Daily Archives: April 11, 2012

State takes steps to make IAHTUS more focused

The State Government has initiated measures to make integrated anti-human trafficking units (IAHTUS) more focused to combat trafficking, kidnapping, forcible marriage, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of women and children.

Presiding over the State-level coordination committee meeting here recently, Chief Secretary BK Patnaik advised the Home Department to engage police officers exclusively for this and make them in charge of these Units.

Presently IAHTUS are functioning at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Balasore. The Home Department has proposed to open six more units at other vulnerable places of the State.

The meeting was informed that Mahila and Sisu desks are also functioning in 537 police stations. It was decided to provide special training to the personnel engaged in these tasks through State Judicial Academy. An officer of the rank of sub-inspector of police will be kept in charge of IAHTU who will be assisted by other police personnel.

Services of NGO workers and social activists will be utilised in counselling and rehabilitation of victims.

The Chief Secretary further directed to conduct a special field based study in districts having high incidence of human trafficking to track the source, the routes and destination places of illegal trafficking of girls and women. The study will be undertaken through independent agencies working in remedial actions.

The meeting also decided to develop an integrated system of tracking migration of rural labourers at Gram Panchayat level. For the purpose, a household wise data base of girls and women moving out from their native villages in any form or for any work will be developed. Data will be collected by anganwadi workers, ASHA karmis, GRS through a standardised household format.

 The committee resolved to develop a specific action plan for skill development, employment, income generation and social support to the victims so as to enable them to overcome the trauma as well as? social stigma and lead a normal life in the mainstream.

 The Chief Secretary also advised to strengthen monitoring and counselling centres and keep track of the middlemen and the nexuses carrying out illegal trafficking. The committee has also resolved to integrate Swadhara and short stay homes under one scheme of Swadhara Griha. This will come into effect from 2012-13.

At present 46 Swadharas and 34 short stay homes are functioning in the State. A dedicated toll free helpline number and response system have been put in place for assistance to any vulnerable or victim women. The toll free numbers are 011-24679201 (Ext-4003) and 011-23792002. Fax-011-23010839.

The office of the Resident Commissioner, Odisha, New Delhi has been made the Reference Point for prevention of illegal trafficking. The email address of the Resident Commissioner is [email protected] and? [email protected]

Mild earthquake felt across Odisha

Mild earthquake felt across Odisha today after an earthquake measuring  8.7 on the Richter scale hit Indonesia a little after 2 pm.
Apart from Bhubaneswar, the tremors have also felt in Cuttack, Jajpur, Balssore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Khordha, Gunupur, Rayagada, Nayagarh, Paradip and many other towns and cities in coastal Odisha today.

In Bhubaneshwar, people were seen running out of their homes and offices. No damage has been reported so far. In India, tremors were reported in Mumbai, Kolkata,  Bangalore and the southern part of Chennai.  The tremors lasted for a few seconds.

First death from sun stroke in Sambalpur district

The effect of temperature is rising day by day.  A woman died coming under the grip of intense heat of summer yesterday at Jujumura Block of District. It is being told the first death from heat stroke in Sambalpur district. Today after the autopsy, dead body has been handed over to his family.

The incident took place at Dangrpadha village of Jujumura block under Sambalpur district. It has been reported that on forenoon of Monday a 45 year old lady Bijili Seul, wife of Vipin Seul had gone to his farm for picking mahua & when she returned to home her condition was worsened. Then after few minute she was unconscious.   Thereafter Bijili was immediately admitted to nearest Padiabahal primary health centre for medical treatment. By seeing that there is no improvement in Bijili’s Health condition, she was transferred to Burla Medical Hospital, where at seven in the evening the Bijili passed away under treatment.

Orissa land buy compensation kept in personal bank accounts

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its latest report (civil), for the year ended March 31, 2011, has slammed the state revenue and disaster management department for the irregular and non-transparent management of land acquisition (LA) compensation funds.

An audit scrutiny of these funds by CAG reveals 10 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.

“Ten LAOs, contrary to government instruction, had kept advance compensation money of Rs 2,016.69 crore received by them from requisitioning officers in bank accounts (savings, current and fixed deposits) as on March 31, 2011, instead of civil deposits, according to the government’s requirement. We also noticed the banks selected for parking the LA compensation funds were without any basis, and in some cases, the funds were kept in private banks,” the CAG said in its report.

The special LAO of Jagatsingpur, where mega projects such as those of Posco and Essar Steel are located, had parked Rs 1,933.35 crore in his bank account, instead of depositing it with the government. Similarly, special LAOs for Dhamra Port project in Bhadrak district and the Vedanta university project in Puri district had held Rs 6.28 crore and Rs 10.19 crore, respectively, in their bank accounts.

In addition, LAOs of Sambalpur, Ganjam and Kalahandi had held Rs 15.72 crore, Rs 7.74 crore and Rs 3.27 crore, respectively, in personal bank accounts.

The CAG has pointed out the Bhadrak LOA had retained funds amounting to Rs 27.50 crore received towards the cost of compensation and establishment charges in a single bank account, instead of maintaining separate accounts for establishment charges and depositing the advance money received in civil deposits as required.

According to the regulations, funds for the payment of land acquisition costs are to be deposited in advance by the requisitioning officers of different organisations with the LAOs, responsible for passing the award and making the payment of compensation to land losers.

Similarly, the CAG has also remonstrated eight LAOs had not deposited establishment charges amounting to Rs 21.55 crore in the government treasury.

Odisha, GAIL to sign pact for Rs 5,000-cr pipeline soon

The joint venture (JV) agreement to be signed between the Odisha government and GAIL India Ltd for a Rs 5,000-crore natural gas pipeline is set to be finalized soon. The pipeline that will stretch from Surat (Gujarat) to Paradip will pass through two other non-major ports-Dhamara and Gopalpur and also some major towns like Angul and Sambalpur.

“We have sought the views of relevant departments and state agencies like Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Orissa (Idco) and Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Orissa Ltd (Ipicol) on the draft JV agreement submitted by GAIL. The state government has requested GAIL to make some changes in alignment to ensure that the pipeline passes through the KBK (Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput) region,” said an industry department source.

“GAIL has got the approval of gas regulator Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PGNRB) for the Surat-Paradip pipeline. GAIL was looking to have right of way for the pipeline but we have suggested it to acquire land for the purpose. The estimates for land acquisition are yet to be made,” the official added.

The Surat-Paradip pipeline will cover a distance of 400 km in Orissa. In addition to this pipeline, the 1,100-km Kakinada-Howrah pipeline which is under construction, is set to cover 434 km in the state.

GAIL has evinced interest in setting up city gas distribution (CGD) network in Odisha. Nine urban centres- Bhubaneswar, Khurda, Balasore, Kamakhyanagar, Rourkela, Anandpur, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Baripada have been identified for building CGD network in the state.

PNGRB which had earlier given a detailed presentation on potential for development of CGD infrastructure in Odisha had urged the state government to map geographical areas for developing such infrastructure. It had also called upon the state government to mandate use of compressed natural gas (CNG) in all commercial vehicles after setting up of CNG stations. Besides, the regulator had also asked the state government to waive sales tax on CNG.

The regulator expected the city gas distribution network to be a reality in the state by 2014. Meanwhile, GAIL is also interested to build an LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal in the state at an investment of Rs 4,500 crore. The company had identified the ports of Paradip, Dhamara and Gopalpur as potential locations for establishment of the terminal. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) had recently inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dhamara Port Company Ltd (DPCL) for developing an LNG terminal inside the port area at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore. The terminal willhave a total capacity of 15 million tonnes per annum.