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MCL supports 61 more Sambalpur farmers under CSR programme

Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL) has extended a helping hand towards 61 under-privileged farmers in Odisha’s Sambalpur, raising the total number of peasants sponsored by it to 378 in the district, to enable them water their crop timely and reap a good harvest.

MCL, a leading coal mining CPSU and a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, has sponsored 61 more below poverty line (BPL) SC and ST farmers of Bamra, Jamankira and Kuchinda blocks of Sambalpur to avail Deep Borewell Secha Karyakrama Scheme of Odisha government and have own bore-well in their fields.

With these 61 beneficiaries, total number of under-privileged farmers sponsored by MCL to avail government scheme has gone up to 378 in Sambalpur district, a company statement said today.

The State government has a scheme under which an SC/ST BPL farmer can have their own deep borewell on making subsidised payment of Rs 9,000. However, many farmers in the district could not avail this scheme due to their low income.

The district administration took an initiative to identify such under-privileged farmers and requested MCL to sponsor them for the Deep Borewell Secha Karyakrama Scheme so that they can also prosper and contribute towards economic growth, it said.

State government’s executing agency, Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation (OLIC), has a plan to provide deep borewells to these beneficiaries by April this year.

“Being a farmer means shaking hand with Mother Nature every day and contributing towards strengthening these hands is always an honour,” said MCL’s Director (Personnel) L N Mishra, who heads the empowered CSR Committee of the company.

Farmers are the mainstay of nation’s economy and supporting agrarian segment of the society is one such area MCL is keen to work for, he said, asserting that positive change at the grass root level can ensure development.

Besides ensuring uninterrupted supply of coal to the power plants, MCL has been contributing through its popular CSR activities towards infrastructure and socio-economic development of under-privileged segments of the society, particularly in peripheral areas under its command.

A Rs 25 crore State-of-the-art Sports Stadium in Sambalpur, Rs 8.62 crore Burla water scheme, Rs 5 crore rope-way connecting Gandhi Minar at Hirakud, hostels to VSSUT and Sambalpur University to help students of far-flung areas get higher education, first electric crematorium of western Odisha at Sambalpur, setting-up a medical college at a cost of Rs 492 crore and Rs 30 crore cardiac hospital in Jharsuguda and running two nursing schools are among the long list of company’s CSR activities.

Maoists call for bandh, in protest of innocent civilian deaths

The Maoists have called for a bandh in three blocks of Kalahandi district in western Odisha on November 23 protesting against the Karlapat police encounter in which three local villagers were killed on Sunday afternoon.

In an audio tape released by top Maoist leader and Bansadhara-Ghumusara-Nagavali Division secretary Umakant claimed that there was no exchange of fire from the rebels during the encounter.

He has alleged that police opened fire indiscriminately in a bid to terrorise locals and following which the three innocent villagers were killed. Umakant has also demanded Rs 10 lakh compensation to the bereft families.

One of the injured boys has said they had gone inside the forest in search of their missing goats when the incident took place.

Menawhile, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Monday has directed the Deputy Inspector General (South Western Range) to probe and submit an inquiry report over the killing of three civilians by security personnel during a combing operation in Karlapat forest in Kalahandi district on Sunday.

Acting on a petition filed by advocate Prabir Das and human rights activist Manoj Jena, the OHRC has directed the DIG to conduct a probe into the matter and submit a report within four weeks.

It is to be noted that three villagers including a ward member were killed and two minors injured when the security personnel allegedly opened fire at them during a combing operation in Kalahandi district on Sunday.

The injured persons were admitted in the district hospital.

As per reports, the three bodies of the villagers were still lying in the forest while the two injured were admitted to the Bhawanipatna District Headquarters Hospital (DHH).

Out of the two injured, one is a minor boy who has sustained bullet injury on his nose tip while the other minor has sustained bullet injury on his back.

They have been identified as Arjun Majhi and Icchhu Majhi.

Talking to PrameyaNews7 on Sunday, the injured minor boy said they had been to the nearby forest in search of the missing goat of Panchpur Ward Member Jayshankar Naik when the jawans opened fire following which Jayshankar, Sukru Majhi and Jaya Majhi got killed on the spot.

