In a bid to ensure safety of commuters, especially women, closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed in city buses in Sambalpur.
The Paschim Odisha Paribahan Company (POPCO), which has partnered with Western Odisha Urban Transport Service Limited (WOUTSL) to run the city bus service on a PPP mode, has installed the CCTV cameras in 10 buses in the first phase.
Chief Executive Officer of POPCO, Bipin Bhatia, said they had submitted a proposal to WOUTSL, which is the Government body to monitor city bus service in Sambalpur, to install CCTV cameras in all the city buses. WOUTSL agreed to the proposal and as they will take some time to implement it, POPCO has installed the cameras in 10 buses from its own expenses, he said.
“The WOUTSL has agreed for installation of the cameras in the rest 19 buses soon. We have also decided to set up a control room to keep a watch on camera feed,” he said.
“Presently, we have installed the CCTV cameras in eight buses running on Sambalpur-Jharsuguda route and two buses on Sambalpur-Bargarh route. While three cameras have been fitted in each of the two city buses on the Sambalpur-Bargarh route, each bus on Sambalpur-Jharsuguda route has one camera,” he informed.
It will not only help in instilling a sense of safety among the commuters, especially women, but also help in monitoring buses and keeping an eye on the unscrupulous elements like eve-teasers, Bhatia said.
Besides, Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) will be installed in the buses to get a comprehensive picture of the vehicle’s location and proper management of the fleet. Vehicle information can be viewed on electronic maps via internet or specialised software. The VTS will help locate the bus, Bhatia added.
The city bus service, which was launched in Sambalpur on January 29 last year, received enthusiastic response. Currently, 29 city buses are plying on 11 different routes and people are being encouraged to opt for public transport.
In a bid to provide pipe water connection to the areas in the city which are deprived of drinking water supply, the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) will lay 19 kms of new pipelines. Besides, a water treatment plant with capacity of four-million litre per day (MLD) will be constructed on PHED ground at Ainthapali from where drinking water would be supplied to the uncovered areas.
The project also includes construction of three overhead tanks and four sumps. The total project cost has been estimated at Rs 38.81 crore for which fund has already been allocated. The commissioning of the project holds significance as it would supply water to the new residential areas coming up within the city.
Executive Engineer, PHED, Sambalpur, MR Nanda said the project will be implemented under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) of the Centre. Both the State and Central Governments have shared the fund for the project. The tender for the work will be floated shortly and six firms have qualified the technical bid to participate in the tender, he added.
At present, drinking water is being supplied to the city from two water treatment plants located at Baraipali and Mudipada. While the treatment plant at Baraipali has a capacity to treat 42 MLD, the Mudipada plant is of 11 MLD capacity. Although the water demand of the city is around 28 MLD, many areas do not have network of pipelines for distribution of water.
With the increase of population, many new residential areas have cropped up in Dhanupali, Bhatra, Sunapali, Mahabirpara, Ainthapali and other places of the city. But, these areas do not have provision of drinking water supply. However, once the project is commissioned, the new localities will get piped water supply.
Sources said in absence of supply network, residents of many areas have to struggle for arranging drinking water. While tankers have been deployed to supply drinking water to the new residential areas, people, who can afford, have opted for 20-liter mineral water barrels to be delivered at the doorsteps.
- Public Health Engineering Department to lay 19 kms of new pipelines
- A water treatment plant with capacity of four-MLD will be constructed on PHED ground at Ainthapali
- Three overhead tanks and four underground sumps also to be constructed
Police in Sambalpur district on Monday arrested a teacher of Vikash Junior College at Sasan, 10 km from the western Odisha city, for allegedly duping students in the name of filling up their applications for All India Pre Medical Entrance Test (AIPMT).
The SDPO (Sambalpur), Utkal Keshari Das, said the teacher, Dibya Jyoti Mohapatra, confessed to taking Rs 1,500 each from 11 students. He did not apply for them and instead issued them fake admit cards, mentioning their examination centre at a Delhi-based institution.
The matter came to light on Sunday as six of the 11 students, who went to Delhi for the examination, discovered that the particular institution was not a centre. The rest five did not travel to Delhi because of long distance.
“We are waiting for the affected students and their parents to return from Delhi. After recording their statements, it would become clear if there was institutional involvement or role of any other person in the crime,” Das said.
Vikash Group of Institutions chairman M Krishna said it was an individual act of crime, which has nothing to do with the institution. “We have maintained outmost transparency in the matter and as soon as it came to our notice, we reported it to police,” Krishna said.
Three-time Odisha chief minister and octogenarian Congress leader Janaki Ballabh Patnaik died in Tirupati early this morning. He was 89 and is survived by his wife Jayanti, son Pruthvi Ballav and two daughters Sudatta and Supriya.
According to family sources, Patnaik had gone to the holy city in Andhra Pradesh yesterday in a special flight to attend the convocation of Rashtriya Sanskrit University as the chief guest. He was the varsity’s chancellor.
However, Patnaik complained of chest pain around midnight and was admitted to a hospital there. But he could not be saved and he breathed his last at 3 am following a cardiac arrest.
His mortal remains were flown to Bhubaneswar this afternoon and his last rites will be done in Puri, informed his son-in-law Soumya Ranjan Patnaik.
Odisha governor S.C. Jamir and chief minister Naveen Patnaik condoled the death of the veteran leader. The chief minister cancelled all his Akshay Trutiya programmes scheduled for the day.
Officials said the State government announced holiday today as a mark of respect to the departed leader while a week-long State mourning has also been declared.
A pall of gloom descended in the party circles with senior leaders like Hemanand Biswal, Narasingh Mishra and Bhakta Charan Das mourning his demise.
A great devotee of Lord Jagannath, Patnaik had chanted “Vishnu Sahasranam” while having darshan of Lord Balaji at Tirupati temple hours before he breathed his last at Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences.
“While visiting Tirupati temple last evening, my father was chanting Vishnu Sahasranam on his own and had a darshan of the Lord. He is a great devotee of Lord Vishnu,” his elder daughter Dr Sudatta Patnaik said.
Stating that all his parameters were perfect barely three days ago, Sudatta said her father had a thorough health check-up at a reputed hospital here before going to Tirupati. “However, he was complaining of breathing problems since some time,” she said.
He passed away all of a sudden a few hours after he offered prayers at Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala. After returning from the temple, he had discussion with Sanskrit scholars on the Jagannath cult, Sudatta said.