Daily Archives: April 18, 2012

Odisha Board books 1060 students for malpractices in HSC exams

More than thousand students were booked for malpractices as they were resorting to unfair means during the matriculation examinations, which resumed for the Regular students across the State on Tuesday after a layoff of almost a month. The students were writing the English paper on the day.

Till 6 pm, we have received information that a total of 1,069 students were booked for malpractices, said a Board of Secondary Education (BSE) official here after the first day of the resumed examination. The source further added that the maximum number of students booked for malpractices was reported from Jajpur district.

The examinations for the Regular students were suspended on March 21 after the allegation of question papers theft in one of the centers. Barring the MIL paper, which was held on March 19, the examinations for the remaining papers were rescheduled. It may be recalled that around 600 Regular students were booked for malpractices after the March 19 paper.

BSE sources said the examinations by and large began smoothly in all the 2000-odd examination centres, in which over 4.5 lakh students are writing their papers.
The rescheduled examinations would continue till April 26.

According to reports reaching here, examinations in one of the centres at Sohela in Sambalpur district began 45 minutes late as there was a shortage of question papers.
In order to prevent any unsavoury incident of missing question papers this time, the BSE authorities with the help of the state government have made elaborate arrangements to store, transport and distribute the question papers in all the
examination centres.

6 years on, doppler radars still not in place

More than five years after Centre sanctioned four Doppler radar stations for the State, not a single one has come up.

The Ministry of Science and Technology sanctioned the four stations, including one at Paradip, in 2006. The other three are to be set up at Balasore, Gopalpur and Sambalpur.

 A review on the progress made by Chief Secretary Bijay Patnaik on Monday revealed that the civil structure for Paradip station has been completed. Construction works of the other three are yet to start.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has been requested to install the Paradip station before monsoon. Sites have been identified and required lands handed over to IMD for other three stations. The meeting was also informed that soil testing and architectural plans have also been completed.

The Government has provided ` 17 crore under State Plan to Orissa State Disaster Mitigation Authority (OSDMA) for construction of buildings on which the Doppler radars will be installed. The Roads and Buildings wing of the Works Department will do the construction work and it has been targeted to complete the civil construction works for remaining three stations by 2013-end.

Doppler radar, best known for its near- accuracy weather forecasting, will be of use to the natural calamity-prone Odisha coast which frequently bears the burnt of storms, cyclones and cloudbursts. The radar will make accurate forecasts about the changing weather patterns, IMD sources said.

The meeting also decided to install calamity warning sound systems in the cyclone shelters in the State. At present, 200 cyclone shelters have been completed and more than 114 are at different stages of construction. A proposal has been sent to the Centre for installation of cyclone warning sound system in all the shelters.?? The Chief Secretary directed the Works Department to expedite the work. Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra, Works Secretary SK Ray and Principal Secretary, Rural Development, SN Tripathy were present. 

A pilgrimage turns tragic, 10 dead

Religious trip turned fatal for 21 members of three families after a coal-laden truck rammed the MUV in which they were travelling at Gurupali Chhak under Rengali police limits on State Highway 10, on Monday night.

The accident left 10 persons dead while two among the injured, Mohammad Idu (35) and Sheikh Razak (18),? have been shifted to Ispat General Hospital at Rourkela where their condition was stated to the critical.

The deceased have been identified as Sheikh Salim, his mother Saira Begum (46), wife Rehena Begum (27) and daughter Sahim Khatun (6), Mohammad Sohail (25), his wife Bibi Rizwana (22) and three-year old daughter Mehar, Ruby Begum (28), driver of the MUV Nasim Khan (32) besides another three-year-old Nazia Khatun.

While three died on the spot, the others succumbed to their injuries at VSS Medical in Burla. The injured include Sheikh Firoz (32), Sama Parveen (24), Nagina Thakur (23), Sheikh Jafar (4), Sama Khatun (3), Sheik Nawab (4), Sahiba Khatun (3) and Samia Parveen (3). They were discharged after medical attention at Rengali CHC.

Reports said the three families from Gandhinagar in Belpahar left for Kanika in Hemgir block of Sundargarh on Monday morning to offer ‘Chadar’ at a Dargah on the occasion of Urs. Later, they left for sight seeing at Hirakud dam and after having dinner at a hotel, they started for Belpahar when the accident took place.

Locals said the impact of the collision was such that it was impossible to make out the vehicle model. Even as the truck overturned, the? driver managed to flee.

The story of the heart wrenching mishap did not end there. A couple of hours later, three persons were injured when their car hit the overturned truck. They were on their way to Beleimunda in Sundargarh from Rairakhol. The injured identified as Mohammad Rao Sheikh, Bablu and Bhiku have been admitted to VSS Medical.

