Tag Archives: Bhubaneswar

A colourful celebration of Sambalpuri folk culture

The concluding evening of the Rangabati Festival in Bhubaneswar saw a colourful celebration of Sambalpuri folk culture. Singer Jitendriya Haripal stole the show performing to “Rangabati”.

That apart, many foot-tapping Samblpuri folk songs were also presented with instruments like dhol, nisan, mahuri, tasa, tamka and jhanj keeping the beat. Dancers from UKIA, a folk-dance academy from western Odisha, performed Sambalpuri dance ensembles like Karma, Parva, Dlkhai and Dhap. Mailajada, a dance form based on social customs of Western Odisha, was the concluding event of the evening.

“We had a good time watching the performances on Sambalpuri song and dance. Jitendriya Haripal’s song, “Rangabati”, was what I enjoyed the most,” said Abinash Mohanty from the audience.

State Government focusing on floriculture, coconut and banana crops

Having witnessed a quantum rise in the production of horticulture crops in the last 10 years, the State Government has now decided to lay emphasis on floriculture, coconut and banana crops.

Three new schemes – floriculture development, coconut development, banana development – besides inter-cropping have been introduced under the State plan for the current financial year.

With demand for flowers growing faster than before, the department has chalked out a detailed strategy to encourage floriculture. The major consumption points for flowers are Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur.

This year, a budgetary provision of Rs 100 lakh has been made for development of floriculture. Stress will be laid on cultivation of roses, marigold, tuberose and jasmine. As major flower markets are concentrated in and around cities and places of religious importance, it has been proposed to take up the floriculture scheme near Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Berhampur and Ghatagaon (Keonjhar).

Besides, it has been decided that training programme for the farmers will be made more extensive and quality saplings will be provided.

The State Government had earlier decided to increase the subsidy to 50 per cent from 33 per cent. Florists of Odisha mostly rely on West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka for flowers.

Floriculture apart, the department has increased the area coverage under coconut cultivation this year to make Odisha one of the top three states in terms of coconut productivity and area under cultivation. At present, the State stands 5th in area under coconut cultivation and 6th in productivity.

Joint Director of Horticulture Ramesh Das said the total area under coconut cultivation now is over 53,000 hectares (ha).

In the wake of the growing demand of coconut products, the department has decided to make a budgetary allocation of `834.98 lakh for coconut cultivation this fiscal. Das said it had been proposed to take up plantation in coastal districts like Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Ganjam.

Likewise, it has been decided to take up tissue culture banana plantation in 555 ha at the cost of? Rs 250 lakh this year. “Tissue culture banana plantation will be taken up in compact patches in farmers’ fields and 50 per cent subsidy will be provided to them for one year,” Das said.

He said the government’s final nod to these schemes is expected soon.

Impact partial in Koraput, Phulbani

Impact of the country-wide bandh, called by Srikakulam-Koraput division of CPI (Maoist) on Wednesday, could be felt only in interior pockets where shops and business establishments were closed. In urban centres, life remained unaffected.

Security was tightened in Red-hit zones of Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Nabarangpur and Ganjam districts to prevent any untoward incident.

While opposing the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), the Maoists are demanding halt to Operation Green Hunt and combing operation and closure of CRPF camps.

While private bus services from Jeypore to Malkangiri and on Boipariguda-Lamtaput-Rayagada route have been cancelled, the State-owned Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) plied its buses from Jeypore to Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Berhampur via Rayagada through Andhra Pradesh route.

In Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon blocks, buses to Andhra Pradesh were cancelled.

Train services from Koraput to Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur and Howrah were normal. Shops and business establishments also remained open.

An alert was sounded and a thick security blanket thrown to prevent any trouble.

“We are prepared to meet any eventuality. Patrolling has been stepped up,” SP Awinash Kumar said.

PHULBANI: The bandh evoked mixed response in Kandhamal district.

