Tag Archives: Sambalpur News

City bus project a dud in Sambalpur

The much-hyped city bus service that was scheduled to be launched before Dussehra has run into road block with the tender floated by Western Odisha Urban Transport Service Limited (WOUTSL) failing to attract any partner to run the buses on PPP mode.

Informing this, Chief Executive Officer of Sambalpur Municipality Annirudha Pradhan, who is also the CEO of WOUTSL, which will be in charge of the regular management of the buses, said though the tender was floated on August 20, no application was received till the last date of September 20.

At present, the region including Sambalpur town lacks organised inter-city and intra-city transportation. Local transport is managed by several private mini bus operators and auto-rickshaws. The services provided by these operators are generally inadequate, inefficient, irregular and ill managed.

Besides, lack of public transport has led to a rapid increase in the number of private vehicles resulting in congestion and pollution. In order to provide an organised and affordable public transport service to the residents of Sambalpur, WOUTSL was formed. WOUTSL is supposed to manage intra-city and inter-city bus services connecting Sambalpur, Hirakud, Burla, Jharsugda and Bargarh.

With no private players evincing interest in joining hands with WOUTSL, despite the fact that State Government would provide 32 buses for the purpose, uncertainty stares at the public transport.

Meanwhile, Municipality CEO Pradhan said they would extend the last date of receipt of application for plying the buses on PPP mode. “The administration is clueless about next step if no application is received even after extension,” he added.

As per 2011 census, Sambalpur has the second largest population of 1,83,383 in Western Odisha. The bus services would have come as a relief for the people who have to cough up Rs 10 to the auto-rickshaw irrespective of the distance. Although town bus service was introduced in 1994 by Sambalpur Municipality, it had to be stopped after one year due to traffic problem.

Sambalpur University puts off convocation for lawyers’ strike

Sambalpur University has postponed its convocation scheduled to be held on September 25 till further notice.

“Due to unavoidable circumstances, the 26th Convocation of Sambalpur University scheduled to be held on September 25, 2013, is postponed until further notification. The inconvenience caused is highly regretted,” PRO and political science lecturer Rajat Kujur said on Saturday. He said the vice-chancellor had received a communication from the chancellor’s office asking the former to postpone the annual event.

Sources in the university said the decision was taken in view of the lawyer’s strike in western Odisha. In a related development, the students’ association of Gangadhar Meher College is planning to boycott the coming students’ election supporting the lawyers’ agitation.

Police grope in dark about loots

Police are still clueless about two loot incidents that took place on Wednesday. Unidentified miscreants had looted Rs 6 lakh at two different places here. Police have mounted a manhunt but the miscreants are still at large.

Miscreants had looted retired government servant Seshadev Panda of Rs 1 lakh. He was returning home, withdrawing the money from SBI main branch at Peerbaba Chowk when the miscreants struck at 12 noon.

Soon after the incident, two motorcycle-borne miscreants looted Rs 5 lakh from two employees of transport company Prasad Transport when they were going back to the company office on a motorcycle after withdrawing the money from ICICI bank here. The miscreants looted the money at Malipara between Khetrajpur railway station and Sambalpur Road railway station at gunpoint around 1 pm.

“We suspect involvement of same miscreants in both the incidents,” said SDPO (Sambalpur) P K Mohapatra.

“We have registered two cases and detained a person for his involvement in the second incident. However, we are yet to recover the booty,” Mohapatra said.

Corporation status for Municipality demanded

People of Sambalpur are now demanding corporation status for Sambalpur town after formation of greater Sambalpur comprising Sambalpur Municipality and NACs of Burla and Hirakud.

Intelligentsia of the town said during a visit to the district on July 9, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had said at a meeting that demand for corporation status to Sambalpur was under active consideration of the State Government.

Now, with the ULB polls in the region cancelled due to ongoing agitation by the lawyers, they demanded that the Chief Minister should make his intention clear on the matter.

They also submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister reminding him about the issue through Sambalpur Collector Balwant Singh.

Earlier on February 28, the Sambalpur Development Authority (SDA) had sent a proposal to the Government over the issue. Chairman of SDA Bijay Kumar Mohanty, Chairperson of Sambalpur Municipality Kalpana Sahu and Chairperson of Burla NAC Chandrabati Naik had even jointly called on the Chief Minister in July and submitted a memorandum demanding that Sambalpur should be accorded corporation status.

But with the State Government remaining silent on the issue, people are losing their patience.

In the memorandum, it had been mentioned that besides Sambalpur Municipal limits, Burla and Hirakud NACs besides gram panchayats of Sankarma, Kainsir, Aamsada, Katapali, Gandmunda under Dhankauda block and Maneswar, Mathapali and Sindurpankh gram panchayats of Maneswar block should be merged in the proposed corporation for which a comprehensive development plan is being prepared.

Merger of the areas would take its population to 3,14,026 paving the way for the corporation tag.

Maintaining that the demand is genuine, SDA Chairman Bijay Kumar Mohanty said the proposed rural areas have also developed urban character besides being well connected. The problems of these areas are multi-dimensional and only the corporation status would help in initiating development works.

Nuakhai Celebration in Western Odisha

Yesterday, Nuakhai was celebrated with gaiety and religious fervour and today the day after the Nuakhai is the BASI of Nuakhai.

The Navanna (newly harvested rice) was offered to Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur, at the stipulated lagna (auspicious moment) between 10.18 am and 10.32 am. During this period, families also offered the Navanna to their respective Istadevata (presiding deity) and Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of Wealth) as a mark of gratitude for a bumper harvest, good rain and a favourable weather.

While it was Goddess Samaleswari in Sambalpur, it was Patneswari in Balangir, Sureshwari in Sonepur, Sekharbasini in Sundargarh and Manikeswari in Kalahandi who were worshipped.

Being an agrarian festival, the eldest in each household in rural pockets worshipped their paddy fields and cattle.

Womenfolk woke up early in the morning to perform Nuakhai rituals that began with decorating the house with jhoti. The later half of the day was spent in the kitchen preparing special delicacies. During the festival, various traditional dishes and pancakes are prepared, including Mug Bara, Ras Bara, Mug Manda, Suji Manda, Chaul Manda, Kakra Pitha, Kheeri besides preparations from Saru Patra (leaves of taro plant), Makhan Sag (leaves of pumpkin creeper) and Kardi (bamboo shoots).

While children in colourful attire enjoyed their holiday to the fullest, devotees across the region thronged Samaleswari temple. Later in the evening, ‘Nuakhia Bhetghat’ were organised by different socio-cultural organisations and greetings were exchanged among the denizens.