Injured Arjun and Icchhu had run back to the village and informed about the unfortunate happening and were rushed to the Bhawanipatna District Headquarters Hospital by 108 Ambulance.

On the contrary, the district Superintendent of Police (SP) Brijesh Ray said media that during the search operation launched by the jawans the three bodies were discovered.

Amazingly, the autopsy of the three bodies were reportedly conducted on Sunday night at about 2 am and handed over to their families.

Meanwhile, the two injured minor boys have been referred to Burla VSS Medical College and Hospital.

Pertinent to note that, this is not the lone case of the jawans having killed civilians mistaking them as Maoists.

Earlier, they had killed an innocent youth in Nuapada district and buried the body and had injured other two youths.

Such incidents have also taken place earlier in Bargarh and Khandhamal districts.

Road mishap on NH-6 near Ghulipali, Bargarh

Two students of a private institute died and three others sustained injuries after their car fell off the bridge over a nullah at Ghulipali under Bargarh Town police limits on NH-6 on Friday.

The deceased have been identified as Gyana Bikash Naik (19) of Bargarh town who died on the spot and Kalpeswar Das (20) of Banda village under Attabira block in the district.

The injured are Prasanta Meher (20) of Bargarh town, Sailesh Dash (19) of Banda and Ankit Sahu (20) of Paharsirgida village under Attabira block in the district.

The injured were rushed to Bargarh District Headquarters Hospital and later shifted to VSS Medical at Burla after their condition deteriorated.

Four killed in road accident in Sambalpur

In a tragic incident, four persons were killed and one seriously injured when the car in which they were travelling collided with a roadside tree on National Highway-55 at Pradhanpali area under Charamala police station limits in Sambalpur district early this morning.

The seriously injured person, identified as Rohan Bariha of Daleipada area of Sambalpur town, was rushed to government hospital at  Redhakhol from where he was later shifted to VSS Medical College and Hospital at Burla as his condition became critical.

Of the four persons who died on the spot, one has been identified as a B.Tech student of Ainthapali area of Sambalpur town.

According to reports, four students of a private engineering college were on the way from Bhubaneswar in a car when the driver lost control of the vehicle which skidded off the road and collided with a tree killing four persons, including the driver, on the spot.

Meanwhile, the police and a fire brigade team have rushed to the spot. Efforts are on to bring out the bodies by cutting the doors of the car.

Jaundice:17 death, CM likely to visit Sambalpur

Jaundice continues to affect Sambalpur with two more persons succumbing to the disease on Sunday. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik and chief secretary G C Pati are likely to visit the western Odisha city on December 24, government sources said.

Raju Swain of Fishery Bandh of Sambalpur and Atmaram Surujal of Anlapalli village under Dhamma panchayat died while undergoing treatment at Sambalpur district headquarters hospital. Two other persons had died on Saturday. Though government sources put the death toll at 17, unofficial sources put it at 21.

What is worrying is several patients are suffering from a second bout of the disease after getting cured. Surujal, who died on Sunday, had tested positive for hepatitis E on November 14. He was discharged from hospital after over a month of treatment. He tested positive again and was hospitalized.

According to government figures, 1,270 people had tested positive for either Hepatitis A or Hepatitis E, both of which spread through contaminated water.

After a review of the situation by the chief secretary, health secretary Arti Ahuja said all possible efforts are being taken to tackle the situation. She said the number new positive cases had already shown a declining trend. Earlier over 50% suspected cases were testing positive for viral jaundice. The percentage has gone down to 30, she said. So far, 787 jaundice patients have sought treatment at the district headquarters hospital.

Ahuja said since contaminated water was causing the disease, the public health engineering organization (PHEO) has been taking steps on a war-footing to provide safe drinking water.

The health secretary said patients were being provided with free diagnosis and treatment at VSS Medical College and Hospital, Burla, and the district headquarters hospital.

The secretary said accredited social health activists (ASHAs) and anganwadi workers were moving door to doors to create awareness on boiling drinking water, washing hands before taking meals and personal hygiene.

Sambalpur municipal authorities are conducting regular checks on street foods to prevent consumption of contaminated food by people. Tubewells are being repaired and disinfected, she said.

Patients from Sambalpur continue to throng Bhubaneswar for treatment. Around 100 patients have been admitted to various hospitals in the state capital.