Tag Archives: Jharsuguda News

Nuakhai Celebration in Western Odisha

Yesterday, Nuakhai was celebrated with gaiety and religious fervour and today the day after the Nuakhai is the BASI of Nuakhai.

The Navanna (newly harvested rice) was offered to Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur, at the stipulated lagna (auspicious moment) between 10.18 am and 10.32 am. During this period, families also offered the Navanna to their respective Istadevata (presiding deity) and Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of Wealth) as a mark of gratitude for a bumper harvest, good rain and a favourable weather.

While it was Goddess Samaleswari in Sambalpur, it was Patneswari in Balangir, Sureshwari in Sonepur, Sekharbasini in Sundargarh and Manikeswari in Kalahandi who were worshipped.

Being an agrarian festival, the eldest in each household in rural pockets worshipped their paddy fields and cattle.

Womenfolk woke up early in the morning to perform Nuakhai rituals that began with decorating the house with jhoti. The later half of the day was spent in the kitchen preparing special delicacies. During the festival, various traditional dishes and pancakes are prepared, including Mug Bara, Ras Bara, Mug Manda, Suji Manda, Chaul Manda, Kakra Pitha, Kheeri besides preparations from Saru Patra (leaves of taro plant), Makhan Sag (leaves of pumpkin creeper) and Kardi (bamboo shoots).

While children in colourful attire enjoyed their holiday to the fullest, devotees across the region thronged Samaleswari temple. Later in the evening, ‘Nuakhia Bhetghat’ were organised by different socio-cultural organisations and greetings were exchanged among the denizens.

4 laning project of Sambalpur-Rourkela is approved

sambalpur-to-jharsuguda-roadYesterday, the High-Level Clearance Authority(HLCA) approved the 4 laning project Sambalpur-Rourkela road SH 10, in a meeting held between CM and HLCA Official. This project is under public-private partnership(PPP) mode. The estimated budget for this project is Rs. 1292.56 cr with the concession period of 22 years including 3 years to develop this 4-laning project.

The viability gap fund (VGF) required for the project, amounting to `465.30 cr, will be shared by the Centre and the State Government. The Centre will provide 20 per cent of the project cost as grant to partly meet the VGF, while the balance `206.79 cr will be the State’s share.

The State Government will bear all the cost towards pre-construction activities like land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation, shifting of utilities and forest and environment mitigation measures, at an estimated cost of `274 cr, the sources said.

The existing two-lane road linking National Highway-23 in the north and NH-6 in the south was developed by L&T in 1997 with financial assistance from Asian Development Bank (ADB). The road is passing through three districts:  Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh.

It provides connectivity to mining areas of Sundargarh and Jharsuguda and industrial areas of Jharsuguda and Rourkela.

FCI Area Manager asking bribe

Rice millers of Sambalpur, Bargarh and Jharsuguda districts have stopped supplying rice to Food Corporation of India (FCI) Godowns. Usually, millers milling the paddy supplied by Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation(OSCSC), and supply those paddy to OSCSC and FCI respectivly.

Since 23rd August, millers have stopped supplying to FCI as the Area Manager of FCI asking Bribe to receive rice from them. For this reason a delegation of rice millers with Shyamlal Agrawal, the president of State Rice Millers Association had apprised the State Government about the issue in a meeting at Bhubaneswar on 24th August.

The association members alleged about corrupt practices adopted by FCI for receiving rice. Non-delivery of rice is likely to have an adverse effect in the system which will have direct bearing on farmers. Meanwhile, a team of officials of Central Government, State Government, FCI and Food and Civil Supplies Corporation toured the districts on Monday. Managing Director of OSCSC Suresh Vashisth said while the Rice Millers Association has assured to resume delivery of rice from Tuesday, the allegation is investigated. He said all efforts are being made to restore normalcy.

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.

Flowers bloom in pollution belt

He proved the adage, nothing is impossible, by growing flowers over three acre when farmers of the district are shying away from cultivating their land with pollutants from industries, rendering them useless.

The thought of giving back to the nature prompted transport company owner Ajay Poddar to plant saplings in his farm, about two months ago. He pumped money into floriculture near Hirma, along the industrial belt. It is first of its kind in western Odisha and third in the state. He grows varieties of gerbera and roses there.

“It was possible because of the greenhouse, where flowers are grown in a controlled and pollution-free atmosphere,” said Poddar. To ensure adequate supply of water, automated drip irrigation system has been installed in the farm, he said.

He had hired two experts from Pune. They along with local labourers planted around 34,000 rose and 16,000 gerbera plants. About 1,600 to 1,800 flowers are plucked daily and supplied to Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, along with the local markets. “We plan to sell the produce in Raipur and Bilaspur markets, where these are in great demand during the marriage season,” Poddar said.

“Earlier, we used to procure roses from Kolkata. Customers often avoided buying the stale flowers. With the availability of fresh flowers, our sale has also increased,” said Gopal Samanta, a flower vendor.

ULBs poll differed issue: Odisha Govt to appoint administrators in nine western Odisha districts

The 25 urban local bodies (ULBs) in the nine western Odisha districts are all set to get Administrators for executing the day-to-day administration as the terms of office of the ULB councils would expire on September 19 next without any elected bodies.

“Since in the absence of any elected councils after the expiry of the five-year terms on September 19, the State Election Commission (SEC) will recommend to the State Government under the Article 243 ZA of the Constitution of India and Odisha Municipal Act, 1950 to post Administrators to manage the affairs in these ULBs where the election process was affected due to law and order situation,” said State Election Commissioner Ajit Kumar Tripathy on Friday.

The election process in the 25 ULBs was stopped due to a bandh called by the Central Action Committee of lawyers of nine western Odisha districts and supported by all political parties on the demand for establishment of a permanent High Court Bench in the region.

Meanwhile, the SEC has postponed the elections to the 25 ULBs in the nine districts Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Jharsuguda, Deograh, Baragrah, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nuapada and Sundargarah on the reports from concerned District Magistrates. The SEC on Friday also withdrew the operation of the Model Code of Conduct enforced in the 25 ULBs.

Congress spokesperson Narasingha Mishra said the Government has failed to act under the Constitution to hold the election to the 25 ULBs, for which there is a Constitutional breakdown. BJP leader Biswa Bhushan Harichandan alleged that such an incompetent Government was never seen in the State. Health Minister Damodar Rout questioned the lawyers’ movement to stop the ULB elections in western Odisha. “Is the movement Constitutional, he asked.

According to SEC sources, as many as 36 of the total 3,492 candidates in the fray for the rest 66 ULBs spread over 20 districts going to polls on September 19 elected uncontested with a majority of them being ruling BJD candidates.

Strike enters Day 3, Nuapada too joins

The third day of agitation by the lawyers of Sambalpur Bar Association saw students of GM College boycott classes and close down the college over the High Court bench demand.

They staged demonstration outside the college shouting slogans against the State Government. Offices and courts remained closed while relay hunger strike launched by the lawyers with support from different political parties continued. Similar reports were received from Deogarh, Jharsuguda and Bargarh.

At Nuapada, lawyers on Thursday decided to join the agitation of the HC bench. The decision was taken at a meeting held here. It was attended by Nuapada BJD MLA Rajendra Dholokia, BJD district president Prasanna Padhi, District Congress Committee president Saroj Sahu and district BJP president Ashok Mitra, besides members of the Bar Association. It was also decided that all State Government offices and courts will be closed from Friday.

It meeting decided to lock up offices of Khariar NAC and Khariar Road NAC to prevent filing of nomination for ULB polls. The political parties agreed to withdraw nominations if those were filed till date.