Vehicles remained off the road in vulnerable blocks of Daringibadi, Kotagarh,

Tumudibandha and buses plying from Rayagada to Phulbani and Jeypore to Phulbani were cancelled. Shops in some blocks downed their shutters.

Vehicles were being checked in Kandhamal district in view of the bandh. Security forces were also deployed in the vulnerable areas in the district, Kandhamal SP J N Pankaj said. Combing operation was intensified in border areas of Ganjam-Gajapati-Kandhamal district by security forces.

Heatwave sweeps state, so does power crisis

The season’s first spell of heatwave has been ruthless aided and abetted by erratic power supply and an administration in slow-motion. The  mercury level soared with day temperature on Wednesday crossing the 40-degree Celsius mark in at least 15 districts. Titlagarh recorded 45.

The State Government woke up late to the power crisis and convened a meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, to take stock of the preparedness. The weather office, meanwhile, issued a heatwave warning for the next 48 hours across most parts of the State.

Western, central and northern Odisha districts reeled under the heatwave as mercury soared past 43 degree C in most places. Titlagarh recorded 45 degree C, Sambalpur sizzled at 44.5 and Sonepur at 44. Balangir, Kalahandi and Jharsuguda in the west, interior districts such as Angul, Dhenkanal and northern districts like Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar recorded 42 degree C on the day. Phulbani, considered Odisha’s Kashmir, recorded a maximum temperature of 40.6 degree.

Coastal Odisha was not spared of the misery either. Bhubaneswar registered 42.6 degree while Cuttack recorded six degrees above normal.

“There is conspicuous absence of easterly wind for the last couple of days whereas the north western wind has been consistent in raising the surface temperature. The see breeze, which cools down the City (capital), was weak, blowing at a speed of 1 knot to 2 knots,” Director, India Meteorological Department, Odisha, Sarat Chandra Sahu said.

Although a trough line existed over coastal Odisha, it was lying closer to the surface and unable to gather enough moisture from the atmosphere to trigger thunder squalls. Unbearable conditions apart, the shoddy power supply in the City has made life intolerable for the denizens. Low voltage and frequent breakdowns have been reported in most parts of the Capital for more than a fortnight. Even on Wednesday, people complained of frequent load shedding and power surge during most parts of the day and the evening hours.

At the meeting, the Chief Minister directed the Energy department to ensure transformers are repaired immediately. The Health and Family Welfare department was asked to stock ORS in hospitals and take preventive measures to check sunstroke.

Rural polls: Filing of nominations begins

 Hectic lobbying is on in different parties for tickets, even as filing of nomination papers for the three-tier panchayat polls got under way on Saturday. Candidates for the posts of ward members, sarpanch, panchayat samiti member and zilla parishad member were seen taking out processions to file nomination papers before their respective election officers in different parts of the state. The State Election Commission was yet to compile information on the number of candidates who filed their nomination papers on the first day, sources said.

Though only zilla parishad elections are held under political party banners, candidates for posts of ward member, sarpanch and panchayat samiti member are also trying to get support from different parties to shore up their prospects. Major parties like BJD, Congress and BJP are yet to complete their candidate selection processes.

According to poll schedule, filing of nominations would be held from January 7 and January 12, except government holidays. Scrutiny of papers will be on January 13. Withdrawal of candidature and publication of the final list of contestants would take place on January 18. The five-phase elections are slated on February 11, 13, 15, 17 and 19. State Election Commission sources said polling would be staggered in a block-wise manner in 22 districts of the state, while in four districts (Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Rayagada and Gajapati) polling would be phased both block-wise and zilla parishad zone-wise. In Koraput, Malkangiri, Nuapada and Sambalpur districts elections would be held taking into account different zilla parishad zones, commission sources said.

A maximum of over 2.44 crore voters will exercise their franchise to elect around one lakh grassroots-level representatives. Fifty per cent of the posts have been reserved for women, up from 33 per cent quota in the previous polls in 2007.