Category Archives: News

Oils Mafias in Sambalpur

Oils MafiasThe black marketing of oils in Sambalpur city is known to every one in the city. City police today arrested four persons in connection with the theft of a diesel tanker and selling the fuel worth Rs 11 lakh.

The accused were identified as Kishore Modi, 55, his son, Abinash, 28, Satyanarayana Beriha, 35, and Bantu alias Amit Agrawal, 32. Kishore and his son Abinash are owners of a petrol pump at Remed in the city.

Police have seized six mobile phones, Rs 40,000 in cash and 20,000 litres of diesel from their possession.

“The owner of the tanker, Budhu Yadav of Bishrampur in Surajpur district of neighbouring Chhattisgarh had lodged a complaint at the Ainthapali police station regarding the theft of the vehicle on January 19,” said additional superintendent of police S.K. Panigrahi.

The tanker, which was loaded with 20,000 litres of diesel, set out from Paradip on January 14. It was supposed to go to Bishrampur. The owner of the tanker was in regular contact with the driver and the cleaner of the vehicle. However, he failed to make any contact with them on January 15, which led him to suspect that his tanker had actually been stolen.

Since the tanker was GPS enabled, Yadav traced the last location of the tanker to Remed.

During investigation, police found that the 20,000 litres of diesel were sold at a petrol pump owned by Kishore Modi. “We are yet to trace the driver and the cleaner of the tanker. However, we have succeeded in tracing the tanker, which is parked at Visakhapatnam,” said Panigrahi.

Sambalpur’s 2nd KV to Come up at Burla

The second Kendriya Vidyalaya in Sambalpur city will be set up at Burla instead of the earlier site near railway station.

Sambalpur Collector Balwant Singh said the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) has approved a second school in Sambalpur City and if things go smoothly, admission would start from next academic session.

Informing that 10 acres of land near Burla NAC College have been identified for the school, Singh said it will be handed over to the  Sangathan after Water Resources Department, to which the land belongs, transfers the ownership.

Meanwhile, the district administration is planning to provide temporary arrangement at Hindi High School here and the KV will be shifted to Burla after construction of the building at the new location, Singh said.

Earlier, the district administration had identified 10 acres of land near Sambalpur City railway station and a KVS delegation had given  its approval for the location. Even the old TRW School building at Jamadarpali on the outskirts of the City was finalised to operate the school temporarily. Subsequently, the Sangathan finalised the new location at Burla.

The second Kendriya Vidyalaya which was to begin operation from 2012-2013 academic session got delayed due to lack of coordination among the district officials and school authorities.

Cabinet Approval for Open University at Sambalpur

The first Open University of the State will be set up at Sambalpur. This was decided at the meeting of the State Cabinet presided by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Saturday.

The Cabinet accorded post facto approval for change of headquarters of the Open University from Bhubaneswar to Sambalpur, Chief Secretary GC Pati told mediapersons after the meeting.

Several other important decisions including  handing over of e-auction of liquor shops to Metal Scrap Trading Corporation (MSTC), a Central public sector undertaking (PSU) was taken. e-auction system will be introduced for 2015-16 to bring transparency in the system of settlement of IMFL off shops and CS shops, Pati said.

The Chief Secretary said MSTC was preferred over National Informatics Centre (NIC) as the former has expertise in e-auction services. The MSTC’s e-auction platform is much superior to the existing platform of NIC, he said.

Modalities for introduction of the liquor shops will be started in 2014-15 for the financial year 2015-16.

A corpus fund of Rs 100 crore will be created for supply of seeds and planting materials to the farmers in time and increase the seed replacement rate of various agricultural crops. Interest free loan from the corpus fund will be shared by Odisha State Seeds Corporation Limited (OSSC), Odisha Agro Industries Corporation Limited (OAIC) and Odisha State Cashew Development Corporation Limited (OSCDC) on 60:30:10 basis for supply of seeds.

Another corpus of fund of Rs 100 crore to be shared by Markfed and OAIC on a 75:25 basis will be created for supply of fertilisers to the farmers in a timely manner, Pati said.

Pati said the Cabinet approved to award the Upper Indravati Canal Irrigation project to Larsen and Toubro Limited which was the L-1 bidder at a cost of Rs 758.8 crore.

The project will irrigate 26,248 hectares in Koksara, Jaypatna and Dharamgarh blocks of Kalahandi district.

