Monthly Archives: May 2012

CLP meet to discuss dissidence

An emergency meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) will be convened in the first week of June to discuss the growing dissidence in the State unit.

Former Union minister and Odisha in-charge Jagdish Tytler and president of the OPCC Niranjan Patnaik will be present at the meeting.

Sources said the meeting had been convened to allow the MLAs discuss organisational matters and air their grievances, if any, against the State leadership. But they will be asked to maintain discipline.

Several MLAs, led by former working president of the OPCC Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, had met Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad during his visit to the State in the first week of this month and demanded a change in the State leadership.

Even three MLAs __ Surendra Singhbhoi, Dushmanta Nayak and Shyam Charan Hansdah __ were served showcause notice by the OPCC for anti-party activities. Sources maintained that the State leadership does not want to take any drastic step against the MLAs as it may precipitate the matter further. Rather, the State leadership wants to proceed with the exercise to strengthen the organisation.

Sources said both the sides have called a truce for the time being before deciding on their next course of action. The dissidents are waiting for the outcome of CLP meeting.

The zonal meetings of the OPCC are scheduled for June 6 to 9 at four places. Zonal meetings have already been held in Cuttack and Berhampur. The next meetings will be held in Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Rourkela and Sambalpur.

The zonal meetings are being held as a part of the party’s preparation for the urban body polls scheduled next year. The result of the urban poll will be a preview of the 2014 Assembly election and taken seriously by the Congress leadership. Congress had lost election to the Kendrapara municipality, bypolls to Umerkote and Athgarh Assembly seats and panchayat polls.

State Government focusing on floriculture, coconut and banana crops

Having witnessed a quantum rise in the production of horticulture crops in the last 10 years, the State Government has now decided to lay emphasis on floriculture, coconut and banana crops.

Three new schemes – floriculture development, coconut development, banana development – besides inter-cropping have been introduced under the State plan for the current financial year.

With demand for flowers growing faster than before, the department has chalked out a detailed strategy to encourage floriculture. The major consumption points for flowers are Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur.

This year, a budgetary provision of Rs 100 lakh has been made for development of floriculture. Stress will be laid on cultivation of roses, marigold, tuberose and jasmine. As major flower markets are concentrated in and around cities and places of religious importance, it has been proposed to take up the floriculture scheme near Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Berhampur and Ghatagaon (Keonjhar).

Besides, it has been decided that training programme for the farmers will be made more extensive and quality saplings will be provided.

The State Government had earlier decided to increase the subsidy to 50 per cent from 33 per cent. Florists of Odisha mostly rely on West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka for flowers.

Floriculture apart, the department has increased the area coverage under coconut cultivation this year to make Odisha one of the top three states in terms of coconut productivity and area under cultivation. At present, the State stands 5th in area under coconut cultivation and 6th in productivity.

Joint Director of Horticulture Ramesh Das said the total area under coconut cultivation now is over 53,000 hectares (ha).

In the wake of the growing demand of coconut products, the department has decided to make a budgetary allocation of `834.98 lakh for coconut cultivation this fiscal. Das said it had been proposed to take up plantation in coastal districts like Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Ganjam.

Likewise, it has been decided to take up tissue culture banana plantation in 555 ha at the cost of? Rs 250 lakh this year. “Tissue culture banana plantation will be taken up in compact patches in farmers’ fields and 50 per cent subsidy will be provided to them for one year,” Das said.

He said the government’s final nod to these schemes is expected soon.

Howrah-Chennai route trains through Jharsuguda-Sambalpur temporarily

Train operations on the Howrah-Chennai route through Odisha are set to be disrupted from May 25 to 27 as the South Eastern Railways has decided to take up repair works on the Up line between Jaleswar and Amarda Road Station on the Kharagpur-Bhadrak section.

Several trains will be cancelled, short terminated or diverted from 5 pm on Friday to 3 pm on Sunday as the SER will undertake the repair works.

The cancellations include the 12074/12073 Bhubaneswar-Howrah-Bhubaneswar Jan Satabdi Express and 58005/58006 Kharagpur-Khurda Road-Kharagpur passenger will be cancelled on May 25 and 26. The 12278/12277 Puri-Howrah-Puri Duronto Express stands cancelled from May 25 to 27.

Also cancelled will be 22874 Visakhapatnam-Digha weekly express leaving Visakhapatnam and 12896 Puri-Howrah weekly Express leaving Puri on May 24, 22873 Digha-Visakhapatnam weekly express leaving Digha and 12895 Howrah-Puri weekly Express leaving Howrah on May 25.

The 12571 Howrah-Satya Sai Prashanti Nilayam Express leaving Howrah on May 23, 12572 Satya Sai Prashanti Nilayam-Howrah Express leaving Satya Sai Prashanti Nilayam on May 25, 22849 Shalimar-Secunderabad Weekly Express leaving Shalimar on May 26 and 22850 Secunderabad-Shalimar weekly Express leaving Secunderabad on May 27 also will not ply on the route.

The 12802 New Delhi-Puri Purusottam Express leaving New Delhi on May 24 and 25 will run on diverted route via Tata-Dangoaposi-Jakhapura and Cuttack. The 18478 Haridwar-Puri Kalinga Utkal Express leaving Haridwar on the same days will be run on diverted route via Jharsuguda-Sambalpur-Angul and Cuttack.

