Beautification of 16th century Shiva Mandir begins

mandhata-siva-mandirA new look is in the offing for the 16th century temple of Lord Shiva, Mandhata temple, at Maneswar in the city. Municipal engineer, Basanta Kumar Padhy said desiltation of the water body and construction of an inner protection wall has been completed at the cost of `18 lakh. A decision has been taken to construct a pathway surrounding the water body, develop a lawn and construct cemented chairs on the bank. Some other beautification works will also be carried out. “Our work will gain pace after the rainy season,” he said. A total of 54 turtles, which were in the water body, have been taken out from the pond to facilitate the renovation and beautification. The civic body has built a small tank as a temporary home for the turtles till the completion o f the wat erbody ’ s beautification.

The temple at Maneswar, which was built by the first king of Sambalpur, Balaramdev, in the 16th century, is one of the most famous Shiv temples of the region. Historians said in the undivided district of Sambalpur, a large number of Shiva temples were built during the Chauhan rule. The most important among them are the Asta Sambhu Pithas. Mandhata temple in Maneswar is one of the eight Asta Sambhu Pithas. Murali Pujari, a priest of the temple, hoped that after completion of beautification works, the number of visitors will increase.

College student killed in road accident in Sambalpur

college-students-blocked-the-roadA student was killed on Wednesday after an oncoming truck hit the bicycle she was riding on her way to college in Sambalpur.

The deceased has been identified as Puja Shankar of SBP Colony and was a first year intermediate commerce student of the Govt. Women’s College, Sambalpur.

According to reports, a truck hit Puja about 9.30 am this morning near Bhutapada Chhak while she was cycling on her way to college. She sustained leg injury in the accident and was rushed to a nearest hospital where the attending doctor declared her dead .

Police have detained the truck driver and seized the vehicle. Mild tension erupted at Bhutapada following the incident as college students blocked the road near Dhanupali police station.

Kalahandi incident has maligned Odisha’s image

man-carrying-dead-wifeUnion Minister of State for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan criticised the Odisha government and said the Kalahandi incident has maligned Odisha’s image.
The shocking incident of a poor tribal carrying his wife’s body on his shoulders is a sad reflection of the insensitivity in the state. The incident shows the insensitivity of the state administration towards the people of the state. Both the state and the district administrations should take the matter very seriously and introspect,” Pradhan said.
The Kalahandi BJP unit staged a demonstration before the Bhawanipatna CDMO office protesting the incident. Talking to reporters here, Pradhan said the Chief Minister and the administration appear to be speaking in different voices over such a sensitive issue that has outraged the entire nation.
While CM Naveen Patnaik talks of inquiry and action against those responsible, the administration has been on a cover-up job denying any lapses and insisting that the bereaved Dana Majhi had left the hospital with his wife without informing anyone.
The Union Minister also took a swipe at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for announcing ‘Mahaprayan scheme’’, hearse at every hospital to carry bodies free of cost. The Kalahandi district headquarter hospital did have hearse and ambulances yet Dana Majhi had to carry his wife’s body on his shoulders, he quipped.
Schemes can be announced, but the crux of the matter is to ensure it is implemented across the state effectively, remarked Pradhan.
Meanwhile the Chief District Medical Officer of Kalahandi , Braja Kishore Brahma terminated the contract of a male nurse Rajendra Rana for dereliction of duty in connection with the Dana Majhi case.
Union Minister Pradhan also came down heavily on the state government for the mess in the education sector and caustically remarked that teachers cannot be treated like cab service providers. On the contentious Mahanadi river water dispute between Chhattisgarh and Odisha,he said ,the central government had taken the lead in mediation between the two states and Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati has invited Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for talks on any date convenient to him between 10 to 20 September.

Man carrying his wife’s body

Dana Majhi with his wife over his shoulders wrapped in sheetsA fact-finding team of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) comprising five members visited Dana Majhi’s village Melghara on Saturday.
The members are Dabugaon MLA Bhujmal Majhi, OPCC vice-president Sadan Naik, Congress ST cell chairman Pradeep Majhi, OPCC secretary Hasan Khan and former MLA Gobardhan Das.
While the family of the deceased woman Amang Dei was supposed to perform third day rituals (Dibi Utha) according to tribal tradition on Friday, Thuamal Rampur BDO took Dana and his 12-year-old daughter and presented them before the sub-collector for inquiry, a member of the team told a news conference.
Criticizing the district administration, Pradeep said instead of visiting Dana’s village, the district officials brought him to the sub-collector’s office.

After interacting with Dana, Pradeep said he did not get proper response from the hospital authorities regarding an ambulance which forced him to walk up to 10 km with his wife’s body.. For Dana’s sufferings, the team held responsible to all the hospital staff as well as the administration.
After seeing Dana’s sufferings, senior Congress leader Bhakta Charan Das has decided to organize a padayatra of workers on Sunday from Melghara to Bhawanipatna.

Criminal gang busted in Sambalpur, six arrested

IN a major breakthrough, Sambalpur police on Thursday busted a land mafia gang who were also involved in tender fixing and illegal transportation of materials. Six members of the gang were arrested.

Police have also seized firearms from them. The arrested are Sanjeeb Khandelwal (28), Ananda Nath (32), Md Sarif (39), Saddam Hussain (25), Kunjabihari Kumbhar (27) and Sk Mujibuddin. Sambalpur SP Akhilesvar Singh said all the six have criminal antecedents. They were into tender fixing, transportation and shady land dealings.

They were mainly operating in the industrial pockets of Sambalpur and Jharsuguda districts. Apart from this, the accused were also involved in extortion, Singh added.

Acting on a tip-off on illegal possession of firearms by the gang, Sambalpur police formed separate teams to nab the accused.

The teams raided several areas and arrested them from different parts of the town. “At least eight persons of the gang are still at large. Efforts are on to nab them soon,” Singh said.

The criminals had procured the firearms from Bihar. Police have also identified the agents who had supplied firearms to the criminals, Singh added. Six separate cases have been registered in the Town, Dhanuapali and Sadar police stations here and the accused have been forwarded to court. Earlier on February 1, at least 12 persons, including Sambalpur BSP MLA candidate in the last Assembly election Mohammad Mustukin, were arrested by Sambalpur police for illegal possession of firearms.