PPTT was inagurated on sunday to free the service road

The people of Sambalpur can heave a sigh of relief from Monday when a private pay and park truck terminus (PPTT) will be opened. With the facility coming up, the trucks will no more be allowed to park on the service roads, said president of Sambalpur Truck Owners’ Association (STOA) Deben Pati while inaugurating the PPTT on Sunday.

The trucks from outside the State and the district will be moved out of the service road along NH-6 from Ainthapali to Remed Chowk which they have been occupying for overnight halt or repair causing a lot of inconvenience for local commuters.

With the NH-6 from Sambalpur to Luharachatti in Chhattisgarh being converted into four-lane, service road has been provided along it in the areas having human habitation.

The work on service road on both sides of the four-lane NH from Ainthapali Chowk to Remed Chowk in Sambalpur town has been completed. But, the purpose of the road has been marred as the trucks plying on the Highway use it for own convenience.

Almost all the garages and workshops located at Baraipali use the service road to repair the heavy vehicles. As the road is encroached, there have been numerous instances of local commuters meeting accidents.

After the issue led to public outcry, the Ainthapali police launched a drive to remove the parked trucks from the service road. But, the exercise proved futile as the trucks were back on the road after the police team left.

Finally, the District Collector Balwant Singh and Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh held a meeting with the STOA on the issue.

Although the vacant land of Gopalji Mutt was identified to develop truck terminus, differences on the rent delayed the project.

When contacted, IIC of Ainthapali police station Amitabh Panda said they would take legal action if any truck or heavy vehicle is found parked on the service road after Monday. They will impose fine and on non-payment of penalty, they may also seize the vehicle to ensure that the road is made free of heavy vehicles.

Flood Shelters in Sambalpur Town Soon

After the incessant rain inundated Sambalpur town almost paralysing normal life for several days in August, the administration has decided to take up preventive measures. It plans to complete the pumping stations and flood shelters to be funded by the State Government on a war-footing.

The Government has approved installation of three pumping stations to drain out flood water at Balibandha, Binakhandi and Chandan Nagar along river Mahanadi. The fund for construction of multi-purpose flood shelters has also been sanctioned to house people of low lying areas during flood.

While work on the pumping stations, to be executed by Odisha Construction Company (OCC), is yet to be initiated, construction of the two multi-purpose flood shelters is slated to begin soon.

The flood shelters will be constructed on the premises of Samaleswari College along Ring Road and near Binakhandi Upper Primary School. While Public Works Department (PWD) will execute the project, funds will be provided from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

PWD Executive Engineer, Sambalpur, Sanjay Sahu said the cost of flood shelter at Samaleswari College has been estimated at `77.6 lakh while that at Binakhandi will cost `77.2 lakh. These shelters will be two-storey buildings with a foyer, two toilets and other facilities.

Airtel launches 3G roaming services in Odisha

airtel-3g-serviceBharti Airtel Monday said that it will offer high-speed 3G roaming services to its 8.5 million customers in Odisha.

Airtel 3G will be available to customers in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Brahmapur, Keonjhar, Jajpur Road, Jajpur Town and Paradip.

Customers across these cities can now use 3G mobile broadband and enjoy buffer-free video streaming, high speed downloads, file sharing and transfers and online gaming among others, the company said in a statement.

Lukewarm Response to Open University in sambalpur

The State Government’s announcement to open an Open University in Sambalpur has evoked lukewarm response in the district.

Terming it as a small consolation for the people of Sambalpur in particular and Western Odisha in general, economist and academician Dilip Panda said the Government should first correct the prevailing weaknesses and lacunae in the educational system, which is in a shambles throughout Western Odisha. “The State Government should take up the responsibility of improving the quality of education in the existing institutions before going for Open University,” he said. The Government should utilise `35 crore budget for the Open University towards development of colleges and schools in the region.

Reacting sharply to the announcement, chief spokesperson of BJP Suresh Pujari said, “The announcement can hardly be appreciated as the schools and colleges in the region remain in poor condition. A large number of staff vacancies in schools and colleges is affecting the quality of education.”

Though former MP Sriballav Panigrahi welcomed the step, he said this will not serve the purpose of improving quality of education as the institutions lack adequate staff and infrastructure.

Kalam urges students to set their goal

apj-abdul-kalamNoting that education aims to produce good human beings with skill and expertise, former president APJ Abdul Kalam on Saturday asked students to set their goal and work hard with perseverance to achieve it.

“The purpose of education is to make good human beings with skill and expertise… Enlightened human beings can be created by teachers,” Kalam said at the 150th anniversary function of Chandrasekhar Behera Zila School here.

Asking the students to become good human beings, set their goals and work hard to achieve it, the former President stressed on fixed aim in life, continuous acquisition of knowledge, hard work and perseverance to achieve success. Kalam, who started his speech in Sambalpuri, said knowledge was the assimilation of creativity, righteousness courage.

“Where there is righteousness in the heart there is harmony in the house, when there is harmony in the house there is order in the nation, when there is order in the nation there is peace in the world,” Kalam said. Stating that problems should be handled boldly, he said the youths should have the qualities to successfully overcome hurdles and effectively deal with problems in life.

Answering queries, Kalam said the primary education in the country makes the Indian education system unique as it was different from the systems in other countries. Kalam also released a souvenir during the occasion. Odisha’s School and Mass Education Minister DP Mishra was among the dignitaries present.