Looted antique idol recovered in Bargarh

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.

Waste dumping site to come up on 31 acre in Sambalpur

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.

BJP takes protest to Sambalpur Collectorate

BJPBJP workers were taken into custody after they broke police cordon and entered the collectorate on Wednesday protesting attack on Union Ministers Santosh Gangwar and Sadhvi Niranjan during their Bargarh visit on June 24. They also burnt an effigy of Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik inside the collectorate.

In the morning, the BJP workers came in a rally to the collectorate where the party leaders lashed out at the Bargarh administration and State Government for failing to take action against those involved in the attack. They said the attacks were ‘pre-planned’ and staged at the ‘behest’ of the Chief Minister. Earlier, BJP’s national secretary Suresh Pujari alleged that no action has been taken against those involved in the ‘murderous’ attack on the Union Ministers.

Later in the day, when the BJP workers tried to submit a memorandum addressed to Governor SC Jamir to Sambalpur Collector, police tried to stop them. This led to a scuffle between the police and the BJP workers. To restore law and order, police arrested the agitating BJP workers.

President of BJP’s Sambalpur unit Ram Chandra Meher said despite prior intimation, none of the senior officers of the administration was present inside the collectorate to receive the memorandum. The situation could have been averted had the Collector or his officers come to receive the memorandum, he added. The party workers demanded arrest of all those involved in attacks on the Union Ministers.

Similarly, the BJP workers staged a demonstration in front of collectorate in Bargarh and condemned the attack on Gangwar and Niranjan. They demanded immediate arrest of Bargarh MLA Debesh Acharya for his alleged involvement in the attack.

BJD-BJP spat continues over PMUY launch

THE mud-slinging between the BJD and the BJP over Sambalpur BJD MLA not being invited to the launch of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in Sambalpur on Monday continues with the BJP firing a fresh salvo. While the BJD addressed the media launching a broadside against the BJP accusing it of disregarding federal structure and lack of knowledge about ‘political culture,’ the District BJP launched a scathing attack on the BJD over the issue.

Addressing the media late on Monday, Kuchinda BJP MLA Rabi Nayak questioned the reason behind former Sambalpur BJP MLA Jayanarayan Mishra not being invited to functions of the State Government.

He said there have been  instances when BJP MLAs were humiliated by the BJD and it is surprising that the Sambalpur BJD MLA is now finding it hard to digest the fact that she was not invited. Nayak said he himself was not invited to many functions like inauguration of IIM in Sambalpur when other BJD MLAs from the district like Rohit Pujari and Ramesh Patua were  present. He said it has been a habit of the BJD to hijack Central Government schemes  and launch it as their own initiative.

Similarly, Padampur BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said the BJD MPs from Sambalpur and Bargarh remained absent on the direction of the third floor and blame game was yet another attempt of the BJD Government to cover up its own failures. He said as there was little scope for the BJD MPs to hijack the scheme, they preferred to stay away.

But many in the District BJD are accusing the BJD MPs of frittering away an opportunity to boost the image of the State Government. Targeting Sambalpur MLA Raseswari Panigrahi, the district BJD leaders accused her of promoting factionalism in the district BJD.

Sambalpur’s new Collector

Samarth Verma joined as the new district Collector of Sambalpur on Monday after his transfer as PD DRDA from Rayagada. He is an IAS officer of 2010 batch and served in various capacities in the State, including his last posting in the backward Raygada district. He was also the Sub Collector in Rayagada. An IIT pass out from Kanpur, Verma qualified for the central civil service in 2010 with 69th rank.

“As the Sub Collector and PD DRDA of Raygada, his performance was very outstanding. The people there were also very satisfied with his work,” informed RDC Brahmapur Bikash Mahapatra, who is also a resident of Sambalpur.

After assuming office, Verma said that development of the district and that of the poor people will be his priority. “I will try to complete the ongoing projects in time. At the same time, more importance will be given to the rural areas of the district,” Verma said mediapersons during a non-formal discussion.

A good numbers of the people, organizations and the staff of the collectorate greeted Verma on the very first day. They also have higher expectation from this young officer who is six years junior to his predecessor Balwant Singh, now transferred to Bhubaneswar.