Category Archives: News

Highway amenities centres, to reduce accidents

 With a view to reducing the rising number of road accidents and ensure road safety, the State Government has decided to develop roadside amenities centres in 12 places in the State in the first phase. The State Human Rights Commission has urged the completion of the projects in a time-bound manner.

The amenities would include parking lots, restaurant/snacks bar, toilet and rest room for drivers, rest rooms for passengers, telephone booth and internet kiosk, first aid, petrol pump, minor vehicle repair shops, spare part shops, ATMs and bank extension counters, tourist linked services, police post, budget hotels and landscaping with plantation at every 60-80 km intervals. They would be set up along the National Highways (NHs) and State Highways (SHs) for providing adequate rest and refreshment to the road users.

Due to absence of clearly identified parking place along the highways, heavy vehicles park on the road during the night time causing many accidents. According to the Motor Vehicle Act, the State Government should provide traffic aid posts and heavy vehicle parking complexes on the side of the SHs and NHs. The Government would provide the parking place to the vehicles along the roads keeping the problem in view.

These amenities centres would be developed in PPP mode wherein land will be provided by the State Government, while the developers for the projects will be decided through an open bidding process. During the first phase, Kacharamal (Phulanakhara) near Bhubaneswar, Chandikhole in Jajpur, Garavana near Sambalpur-Baragarh ,Rairakhole in Angul-Sambalpur, Lahunipada near Remuli-Rajmunda , Ghatagaon in Panikoili-Remuli Road, Basta in Baleswar-Laxman nath, Batagaon in Bhubaneswar-Puri Road, Barkote in Biramitrapur-Barkote road, Meramundali in Cuttack-Angul road, Soro in Bhadrak-Baleswar NH and Badatrilochanpur/Sunasahi of Panikoili in Chandikhol-Bhadrak NH would be taken up for setting up the amenities centres. The National HighwayAuthority of India has already started work at Soro. In the second phase, the centres would be set up in Koraput, Balangir, Malkangiri, Nuapada and places like Sunabeda, Potangi, Ambapani, Boriguma, Sundergada and Kesinga.

Tazia binds religions

tazia procession in sambalpurLike every year, a Hindu family of Modipara in the town took out the ‘tazia’ procession to mark Muharram on Sunday. The Padhiary family has been doing it for past three generations. But the colour and rituals of Modipara tazia make it different from other tazia processions taken out by the Muslim community. When the top (tomb) of Muslim tazias are painted in white and green, the Hindu tazia has it in red. Coconuts are offered by devotees at the Hindu tazia unlike the Muslim ones.

“After the death of my father I have taken up the responsibility of bringing it out the procession every year. The practice dates back to 1664,” said the eldest member of the family Lalmohan Padhiary.

He said one of his forefathers Jaydev left home in 1655 to avoid marriage. He did not return till 1663. The family members, believing him to be dead, had performed his last rituals. But he appeared one fine morning in 1664 along with two maulanas and wished to take out a tazia procession that year. Initially, he did not get any support from his family because of religious and social restrictions. The people also vehemently objected it but it was the ruler of Sambalpur kingdom who not only supported him but also allotted a piece of land to meet the expenses of tazia procession.

HC asked Railways to pay damage to victims

 In a significant ruling on Monday, the Odisha High Court asked the Indian Railways to pay compensation to all the victims of the August 25 train accident that took place at an unmanned level-crossing near Sambalpur in which at least 14 people died and five others were injured.

This direction from the High Court came despite the Railways had strongly opposed paying compensation saying there was no provision to pay damage to the non-passengers under the Railways Act.

Disposing of a PIL filed by social activist and advocate Prabir Das, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda asked the Chairman of the Railway Board to pay Rs 5 lakh each to the families of all the 14 victims who died while the vehicle in which they were travelling was hit by an Express train.

The HC also asked the Railways to pay Rs 1 lakh to one of the grievously injured woman, who is still undergoing treatment. Similarly, the Railways was asked to compensate other injured persons of the accident by paying damage ranging between Rs 5,000 and Rs 25,000 as per the gravity of the injury they sustained. The mishap had taken place when an Express train hit a good lorry in which the victims were crossing the railway track at Khairapalli. All the victims were farm labourers under the BPL category and were socially and economically disadvantaged. While 13 of the 14 deceased were women and belonged to the SC community, their family members could not independently fight to seek damage and, therefore, the PIL was filed on August 28.

The HC asked the Railways to pay the compensation from the date of filing of the PIL with a six-per cent interest. The authorities were asked to complete the process of payment within two months, informed advocate Das.The HC also directed the Railways to convert all the unmanned level-crossings into manned level-crossings and deploy Home Guards with red flags to alert the road users about the approaching trains. “Provide road under-bridges (RUBs) and limited height subways (LHSs) wherever necessary,” the HC order said. Similarly, the State Government was asked to provide necessary cooperation to the Railways for construction of all these structures within six months. The police and transport authorities were also asked to take stringent action against the drivers who are using mobile phones while driving. It was alleged that the goods lorry driver was listening to music from his cell phone when the accident took place.

A SUIIT student is missing in sambalpur

A SUIIT student is missing in sambalpur on sunday from the hostel and police are yet to trace her.
“The girl left hostel saying she was going to home. At the same time, she asked her father not to come to meet her in the hostel as she would be busy studying,” a senior official at SUIIT said on Monday. SUIIT authorities came to know about the incident when the girl’s father called up the hostel superintendent after he found that his daughter’s phone was switched off, according to the official.

The information technology institute is functioning under the aegis of Sambalpur University to impart self-financing course on various technical subjects.

The girl, who is from Sambalpur town, is a student of IT-electronics and got admission three months ago. She has been staying in the hostel since then. On Sunday she submitted a leave application to the hostel superintendent as she desires to stay sometime with her parents.

On the other hand, police registered a missing case on the basis of a report filed by the SUIIT authority and started investigation on it. Police suspected she had gone with someone with her consent. “We are trying to trace the girl. However, from the circumstances, we suspect she might have gone with someone she knows. We are confident to trace her soon,” said additional S P Dilip Kumar Deo.

4 Maoist cadres arrested in Balangir

Acting on a tip-off, a Balangir police team led by district SP R Praksh arrested four Maoist cadres Ram Singh Bariha, Tulsiram Jagat, Debraj Bariha and Ganesh Bariha from the Tureikela area on Thursday. This was announced to mediaperons by Sambalpur DIG Sanjay Kumar here on Friday.

Lauding the efforts of Balangir SP Prakash in nabbing the Maoists, Kumar informed that the ultras were working under the Balangir-Bargarh-Mahasamund division of the CPI(Maoist) and their area of operation was mainly in Khaprakhol, Lathore, Tureikela of Balangir district, besides the adjoining areas of Bargarh and Nuapada districts.

The arrested cadres had visited the Maoist camps in Chhattisgarh and undergone arms training there. Their main hideouts were the Sunabeda Sanctuary in Nuapada district and the Gandhmardarn hills. They were collecting money from tribals, businessmen and contractors for their Maoist organisation to provide necessary logistics to the cadres, Sanjay Kumar said.

These people were also instrumental in burning of Kendu leaf godowns and in other criminal activities in the areas of their operation, he informed.

Asked to comment on the alleged involvement of Forest Department officials in burning of Kendu leaf godowns, Kumar said, “We are looking into that aspect and have taken up the matter with that department.”

Besides Balangir SP Prakash, Balangir ASP K Siba Subramanim, Nuapada ASP Parul Gupta and Bargarh ASP Alka Meena were also present at the Press conference.