Besides, the mega lift cluster-III project was also decided to be awarded to Larsen and Toubro Limited, which was the lowest bidder, at a cost of Rs 514.89 crore.

The project covers 19 mega lift points with a command area of 24,200 hectares in Bargarh, Sambalpur and Jharsuguda districts. Four bidders Larsen and Toubro Limited, GVPR Engineers Limited, HCC Limited and Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited participated in the tender process.

The Cabinet also decided to strengthen the command area development (CAD) wing of the Water Resources Department by increasing the technical staff from 299 to 411. A chief engineer will head the CAD in which the divisions will be increased from seven to 12.

The Chief Secretary said Cabinet approved the proposal to convert the interest liability of Rs 32.7 crore payable by OAIC to share capital to facilitate the restructuring of the corporation. OAIC will now have the credit worthiness to have access to adequate borrowings from banks and financial institutions at lower rate of interest.

The IPR-2007 will be amended to redefine downstream industries.

The Chief Secretary said that there should be 50 per cent use of waste/intermediate/final product as base material from the parent industry for a unit to be categorised under downstream industry.

Solar light installation in Deer Park, Sambalpur

29-01-2015-DeerParkIn a effort to ensure safety of birds and animals, the Wild Animals Conservation Centre, which is popularly known as Deer Park in Sambhalpur, will now have solar lights.

Thirty four solar lights have been installed in the Wild Animal Conservation Centre in Sambalpur, which has attained the status of a small zoo. Installation of each light cost around Rs 25,000.

“The solar lights are attached with sensor. Because of the sensor, the 25 watt LED bulbs connected to the solar panel automatically illuminate while sun sets and turn off when sun rises. A Bhubaneswar based agency has installed the solar lights. The agency has also been entrusted with the responsibility of maintenance of the lights for one year,” range officer of the Wild Animal Conservation Centre, Madan Lal Sharma, said.

“The objective behind installation of the solar light is to ensure safety of the birds and animals and to reduce consumption of electricity. We removed several electric wires from the zoo after the installation of the solar lights. Only, the official buildings, which are inside the Wild Animal Conservation Centre, are connected with electricity,” Sharma said.

Apart from the solar lights, several other Apart from the solar lights, several other developmental works have also been undertaken in the Wild Animal Conservation Centre, which has 23 enclosures for the birds and animals. Around Rs 10 lakh have been spent for the development pavement.

Moreover, cemented base have been developed for the enclosures. The wild animal conservation centre, which is located in the heart of the Sambalpur city and spread across 13.16 hectar area, was established in 1980.

The small zoo here is house to around 246 number of birds and animals of 22 species. Wildlife including spotted deer, four horned antelope, barking deer, sloth bear, wild boar, monkey, civet cat, python, peacock, parakeet, moorhen, duck, spotted dove and a number of exotic birds are there in the zoo.

The animals, birds and the beautiful surrounding always attract thousands of visitors. More than one lakh visitors had visited the zoo last year. “The installation of the solar lights is praise worthy step. It is an effort to provide safe lighting facilities in the zoo area.

Solar powered lights help avoid short circuits. Moreover, solar energy is eco- friendly. It also solve the problem of frequent blackouts,” said a visitor, Nirupama Pradhan.


Leprosy in India: The remarkable life of Dr Isaac Santra

c5647eec-f23a-4da2-88ba-c3d4a393e7b5wallpaper1In 2005, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared India leprosy-free. Yet, as per data provided by the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) as many as 1.27 lakh new cases were detected in 2013-14 alone. Reports suggest that approximately a lakh new cases are added every year.

On the occasion of World Leprosy Day (January 25, 2015), HT recalls the contributions of Dr Isaac Santra from Odisha, a man who worked tirelessly in the wake of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Hailing from Sambalpur town in western Odisha, Dr Santra was born to a pastor couple of humble means, on November 3, 1892. Outstanding in studies and precocious by temperament, his parents wanted him to join the mission after he passed out of school and become a pastor like his father.

But Isaac was cast in a different mould: He wanted to study medicine and argued with his parents that he would serve God just as well if he became a doctor and served humanity.

Speaking about Dr Santra, his Australia-based granddaughter Rajkumari Santra says, “After finishing schooling in Sambalpur in 1912, my grandfather thought he could best serve his community through medicine. Therefore, instead of becoming a missionary as his father desired for him, he went on to become a doctor in Cuttack.”

