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Hectic parleys to locate IIM site at Sambalpur

Acting swiftly on the five-point poser of the central government on facilities at Sambalpur for locating Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in the district, the state government on Sunday sent a team led by director of technical education and training, Bishnu Prasad Sahoo, to the western Odisha city to prepare its response.

During his two-day visit, Sahoo said he would hold discussions with the district administration on Monday to provide inputs to the state government for replying to the queries of ministry of human resources development in New Delhi on June 5.

“My visit to Sambalpur is an exercise to prepare a report on the HRD ministry’s queries. I visited the identified sites for a permanent campus and also assessed the possible temporary locations,” he said.

Sahoo said three campuses, the Sambalpur University Institute of Technology, Rengali Polytechnic and Maneswar ITI were identified as possible temporary locations depending on choice of permanent sites by the Centre at Goshala, Rengali or Jujomora respectively.

The government has earlier identified land at Brahmanipali village in Rengali block, Basantpur near Goshala in Dhankauda block and Neeldungri area under the Jujomura block.

Additional district magistrate Jyoti Kumar Lakra a meeting on the location for the permanent and temporary campus for the institute will be held at the office of the revenue divisional commissioner northern division on Monday.

The HRD ministry has sought clarifications from the state on details of infrastructure at Sambalpur, iconic business houses in the city, mega industrial units close to the proposed IIM and the details about the economic activities in and around Sambalpur besides possible job avenues for family members of the IIM staff.

The state government is in tizzy after the HRD ministry’s latest missive, which came three days after technical education secretary Asit Tripathy wrote it about state’s preparedness to locate the institute in Sambalpur and a request to start admission this academic session from a temporary location in the western Odisha city on May 25.

Before Tripathy’s letter, the HRD ministry had warned the state government that admissions to IIM in Odisha will not happen unless it identifies permanent site.

Shailendra Kumar, director (management) of HRD ministry had written a letter to the state technical education department that if a permanent site has not been decided in clear unequivocal terms, the academic session may not be started from 2015-16.

The state government is showing urgency because any delay in its response may result in no admission for the premier institution this academic year.

Sambalpur’s Drainage Channel to Get New Life

With Sambalpur city facing artificial flooding every year due to the clogged drains, the Sambalpur Municipal Corporation is working overtime to clean them before the monsoon arrives.

Deputy Commissioner of Sambalpur Municipal Corporation, Sudhansu Kumar Bhoi said cleaning of drains in three Wards has been completed and work is underway to desilt all the main drains of 41 Wards in the city.

“We are planning to hire an additional 100 sanitation workers to step up the cleaning of drains before it starts raining,” he said. The civic body had already de-silted all the drains in the city during the jaundice outbreak last year.

On the other hand, the Irrigation wing of Agriculture Department is cleaning the Dhobijoar nullah and Tengna nullah, which carry the sewage of the city. Desilting and cleaning of these two nullahs will ensure free flow of water into river Mahanadi.

The civic body is also installing 15 pumps at three locations of Balibandha, Binakhandi and Chandan Nagar in the city from where sewage and rain water is released into river Mahanadi.

Similarly, work on two pumping stations at Balibandha and Binakhandi is nearing completion. Work is being implemented by Odisha Construction Corporation Limited (OCCL) and 18 pumps will be installed at these two pumping stations to prevent water-logging.

Come monsoon, the low lying areas along Dhobijoar nullah and Tengna nullah that carry sewage and water from canal head of the Hirakud Command area, gets flooded.

The Dhobijoar nullah opens to Mahanadi at Balibandha and Binakhandi. Since water level of the river rises, the sluice gates which release water from the nullah are closed to prevent the backwaters of Mahanadi from flowing into the city. As a result of this, water in the nullah flows back into the city resulting in deluge.

The pumping stations proposed to be located along river Mahanadi will ensure that the flood water can be pumped into the river during monsoon. This will also solve water-logging problems in the low lying areas.

Once constructed, the pumping station will bring relief to the residents of Charbati, Mandlia, Chandan Nagar, Binakhandi, Balibandha, Govindtola, Bahalpada in Sakhipara, Hirakud Colony, Thakurpada, Housing Board Colony, Cheruapada, Mudipada and Kumbharpara besides other low lying areas of the city which have been bearing the brunt of artificial flooding.

The citizens of Sambalpur finally heaved a sign of relief as moderate rain on Wednesday brought temporary relief to parts of the district which was passing through a long spell of heat wave. The rain, accompanied by gale and thunderstorm, lashed the city for about half-an-hour. The strong wind damaged three huts and ripped off hoardings in the city. With dark clouds still hovering over the City, more rain is expected on Thursday too. The city reeled under 46 degree Celsius temperature for over a week forcing people to stay indoors and officer-goers left to their workplace early to escape the scorching heat. The nights were not cool either as hot winds and low voltage in some areas made life miserable.

