Daily Archives: May 5, 2012

Lawyers close ranks, seek removal of Collector

Shedding differences over location of the proposed High Court Bench, lawyers of Balangir District Bar Association expressed solidarity with their Sambalpur counterparts here on Thursday. The team was here to stage a dharna in front of the IG (NR) office demanding arrest of the Sambalpur Collector Mrinalini Darswal.

The dharna comes a day after Jharsuguda District Bar Association observed the bandh. The Balangir delegation comprised two former presidents of the association, Jagannath Acharya and Gopal Chandra Panigrahi. They said the dharna was to express solidarity with the lawyers of SDBA who were misbehaved by the District Collector on April 23.

They would join the ongoing fight for justice and extended their support to the Western Odisha Bandh Call on May 8. However, they appealed to exempt train services from the bandh. Besides lawyers from Balangir, a delegation from Phulbani Bar Association led by its president Lambodhar Kanhar also called on the members of SDBA and promised their support. Meanwhile, bar associations across Western Odisha have resorted to cease work which will continue till May 7 before they join the Western Odisha bandh the following day. The lawyers are expected to chart out their? future course of action after the bandh which aims at building pressure on the Government to shunt out the District Collector.

On the other hand, women members of Paschim Odisha Dalit Surakhya Parishad submitted a memorandum, addressed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, to the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (ND) on Thursday. They expressed anguish at a woman being manhandled and abused by men on the road even as police stood as mute spectators.

Road map drawn to develop Buddhist sites

With the 13th Finance Commission grant of ` 65 crore, the Culture Department has drawn up a road map to develop the various Buddhist sites in the State. An amount of Rs 12 crore has been earmarked for conservation, documentation and development works of Buddhist heritage sites scattered across the State.

The works will be carried out in three years. This apart, to give a boost to the tourism prospects, the State Government would develop the Buddhist sites by constructing roads and other essential facilities in the areas.

Archaeologist-cum-secretary of the Odishan Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies Sunil Patnaik, who is associated with this project, said altogether Rs 12 crore would be utilised in three phases for conservation of 33 of the existing 120 Buddhist sites in the State.

Of these 33 sites, nine are protected by the State Archaeology and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and 24 are unprotected sites.

These sites are in the districts of Cuttack, Puri, Khurda, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Ganjam, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jajpur and Boudh. The maximum number of such sites have been traced in areas like Dharmasala, Neulipur, Deuli, Tarapur, Kaima, Radhanagar, Langudi Hills and other areas of Jajpur district and Boudh which has substantial presence of sculptures and Buddha idols.

Patnaik said many Buddhist sites in the Dharmasala area of Jajpur district stand testimony to the existence of the Buddhist culture in this region for centuries.

Director of Culture Department Sushil Das said as a part of conservation, structural conservation, chemical conservation and ambience development will be carried out in the 33 sites. “Illumination, construction of approach roads, boundary walls will be done wherever required,” he said, adding that work would begin soon.

Apart from conservation, a massive documentation drive will be taken up to trace out Buddhist sites in all the 30 districts. Archaeologist Patnaik said the documentation reports would be studied by a high-level government committee before a final report is made.

Meanwhile, the Odishan Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies has been unearthing Buddhist sites at Kaima, Deuli, Tarapur, and Radhanagar since long. An ancient fort was discovered three years back at Radhanagar. The ancient fortress at Radhanagar resembled the one at Sisupalagarh in Bhubaneswar.