Tag Archives: Berhampur

City Bus Service in Sambalpur and Berhampur by June end

The State Government has decided to  introduce city bus services in Sambalpur and Berhampur by June end. Naveen Patnaik the CM asked the officials to work out the details of implementation of the bus service in these two towns. City bus service has already been introduced in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

The CM reviewed the implementation of the package announced by him for urban local bodies which included concretisation of roads within the town, construction of kalyan mandaps and assistance to youth associations. Naveen directed the district collectors to review the progress in the implementation of the package every month.

The CM asked the UD Dept to expedite the implementation of Rs 2,485 cr Japan International Cooperation Agency assisted underground drainage project in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

CAG pulls up Odisha for non-compliance with financial rules

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its latest report (agriculture wing), for the year ended March 31, 2011, has slammed the state agriculture department for non compliance with the financial and treasury rules.

In the audit scrutiny report, CAG revealed that drawing and disbursing officers (DDOs) have failed to manage the available funds economically and efficiently. It stated that funds were spent without any budgetary allocations, while funds were parked in zero interest bearing accounts.
During 2006-11, out of Rs 1107.29 crore funds available with 55 DDOs for different schemes under implementation and pay and allowances, Rs 233.05 crore remains unutilized as on March 31, 2011.

51 out of test checked 55 DDOs, contrary to the prudent financial management practices, had parked scheme funds of Rs 32.79 crore in current accounts of banks instead of depositing the same at the interest yielding accounts.

The executive engineer, central zone, Bhubaneswar, as on March 31, 2011, has retained maximum scheme funds worth Rs 10.33 crore in the current account. In addition the executive engineers (agriculture) of Sambalpur and Berhampur have held Rs 8.22 crore
and   Rs 2.26 crore respectively. CAG audit report uncovered that the deputy director of agriculture (DDA), Bolangir has parked Rs 1.31 crore in zero interest bearing accounts.

“ Keeping government money in current account of banks entails yearly loss of interest amounting to Rs 1.31 crore( at the rate of four per cent per annum) applicable to savings bank account”, CAG maintained in its report.

Earlier, CAG was sore over the fact that land acquisition officers (LAOs) had kept advance land acquisition compensation money, amounting to Rs 2,016.69 crore, in bank accounts, instead of depositing it as civil deposits under a government account.

The audit report also unwrapped that advances worth Rs 74.34 crore were outstanding for more than one to 32 years .The outstanding advances included Rs 61.72 crore pertaining to the office of Director of Agriculture.

As per rules, advances granted for departmental and allied purposes were to be recovered within one month from the date of advance.

Odisha to invite bids for vegetable retail chains in three towns

The horticulture department of the Odisha government will soon come up with tenders for setting up of vegetable retail chains in towns like Sambalpur, Rourkela and Berhampur, after a similar initiative in Bhubaneswar.

The department has already facilitated setting up of two vegetable stores, branded as ‘Udyan Fresh’ in the capital city with the help of private players and aims to open at least 18 more. In the adjacent Cuttack city, it has plans to open five such stores.

“For Sambalpur, Rourkela and Berhampur towns, we have not decided how many stores will be there. We will notify it in our next expression of interest advertisements,” said K B Dash, an official dealing with the ‘Udyan Fresh’ scheme, in the Directorate of Horticulture, Government of Odisha.

 These stores are being set up as part of a scheme of the Central agricultural ministry, launched in 2011. Known as vegetable initiative for urban clusters (VIUC) plan under the Rastriya Krishi Vikash Yojna, it has little more than Rs 12 crore provision for Odisha in the current fiscal.

The scheme envisages development of vegetable clusters and opening up of retail stores for ensuring supply of good quality vegetables to a city or town in every state having a population of one million and above. In the case of states with smaller population, the state capital city or township having less than one million population are also covered.

As per 2011 census, no city in Odisha has a population over one million. However, the combined population of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack goes beyond two million, according to an estimate.

The expression of interest will be open for domestic and international investors too, informed the horticulture official.

“Companies like Reliance Fresh can apply for the stores like it has done in Andhra Pradesh. Foreign investors too can apply after the recent central government decision,” said Das, referring to the latest announcement by the Union government allowing foreign players to invest in retail sector.

