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HC bench: 48-hour Maha Bandh paralyses life in western Odisha

Intensifying its agitation for the establishment of a permanent High Court bench in western Odisha, the Central Action Committee (CAC) of All-Western Odisha Bar Association (AWOBA) today launched a 48-hour ‘Maha bandh’ in the western districts of the State.

The Sambalpur Bar Association including various lawyer associations of different districts and social and cultural organisation of western Odisha have taken part in the two-day-long ‘Maha bandh’.

As a result, normal life has come to a grinding halt in the region since today morning. Shops, various educational, business establishments & markets have remained closed due to the bandh. The Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) has also postponed its examination to be held today.

48-hour Mahabandh in western Odisha over HC bench

However, emergency services have been kept out of the purview of the strike.

Meanwhile, the agitating lawyers of Sambalpur district staged ‘rail roko’ at Khetrajpur railway station disrupting rail services in the district. Sambalpur-Puri and Sambalpur-Rayagada Intercity trains were halted in the station to mark the bandh.

“However, emergency services like ambulance, medical, water supply have been exempted. We will completely disrupt the rail services during the ‘Maha bandh’,” said Bijitendra Pradhan, President of the Sambalpur District Bar Association.

“The Chief Minister had written thrice to the Central Government to take steps to establish permanent HC bench in western Odisha. But as the demands were not fulfilled, we have resorted to the Maha bandh,” said Sambalpur MLA Raseswari Panigrahi, who also took part in the agitation at Khetrajpur railway station.

Also Read: Odisha cooperative society employees stage protest in front of Assembly

On the other hand, the Balangir Bar Association has decided not to participate in the two-day-long shutdown. Instead, it will launch a separate agitation for the establishment of High Court bench in Bolangir.

The lawyers’ body has decided to launch cease work strike in the district from December 1 to 15 to press for their demand. The lawyers have also called for a bandh in Bolangir on December 3 over the demand.

Members of the Bolangir Bar Association will also shut down courts in the district from December 3 to 10 as a mark of protest.

Bandh demanding HC bench in Sambalpur hit normal life in Western Odisha

A 48 hour bandh called by the agitating lawyers demanding high Court bench in western Odisha completely paralysed normal life in several parts of the region today. Business establishments ,educational institutions and government offices were closed while vehicles were off the road in sambalpur, Jharauguda, Deogarhand, Sundargarh districts on the first day of the 48 hour Mahabandh.

People cutting across party lines joined the advocates to support the demand for a high court bench in Sambalpur. The MLA of Sambalpur Dr. Raseswari Panigrahi also joined the agitation in Sambalpur station to extend the support of her party for the high court bench.

The agitating advocates resorted to picketing before all important entry points of the city to stop movements of the heavy vehicles as a result hundreds of heavy vehicle were seen stranding standing on road The movement of the trains was also obstructed at all the three stations of the city forcing the railway authority to cancel and divert several trains.

Massive police forces were deployed in all places of the district to prevent any untoward situation.

A programme ‘Meet the VC’ started by GMU

Gangadhar Meher University, SambalpurGangadhar Meher University (GMU) has started a program ‘Meet the VC’, so that student can easily approach higher authorities for their problem or any discussion regarding any development. This program was launched by Atanu Pati the Vice-Chancellor of GMU on 23rd August 2018.

 Atanu Pati the Vice-Chancellor of GMUThe programme ‘Meet the VC’ envisages a meeting of the VC with students, teaching and non-teaching staff on the last Saturday of every month. The issues brought up for discussion will have to be addressed within a month’s time.

UC Pati, the deputy registrar of the university, said, “Access is the key to effective governance. ‘Meet the Vice-Chancellor’ will be a forum for discussion in which both the students, teachers and non-teaching staff can participate. They can talk to the VC and other officials of the university about the problems and difficulties they face and also propose how to solve them.” The program ‘Meet the VC’ will be held at 4 PM on the last Saturday of every month. “The issues raised during the meeting will be addressed within a month’s time. They will be reviewed in the subsequent meeting. This will not only give the students and staff a chance to communicate with the VC, but also help build a congenial atmosphere inside the campus,” he said.

Besides, it will also help check student unrest and unnecessary agitations through consultations and open discussions. “The program will promote transparency and facilitate quick delivery of services to the students,” Pati said, adding GMU is the first educational institution in the state to start such a program.

Jharsuguda airport got DGCA’s 4-C license for big flights

Beckoning a major breakthrough for beginning of much-awaited flight operations here, the Jharsuguda Airport has received a 4-C category license for running bigger planes like Airbus-320 and Boeing 747.

Director of the Airport, SK Chouhan informed that with the 4-C category license from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Boeing and Airbus-320 type planes can now begin flight operations at the airport.

“The airport is now ready for flight operations. We are awaiting the nod from Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and once companies are set up here, flights can begin,” said Chouhan.

Two months earlier, the DGCA had granted 2-B category license to the airport for running smaller planes.

Jharsuguda airport gets DGCA's 4 C category license for Airbus 320 planes

Even as sources had informed that the airport was likely to be inaugurated in July, uncertainty continued to loom large over it.

Asked about the matter, the airport director said he is unspecified about the exact date of inauguration. “We don’t have any information whether flight operations will begin first or the inauguration,” he said.

A few days ago, another controversy had surfaced over naming the airport.

On July 26, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha denied receiving any proposal in the form of a resolution from the State government even as Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, on June 15, had written a letter to the Centre urging him to name the new airport after freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai.

Sinha stated that naming of an airport is done on the basis of a resolution passed by the State Assembly but the state government has not sent any resolution.

It is to be noted that the airport has been built under the Centre’s UDAN scheme at a cost of Rs 200 crore which includes Odisha government’s share of Rs 75 crore.

Hirakud Dam releases season’s first flood water

The Hirakud Dam authorities released the season’s first flood water from the reservoir here at around 12 noon on Tuesday.

After performing a ceremonial puja at the dam’s site, the authorities opened one sluice gate to discharge the water and subsequently opened four more gates.

Around 3 lakh cusecs of water will be released into the Mahandi River from the reservoir, sources said.

The water level in the reservoir had reached to about 617.60 feet at 6 AM today while the dam has a capacity of holding water upto 630 feet, informed Hirakud Chief Engineer Jyotirmaya Rath.

“The inflow of water into the reservoir is 1.50 lakh cusecs while the outflow is 11, 846 cusecs. The water from Hirakud will take around 36 hours to reach Mundali in Cuttack,” Rath said.

Meanwhile, the dam authorities alerted Collectors of all districts located on the banks of Mahanadi. The villagers in low lying areas of the reservoir have been alerted about a possible flood like situation.

The authorities also warned the local residents for not to venture into Mahandi River today.