It was a special ‘Raahgiri’ Sunday for the residents of Sambalpur. The road from DIG (Northern Range) office to Nelson Mandela Chowk in the city was chock-a-block with people trying to have a glimpse of artistes performing on the street under the ‘Bate Ghate’ programme.
At least 700 artistes belonging to different groups staged folk dances, street plays, spot painting and photography exhibition on culture and tradition of the region. Several people participated in the Sambalpuri poetry recitation organised as part of the event. During the four-hour programme, young artistes performed traditional dances of the region like Dalkhai, Rasarkeli, Maelajada, Sanchar, Dulduli and Ghubkudu.
The icing on the cake was live performance by eminent singer Jitendriya Haripal, who enthralled the audience with his ‘Rangabati’ number. Other well-known voices like Bibhuti Patnaik, Dilip Bag and Padmini Dora also performed. People were also drawn to the beautiful patterns ‘Jhoti’ drawn along the road by women. Other major attractions included stalls displaying musical instruments and photographs of eminent artistes of the region.
Youngsters walked the ramp wearing Sambalpuri attire for a fashion show organised to promote Sambalpuri handloom. Apart from this, stalls selling delicacies of the region like ‘Sarsatia’, ‘Kakra’, ‘Arisa’ and ‘Muga Bara’ did a good business.
Inaugurating the programme, Chairman of Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) Kishore Kumar Mohanty said, “We should work collectively to promote dance, culture and language of the region.” The region has its own distinctive culture and tradition, he said and appealed to the people to conserve and promote the culture and tradition. ‘Bate Ghate’ coordinator Deepak Panda said the event was dedicated to the doyen of Sambalpuri literature, Satyanarayan Bohidar, whose birth anniversary will be observed on August 1.
Vehicular movement on Phulbani-Bhawanipatn road was disrupted as hundreds of CPI (ML) activists staged a road blockade at Urlagaji demanding fulfillment of their three demands this morning.
Their demands include withdrawal of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from forests and compensation of Rs 20 lakh to family of each deceased of Kandhamal crossfiring incident and Rs 5 lakh to each injured.
Besides, they have demanded that the Government do away with the proposal of water reservoir at Urlagaji.
The much-awaited modern bus terminus here will be operational by August 15. The bus terminus, which has been developed along the NH-6 at Ainthapali, will operate on public-private partnership mode.
Deputy commissioner of Sambalpur Municipal Corporation Sudhansu Bhoi said, “Work on the bus terminus has already been completed. A Sambalpur-based private firm has been selected for the operation and maintenance of the bus terminus.”
Earlier, a bus stand was operating on 5.26 acre at Ainthapali. The bus stand did not have basic amenities putting passengers to inconvenience.
Subsequently steps were initiated to develop a modern bus terminus there. The Bhusan Power and Steel Limited, Thelkuli, was entrusted with the responsibility of developing the modern bus terminus. Work on the modern bus terminus began on the land at Ainthapali after the private bus stand, which was operating there, was shifted to a new location for a temporary period in January 2014. The terminus has been constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 13 crore.
Parking facilities for buses and autorickshaws, multipurpose booking counters, administrative building, kiosks, food court, solar light arrangement and many more amenities will be made available to the passengers in the modern bus terminus. Out of the 21,375 square metre area, 6,412.20 square metre is reserved for bus parking and 1,099.31 square metre for parking of autorickshaws and taxis. All the buses, including those of the OSRTC, city buses and private buses, will operate from the bus terminus.
Police Friday recovered a 500-year-old ‘Astadhatu’ idol from under a banyan tree near Danta riverbank, 1.5 km from Kuruan in Bargarh district. The idol was looted by miscreants four days ago from Kuruan-based Maa Uma Maheswari Temple.
Scores of devotees gathered around the tree to catch a glimpse of the idol after the news spread in the area. Devotees offered prayers and rejoiced in joy playing drums after the stolen idol was recovered. Later, Bargarh Town police seized the idol and handed it back to the temple’s chief priest Satyanarayan Dehuri.
According to reports, miscreants broke into the temple Tuesday night and looted the idol weighing 7 kg along with the donation box. Locals spotted the broken donation box Wednesday morning in a bush on the banks of Maheswari lake near the village while the idol was nowhere to be seen. The ‘Astadhatu’ idol was made of five kilogram of gold, locals said.
Police with the help of a forensic team and sniffer dogs launched a manhunt to nab the accused. Police had also detained some suspects but got no clues about the loot.
Meanwhile, a few youths of the village Friday morning noticed the idol under the banyan tree and alerted the temple priest. Investigation into the incident is on, police said.
An integrated municipal solid waste management system for Sambalpur city, which was accorded corporation status in 2014, has been proposed to be developed at Nildungri on the outskirts of the city. A 31-acre land has also been identified there for it.
Bimalendu Rai, commissioner of Sambalpur Municipal Corporation (SMC), said: “The civic body has already got the possession of the land. A consultant has also been entrusted with the task of preparing a detailed project report (DPR) of the proposed waste management system in Sambalpur.”
Officials of the consultancy firm had recently visited the proposed site for a survey. The DPR will be submitted to the government for approval, Rai added. Once it gets the government nod, the SMC will also apply for environment clearance.
Sambalpur city generates about 100 metric tonne of solid waste everyday. At present, garbage generated from Sambalpur is dumped in Durgapali. Prior to being upgraded into a corporation, Sambalpur Municipality would dump its garbage on a 26-acre stretch in Jamadarpali. However, villagers started opposing the dumping of the garbage there alleging that it was polluting the area. Subsequently, the SMC started dumping the garbage in Durgapali and was also in search of a suitable location to set up a solid waste management system for the city.