Daily Archives: March 8, 2012

Western Odisha seeks more representation in Rajya Sabha

With the BJD demolishing the Congress citadel in western Odisha, Sambalpur district in particular, it is widely believed that the region will be well represented in the Rajya Sabha.

Though the region was well represented in the Rajya Sabha during the Congress regime, the same has not been seen during the Janata Dal or the BJD tenure. The win has raised hopes that the BJD will nominate leaders from the area who will be game changers for the party in the 2014 polls.

After Sanatan Bisi (1994-2000) was nominated as Janata Dal candidate by Biju Babu, Pramila Bohidar (2002-2008) of Sambalpur, Mangla Kisan (2008) of Sundargarh and Kishore Mohanty (August 2009 onwards) of Jharsuguda were nominated to the Rajya Sabha as BJD nominees. However, there has been no representation from districts like Bargarh, Sonepur, Balangir and Boudh besides Sambalpur. Hence, political observers are sure that the BJD will nominate members from the region to the Rajya Sabha not only to remove the imbalances but also to build and strengthen the party.

While Jagyeswar Babu is considered to be the front runner from the region, political observers do not rule out possibility of Rohit Pujari getting nomination for steering the BJD to victory in the recently concluded panchayat polls in Sambalpur district.

The name of trade union leader and Chairman of Sambalpur Development Authority Bijay Mohanty is also doing rounds.

Even Kishore Mohanty, who got barely two and a half years in the RS, could be renominated in the interest of the party after debacle in the panchayat poll as a face saving exercise.

Sources also said AU Singhdeo could be accommodated after he had to resign following the hooch tragedy. In such a case the BJD will have to face by-elections to assert its position in the district.

State Level Workshop on Backyard Poultry and duck production held

The Regional Centre of Central Avian Research Institute (CARI), Bhubaneswar organized a state level workshop on “Backyard Poultry and duck production for sustainable livelihood and food security” during 28th February to 1St March 2012.
Chief veterinary officers from Sambalpur, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts and officers looking after the poultry production in other districts, NGOs,   experts from OUAT,  hatchery owners, feed suppliers and more than 80 farmers including 35 women participated the workshop. The CARI a premier institute under the auspices of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi has developed several improved breeds of birds with high meat and egg yield potential. Backyard poultry and duck production technologies developed by the Institute has contributed enormously in socio-economic upliftment of resource poor farmers.

Series of technical discussions and deliberations were held on the first day after the inaugural ceremony followed by a field visit for the farmers on second day which exposed them to the scientific poultry and duck production under backyard sector. Farmers present in the workshop interacted with the scientists and experts regarding developed variety of chicks and ducklings, available nutrition for the birds, diseases including the bird flu, duck fish integration practices and economical gain for a farm family from backyard poultry production. Inter institutional meeting was held on the third day to discuss about the implementation of recommendations of the workshop.

Two booklets were also released on this occasion viz., “ Muktaangana Kukutta Palana” in Odia and “Duck farming for rural farmers” in English for the benefit of the farming community. It is to be mentioned that the workshop was held as a part of the activities under the on- going NAIP project entitled “Sustainable livelihood through integrated development of fresh water aquaculture, horticulture and livestock production in Keonjhar, Sambalpur and Mayurbhanj districts of Orissa” under NAIP. Dr. J. K. Jena, Director, NBFGR, Lucknow and Dr. S. K. Ray, former Director A. H. Govt. of Odisha were also invited as chief guest and guest of honour for this function.  Dr. S.K. Mishra, In-charge, Regional Centre, Central Avian Research Institute chaired the function and Dr. S.C. Giri, Senior Scientist of the centre organized the said event.

Budharaja forest cover vanishing

The only patch of green canopy in the heart of Sambalpur town _ Budharaja Reserve Forest _ is fast shrinking. After the Ramgarh slum-dwellers in the reserve forest, it is now the turn of a hotelier, who is stealthily encroaching on forest land. Once spread over 133 acres, the reserve forest has shrunk to about 75 acres now.

Though the Budharaja Vana Surakhya Samiti (BVSS) has been raising the issue of encroachment, it has failed to move the Forest Department. Even the former Conservator of Forest, Rajeev Kumar, was roped in by ‘Jaaga Sambalpur’ to visit the site for assessment after he denied any encroachment of the forest. However,? after visiting the site he admitted that the slum-dwellers had encroached upon the BRF and promised to evict them. The assurance remains unfulfiled even today with Kumar getting promoted and forgetting his promise.

With the slum still in its place, now a hotelier is allegedly encroaching upon the BRF. After purchasing the building which once housed the Jyoti Hospital, the hotelier on the plea of renovation has demolished the boundary behind the plot and is extending it deep inside the reserve forest, sources alleged.

The Forest Department has preferred to close its eyes to the land grabbing, evoking protests from Greens and BVSS members. The department’s ignorance in this regard has left the green activists and BVSS wondering.

The encroachment of the BRF began in late 70s when a few huts came up on the slope of the reserve forest. Gradually the slum grew with about 7.17 acres of land delineated from the forest for a graveyard for the Oriya Baptist Christian community.

This apart, 1.25 acres of land has been delineated for Lord Shiva temple, popularly known as Budharaja Temple, and another 2.5 acres for a concrete road to the hilltop.

Moreover, a report submitted by field staff of the Forest Department speaks about encroachment by DIET, office of the Circle Inspector of Schools, office of Ground Water Testing Authority besides the slum and encroachment by the graveyard.

Divisional Forest Officer (South Sambalpur) Santosh Banchor feigned ignorance about any such encroachment and construction in the reserve forest. “I can comment on the issue only after visiting the spot,” he added.