Maoists kill civil contractor in Kalahandi

Shiba Shankar DashMembers of outlawed CPI (Maoist) this morning killed a super class contractor in Kalahandi district when he was supervising work at a site.

The deceased was identified as Shiba Shankar Dash alias Tunu Dash

According to reports, at around 10 am in the morning Dash was at a site near Paji Bahali under Bijepur police limits in the tribal-dominated district to supervise work and distribute wages to the workmen.

However, the members of the outlawed group opened fire at Dash indiscriminately. He died on the spot.

Police arrived at the spot being informed about the incident and launched probe into the case.

“The armed miscreants came and asked Shivashankar for payment. He told them to get money from his clerk. They fired six rounds at him,” said brother of the deceased, Ramashankar Das.

Odisha CM ask probe to Andhra Pradesh CM about Shreyash’s Death

Shreyas KesharwaniOdisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday asked Andhra Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu for a probe by a special agency into the death of Shreyash’s Death, a Sambalpur teenager, in Visakhapatanam.

Shreyash Kesharwani, a student of Sri Chaitanya Junior College at Marikavalasa in Visakhapatnam city, was thrashed by a few college students that led to his death in January 2018.

The Odisha Chief Minister spoke to Naidu on phone and urged for a probe so as to bring out the truth behind the 16-year-old Sambalpur teenager’s death.

Earlier, the parents of Shreyas on Tuesday met the Chief Minister at the State Secretariat here.

On December 26, Shreyas had allegedly received repeated blows to his chest, for which he received treatment first at Rourkela and then in Bhubaneswar. The boy left for home in Garposh in Sambalpur, citing ill health on December 29. But, he succumbed to injuries at a hospital in Bhubaneswar on January 6.

The bereaved family claimed that the student succumbed to his injuries due to ragging by fellow students in the engineering college and that college authorities did not act on ragging complaints.

Sambalpur Development Authority to set up park on six-acre at Rengali

The Sambalpur Development Authority (SDA) has initiated steps to carry out development work beyond the city limits. The civic body has decided to set up a park in Rengali, which is considered as industrial hub of the district. Although Rengali is a gram panchayat and headquarters of Rengali block, the area comes under the jurisdiction of SDA.

SDA Chairman Bijay Mohanty

SDA Chairman Bijay Mohanty said the park will be developed over an area of six acres and development authority has already got possession of the land. Preliminary work, including levelling of land and construction of boundary wall besides digging up of a deep bore well, has already been started, he said.

Apart from construction of pathways, landscaping and plantation work will be carried out in the park. Besides, fountain, decorative lights, children’s play equipment and various swings will be installed. Moreover, concrete benches, drinking water facility and toilets will be constructed. Altogether, `two crore will be spent for development of the park, while `55 lakh has already been sanctioned in the first phase, he added.

Situated about 25 km away from the city, Rengali houses various industrial houses, including Aditya Aluminium, Bhusan Power and Steel Limited, Shyam Metalics and Energy Limited and Aryan Ispat and Power Private Limited. Rengali, which is a business centre of the block, also houses various State Government and private offices besides financial institutions. Rengali also qualifies all the criteria to be upgraded into a Notified Area Council (NAC).

Though Rengali is turning urban, the place is deprived of any recreational facility now. The park will provide solace to the people to refresh their mind, sources said.

Only two city buses are running out of 12 in Sambalpur

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had flagged off the 12 new city buses on September 22nd last year 2017

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had flagged off the 12 new city buses on September 22nd last year 2017 to strengthen the public transport in Sambalpur as well as the neighbouring Bargarh, Sonepur, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts. Only two city buses are running in Sambalpur. The remaining 10 city buses are lying unused.

The 12 city buses were to ply on new routes comprising Sambalpur-Kuchinda, Sambalpur-Sonepur, Sambalpur-Barpali (Bargarh), Sambalpur- Sundargarh, Sambalpur-Brajrajnagar (Jharsuguda) and Sambalpur-Belpahar (Jharsuguda).