The 16310 Patna-Ernakulam Weekly Express leaving Patna on May 25 shall be diverted via Adra-Chandil-Jharsuguda-Sambalpur and Vizianagaram. The 12508 Guwahati-Ernakulam weekly express leaving Guwahati on May 25 shall be diverted via Kharagpur-Jharsuguda-Nagpur and Balharshah.

The 12754 New Jalpaigudi-Chennai Weekly Express leaving New Jalpaigudi on May 25 will be diverted via Adra-Chandil-Nagpur and Balharshah while the 15630 Guwahati-Chennai Weekly Express leaving Guwahati on the same day will ply via Asansol-Joychandi Pahar-Garhdhrubeswar-Chandil and Jharsuguda. The 15902 Dibrugarh-Yeswantpur Weekly Express leaving Dibrugarh will also be diverted via Kharagpur-Jharsuguda-Sambalpur and Vizianagaram.

 Similarly, on the down line 12801 the Puri-New Delhi Purushottam Express leaving Puri on May 25 and 26 shall be diverted via Jakhpura-Dangoaposi and Tata. The 18477 Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express leaving Puri on May 25 and 26 shall be diverted via Angul-Sambalpur and Jharsuguda.

The 12509 Bangalore-Guwahati Express leaving Bangalore from May 23, 24 and 25 shall be diverted via Balharshah-Nagpur-Jharsuguda? and Kharagpur while the 15227 Yeswantpur-Muzaffarpur Weekly Express leaving Yeswantpur on May 23 shall be diverted via Balharshah-Nagpur-Jharsuguda and Kharagpur.

The 15929 Chennai-Dibrugarh Weekly Express leaving Chennai on May 24 will run via Vizianagaram-Sambalpur-Jharsuguda and Kharagpur as will the 16323 Trivandrum-Shalimar Express leaving Trivandrum through Balharshah-Nagpur-Jharsuguda and Kharagpur.

The 12821/12822 Howrah-Puri-Howrah Dhauli Express and 18409/18410 Howrah-Puri-Howrah Sri Jagannath Express will stop at all stations between Kharagpur and Balasore from May 25 to 27.

Sambalpuri album industry in the doldrums

The unchecked piracy of albums along with low standard of lyrics has shattered the album industry of Sambalpuri songs that was the source of livelihood of over 4,000 families in Sambalpur and other cities of western Odisha during the past decade.

The industry that once produced over 100 albums every year has been all but defunct over the past one year. The artistes, who were busy round the year, are now looking for other jobs.

The state government that was earning a handsome revenue from the industry seems to have turned its back on it despite the request of the POPA (Pachim Odisha Producer Association), due to which many of the production houses have been forced to switch over to other businesses, rendering a big blow to talented artistes and lyricists of Sambalpuri songs.: The unchecked piracy of albums along with low standard of lyrics has shattered the album industry of Sambalpuri songs that was the source of livelihood of over 4,000 families in Sambalpur and other cities of western Odisha during the past decade.

The POPA urged the state government to take necessary steps to make the industry functional for the greater interest of the artistes of the region. “We have produced over 150 albums over the past decade. But because of the problem of piracy, now it has become difficult to even earn the cost of production. So we have stopped album production, switching over to other suitable businesses,” said an album producer Dilip Panda.

According to sources, over 70 to 80 Sambalpuri music production houses were functioning in the region whose sole business was to produce Sambalpuri albums utilizing budding talents of the region. They formed an organization called Pachim Odisha Producer Association (POPA) to streamline the problems of the album industry. But due to lack of any strict principle, the POPA was unable to function in a proper way. “We try our level best to check the piracy of albums, but since we do not have any authority we failed to check it,” said POPA secretary Ajay Dash.

Heatwave to prevail for another 48 hours

The mercury showed signs of a decline across the State but there was no relief from the sweltering conditions which claimed three more lives in Odisha on Monday. Two persons died in Balasore while the third sunstroke death was reported by the Ganjam district administration.

The official death toll, with this, has climbed up to eight while the unofficial figure touched 50. So far, Angul, Balangir, Sambalpur, Jajpur, Boudh and now Balasore and Ganjam have confirmed sunstroke deaths.

Meanwhile, several western districts reported a drop in the day temperature. Sonepur, Titlagarh, Jharsuguda, Hirakud, Sambalpur as well as Sundargarh saw the mercury fall below 45 degree Celsius. In Bhubaneswar too, it dropped to 40.4 degree C. Balangir was the hottest town with the maximum day temperature reading 44.6 degree C.

The drop in temperature notwithstanding, the misery is unlikely to end soon. The? Met department said the heatwave condition has swept across the entire South-East Asia region and will continue for the next few days. The local weather office also stated? that the heatwave conditions will continue to grip the State for the next 48 hours.

The scorching conditions prompted the State Government take some urgent measures. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is scheduled to leave for London on his maiden foreign visit in his three stints, directed the Energy department to ensure that distcoms do not resort to power cut during? daytime, between 10 am and 5 pm.

In fact, such has been the quality of power supply in most parts of the State that people have begun to take to the streets. On Monday, women of Tapoban slums in Barabari area of the Capital gheraoed the local Khandagiri SDO office protesting against the continuous low voltage for the last two years. The hapless CESU officials had no option but to blame the inadequate power generation for the situation and assured improvement in the scenario to escape the protesters’ wrath. Police reached the spot and defused tension.

Two daily-wage labourers died in Capital Hospital here allegedly due to sunstroke on Monday. Sources said the duo were under influence of alcohol. An investigation by the district administration is awaited to confirm the exact cause of death. At least 10 persons were admitted to the hospital after reportedly suffering from sunstroke on the day.