Category Archives: News

Boy robs own house

A boy allegedly robbed his house at Haragouripada in Sambalpur and concocted a loot story. The Class X student was arrested, along with a friend, on Friday.

Sources said the student told police that three masked miscreants tied him up and looted Rs 2 lakh and gold ornaments on Monday. His parents were away to visit a relative, who had died in Hirakud boat tragedy. “His father lodged a complaint on Monday evening,” said IIC, Ainthapali PS Amitav Panda. Since the alleged loot took place in daylight, cops smelt fishy. “He broke down during interrogation and confessed to have plotted the crime with a friend,” Panda said.

Three new trains for Odisha

Three new trains were announced for Odisha in the interim railway budget presented in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. The budget is for four months of the 2014-15 financial year prepared in view of the approaching general elections.

The new trains to operate under East Coast Railway (ECoR) jurisdiction are Puri-Gandhidham weekly express, Gunupur-Visakhapatnam and Sambalpur-Bhawanipatna daily passenger. Rail passengers from Odisha would also benefit from two other trains – Kamakhya-Chennai and Howrah-Yesvantpur (both AC weekly) – that will pass through the state, ECoR sources said here.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik described the provisions made for the state in the interim budget as ‘disappointing’. He said the state government had sought Rs 4,000 crore allocated for various projects and 31 new trains. He said keeping in mind fund constraints faced by the railways, the state government had volunteered to finance 50% and provide land free for Khurda-Balangir rail line. The government had also committed 26% share capital for two other major projects Haridaspur-Paradip and Angul-Sukinda rail lines. But interim budget is silent on these projects. There is also no mention for construction of modern Bhubaneswar railway station, wagon factory in Ganjam district announced three years back and also the project at Kalahandi, the chief minister said. “The Central government has once again given step-motherly treatment to the state when Odisha is giving over Rs 14,000 crore revenue per annum to the railways,” the chief minister said.

Railways source here said the budget being interim in nature, decision on fund allocation for major projects would be taken at the time of presentation of full budget in Parliament by the new government after the elections.

Summary of Hirakud Incident


Death toll in Hirakud boat tragedy rises to 28

The death toll in the Hirakud Dam boat tragedy in Sambalpur district rose to 28 on Monday with the recovery of 17 more bodies, even as rescue operations continued for the second day to trace another five persons.

“Personnel of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire brigade fished out 11 bodies by the Sunday evening, while 17 more were recovered on Monday,” said Odisha special relief commissioner PK Mohapatra.

Besides expert scuba divers, personnel of ODRAF, fire brigade, police and local divers were also engaged in rescue and search operations in the vast reservoir as the place of accident was very deep.

The state government also pressed a helicopter in the search operation.

The state government has ordered an administrative inquiry by Sambalpur revenue divisional commissioner into the incident to probe if the boat had safety measures and license to operate.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who is in New Delhi, has asked revenue and disaster minister SDN Patro and finance minister Prasanna Acharya to rush to Sambalpur to oversee the rescue operations.

“Our first priority is to rescue the people and the entire government machinery has been working at that,” Patro said.

The state government has announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs. 1.5 lakh for the family members of the victims and free treatment for the survivors.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit to the state, has put his scheduled meeting with party workers on hold and visited the spot to meet grieving families.

The issue was raised in the state assembly with leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh seeking a statement from the government.

The boat had capsized on Sunday with at least 100 people from the Lion’s Club of Sambalpur, Hirakud and Bargarh, who were returning from the other side of the Hirakud reservoir after a picnic.

The boat was flooded with water after developing a snag in its motor pump in the reservoir, about 340 km west of Bhubaneswar. Eyewitnesses said the passengers tried to drain the water from the boat but failed.

Some passengers jumped out of the boat and stay afloat till local fishermen rushed to save them. Women and children were the major casualty of the tragedy.

22 Dead, 9 Missing as Boat Capsizes in Hirakud Reservoir

At least 22 people died and 9 others were reportedly missing after a country boat carrying picnickers from Sambalpur town capsized due to overloading in Hirakud Dam Reservoir (HDR) here on Sunday afternoon.

The deceased have been identified as Anita Singh (40), Seema Agrawal (38), Usha Agrawal (35), Santosh Kumari (50), Suchismita Jena (30), Harish Agrawal (10), Paviz Sharma (38), Purba Sharma (18) and Tania Sharma (15). Some of the bodies are yet to be identified.

Reports said that members of Lions Club, Sambalpur had gone for picnic to Marang Dungri under Tilia Gram Panchayat in Lakhanpur block of Jharsuguda district after crossing the HDR in a motor fitted county boat on Sunday morning. They boarded the boat at Sonutikra Ghat, about 14 kilometers from Sambalpur town under Sason police limits.

The incident occurred when at least 70 members of Lions Club besides 50 regular passengers along with about 30 motorcycles were returning back to Sonutikra Ghat after enjoying the picnic at Marang Dungri. The picnickers boarded the boat at around 4.15 PM and after moving about 15 minutes, water started gushing into the boat from its base. The boat was stopped due to some technical snag and started capsizing in the middle of the HDR.

Rescue teams along with fire brigade and police personnel have rushed to the spot. About 80 persons have been rescued so far. ODRAF team has also reached the spot for the rescue operation. Sambalpur Sadar Sub Collector Surendra Panda had confirmed death of 11 persons and said that still at least 20 persons were missing.

Chief Minster Naveen Patnaik expressed his grief over the tragic incident and asked the SRC and Sambalpur District Collector to expedite the rescue operation.