However, only two buses are plying on Sambalpur-Kuchinda route while the remaining 10 are lying idle.
The city bus service was launched in Sambalpur on January 29, 2014 and made operational on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. A private operator, Paschim Odisha Paribahan Company (POPCO) has partnered with Western Odisha Urban Transport Services Limited (WOUTSL) to run and manage the city bus service in Sambalpur.

Currently, 34 buses are plying in 13 different routes. The buses are providing services to the peripheral areas of Sambalpur city besides neighbouring Bargarh and Jharsuguda towns.The plying of city buses on the new routes will be helpful for residents of five towns of Sonepur, Barpali, Sundargarh, Brajrajnagar and Belpahar. The residents will find better connectivity with Sambalpur after the buses run on the new routes. The city bus service has encouraged use of public transport with more people preferring to travel in the new buses. More than 7,000 commuters use the city buses on a daily basis.

Commissioner of Sambalpur Municipal Corporation Bimalendu Ray, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of WOUTSL, said they have already applied for route permits for plying of buses on the new routes. However, while the authorities have received permit for Sambalpur-Kuchinda route, they are waiting for permits for other routes following which the rest of the buses will be deployed, Ray added.

Agricultural lands submerged due to breaches in Sason Canal

Breaches in Sason Canal

Over hundred acres of agricultural lands submerged due to breaches in Sason Canal were submerged following a 50- ft breach in embankment of Sason canal near Talab village in Sambalpur.

The agricultural lands of around 10 villages under two gram panchayats have been inundated by water.

Locals alleged that today’s incident shows callous attitude of authorities as no timely action was taken for timely strengthening and repair of the weak embankment despite several complaints.

“We had raised the matter of weak embankment during Pani Panchayat meeting several times and demanded for repair of the canal bund at the earliest. But our complaint fell on to deaf ears,” Byomakesh Thakur, a local farmer said.

The breach has caused an artificial flooding in the area.

The administrative officials have swung into action and took stock of the situation.

“Efforts are on to mend the breach with sand packets. Executive engineer and other officials of Irrigation Department are monitoring the work. Later, losses will be assessed jointly by Agriculture and Revenue departments,” tehsildar Debendra Nanda said.

Farm Lands In Sambalpur Inundated After Breach In Canal Embankment

Standing rabi paddy crop over 700 acres of land has been damaged due to a 40-foot breach in the embankment of Sason Canal of Hirakud Dam Project at Khejurbandh under Kilasama gram panchayat of Dhankauda block in the district on Sunday. Paddy crop has been damaged in villages of Balbaspur under Kilasama gram panchayat and Talab under Talab gram panchayat due to the breach.
Reports said the embankment of Sason canal caved in early on Sunday. The villagers informed the officials of Water Resources (WR) department immediately after the incident.

The villagers alleged that the water submerged large tract of paddy land due to delay in closing the sluice gates of the Sason canal.Of the two sluice gates of the canal, one gate has not been functioning properly for the last two years. Though the villagers had informed the WR authorities about malfunctioning of the sluice gate, the authorities did not pay heed to their grievance.Had the authorities repaired the sluice gate, the water flow into the Sason canal from the Hirakud Dam Reservoir could have been stopped immediately and huge crop loss could have been averted, the villagers said.

Subsequently, the sluice gate was closed manually and water flow into the canal has been stopped.
Farmer leader Byomkesh Thakur, a native of village Talab, said the embankment of the canal was weak at Khejurbandh. They had apprised the officials of the WR department about the condition of the embankment at that place. However, the department failed to take any measures to strengthen the embankment and it caved in. The breach in the embankment has caused huge loss to the farmers, he said.

He also said since the time for paddy transplantation is already over, it is difficult to grow paddy in the land again. They demanded adequate compensation for the crop loss, he added.
Superintending Engineer, WR department, Hirakud Dam Circle, Saroj Panda said the toe wall of the embankment had become old, as a result the wall toppled. The wall failed to retain the earthen embankment and it caved in, he said.

They have closed both the sluice gates of Sason canal. The repairing work has already begun and the work will be completed within three days, he said.Meanwhile, Sambalpur Sadar Sub-Collector Pradip Sahu said they have already apprised the office of the Special Relief Commission (SRC) about the crop loss due to breach in the embankment. The crop loss will be estimated after the water recedes from the land, he added.