Illegal paddy stock worth Rs 15 Lakh seized in Kalahandi

Illegal paddy stockA flying squad of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department on Friday conducted a surprise raid at Khandi Dangariguda village under Kalampur block in Kalahandi District and detected illegal paddy stocks worth 15 lakh from a house.

Sources said acting on a tip-off, the squad raided the premises of Goutam Bihari and found 2,280 bags of paddy weighing about 1,000 quintals illegally purchased from farmers. Bihari is an influential farmer of the area and he managed to prepare some land records and agreement documents of sharecroppers and land owners for paddy procurement. These records are under scrutiny, said Assistant Civil Supply Officer (ACSO) of Dharmagarh Prafulla Das, adding that the squad has seized 27 agreements made with farmers. The tehsildar of Kalampur was also present during the raid. Meanwhile, paddy procurement in the district is slowly picking up pace. At least 47,933 farmers have registered their names at 74 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) to sell their paddy. So far, 25,790 tonnes of paddy have been purchased in the district from 6,332 farmers.

However, farmers alleged that procurement officials and millers are deducting 5 to 10 kg of paddy for fair average quality (FAQ) verification. Taking advantage of the confusion prevailing among farmers over FAQ norms, some unscrupulous millers and middlemen have become active in the area to mislead the farmers.

Vedanta official abducted in Kalahandi district

An official of Vedanta Allumina Limited and his driver have allegedly been abducted by a criminal gang in Kalahandi district, police said today.

The incident took place last night when Assistant Manager (Environment) Satya Ranjan Sahu was returning to Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district after purchasing a new Maruti Baleno car from a showroom in Sambalpur.

His driver has been identified as Gourishankar Naik.

About five unidentified people in another car intercepted Sahus vehicle near Kadalighati. They allegedly directed Naik to drive as per their direction and two persons followed them in their Swift car.

However, near the Sikerkupa police outpost, the Swift car met with an accident in which the two occupants were injured.

They have been admitted to Bhawanipatna Government Hospital, police said.

Additional SP, Kalahandi, Akhaya Kumar Das said the accused persons were involved in snatching incidents and had criminal records.

“The two injured persons, who are part of the criminal gang, are being interrogated,” he said.

Though police found Sahus car abandoned near Gatiguda village close to Muniguda town and Niyamgiri, there was no trace of the assistant manager and his driver.

Chhatisgarh opens one gate of Kalma barrage, Hydro power generation suffers

Amid accusation of reduction of flow of Mahanadi water, Chattisgarh government has finally opened only one gate of the Kalma barrage to discharge water to Hirakud reservoir in Odisha to meet the scarcity.

All protest of the Odisha government not to stop flow of Mahanadi water during non-monsoon season and release the required quantity of water had no impact on the Chhatisgarh government which is constructing dams and barrages on the up stream of Mahanadi river notwithstanding the vehement protest from Odisha.

Hirakud Dam sources said only 2000 cusecs water is entering the reservoir from Kalma barrage although the requirement is much high.
Since the government is giving priority to irrigation and drinking water supply, the hydro power generation using the Hirakud water had almost stopped except in the peak hours in the evening, power generation is allowed only for few hours to meet the requirement .

Since the kharif crop will begin soon after crop cutting is over, the Dam authority is now ready to meet the water supply in the canals to the Hirakud command area and also Sambalpur distributory as per the requirement at the cost of the power generation,” a senior official of Hirakud Dam said.

Maoist situation remains challeging: Chief Minister

Maoist situation remains challenging in eight major districts of the state, how ever there has been a substantial improvement in the situation in other districts.

In a written reply to Congress member Naba Kishore Das in the Assembly today, Patnaik named the eight districts as Malkangiri, Koraput, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Bolangir, Bargarh and Angul.

The chief minister told the Assembly that as many as 13 districts were hit by the LWE violence since 2007 which included Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Jajpur and Dhenkanal.

However, Patnaik said the LWE situation in Gajapati, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Nuapada, Bodh, Nayagarh, Deogarh and Sundergarh was under control.

He said there has been no incidents of Maoist violence reported from Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Nabarangpur and Ganjam districts so far.

Patnaik, while making a statement in the Assembly on December 8, had said there was substantial improvement in the LWE scenario in the state.

“Improvement of police infrastructure, recruitment of armed personnel, specialised training and a progressive policy of surrender and rehabilitation have led to substantial improvement in the situation,” Patnaik had said.

The state has, meanwhile, requested the Centre to send additional central forces to be deployed in areas prone to Maoist violence.

Five members of family jump in front of train

IN a heart-wrenching incident, five members of a family, including a couple and their three daughters, committed suicide by jumping in front of a moving train near Sambalpur Road railway station on Tuesday night. The Government Railway Police (GRP), Sambalpur, recovered the bodies on Wednesday morning and sent those for autopsy to VSS Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Burla.

The deceased have been identified as Dharanidhar Panda (50), his wife Sangita Panda (45) and their three daughters __ Ananya Panda (16), Aparajita Panda (14) and three-and-a-half-year-old Siddhi Panda of Jagannath Colony here.

Dharanidhar was a native of Burda village under Bheden block in Bargarh district.Dharanidhar, working as a music teacher in a private school, had been staying in the city with his family for the last 15 years. For the last six months, the family had been staying in a rented house at Jagannath Colony under Ainthapali police limits.

Reports said the loco pilot of Jharsuguda-Sambalpur DMU train informed the Station Master of Sambalpur railway station on Tuesday night that three females jumped in front of the moving train. Subsequently, GRP, Sambalpur, was alerted. The GRP personnel rushed to the spot and found that five members of a family had committed suicide.

Inspector-in-Charge of GRP station, Sambalpur, Chintamani Pradhan said from preliminary investigation it has been ascertained that financial crisis and loan burden drove the family to take the extreme step. Police recovered mobile phones, ATM cards, PAN cards and a bag from the spot.

Dharanidhar’s brother Somnath Panda termed the incident as painful and added that the reason behind the extreme step can be ascertained after police inquiry. Dharanidhar was a friendly person, Somnath said.

Suspecting financial crisis as the reason behind the drastic step, Prasanna Gartia, the owner of the house where the family was residing, said Dharanidhar was under mental agony as many people, from whom he had borrowed money, were coming to his house frequently seeking repayment.