Tag Archives: Sundargarh News

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.

Women allegedly paraded naked in Sundargarh District

Three women were allegedly stripped and paraded naked on a village road in Odisha’s Sundargarh district on the suspicion of practising witchcraft, police said today.

The shocking incident took place at Ambapada village under the jurisdiction of Talasara police station yesterday after which three persons were arrested, they said.

The victims were dragged out of their houses and assaulted by some villagers who stripped them and blackened their faces before parading them on the village road in full view of the villagers.

A meeting was held later where the women were accused of practising witchcraft. Meanwhile, some locals informed the police about the incident.

The women were subsequently rescued from the village when a police party led by R N Padhi, Inspector In-Charge (IIC) of Talasara police station reached the site and took control of the situation.

“We have arrested three persons in this connection,” said SP (Sundargarh) Sanjeeb Arora.

He said the villagers were trying to settle the issue amongst themselves when police personnel reached the village, rescued the women and arrested the three persons. “I have instructed the IIC, Talasara to investigate into the whole issue,” the SP said.

R N Padhi, the investigating officer and IIC of Talasara said the arrested persons were identified as Prafulla Barla, Ani Baa and Sanjam Soren.

Nine years ago, in a similar incident, a woman was stripped and paraded on a village road. She was forced to eat excreta at Tainsar.

This had created countrywide outrage as representatives from National Commission for Women and the state visited the spot and took stock of the situation. Four persons were arrested in connection, sources said.

Coal ministry asks Odisha to expedite action taken report on illegal mining

At a time when controversy surrounding block allocations has caught different coal bearing states in a bind, the Ministry of Coal has urged the Odisha government to submit its action taken report at the earliest in connection with illegal coal mining activities.

In the light of observations made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on coal & steel, Coal secretary S K Srivastava has asked Odisha chief secretary B K Patnaik to expedite the action taken reports so that they can be compiled and sent to the Lok Sabha secretariat.

Though the Coal ministry had written to the state chief secretary earlier on the matter in December 2011, the state government was yet to apprise the ministry on action taken in respect of illegal coal mining.

Waking up rather belatedly to the directive of the Coal ministry, the Odisha steel & mines department has now urged Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) and collectors of four districts- Angul, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundergarh to comply with the recommendations of the Parliamentary panel. The department has also suggested that the recommendations be discussed in the meeting of the district level task force.

The Parliamentary Standing committee had observed that the natural resources of the country are being plundered at the cost of national economy and destruction of environment. The panel was of the opinion that officials responsible to curb illegal mining are either indifferent or too scared to stop the menace.

“Officers of personnel and legal departments of coal companies should make all endeavours to ensure that the criminal trials pending for legal and unauthorized coal mining are ended with conviction. Unfortunately, the coal companies could not produce any facts and data, establishing the appropriate steps taken in this regard. The committee deprecates such a lackadaisical attitude of coal companies. It is unfortunate that in cases of such huge illegal coal mining, there is not a single conviction made by appropriate court by reason of non-persuasion of such case either by the appropriate government or by the coal companies”, the committee stated in its report.

Moreover, there is utter lack of coordination between the Central and concerned state governments and among various coal companies. While the Centre has exclusive powers to make laws with respect to regulation of mines and major mineral development, the state governments are mainly responsible for implementing such laws. The committee recommended that the coal producing states should frame rules and set up an inter-state joint intelligence and action force to combat the problem of illegal mining.

It had called for better monitoring, policing and creating job opportunities for the poor in areas where the problem of illegal mining is prevalent. The panel also observed that except for Jharkhand, no major study has been undertaken by any coal producing state or coal companies to ascertain the extent of loss of money due
to illegal coal mining.

Monsoon hits all parts of Odisha

Monsoon hits all parts of OdishaThe much-awaited south west monsoon finally hit Odisha on Sunday except Jharsuguda, Sundergarh districts.

According Met Centre official, the south west monsoon has already set in over the State which has brought some amount of rain in past couple of days. It is likely to cover the entire 30 districts within next three days as the conditions are favourable for further advancement into the remaining areas.

Despite the delay in the arrival of the monsoon, it has already touched all the districts, except Sundergarah and Jharsuguda. However, some portions of Sambalpur, Deogarah, Konjhar, Bargarh and Mayrubhanj districts are yet to get a shower.

Keonjhar received highest 99 mm rainfall on Sunday followed by Malkangiri 80 mm, Chandbali 74.4 mm and Talcher 64 mm. During last 24 hours, Baripada recorded highest rain fall of 100 mm, followed by Malkangiri 98 mm, Cuttack 97 mm, Sundargarh 96mm, Talcher, Bhubaneswar, Anugul 95 mm each, Boangir 94 mm, Jharsuguda 93 mm, Puri 90 mm, Paradeep 87 mm and Chandbali received 86 mm.

Though the monsoon normally reaches the State by June 10, this year there has been a week’s delay in its onset this year. The Met department said there is an upper air cyclonic circulation over the northwest Bay of Bengal and is likely to develop into a low pressure area. The system would move inland and lead to increased rainfall activity over Odisha.

Housemaids find pride of place at city meet

Fifty-five-year-old Pramila Dei came to the capital city from Dasapalla several decades ago to earn money in order to free her mortgaged land from the clutches of a moneylender. Since then she has been working as a maid in sundry households to eke out a living.

“I have seen her take care of my house since I was born. My childhood wouldn’t have been the same without her. She is an amazing storyteller. I still remember the interesting and spooky stories she used to entertain me with when I was a child. She is not only a good caretaker of my house but also a loving wife, a responsible mother and a caring grandmother to her own family. She is an extremely strong woman and has overcome all the difficulties of life without any complaints,” recounted Pralisha Sahu, in whose house Pramila has been working for many years now.

Many like Parlisha came together to share their memories about their maids at ‘Not Just A Maid’ meet, an event organized by Bakul Foundation, a city-based voluntary organization, to spare a thought for the silent force of housemaids, whose invaluable contribution in most households is seldom recognized or acknowledged.

“Since long, attempts are being made to regularize the work of domestic workers. Amidst the promises of the policy makers we have taken the first tentative steps and started an informal conversation with some domestic workers. We have tried to find out a little more about the maids, about their dreams, frustrations, likes and dislikes. We have realized that they are not just maids and that no life, even a maid’s, is ordinary. We also decided to involve children in the project to sensitize them,” said Sujit Mahapatra, founder of Bakul.

“It was like a summer project and as a part of it we got a chance to know so many things about our housemaids, their lifestyle, their problems and so on,” said Ramayank Samantaray, a Class VI student of Sri Aurobindo Integral school, who participated in the event.

About 25 women from Sundargarh, many of whom had worked as domestic workers in Delhi, also shared their experiences at the event, some of them heartrending.

A film ‘Teen Batti Chaar Raste’ by V Santaram was also screened on the occasion, along with an exhibition of photographs on maids and their lifestyle.