Daily Archives: May 20, 2012

Video-conferencing in all jails soon

To tide over the problem of escorts’ shortage, which has hindered production of under trial prisoners (UTPs) in courts affecting the trial process, the Odisha Government is planning to install video-conferencing system in all districts over the next two years.

At present, video-conferencing facility has been installed in eight major prisons located in Bhubaneswar, Choudwar, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Baripada, Rourkela, Balangir and Koraput. The system, which is aimed at expediting the production of UTPs, is fully operational in Bhubaneswar, Choudwar and Berhampur jails.

The Prison Administration of the State is gearing up to equip district jails of Angul, Dhenkanal, Balasore, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Puri and Sundargarh with the conferencing system this year. Construction work for installation of the video-conferencing systems had already begun.

It will significantly reduce pressure on local police who have to share its personnel for escort parties. This will also bring down certain vulnerabilities such as escape attempts by the inmates.

The Government is utilising funds from Thirteenth Finance Commission as well as its sources to install the video- conferencing systems. Each jail requires close to Rs 13 lakh for electronic systems while rooms and other infrastructure will cost about Rs 5 lakh.

“Odisha has been a leader among states so far as video-conferencing system in jails is concerned and we will continue with the progress. During 2012-13, we are targeting to equip 15 prisons with the conferencing facility,” IG (Prisons) Pranabindu Acharya said.

Once the systems are installed in all districts, trial rate is expected to be improved because production of UTPs can be expedited.

The prison authorities are also planning to enhance monitoring on the jail premises by augmenting close circuit television (CCTV) systems. While at least 18 jails have CCTV facilities as of now, plans are afoot to install the same in an equal number of jails this year. That apart, the strength of CCTV systems will be augmented in 14 of the existing ones. In Special Jail, Bhubaneswar, there are at least 56 CCTVs.

Cry for chaste celebration of divine union

Upping its ante against the prevalence of raunchy dance performances on the occasion of the annual Sital Sasthi celebrations, the coordination committee of the festival ordered against such performances during the week-long festival, to be held from May 21 to 27 in Sambalpur.

Instead, folk dances of Rajasthan, Assam, Bihar and Chhattisgarh would be prime attractions of the festival, the committee said while speaking to media persons on Friday night. “We will not allow any vulgar dance performances during Sital Sasthi. We have asked the administration to take action against yatra committees in case they find any vulgarity during the festival,” said Sital Sasthi Yatra Joint Coordination Committee president Amulya Mishra.

The week-long summer carnival depicts the marriage ceremony of Shiva and Parvati as per Hindu rituals. Each yatra committee selects a couple to play parents of Parvati to perform the marriage like of their own daughter. Thousands of devotees throng the town to witness it.

The concluding street procession of the divine couple the following day of the marriage, however, is the most attractive part of the festival. Yatra committees invite various dance troupes and dancers from various parts of the country to accompany the procession..

Over the past few years, the yatra committees have come under criticism for promoting vulgar dances during the street procession. Individuals and various organizations have appealed to the administration to take stringent action to abolish such practice. Sources said the administration has decided to take stringent action against yatra committees, who are found to promote vulgar dances during the festival.