Category Archives: News

City buses in two more routes in Bargarh, Jharsuguda

The Western Odisha Urban Transport Service Limited, which is in charge of city bus services in western Odisha, has decided to extend city bus service up to Barpali in Bargarh district and industrial towns of Brajarajnagar and Belpahar in Jharsuguda district.

The authorities have decided to procure five new buses for the purpose.

Currently, city buses are plying on the Sambalpur-Jharusguda and Sambalpur-Bargarh routes while the five new buses, which would be procured shortly, would ply on the new routes. On January 29 last year, the city bus service was launched with six buses in the city. At present, a total of 29 buses are running on 11 routes.

According to sources, of the five proposed new buses while two would run on the Sambalpur-Bargarh-Barpali route and the rest three would run on Sambalpur-Jharsuguda-Brajarjnagar-Belphar route.

Popco is a private operator, which has partnered with the Odisha Government to run and manage the city buses.

Fugitive Cop Arrested in Makhnu Bag Death Case

sushil-naik-bheden-thanaThe Officer in Charge of Bheden Police Station, Sushil Naik, who was absconding in the Makhnu Bag death case, has finally been arrested by Bheden police from Bargarh town. He was produced before the Birmaharajpur Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM), who remanded him in judicial custody on Monday. With this, the number of arrests made in the custodial death case went up to five.

On Monday last week, Sub-Inspector Soumya Ranjan Patra and Assistant Sub-Inspector Pitambar Behera of Bheden police station were arrested for their alleged involvement in bumping off Bag of Dekulba village under Bheden police limits in Bargarh district. Subsequently, police nabbed Home Guard Prakash Dehury and Home Guard driver Pramod Sahu on Thursday for their alleged involvement in the killing.

On the other hand, the woman constable, Geeta Bhoi who was present at the police station during the incident, is still at large.

On Sunday morning, the skeletal remains of Bag were handed over to his family members.

A rape case had been registered at Bheden police station in June against Raju, son of Bag. As Raju was absconding, police had called Bag to the police station for interrogation. Bag last visited Bheden police station on July 17 with Gram Rakhi of the village, Kushal Chatar and since then had gone missing.

The family members searched for him, but in vain. They even knocked the doors of Bheden police only to be informed that Bag had left for his house. His skeletal remains were found in Metakani forest in Ulunda block of Sonepur district on September 24. After confirming that the skeletal remains belonged to Bag, his son Biju lodged a complaint with Ulunda police stating that Bag was killed by Bheden police and the body dumped in the forest.

Ulunda police, in the presence of the Magistrate, seized the skeletal remains and began investigating into the matter.

The skeletal remains, sent for DNA testing, confirmed that those were of Bag.

Crop Damage Widespread in Kalahandi, 234 Panchayats Affected

Erratic rainfall has affected the crops, particularly in non-irrigated areas of Kalahandi during the current kharif season. Of the total 272 gram panchayats, farmers in 234 gram panchayats have been affected and most of the villages come under non-irrigated pockets of the district.

According to an eye estimate report prepared by the Agriculture Department, 49,304 hectares (ha) of paddy crops and 21,743 ha of non-paddy crops have been damaged due to erratic monsoon and moisture-stress condition, said Deputy Director of Agriculture, Laxman Palatasingh.

This season, the Agriculture Department had covered 3,83,701 ha with different crops for the kharif season, including paddy in 1,80,403 ha and non-paddy crops in 1,93,564 ha.

Of the two sub-divisions in the district – Dharamgarh and Bhawanipatna – the maximum extent of damage has been noticed in Bhawanipatna. The only solace for Dharamgarh sub-division is the Indravati irrigation project that provides water to five blocks.

According to the report, of 1,80,403 ha covered under paddy, crops have been damaged in 49,304 ha and out of this, 13,832 ha have suffered more than 66 per cent  damage. In another 35,472 ha, the damage is between 33 and 66 per cent.

Although in Indravati-irrigated pockets there is no water scarcity, the crops have been damaged by pests in Jaipatna, Kalampur, Junagarh and Dharamgarh blocks. Field staff of the department are providing technical advice to farmers.

As far as non-paddy crops are concerned, cotton, pulses and oil seeds were grown in 1,93,564 ha of which, 21,743 ha have been damaged due to moisture-stress condition.

Cotton was grown in 46,152 ha and a good yield was expected. However, the crop grown in sandy soil areas, particularly in Narla, Lanjigarh, Bhawanipatna, Kesinga and Golamunda blocks are facing moisture-stress condition. Under this situation, the crop yield will be much lesser than expected, said farmers.

The Agriculture Department is yet to prepare a contingency programme for Kalahandi district in the wake of the crop loss. Recently, 1,700 mini kits of mustard, sun flower and groundnut seeds were supplied to the Agriculture Directorate. As this was not sufficient to address the crisis, the district administration has urged the Agriculture Department to come up with a contingency plan for farmers.

Scuffle among BJD workers mars Sambalpur ‘Jansampark Padayatra’

Chasm in the ruling BJD has come to the fore during the Sambalpur ‘Jansampark Padayatra’ on Friday.

The walkathon has been launched by BJD supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and to continue till October 11 (Jannayak Jay Prakash Narayan Jaynati) statewide.

However, the Sambalpur episode has sent a wrong message that ‘all is not well with the much-touted united and disciplined BJD party’.

PrameyaNews7 Sambalpur Correspondent reported that the walkathon that started from Sambalpur Jail Chhak witnessed an embarrassing situation when the staunch supporters of Rairakhol MLA and Government Deputy Chief Whip Rohit Pujari entered into a tussle with Sambalpur MLA Rasheswari Panigrahi’s loyal supporters over leadership issue on the occasion.

It was noticed that the tug of war between Rasheswari and Rohit’s acolytes took an ugly turn when the police had to intervene to bring the political commotion under control.

By then, such an unexpected incident has laid bare the so-called united and disciplined image of BJD in Sambalpur and has turned to be a talk of the town that does not augur well for the party’s future prospects, opine local poll pundits.

Odisha govt to revive Kalahandi medical college

The Odisha cabinet on Wednesday approved for revival of medical college and hospital in Kalahandi district.

Now, the state government has taken over the medical college and it would induct a suitable private partner through Public private Partnership framework for ensuing the revival and sustainable operationalisation of the medical college and hospital.

As the Medical Council of India has withdrawn its recognition citing lack of infrastructure and adequate faculty, the government has decided to transfer 124 students pursuing medical degree in the college in last two years to private medical colleges in Bhubaneswar.

Chief Secretary GC Pati said the Orissa high court has also directed to all concerned including MCI to take necessary steps for the smooth functioning of the medical college.