Under the VIUC scheme, the promoters would be subsidised for setting up selling stores, buying refrigerated vehicles and establishing cold stores, apart from buying farmers’ produce. So far, the state horticulture department has identified three vegetable clusters within the 100 Km radius of Bhubaneswar.

State to set up six more anti-human trafficking units

Centre has asked the State government to convert primary schools having low enrolments in urban and semi urban areas into integrated hub of services for children especially vulnerable ones.

In a recent communication addressed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Krishna Tirath, Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development, expressed concerns over inadequacy of services for deprived children like shelters, creches and residential schools especially in urban and semi-urban areas.

“A number of primary schools are having low enrolment and thus, are under consideration of closure. There may be unutilised government buildings and similar infrastructure in cities as well,” Ms. Tirath pointed out.

She suggested that such schools and buildings could be better utilised for establishment of an integrated hub of services for children.

“Services available in such hubs could include open shelter under Integrated Child Protection Scheme, creche facilities under Rajiv Gandhi National Creches Scheme for Children of Working Mothers (RGNCS), anganwadis under Integrated Child Development Schemes and residential schools under Sarva Sikshan Abhiyan,” the Union Minister noted seeking Chief Minister’s intervention for expeditious establishment of such centres. Sources in State Women and Child Development Department that steps had already been initiated to action plan on the proposal.

Meanwhile, the State government has decided to set up six more anti human trafficking units (IAHTUs) to track human trafficking in the State. These units would be located at office of the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Crime Branch, Cuttack, DIG (North Central Range), Talcher, DIG (South Western Range), Koraput, Inspector General of Police (Railway), Cuttack, Sundargarh and Kandhamal districts.

At present there are six IAHTUs operating in the State. The locations are office of IG (Crime Branch), Cuttack, Commissionerate of Police, Bhubaneswar and offices of IG of Police, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Balasore and Berhampur.

Lawyers boycott courts

Irrespective of the claims and counterclaims about the success of the State bandh on Monday, an unprecedented trend was observed on the day when the lawyers community across the State came out to support the Congress- sponsored bandh spontaneously.

Judicial activities throughout the State came to a grinding halt as lawyers of all bars, including that of the High Court Bar Association here stayed away from the court proceedings which forced the judges to call it a day soon without transacting any business. “Never in the past decade, had the lawyers showed such unanimity to throw their weight behind the cause of Congress party,” observed a senior advocate of the High Court here.

This was “unprecedented” and probably it could be a protest much against the State police for their highhandedness and prejudiced approach than against the Naveen Patnaik government, opined another lawyer.

Senior advocate of the High Court and Congress leader Narasimha Mishra pointed out that the lawyers and intelligentsia of the State have now understood that the State is no safer in the hands of the present BJD government headed by Naveen Patnaik. “This is the beginning of a countdown for BJD government,” Mishra told this correspondent adding that he had thanked the lawyers for their support to the bandh.  

The Pradesh Congress Committee had given the bandh call to protest against the “barbaric” attack of the policemen to party workers during the mammoth rally organised by the party in Bhubaneswar last week. According to reports reaching here, court activities across the State were paralysed on Monday as lawyers unexpectedly came out in support of the bandh.

In many places, it was seen that the lawyers were urging the judges not to attend the courts saying that they were protesting for a larger interest of the State.

Court activities hampered in Berhampur, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Balasore, Bhubaneswar, Dhenkanal, Kendrapara and many other important cities of the State including that of Cuttack city here where lawyers of all the 14 bars stayed away from courts.

Similarly, the bandh on the day was total in Cuttack city as business establishments, banks and insurance offices, schools, colleges and Universities were closed while the government offices witnessed thin attendance.

The Congress activists picketed at Buxi Bazar, Mangalabag, Badambadi, Khapuria and College Square and disrupted the train and national highway traffic passing through the city.

Hundreds of Congress activists including OPCC general secretary Suresh Mohapatra, City Congress president Mohammed Moqim, State Mahila Congress chief Bijaylaxmi Sahu and Cuttack district president Prakash Behera were taken under preventive custody by the police.

While no major untoward incident was reported from any part of the city during the bandh, police said a minor commotion took place at Vikash Bhawan, the administrative building of the city civic body.