Tag Archives: Jharsuguda News

Odisha govt to upgrade 11 airstrips in different districts

Air connectivity across Odisha is set to get a boost with the state government proposing upgradation of the existing 11 airstrips in different districts. The plan includes installation of communication and surveillance apparatus, increasing the length of runways and construction of boundary walls, sources said.

The airstrips are located at Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur, Jeypore (Koraput district), Khariar (Nuapada district), Bargarh, Phulbani, Rairangpur (Jharsuguda district), Ganjam, Balangir, Bhawanipatna and Malkangiri.

Official sources said except the airstrip at Jeypore, which will be converted into a full-fledged airport over 310 acre, the rest will be revamped and modernized. The state government had earlier proposed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to develop the Jharsuguda airstrip into a full-fledged airport.

The government has directed chief engineer (roads) and superintending engineers of Cuttack, Sambalpur, Jeypore and Berhampur circles to prepare plans accordingly. “Following the decision on May 24, we have written to the engineers concerned to prepare the plan, design and cost estimation for the upgradation work,” said joint secretary Premananda Khuntia.

“Many of the existing airstrips don’t have boundary walls making them vulnerable to animal menace. The length of the runways would be increased to facilitate landing of big aircrafts,” said an official. The runway in most districts is less than 5000 ft. “Big aircrafts require at least 900 ft runway for landing and take-off. Besides, the airstrips should have navigation aids and control towers,” said director of Biju Patnaik Airport Sharad Kumar.

Odisha has 17 airstrips and 16 helipads. In August, 2012, the government had announced to develop five greenfield airports at Rayagada, Paradip, Dhamra, Angul and Kalinganagar in an effort to boost intra-state and inter-state civil aviation.

“Upgradation of airstrip in Odisha will help deliver emergency services faster. It was a dire need for a state like Odisha, where many tribal areas are still not well connected,” former diplomat Abasar Beuria said.

Rajkishan Patel has been selected by NCA for the training

Rajkishan Patel has been selected by NCA for the training

Six Coal India projects have got stalled

Six Coal India projects have got stalled, with state governments not processing the proposals for forest clearance and not launching prosecution against company officials involved in violation of environmental laws at the project sites.

Coal mining projects require two types of green nods to start operations — forest and environmental clearance. The forest clearance is initiated and sent by the state government to the Centre for evaluation while the environmental clearance is submitted by the project proponent directly to the Centre. But a Supreme Court order has made it mandatory for project developers to secure a forest clearance as a pre-condition to getting the environmental clearance in cases where forest land is involved.

An internal stock taking of the environment ministry has revealed that six coal projects have got stuck as the states are yet to forward the forest clearances.

Two key cases for which Coal India Limited has been seeking speedy clearances cannot be cleared until the state governments take action against officials of the companies involved in violations earlier. Under existing regulations, projects can only get final nod in cases where violations have happened if the state governments first start criminal proceedings against the officers for such violations.

Sources in the ministry said “credible action” against officials who had violated the norms remained pending in the Lajkura Expansion Phase 1 and Belpahar Expansion both falling in Jharsuguda, Odisha. The forest clearance proposal from the states is also awaited for both projects.

The other projects for which forest clearance proposals from the state are pending include the 2.5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) project of expansion of Tetariakhar, Ananta, Hingula and Lakhanpur coal blocks.

Ministry officials said these projects can only get the final nod once the forest clearance proposals are received and assessed at the Centre.

House panel skips major issues in Sambalpur

The House panel completed its visit to the district headquarters hospital in just 30 minutes, passing some instructions to the hospital authorities, works department and the CDMO.

It held a review meeting regarding the developmental works of the district. All the line officers, including district Collector Pradeep Kumar Rath and SP Nikhil Kanodia were present.

It had been expected that there would be a serious discussion on utter negligence in the health sector, but nothing of the sort happened. The committee headed by MLA Pravat Ranjan Biswal completed the review within 45 minutes and left for Jharsuguda.

It had been expected that there would be hot discussions on different subjects, including procurement of paddy and PDS. But the issues were skipped. However, during the period, the members asked the officials to make full utilisation of the budget provided for the purpose by March.

Discussions were also made on four-laning of the Sambalpur-Rourkela State Highway 10, reconstruction of Jhulenpali bridge in Jamankira-Kuchinda road, construction of stadium at Kuchinda and PMGSY roads, among others.

4-year-old boy rescued at Jharsuguda

Acting promptly on a complaint, police rescued a four-year-old boy and nabbed his kidnapper from Jharsuguda on Tuesday evening. The accused, Sunil Sawant, was produced in court on Wednesday.

Reports said the boy was found missing after school on Tuesday. His mother, Laxmi, had gone to pick him up but was told that he had left with an acquaintance. Before she could lodge a complaint with police, Sunil called asking her to return the money she had borrowed from him. Laxmi knew Sunil, a resident of sector 3, through a common friend.

She immediately lodged a complaint in Bondamunda police station and the police tracked the call to Jharsuguda. Plain-clothes cops nabbed Sunil at Jharsuguda police station and rescued the boy.

“Considering the urgency of the case, police began the investigation even before receiving a written complaint,” said additional SP (Rourkela) Sudersan Sethi.