Second bridge over Mahanadi at Sambalpur soon

Construction of a second bridge over the Mahanadi at Sambalpur would begin soon. A team of senior officials from Bhubaneswar headed by works secretary Suvendu Kumar Ray and Chief Engineer (Roads) Bijan Kumar Behera visited the area in the presence of concerned district officials including Sambalpur collector Balwant Singh on Sunday.
The team visited the entire ring road from the Nelson Mandela Chowk near the court to that of the Durgapali end near Laxmi Dunguri on NH 55.
It stressed on the need for completion of the total ring road from Dhankauda to Laxmi Dunguri including construction of an over-bridge at the Durgapali railway level-crossing to overcome the growing traffic hassle.
Widening of the ring road to provide an alternative and ease out traffic problem was also discussed.
It was further discussed that the proposed second bridge over the Mahanadi at Sambalpur would be constructed at the Kacheri Chowk or at Sadak Ghat, informed Executive Engineer Sanjay Kumar Sahu.
Discussions were made for construction of a flyover from Dhuturapara to the Laxmi Talkies Chowk at Sambalpur town.
The second bridge would provide vast opportunity to the city to expand in the western direction.
At the same time, the people of Chaunrpur would also get easy and direct communication to the district headquarters.

Kalki Avatar

Stone plaque of Kalki from the 18th century

Stone plaque of Kalki from the 18th century

In Hinduism, Kalki ( meaning ‘Eternity,’ ‘White Horse,’ or ‘Destroyer of Filth’) is the incarnation of Vishnu in the current Mahayuga, foretold to appear at the end of Kali Yuga, the current epoch. Religious texts called the Puranas foretell that Kalki will be atop a white horse with a drawn blazing sword. He is the harbinger of end time in Hindu eschatology, after which he will usher in Satya Yuga.

The name Kalki is a metaphor for eternity or time. Its origins may lie in the Sanskrit word kalka which means foulness or filth. Hence, the name translates to the ‘destroyer of foulness,’ ‘destroyer of darkness,” or ‘destroyer of ignorance. Another etymology from Sanskrit is ‘white horse.

Kalachakra tantra was first taught by the Buddha to King Indrabhuti, the first dharmaraja of Shambhala.It is widely believed that the next Hindu Avatar known as Kalki will take birth at Sambalpur or Shambhala as this place was known in olden times.

There are several proofs of the place Shambhala in different Hindu and Buddhist religious texts as the birthplace of Kalki. The Mahabharatra (Vana Parva, 190.93-97) and Srimad-Bhagavatam Bhag.12.2.18 give reference of Shambhala as the birthplace. The blind Poet Bhima Bhoi and Many other poets mentioned about the place “Shambhala” as the birth place of  KALKI Avatar as the next incarnation of GOD in their LEKHA (poetry).

Panthikas on public-private partnership path soon

As many as 13 state-run panthikas, panthasalas or restaurants will be brought under public- private partnership (PPP) mode soon.

The highest bidders for each project have been finalized. They are waiting for the final approval from the empower committee on infrastructure (ECI) headed by chief secretary, official sources said. Tourism minister Maheswar Mohanty said the ECI would make the final recommendation on transfer of these 13 properties to PPP mode.

The properties awaiting ECI approval are panthikas at Bargarh, Sunabeda and Gupteswar, food court of Puri and a restaurant at Khandagiri. The other properties are at Jajpur road, Sonepur, Kapilas, Deuljhari, Gokarnika, Chari Chhak and BN palace of Parlakhemundi.

Besides, the government would also invite tenders for transfer of 28 more such state properties, including 14 panthasalas and four panthika, to PPP mode. Some of these are panthasalas of Harachandi, Bhatarika, Dhabaleswar, Girisola, Ghatagaon, Khandhar, Gupteswar, Biraja and panthikas at Dhauli, Sunabeda and Ramachandi. Earlier, agreements had been signed for 15 properties.

The tourism minister said the government has planned to introduce house boat facilities at Barkul, Rambha and Ramachandi and served letter of award to companies selected for these purpose. While Mumbai-based Ocean Blue has been selected for Barkul and Rambha, M/s Hotel Sukhamyua has been selected for Ramachandi. Ocean Blue had also been selected for water sports at sea beaches of Puri, Chandrabhaga and Ramachandi.

The minister said none of the bidders responded for occeanarium at Puri-Konark marine drive even as bids were invited in national dailies.

Lawyers’ stir may hit salary disbursement

The lawyers’ strike has put a big question mark on the state government employees getting salary before Nuakhai that will be celebrated on September 10. All government offices in Sambalpur, including that of the RDC and district collector, municipality and other revenue offices and courts are shut since August 20.

“We understand the plight of government employees. But we are left with no option as our agitation has now become a people’s movement. So we appeal to them to cooperate us by extending their whole-hearted support,” said secretary of Sambalpur Bar Association Siddharth Sahu.

He said though the Central Action Committee (CAC) of Western Odisha bar associations decided at its Jharsuguda meeting on Thursday to relax the agitation from September 1 to September 15 in view of Ganesh Puja and Nuakhai, the Sambalpur bar has decided to intensify its agitation by closing down the offices without any break. “Banks and central government offices will be allowed to operate,” Sahu said.

On Saturday, lawyers staged a road blockade from 9 am to 1 pm at Ainthapali on NH 6, Bhalupali on Jharsuguda express highway and Sindurpank chowk on NH 54. “It passed off peacefully,” said SDPO (Sambalpur) P K Mohapatra.

Another accident in midday meal; boy critical

No lessons have been learnt from the death of the Class III girl who succumbed to burn injures after falling into hot dal in her school in Sambalpur district on last Saturday. Within days of the tragic incident, a Class II boy sustained severe burn injuries after falling into boiling rice cooked for midday meal (MDM) in Balangir on Thursday afternoon.

The incident happened at Sihini High School near Titilagarh around 2 pm when the students were playing on the school premises. The boy, identified as Rahul Chhattar, was first taken to Titilagarh sub-divisional hospital with 40% burn injuries. He was later shifted to Balangir district headquarters hospital as his condition worsened.

Titilagarh block development officer (BDO) Md Ishaq said the condition of the boy was critical. “We are bearing all his medical expenses. At the time of incident, the headmaster of the school was absent. Disciplinary action will be initiated against him if he is found guilty of neglecting his duties. The school does not have a proper kitchen. Midday meal is cooked at a make-shift shed,” the BDO added.

Recently, school and mass education minister Rabi Narayan Nanda told the assembly that over 10,930 schools didn’t have kitchen sheds to cook MDM. “The incident is unfortunate. Whosoever is guilty will be taken to task,” the minister said on Thursday.

Titilagarh Congress legislator Surendra Singhbhoi blamed the state government for “failing to monitor the implementation of the midday meal scheme properly.”

Earler this week, Class III student Banita Kanhar of a tribal residential school at Girischandrapur in Sambalpur died of burn injuries after she had fallen into a vessel of hot dal.