities to the travellers,” said Ghashiram Panda.

Besides Balangir district, the age-old system was also practised in 
Nuapada district. The muda is a kind of checking small streams built 
across a slope to arrest the rain water having high embankments on the 
three sides and the fourth side is open. The structure basically 
harnesses the rain water flowing from the slope and it helps the lands 
below in the perennial passing of moisture.

The kata is an ordinary water tank constructed by putting a soil/stone 
embankment across a land where the rain water is preserved and it is 
easily cut down to irrigate the cultivable land below at the time of 
dry spell.

The bandh is a four sided water tank, usually excavated below a kata. 
“Such traditional system of rain water harvesting has been practised by 
the native peasants of Nuapada district for centuries which suits the 
local topography and the water tanks are also used for pisciculture and 
bathing,” said Abani Panigrahi of Lok Drusti in Nuapada district.

Patnagrah town was famous for chhakodi bandh and naakodi tota. As per 
local parlance, one kodi means 20 and accordingly, chhakodi means 20 x 
6 =120 and naakodi means 20 x 9 =180. Besides Patnagarh town of 
Balangir district, the same thing is also found in other parts of 
Kalahandi district. Chhakodi bandh aru naakodi tota was the symbol of 
Junagarh in Kalahandi district as there had been 120 bandhs and 180 
mango orchards in Junagarh area out of which around 85 bandhs have now 
been converted to homestead plots while there are only four large mango 
orchards left out currently in the area.

“Following the conversion of the TWHSs there into homestead plots for 
the housing purpose, the problem of flash floods in the habitations has 
now arisen as the rain water finds no place to be stored during the 
heavy downpour and creates floods,” said Dilip Das of Antodoya in 
Kalahandi.

To boost pisciculture and earn revenue, the State Government has now 
decided to take up pisciculture in the water bodies and its ownership 
has been passed on to the Panchayats since 1955, but the Panchayats 
could not manage it properly due to the lack of resources, dishonest 
officials, loss of forest cover, population explosion and following of 
new techniques, sources revealed.

The population explosion led to clearing up of the forests and loss of 
forests resulted in more soil erosion resulting in siltation of water 
bodies. Besides, the encroachment further aggravated the woes. In 
addition, more emphasis is being laid on large-scale irrigation 
projects following which the popularity of water harvesting structures 
has eventually declined.

Irrigation projects, like the Lower Suktel, have been given more 
importance to reap the multipurpose benefits of irrigation and 
pisciculture and also to boost allied activities. 

Even though the project was sanctioned way back in 1996-97 at an 
estimated cost of `217 crore, it is yet to be taken up even though the 
project cost has touched around `1043 crore after a decade.

Even though the Government is promoting farm pond to save farmers and 
to provide assured irrigation, it has been found that many farmers, 
having less than one acre, are finding it difficult to dig such a pond.

“The Government should give thrust on digging of chuans in the fields 
which can be dug in small areas and water will also be stored till 
February and March,” pointed out an NGO activist.

With rainy days becoming less, rapid decline of TWHSs, deforestation 
and uncertain rainfall, acute water shortage is going to be one of the 
major problems for the rural poor in western Odisha.

Our forefathers had great scientific knowledge of water management. 
They had also anticipated the climate change and ill-effects for which 
they had developed such a large network of traditional water bodies to 
save crop besides meeting their other basic needs. 

Moreover, their cropping pattern was also done accordingly. Ironically, 
we are blindly following other models which have brought a lot of 
unseen problems for the poor and farmers of this region, the locals 
here view.

The local saying goes khet ke muda te, ghar ke bhudha te. It implies 
that there should be a water harvesting structure for the providential 
need of cultivable fields as it could save from the drought and the 
very presence of an elderly person in each house could guide the family 
in crisis. 

“It is high time we followed the popular adage to save our poor 
populace and farmers,” insisted the NGO activist. 

SudhirMishra
Journalist
The Pioneer
Balangir(Odisha)

Friday, February 7, 2014

RESCUED’ BONDED LABOUR DIES IN POVERTY Saturday, 08 February 2014 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

RESCUED’ BONDED LABOUR DIES IN POVERTY
Saturday, 08 February 2014 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

The Government’s schemes to provide livelihood support to migrant labourers remain a non-starter in this district. It is evident from the fact that one of the four of a family, who were provided with bonded labour certificates to get such support, died recently after struggling for a year to get the support.
The other three members are still struggling to get the support for their survival. According to reports, Pitabasa Padhan and three others of his family belonging to Phatabahal village of Kusmel gram panchayat under Loisingha block were rescued along with 128 other migrant labourers by Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district administration from a brick kiln in the district in December 2013. Later, they were issued bonded labour certificates by the district administration here and thus became entitled for Government’s livelihood support as per Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976.
But the family members moved from pillar to post to get the support. In the meantime, Pitabasa developed peptic ulcer and needed more money for treatment. As others of his family members are daily wage earners, Pitabasa could not get proper treatment and ultimately died on December 29, 2013. His wife and two daughters having bonded labour certificates are still struggling for the livelihood support.
A team of officials of Migration Information Resource Center (MIRC) of Aide et Action visited the bereaved family recently and took the matter up with Sub-Collector and PD DRDA, Balangir on Thursday. The district administration would extend financial assistance of Rs 20,000 under the National Family Benefit Scheme if Pitabasa’s family comes under the BPL category. Besides, his widow would also get pension, said PD DRDA Pabitra Mandal.
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