Odisha intensified its efforts to install four Doppler Weather Reading Stations

Odisha Govt has intensified its efforts to install four Doppler Weather Reading Stations in Odisha. Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik has taken a review of the progress done in the matter in a high level meeting held in secretariat conference hall today.

Discussions in the meeting reveal that four such radar stations will be installed at Gopalpur, Balasore, Paradeep and Sambalpur. The civil structure for Paradeep Station has been completed.  The Indian Metrological Department ( IMD)  has been requested to install the radar before coming monsoon. It will have 250 Kms of radius.  The identification of location of the station and handing over of land to IMD has been over for other 3 stations. Soil exploration and architectural plans have also been completed.   

Rs. 17 Cr. has been provided under state plan to OSDMA. It has been decided in the meetings that the buildings of 3 stations will be constructed by Roads & Buildings Department.  The cost of the buildings will vary from Rs. 4 Cr. to Rs.6 Cr. depending on the design and requirement. Target has been fixed to complete civil construction by end of 2013.

The meeting has also resolved to install calamity warning sound systems in the cyclone shelters operating within the state. At present 200 cyclone shelters have been completed and more 114 are at different stages of construction. A proposal has been sent to Govt of India for installation of cyclone warning sound system in all theses shelters. Chief Secretary has directed the works department to expedite the work and try to finish it well ahead of the targeted time.  Special Relief Commissioner P.K.  Mohapatra, Secretary Works S, K, Ray, Secretary R.D. S. N. Tripathy  along with other members participated in discussion.

Is Sabayasachi Panda’s influence over his cadres weakening?

Factionalism in the Maoists groups and a fading leadership has had the police rethinking their combat strategy

Bosusco Paolo may have returned home, but he continues to make headlines in Odisha. Paolo, who the Odisha Zonal Maoists group had abducted and released few days later, has told intelligence officers that Maoist leader Sabayasachi Panda’s influence over them was gradually growing weak has had the police rethink their agenda on the Maoists.

During his discussion with intelligence officers, Paolo said that Panda’s life was in perpetual danger and was guarded around the clock by 20 armed men. Panda, who travels with communication equipment including a laptop with a data card is also said to be ailing. “He is sick and under medication,” said Paolo. The Italian recalled it is futile to even attempt an escape from Maoist custody since the armed guards stood sentry 24X7.

Paolo has also claimed in an interview to an Italian TV channel that this wasn’t the first time he had been abducted in this country. “For a few hours, I was held hostage by some local tribals, I did not say anything as it may have created problems,” said Paolo.

However, Odisha police and intelligence officials who spoke to Paolo for more for than four hours at the state guest house in Bhubaneswar said Paolo had not brought the matter to their notice. Kandhamal Police Superintendent Pankaj Kumar told Tehelka.com, “We will contact the Italian Embassy to ascertain his claim.”

Panda had laid down 13 demands including release of seven prisoners, none of which were accepted by the state government. Then why did Panda release Paolo? The question has generated much talk in the state. Another question raised is about how Panda deviated from the “guidelines” of the CPI (Maoist). According to the guidelines, no foreign national should be abducted. Panda’s abduction and subsequent release of the Italian national has created dissatisfaction amongst the local Maoist leadership. Panda’s negative remarks on Hikaka’s abduction that were against Andhra-Odisha Border Zonal Committee’s (AOBZC), didn’t go down well with the central committee leaders either.

In Keonjhar, Jajpur, Deogarh, Sambalpur and Gajapati districs 12 Maoists of the AOBZC cadre, who were working under Pandas’s leadership, had returned to AOBZC. Kalinganagar area commander Basanta along with Keonjhar, Deogarh and Samblapur Andhra cadre including eight Andhra Maoists have joined AOBZC.

According to sources, the Maoist mediator Dandapani Mohanty has now rushed to Baliapeta in Narayanpatana to iron out differences between Panda and AOBZC. Panda faces disciplinary action if these talks fail. According to sources, the Maoist leaders met on the Malkangiri border in an attempt to resolve the differences between AOBZC and Panda’s group. The various participating groups signed a memorandum that none of them will issue any statements about the other.

The release of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka’s was also at the centre of discussion at the meeting. Responsibilities of how pressure is to be mounted on the state were handed over to Maoist commander Daya and the final decision of any release will be now taken by woman commander Aruna. Aruna will coordinate with the zonal committee leader. A hardcore Maoist leader, Jagabandhu has been asked to keep an eye on the police and intelligence personnel.