Tag Archives: Western Odisha

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.

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.

Nuakhai

Lawyers’ stir may hit salary disbursement

The lawyers’ strike has put a big question mark on the state government employees getting salary before Nuakhai that will be celebrated on September 10. All government offices in Sambalpur, including that of the RDC and district collector, municipality and other revenue offices and courts are shut since August 20.

“We understand the plight of government employees. But we are left with no option as our agitation has now become a people’s movement. So we appeal to them to cooperate us by extending their whole-hearted support,” said secretary of Sambalpur Bar Association Siddharth Sahu.

He said though the Central Action Committee (CAC) of Western Odisha bar associations decided at its Jharsuguda meeting on Thursday to relax the agitation from September 1 to September 15 in view of Ganesh Puja and Nuakhai, the Sambalpur bar has decided to intensify its agitation by closing down the offices without any break. “Banks and central government offices will be allowed to operate,” Sahu said.

On Saturday, lawyers staged a road blockade from 9 am to 1 pm at Ainthapali on NH 6, Bhalupali on Jharsuguda express highway and Sindurpank chowk on NH 54. “It passed off peacefully,” said SDPO (Sambalpur) P K Mohapatra.

ULBs poll differed issue: Odisha Govt to appoint administrators in nine western Odisha districts

The 25 urban local bodies (ULBs) in the nine western Odisha districts are all set to get Administrators for executing the day-to-day administration as the terms of office of the ULB councils would expire on September 19 next without any elected bodies.

“Since in the absence of any elected councils after the expiry of the five-year terms on September 19, the State Election Commission (SEC) will recommend to the State Government under the Article 243 ZA of the Constitution of India and Odisha Municipal Act, 1950 to post Administrators to manage the affairs in these ULBs where the election process was affected due to law and order situation,” said State Election Commissioner Ajit Kumar Tripathy on Friday.

The election process in the 25 ULBs was stopped due to a bandh called by the Central Action Committee of lawyers of nine western Odisha districts and supported by all political parties on the demand for establishment of a permanent High Court Bench in the region.

Meanwhile, the SEC has postponed the elections to the 25 ULBs in the nine districts Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Jharsuguda, Deograh, Baragrah, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nuapada and Sundargarah on the reports from concerned District Magistrates. The SEC on Friday also withdrew the operation of the Model Code of Conduct enforced in the 25 ULBs.

Congress spokesperson Narasingha Mishra said the Government has failed to act under the Constitution to hold the election to the 25 ULBs, for which there is a Constitutional breakdown. BJP leader Biswa Bhushan Harichandan alleged that such an incompetent Government was never seen in the State. Health Minister Damodar Rout questioned the lawyers’ movement to stop the ULB elections in western Odisha. “Is the movement Constitutional, he asked.

According to SEC sources, as many as 36 of the total 3,492 candidates in the fray for the rest 66 ULBs spread over 20 districts going to polls on September 19 elected uncontested with a majority of them being ruling BJD candidates.