Tag Archives: rourkela news

Transport Nagar in neutral mode

The proposed Transport Nagar at Beldihia, about 10 km from the city, is moving at a snail’s pace. While the spade work for the project began five years ago, it may take another two years for its completion.

Sources said given the traffic pressure in the thickly populated residential areas due to bulk commercial activities, the local administration led by the then ADM Krishan Kumar in 2007 had conceptualised the project. All the transport-related activities along with the wholesale business were to be shifted to Beldihia alongside the busy Rourkela-Sambalpur State Highway 10. The idea was to ease traffic pressure by keeping commercial vehicles out of the city limits. With Krishan Kumar joining as Sundargarh Collector, the project received a further push as land issues were sorted out and boundary construction over 25 acres given a go ahead. However, Kumar’s transfer in July 2008 saw the project coming to an abrupt halt. Official sources said the project had been envisaged in the PPP mode with an estimated cost of ` 25 crore. Amid slow progress, it has finally been decided that the land would stay under the Rourkela Development Authority (RDA) which would also execute the project.

RDA Chairman Dayanidhi Kisan admitted that the project had become a necessity in the changing scenario. He, however, blamed the delay on lack of political will. It is alleged that businessmen funding politicians are reluctant to shift from the wholesale markets along the Rourkela Main Road, Daily Market and Plant Site.

District Collector Rupa Roshan Sahu said decks had been cleared for the project with RDA at the helm of affairs and hoped for its early completion.

Sikhs protest college barring boy with kripan

Tension prevailed for hours in  Rourkela College on Thursday after college authorities debarred a Sikh student from appearing in the university examination for carrying his ‘kripan’, a traditional weapon carried by members of the Sikh community.

Three other non-Sikh community students also did not appear in the examination, protesting the decision of the college authorities, while hundreds of Sikhs assembled in front of the college, protesting against the incident.

The Sikh boy and three of his friends were finally allowed to take the examination about three hours later after several senior district administration officials rushed to the spot and intervened in the matter. A written apology was also submitted by the principal of the college to pacify the Sikh community.

According to sources, when Harwinder Singh, a third year ex-regular student of Rourkela College, was entering the examination hall, a group of college staff noticed his kripan hanging under his shirt and asked him to keep the weapon outside the hall. Harwinder tried to explain to the college authorities the Sikh tradition of carrying the article upon one’s person at all times but the college authorities were adamant on their stand and refused to allow him to enter the examination hall with the kripan.

Naveen Jain, Ashok Mohanty and Bimal Mallick — three of his classmates — also boycotted the examination, showing solidarity with Harwinder.

Sikh community members tried to reason with the college principal, informing him about a Supreme Court order that Sikhs are allowed to carry their kripan even in tight securities areas like aircrafts. “We tried our best to convince the principal and staff of the college but they were rigid on their stand and there was no sympathy for the career of Harwinder and the other three boys,” said Gurmeet Singh, president of Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee.

Finding no other alternative, members of the community staged a demonstration to draw the attention of the district administration, following which senior district officials like sub-collector S B Mishra and Rourkela additional SP Sudarsan Sethi reached the spot. The matter was also brought to the knowledge of examination controller of  Sambalpur University, who granted a special permission to the four students to appear in the examination, after about three hours of examination starting time.

Pradeep Kumar Jena, principal of the college, was forced to submit a written apology to the Sikh community for hurting their sentiments. “I had no intention of hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community but the problem occurred due to inadvertent interpretation of the examination law for which I am extremely sorry,” Jena mentioned in his apology letter.

The Sikh community thanked the district administration for their intervention and support

Four arrested for murdering youth

Rourkela, Apr 3 (PTI) Four persons were arrested today in connection with murder of 25-year-old youth of Dharuadihi village in Sundargarh district, about 160 km from here, police sources said.      All the four accused have confessed to killing of Mukesh Saa on February 29 due to some previous enemity.      Police have seized two bikes, one sword and one chopper from their possession.      The accused were identified as Saroj Mishra (25), of Dharuadihi, Dila Sahu (20), Santosh Mali (20) and Dora Sahu (20) all belong to Mundadihi village under Govindapur police limit of neighbouring Sambalpur district.

Curtains come down on Rourkela drama festival

A four-day theatre festival, organized on the occasion of World Theatre Day, ended here on Friday. Three theatre groups from the state and one from Kolkata participated in the festival and enthralled thousands of viewers.

The festival was organized by Samparka, a leading theatre organization of the state in collaboration with  Eastern Zonal Cultural Center (EZCC), Sangeet Natak Academy, Bhubaneswar, the department of culture, government of Odisha and the Rourkela Steel Plant. The event was kicked off with a road show in the town on World Theatre Day on March 27. Hundreds of artists and school and college students participated in it.

Samparka staged a play titled “Pathara” on the inaugural day night, written and directed by eminent theater personality  Bhaskar Mohapatra. On the second day, Pancamaveda, Bhubaneswar, staged “Kyabin”, written by eminent poet and politician  Prasana Patsani and directed by Haren Sahoo.

On the third evening, Sree Cultural Association of Sambalpur staged “Sir”, written by Ashis Kumar Sunar and directed by Satya Ranjan Behera. On the final day, Sabdha Mugdha Natya Kendra, Kolkata, staged a play titled “Shabjyotsna”, written and directed by  Rakesh Gosh.

A seminar on the present status of Odia theatre was organized on the opening day, where different experts shared their views. Braja Mohan Mishra, an eminent director and stage artist from Balangir, presided over it.

The speakers were of  the view that although several organizations of the state had been working all out to improve the standard of Odia theatre, the response has not been great.

Rourkela Steel Plant CEO G S Prasad attended the closing ceremony of the festival. He thanked Samparka, the Sangeet Katak Academy, the  state government and the EZCC for organizing the event.

Task force formed to make Odisha slum free

With the objective to make the State slum-free, the State Government has constituted Odisha Slum Development Task Force under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik.

According to official sources, OSDTF would help in resource mobilisation through multilateral and bilateral funding agencies and promotion of convergence by removing interdepartmental and interagency bottlenecks.

In the first phase, six cities of the State, like Bhubaneswar, Puri, Cuttack, Brahmapur, Sambalpur and Rourkela have been identified to make them slum-free urban local bodies, the sources said.

The Task Force would prioritise the slums to be taken up for resettlement and decide appropriate projects for development.

Meanwhile, as an action plan, the State Government has already constituted a State-level steering committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister to examine and approve the project reports submitted by the implementing agencies in consultation with the OSDTF.

The ‘slum free’ projects would be implemented jointly by the State Government and the Centrally-sponsored Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana. Both the State and the Central  Government would bear the cost of the project to be taken up on 50-50 basis, sources said.

Under the scheme, resettlement of slum areas and infrastructure development would be taken up on priority basis.

In order to prepare and implement the projects, city-level technical cells have been set up for mobilisation of people through NGO’s. The detailed project reports would be prepared after taking up socio-economic survey in the proposed cities. And it has been decided to undertake GIS mapping of the slum areas of the State soon, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the sources said two Pilot Projects  have been prepared — one for Rangamatia by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Commission and the other by the Cuttack Municipal Corporation — for 10 slums.

They said the Chief Secretary has directed the BDA and the BMC authorities to prepare a detailed project report for making the Unit-1, Unit-6 and Kargil road area slum-free.