In due course, he went on to study and passed out from the Cuttack Medical School, the only medical school in Odisha and Bihar which were then a part of Bengal Presidency, in 1917.

In what was to be a life-changing experience for Santra, he, in his studentship would witness the case of a woman pleading fervently with the doctor at the Cuttack Medical School to treat her leprosy-affected husband. She was willing to forgo half of her husband’s salary, but the doctor would hear none of it.

This incident, among many others, had a stirring impact on the young man. Henceforth, he would dedicate his life to fight against the disease and the prejudice associated.

Isaac was remarkable in the sense that fought at several levels. Taking recourse to modern science and ancient knowledge, he would deal with the disease. Much before Dapsone (1940s) came about, he, possibly, treated his patients with chaulmoogra (pronounced kaalamogaraa in Hindi) oil, a treatment technique first mentioned in Sanskrit text Sushruta Samhita.

Recalls Professor Deepak Kumar Behera of Sambalpur who family lived in the same neighbourhood as Dr Santra, “My grandfather, Late Ezekias Mohapatra, used to tell me about his innovative method of treating leper patients by using an indigenously-prepared oil locally named a Charmara.”

At the social level, by throwing his weight behind the cause of leprosy, he helped significantly remove the stigma associated with.

Leprosy, as we now know, is not contagious. But less than a hundred years ago, ignorance and the associated stigma was so great that in households, sons would throw their fathers out and mothers would drive away daughters with the ‘accursed affliction’. Outcast by their own, begging was the only way ahead for them.

Once, on discovering that there was a leper in the neighbourhood, Dr Santra is said to have rushed to his place and brought him to his leprosy home, carrying on his shoulder! Witnessing this act, one of Odisha’s eminent poets, liberal and good friend of Isaac, Mayadhar Mansingh, dedicated a poem to him, calling it Krusa Bahana (pronounced krussau bauhaunau) loosely translating to ‘carrying the cross’ in English.

Apart from being a pioneer in leprosy cure, Isaac’s reputation grew as a humanist par excellence. Years later, recalling his days in Sambalpur, Ramchandra Mishra, another native of the town says, “While we were students at GM College in the mid 50s, Dr Santra visited our college and requested students to donate second-hand wearable clothes for inhabitants of Hathibari Health Home. Our teacher Mayadhar Mansingh would often address him as Father Damien.”

Soon after passing out of the medical school, Santra joined government service, serving as the head of the Leprosy Survey of India from 1927 to 1931. Between 1932 and 1947, he also served as a member of Leprosy Prevention Society of Great Britain. After a long and chequered public life, Isaac retired from service in 1947.

Speaking of his international repute, Dr Dr PK Behera, retired principal of VSS Medical College, Burla, says, “In the early 1990s, I was serving as an associate professor at SCB Medical College, Cuttack, Odisha. At that time a team of doctors from Australia visited the institution. To my great amazement, I found them talking about Dr Santra and his tremendous contribution in the field of leprosy in Australia.”

Post retirement, he went back to his beloved Sambalpur and with some help from the Government of Odisha, set up ‘Kushthashrama’ at a place called Hathibari in 1951, about 27 kms from Sambalpur. Frequented by elephants and tigers, this place would soon become the refuge for the socially discarded where a leper would be treated and then integrated back into the society. In time, Dr Santra re-named it as Hathibari Health Home, which was later on taken over by the government.

A freak accident at his home in Sambalpur in 1967 led to a steady decline in his health. He breathed his last on August 29, 1968 surrounded by family and friends.

“Many years later when his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren visited Hatibari in 1992, we were astounded by what we saw — a thriving settlement with communal kitchen, brickworks, rice and vegetable farms, three lakes teeming with fish, chickens, cattle, goats (protein was seen as essential to patient recovery) sugarcane, a simple rice processing plant, and many other enterprises.” says Rajkumari Santra.

“We saw Hatibari Health Home benefit from grants from the Hindu Kusht Nibaran Sangh, Orissa and from the W & CD department of the Government of Orissa. But most important of all, we saw the very proud and happy residents of Hatibari who admired and revered their founder, and in whose name they continue to carry out his humanitarian vision.”

Many dignitaries visited Sambalpur to witness his exceptional work, the greatest of them being the Mahatma himself! In appreciation of his work, the British Government decorated him with the title of Rai Saheb in 1938 and later Government of India conferred him with the Padmashree in 1957.