Monthly Archives: May 2013

5 burnt to death inside state bus near Balangir

Fourteen people were killed in four separate mishaps in different parts of the state on Thursday. While five persons were charred to death when a bus caught fire at Puintala near Balangir town, around 330 km from Bhubaneswar, nine others were killed in separate mishaps in Sambalpur, Sonepur and Keonjhar districts.

Sources said an Odisha State Road Transport Corporation ( OSRTC) bus from Bhubaneswar to Sinapali in Nuapada district caught fire around 2.30 am on Thursday after it hit a roadside neem tree in front of the Puintala block office. “It seems a case of rash driving. The vehicle rammed into a tree. Five were burnt while many others were injured. The driver fled,” Balangir SP R Prakash said.

Police suspect short-circuit in the engine battery triggered the fire. Most of the passengers were asleep when the accident took place. Passengers broke window shields and jumped off the bus. Five persons, who got trapped inside, were burnt to death, passengers said.

Anshu Jain, a native of Rupra Road in Kalahandi district, lost her son and mother in the mishap. “There was a loud sound. When I woke up, my son and my mother were already into flames. I could not decide what to do and eventually jumped off the bus. I could not save them,” an inconsolable Anshu said. She had boarded the bus at Boudh with her son Atul (16) and mother Shakuntala Agarwal (70). They were on their way to Rupra Road. Anshu has fractured her right hand and has been admitted in Balangir district hospital. The other deceased include Sachin Patra (42), an advocate from Patnagarh. Two other bodies were yet to be identified.

Of the 47 injured, condition of two persons was stated to be critical. “We referred two women who sustained head injuries besides severe burns to VSS Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack. They were serious,” said Balangir chief district medical officer Bikrant Kindo. Kindo said 26 passengers were discharged after first-aid while others were hospitalized.

Locals said the mishap occurred because the tree is on the middle of the road after recent expansion. “After the road was broadened, the tree is on the middle of the road. There is no radioactive light pasted on the tree as is the usual practice,” said a resident of Puintala.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced Rs 1 lakh ex-gratia for kin of the deceased. Besides the police probe, the commerce and transport department has also ordered a parallel inquiry. “I have ordered an inquiry to find out what led to the accident,” commerce and transport minister Surbat Tarai said.

Around 55 km away from the accident spot in Balangir, three others were killed when their car hit a roadside tree at Shindhol on Sambalpur-Sonepur road under Sonepur district. Sources said nine persons from Bolangir’s Lukapara village were returning to their village on Thursday after attending a wedding party at Jhankarpali near Sambalpur town. Two persons, identified as Nehru Naik and Basista Pradhan, died on the spot. One Sridhar Naik died at VSS Medical College and Hospital, Burla.

In another accident, five persons were killed when a jeep and a car collided head on near Charmal between Sambalpur and Rairakhol. While three were killed on the spot, two succumbed to their injuries on the way to hospital. Police identified the deceased as Premananda Pradhan, Akhil Kumar Sahu, Prafulla Pradhan, Judhistir Biswal and car driver Jogeswar Mohanty. They were all in the jeep.

Water projects lying defunct

Of 110 revenue villages under Bijepur block here, 80 are water-stressed. Out of 800 tubewells in the block, 200 are lying defunct.

Water projects under Swajaldhara rural water supply scheme in villages of Gudimunda T Gondpali and Jokhipali are lying defunct. After working for some time, those were rendered defunct due to breakdown of transformer. Neither has the transformer been repaired nor replaced. Stand posts in various areas are also in bad shape.

At Piplipali village under Budapali gram panchayat of the block, the problem is high fluoride content in water. Villagers alleged that though they have been requesting the officials for supply of drinking water, no step has been taken yet. They said the officials forget about the issue after monsoon arrives.

Junior Engineer of RWSS Sanjib Panda said steps are being taken to repair the defunct tubewells and transformer of Swajaldhara project.

More officials land in police net for money laundering

Deputy general manager of Andhra Pradesh-based para-banking company Wellfare Buildings and Estates Private Limited RS Madhav Rao was arrested by Dhanupali police on Tuesday.

Rao was in charge of operations in the States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. Police have also seized documents related to investments from his possession.

The company was collecting money from investors by assuring them of giving land in return against their deposits. It had also promised to return their investment at a high rate of interest in case the investors did not want to take land. Preliminary investigation revealed that the company had acquired 24 acres of land in the name of Madhav Rao in Jamadarpali on the outskirts of Sambalpur town. The company had been operating from its office at Dhanupali in Sambalpur town since 2006 and had collected more than ` six crore from the depositors.

Rao is the second person of Wellfare Buildings and Estates Private Limited to be arrested after the arrest of Dilip Kumar Mallick of the company on May 11. However, Rao refuted the allegation of any financial fraud.

Phulbani: Four officials of Golden Land Developers (GLP), a finance company, were arrested by Town police on Monday evening.

They were identified as branch manager B Upendra Patra, cashier Upendra Mohanty, computer operators Subrat Kumar Tripathy and Anil Kumar Mishra. Two bank accounts of the company operating in Punjab National Bank having deposit of over `13 crore have been freezed by police.

The company was functioning in the district headquarters town from 2007 and was into money circulation business.

Similarly, G Udaygiri police on Sunday sealed the office of Rose Valley Company functioning at MMC Road at G Udaygiri.

Branch manager of the company Dilip Kumar Mohanty and cashier Silu Pradhan were arrested.

Balasore: Nineteen persons working in different non-banking sectors in Mayurbhanj district have been arrested since Saturday on the charges of cheating people after promising to pay high rate of interest on their deposits. They were produced in the court and remanded in judicial custody on Tuesday.