Sambalpur City Buses Have CCTV Cameras

In a bid to ensure safety of commuters, especially women, closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed in city buses in Sambalpur.

The Paschim Odisha Paribahan Company (POPCO), which has partnered with Western Odisha Urban Transport Service Limited (WOUTSL) to run the city bus service on a PPP mode, has installed the CCTV cameras in 10 buses in the first phase.

Chief Executive Officer of POPCO, Bipin Bhatia, said they had submitted a proposal to WOUTSL, which is the Government body to monitor city bus service in Sambalpur, to install CCTV cameras in all the city buses. WOUTSL agreed to the proposal and as they will take some time to implement it, POPCO has installed the cameras in 10 buses from its own expenses, he said.

“The WOUTSL has agreed for installation of the cameras in the rest 19 buses soon. We have also decided to set up a control room to keep a watch on camera feed,” he said.

“Presently, we have installed the CCTV cameras in eight buses running on Sambalpur-Jharsuguda route and two buses on Sambalpur-Bargarh route. While three cameras have been fitted in each of the two city buses on the Sambalpur-Bargarh route, each bus on Sambalpur-Jharsuguda route has one camera,” he informed.

It will not only help in instilling a sense of safety among the commuters, especially women, but also help in monitoring buses and keeping an eye on the unscrupulous elements like eve-teasers, Bhatia said.

Besides, Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) will be installed in the buses to get a comprehensive picture of the vehicle’s location and proper management of the fleet. Vehicle information can be viewed on electronic maps via internet or specialised software. The VTS will help locate the bus, Bhatia added.

The city bus service, which was launched in Sambalpur on January 29 last year, received enthusiastic response. Currently, 29 city buses are plying on 11 different routes and people are being encouraged to opt for public transport.

Pipeline Network to Cover New Colonies of Sambalpur

In a bid to provide pipe water connection to the areas in the city which are deprived of drinking water supply, the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) will lay 19 kms of new pipelines. Besides, a water treatment plant with capacity of four-million litre per day (MLD) will be constructed on PHED ground at Ainthapali from where drinking water would be supplied to the uncovered areas.

The project also includes construction of three overhead tanks and four sumps. The total project cost has been estimated at Rs 38.81 crore for which fund has already been allocated. The commissioning of the project holds significance as it would supply water to the new residential areas coming up within the city.

Executive Engineer, PHED, Sambalpur, MR Nanda said the project will be implemented under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) of the Centre. Both the State and Central Governments have shared the fund for the project. The tender for the work will be floated shortly and six firms have qualified the technical bid to participate in the tender, he added.

At present, drinking water is being supplied to the city from two water treatment plants located at Baraipali and Mudipada. While the treatment plant at Baraipali has a capacity to treat 42 MLD, the Mudipada plant is of 11 MLD capacity. Although the water demand of the city is around 28 MLD, many areas do not have network of pipelines for distribution of water.

With the increase of population, many new residential areas have cropped up in Dhanupali, Bhatra, Sunapali, Mahabirpara, Ainthapali and other places of the city. But, these areas do not have provision of drinking water supply. However, once the project is commissioned, the new localities will get piped water supply.

Sources said in absence of supply network, residents of many areas have to struggle for arranging drinking water. While tankers have been deployed to supply drinking water to the new residential areas, people, who can afford, have opted for 20-liter mineral water barrels to be delivered at the doorsteps.

New Connections

  • Public Health Engineering Department to lay 19 kms of new pipelines
  • A water treatment plant with capacity of four-MLD will be constructed on PHED ground at Ainthapali
  • Three overhead tanks and four underground sumps also to be constructed

Teacher arrested for allegedly duping students

Dibyajyoti Mohapatra, a teacher of Vikash Junior College at SasanPolice in Sambalpur district on Monday arrested a teacher of Vikash Junior College at Sasan, 10 km from the western Odisha city, for allegedly duping students in the name of filling up their applications for All India Pre Medical Entrance Test (AIPMT).

The SDPO (Sambalpur), Utkal Keshari Das, said the teacher, Dibya Jyoti Mohapatra, confessed to taking Rs 1,500 each from 11 students. He did not apply for them and instead issued them fake admit cards, mentioning their examination centre at a Delhi-based institution.

The matter came to light on Sunday as six of the 11 students, who went to Delhi for the examination, discovered that the particular institution was not a centre. The rest five did not travel to Delhi because of long distance.

“We are waiting for the affected students and their parents to return from Delhi. After recording their statements, it would become clear if there was institutional involvement or role of any other person in the crime,” Das said.

D. Murali Krishna, Chairman of Vikash Group of InstitutionsVikash Group of Institutions chairman M Krishna said it was an individual act of crime, which has nothing to do with the institution. “We have maintained outmost transparency in the matter and as soon as it came to our notice, we reported it to police,” Krishna said.