Tag Archives: Western Odisha

Balasore, Jeypore, Jharsuguda, Jajpur under Rajiv Awas Yojana

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urges Union Ministerof Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja to include Balasore, Jeypore, Jharsuguda, Jajpur under Rajiv Awas Yojana. Patnaik writes a letter to Selja over this issue.

Patanik said that, “The Government of Odisha is fully committed to making the State slum free and has formulated a comprehensive policy for this purpose. We are also in the process of making a legislation for according property rights to slum dwellers and preventing the growth of new slums.”

CM Patnaik further added that, “Six cities of Odisha are at present covered under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), which are Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Puri. So far 2 pilot projects have been sanctioned, namely Rangamatia and Mahisakhal slums in Bhubaneswar and a few more are in the process of submission. Owing to the rapid economic growth and urbanization of the State, it is essential to expand the coverage under RAY by inclusion of new cities. Taking into account the growth of cities and the incidence of slums, it is recommended that the cities of Balasore, Jeypore, Jharsuguda and Jajpur (including Jajpur Road) may be included under the scheme.”

40 lakh, Agricultural Scam in Sambalpur

Police on Wednesday claimed to have blown the lid off a money-siphoning racket in the agriculture department with the arrest of eight persons. The accused included two government employees and two staff of private banks.

Sambalpur SP Nikhil Kanodia said around Rs 40 lakh was withdrawn from the department’s account in agriculture development branch of SBI in Sambalpur on different occasions. The transactions were conducted without the knowledge of the agriculture department’s deputy director, who is the authorized signatory of the account.

“Our investigation revealed that two staff of the agriculture department, Sanjib Dash and Prafulla Sahu, had withdrawn the money by forging the deputy director’s signatures. The duo had also deposited cash amounting of about Rs.13,27,160 on three occasions to avoid any suspicion by bank officials. An employee of ING Vaisya, Amit Chandak, and a staff of HDFC, Amit Sahu, helped the accused to transfer Rs 15 lakh to the local branches of the private banks,” the SP said. “The accused have confessed everything and we have recovered cash of about Rs 12 lakh and bank deposits from them. We have also seized a motorcycle purchased from the stolen money. A court has remanded the accused to judicial custody,” he added.

The four other accused were identified as Sanjib Dehury, Prafulla Dash, Sumit Arjual and Kumar Parmar.

Asha Bhosle will sing a Sambalpuri Geet

Well known playback singer Asha Bhosle will be heard singing a Sambalpuri geet in the upcoming Odia film ‘Chini’ with a western Odisha flavour.

Asha has sung ‘Uanshar andhare nai dishe sina, haji nai jai jan‘  penned by Durga Madhab Panda for the film. “It is for the first time that a singer of Asha’s stature has sung a Sambalpuri number for a movie,” said Pradip Bhol, who is debuting as a director with the film.

Bhol, who has earlier produced reasonably successful movies such as ‘Pabitra Bandhan’ and ‘Suna Sankhali’, said ‘Chini’ will be an out and out commercial flick depicting how superstitions exist among the educated. “Traditions and culture of western Odisha, Nuakhai festival and marriages in this part of the state will be depicted in the film,” he said after the mahurat at Samlai temple in Sambalpur on Monday evening.

“Dialogues of the movie are a good mix of Sambalpuri and Odia. People from other parts of the state who don’t speak the western Odisha dialect can also easily understand the film and identify themselves with it,” Bhol said.

Famous Odia actors Mihir Das, Maheswata Ray and Debu Bose make up the star cast of the two-and-a-half-hour movie. Newcomer Tithi Rupa will be seen in the lead role as ‘Chini’. “I am very excited and feel very lucky to have bagged the role. The script is very exciting. The youth in the state can easily correlate themselves with the movie,” she said. Snehlata Padira and Bhabani Majhi are jointly producing the film.

Tribals keep date with Nuakhai tradition

The Paharia tribals living in remote villages of Nuapada district have a unique way of celebrating Nuakhai. They offer liquor and meat to their presiding deity before having the new crop. The eldest member of a Paharia family worships the deity called the Duma and makes the offering.

“It has been our tradition to offer meat and liquor to the deity before partaking the new crop. After this ritual, all community members congregate at one place to join the feast,” said Satrughan Paharia. “Except this, all other rituals are same. It is the eldest member of the family, who gives the new crop to other members. Other communities offer only the new crop,” said Sriram Paharia.

The Paharias are concentrated in Bargaon, Bhainsadani, Katingpani and some villages inside the Sunabeda sanctuary.

Sources said the places where Paharias reside have turned into a Maoist den. The Paharias have been fighting for Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) status, which will help in their development. They would benefit under some special schemes too.

Second zoo in the state, near Sambalpur

The Odisha Government is planning to request the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to expedite setting up of a second ZOO in the state at Sambalpur. “We are planning to move the CZA for the proposed second zoo only after we get a concrete proposal. It will be done after finalizing the proposed site and study the related impacts of the proposed project,” said BP Singh, special secretary of forest and environment department.

He said the proposal for a ZOO at Sambalpur was announced in the Assembly nearly nine years ago. He said Laxmi Dunguri, a place between Burla and Sambalpur on the bank of river Mahanadi, is one of the sites being considered for the project. But the site is yet to be finalized, he said, adding around 100 acres of land required for the zoo is available at the site. Availability of water and pollution would also be major criterion to develop the project in western Odisha, he said.

Another officer said the department would also assess the possible impact of Hindalco, a mega aluminium manufacturing unit with captive power plant at Hirakud, situated close to the proposed zoo site. “The proposal of a zoo is a welcome decision by the government. But the government should be serious in implementing the project, “said Prakash Meher of Sambalpur. Earlier, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had declared that the Laxmi Dungri would be converted into a zoo. But it is yet to take off, Meher said.

Officials said the department has set up a department-level committee to study present condition of Nandankanan zoo and 11 deer parks in the state and recommend their development.