Chhatisgarh opens one gate of Kalma barrage, Hydro power generation suffers

Amid accusation of reduction of flow of Mahanadi water, Chattisgarh government has finally opened only one gate of the Kalma barrage to discharge water to Hirakud reservoir in Odisha to meet the scarcity.

All protest of the Odisha government not to stop flow of Mahanadi water during non-monsoon season and release the required quantity of water had no impact on the Chhatisgarh government which is constructing dams and barrages on the up stream of Mahanadi river notwithstanding the vehement protest from Odisha.

Hirakud Dam sources said only 2000 cusecs water is entering the reservoir from Kalma barrage although the requirement is much high.
Since the government is giving priority to irrigation and drinking water supply, the hydro power generation using the Hirakud water had almost stopped except in the peak hours in the evening, power generation is allowed only for few hours to meet the requirement .

Since the kharif crop will begin soon after crop cutting is over, the Dam authority is now ready to meet the water supply in the canals to the Hirakud command area and also Sambalpur distributory as per the requirement at the cost of the power generation,” a senior official of Hirakud Dam said.

Maoist situation remains challeging: Chief Minister

Maoist situation remains challenging in eight major districts of the state, how ever there has been a substantial improvement in the situation in other districts.

In a written reply to Congress member Naba Kishore Das in the Assembly today, Patnaik named the eight districts as Malkangiri, Koraput, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Bolangir, Bargarh and Angul.

The chief minister told the Assembly that as many as 13 districts were hit by the LWE violence since 2007 which included Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Jajpur and Dhenkanal.

However, Patnaik said the LWE situation in Gajapati, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Nuapada, Bodh, Nayagarh, Deogarh and Sundergarh was under control.

He said there has been no incidents of Maoist violence reported from Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Nabarangpur and Ganjam districts so far.

Patnaik, while making a statement in the Assembly on December 8, had said there was substantial improvement in the LWE scenario in the state.

“Improvement of police infrastructure, recruitment of armed personnel, specialised training and a progressive policy of surrender and rehabilitation have led to substantial improvement in the situation,” Patnaik had said.

The state has, meanwhile, requested the Centre to send additional central forces to be deployed in areas prone to Maoist violence.

Five members of family jump in front of train

IN a heart-wrenching incident, five members of a family, including a couple and their three daughters, committed suicide by jumping in front of a moving train near Sambalpur Road railway station on Tuesday night. The Government Railway Police (GRP), Sambalpur, recovered the bodies on Wednesday morning and sent those for autopsy to VSS Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Burla.

The deceased have been identified as Dharanidhar Panda (50), his wife Sangita Panda (45) and their three daughters __ Ananya Panda (16), Aparajita Panda (14) and three-and-a-half-year-old Siddhi Panda of Jagannath Colony here.

Dharanidhar was a native of Burda village under Bheden block in Bargarh district.Dharanidhar, working as a music teacher in a private school, had been staying in the city with his family for the last 15 years. For the last six months, the family had been staying in a rented house at Jagannath Colony under Ainthapali police limits.

Reports said the loco pilot of Jharsuguda-Sambalpur DMU train informed the Station Master of Sambalpur railway station on Tuesday night that three females jumped in front of the moving train. Subsequently, GRP, Sambalpur, was alerted. The GRP personnel rushed to the spot and found that five members of a family had committed suicide.

Inspector-in-Charge of GRP station, Sambalpur, Chintamani Pradhan said from preliminary investigation it has been ascertained that financial crisis and loan burden drove the family to take the extreme step. Police recovered mobile phones, ATM cards, PAN cards and a bag from the spot.

Dharanidhar’s brother Somnath Panda termed the incident as painful and added that the reason behind the extreme step can be ascertained after police inquiry. Dharanidhar was a friendly person, Somnath said.

Suspecting financial crisis as the reason behind the drastic step, Prasanna Gartia, the owner of the house where the family was residing, said Dharanidhar was under mental agony as many people, from whom he had borrowed money, were coming to his house frequently seeking repayment.

Five bodies found on railway tracks, police suspect mass suicide

Mutilated bodies of music teacher Dharanidhar Panda, his wife Sangeeta Panda and their three daughters, in the age group of 13-20, were spotted by driver of a train at Sarala junction near Sambalpur town.

Inspector of Sambalpur Government Railway Police G Dungdung said preliminary investigation indicates it’s a case of mass suicide. “We recovered five bodies of four female and one male. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem,” he said.

It was, however, not immediately known whether the family was under any kind of stress to take the extreme step.

Panda worked as a music teacher in a local school. The school was closed for the day following his death as a mark of respect. Colleagues and students remembered Panda as a kind human being and sincere. “He had come to school yesterday (Tuesday) and left in the afternoon. There was no trace of anxiety or depression on his face,” said a colleague.

Expressing shock over the incident, Sambalpur MLA Raseswari Panigrahi demanded a proper probe into the incident to unearth the truth.

Three farmers end life in seven days in Bargarh

Farmers frustrated with government officials’ non-response to their grievances on Tuesday set acres of paddy crop in Odisha’s Bargarh district as a mark of protest.

According to reports, the farmers had procured pesticide from government agencies to protect their crop. However, they found the pesticide of very low quality and failing to prevent the pests from eating out standing crop. The farmers again drew the attention of the district administration to the problem.

However, as no response positive response came from the government side, as many as 10 farmers on Tuesday morning set their crop fire. “Farmers of Bargarh have been complaining about the quality of the pesticide since long and demanding interventions by the government agencies but to no available. This government is totally apathetic towards the farmers,” said Seshadeba Nanda, a noted farmers leader.

Agriculture minister Dr Damodar Rout remained incommunicado for his comment. At least three farmers in Baragarh district have committed suicide in the past seven days due to crop loss.