Tag Archives: Western Odisha

A colourful celebration of Sambalpuri folk culture

The concluding evening of the Rangabati Festival in Bhubaneswar saw a colourful celebration of Sambalpuri folk culture. Singer Jitendriya Haripal stole the show performing to “Rangabati”.

That apart, many foot-tapping Samblpuri folk songs were also presented with instruments like dhol, nisan, mahuri, tasa, tamka and jhanj keeping the beat. Dancers from UKIA, a folk-dance academy from western Odisha, performed Sambalpuri dance ensembles like Karma, Parva, Dlkhai and Dhap. Mailajada, a dance form based on social customs of Western Odisha, was the concluding event of the evening.

“We had a good time watching the performances on Sambalpuri song and dance. Jitendriya Haripal’s song, “Rangabati”, was what I enjoyed the most,” said Abinash Mohanty from the audience.

No respite for Sambalpur from climbing mercury

No respite for Sambalpur from climbing mercuryThe mercury refused to climb down in Sambalpur as this western Odisha town sizzled on Friday afternoon with the temperature hitting the season’s highest of 46.7 degree Celsius. The town has been experiencing extreme hot weather for the past four to five days with the temperature hovering above 45 degree Celsius.

It recorded 45.5 degree Celsius on Wednesday and climbing upwards touched 46 degree Celsius on Thursday. Meteorological office sources said if the cloud condition remains unchanged then the temperature will further up in the coming days. “Sambalpur today recorded 46.7 degree Celsius, this year’s highest,” said K Singh, the met officer of Sambalpur.

Thursday’s heat took its toll too. A daily-wage labourer of Sambalpur’s Modipara area died allegedly because of sunstroke taking the town’s heat wave toll to 6. The labourer was identified as Gukul Naik (45). He collapsed near his house after returning from work on Friday afternoon. He died on the spot.

But the district administration is yet to confirm the death. “We have so far received only one complaint of such death from Maneswar area. But it is difficult for us to confirm the death because it was cremated before post mortem. But we have sent the report to the government”, said Jayanarayan Dash, the district emergency officer of Sambalpur, on Friday.

Western Odisha boils at 45 degree plus

Sambalpur in western Odisha on Thursday recorded the day’s highest of 46 degree Celsius in the state.

There were six others places in western and interior parts of the state which sizzled at 45 degree Celsius or above. Those places are Hirakud (45.7 deg Celsius), Titlagarh (45.6 degree Celsius), Balangir (45.5 degree Celsius), Jharsuguda (45.4 degree Celsius), Bhawanipatna (45.2 degree Celsius) and Sundergarh (45.0 degree Celsius). Sonepur recorded 44.5 degree Celsius followed by Angul 44.6 degree Celsius and Bhawanipatna 44.2 degree Celsius.

Besides there were at least seven more places in the state where mercury touched 41 degree Celsius and above. The day temperature at Bhubaneswar stood at 42.6 degree Celsius, highest of the season recorded for the second time in May. Cuttack city recorded 41.0 degree Celsius.

The weathermen forecast that there would be no relief from heat wave and such condition would continue to prevail over some parts of interior Odisha for at least next two days. They also forecast that thunder squall accompanied with hail and gusty surface wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph may occur at one or two places over the state.

Meanwhile, reports of suspected sunstroke death pouring from different parts of the state went up to 65 while the state government’s confirmation of sunstroke death remained un-changed at 10 deaths, said a government officer.

Reports reaching Bhubaneswar said acute heat wave condition accompanied with power cut situation made lives miserable at many pockets in the state.

Sunstroke fear stalks western Odisha

With people already feeling the pangs of heat with the rising temperature, fear of sunstroke stalks Western Odisha. The region had seen 204 and 31 sunstroke deaths in 1998 and 2005 respectively. Although government-run hospitals in rural and urban areas have geared up to meet any eventuality, livelihood insecurity, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance and lack of access to health facilities have failed to make any impact over the years.

Besides, many deaths in interior pockets go unreported. There have been instances when victims have returned home and died in their sleep.

Sambalpur recorded 204, maximum, sunstroke-related deaths in 1998. However, the situation led to panic and since then there has been a decline in such deaths which came down to three in 1999 even as no sunstroke deaths were reported in the year 2000. However, after remaining in single digit in subsequent years, it rose to 31 in 2005 and again dropped to seven in 2006.

The toll was 11 in 2007 and again declined to seven the following year. It was 17 and 23 in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Only six deaths were reported last year despite a record high temperature.

In fact, water-stressed condition continues to be a major reason for the sunstroke-related deaths here. Despite tall claims, villagers continue to trek long distances for a pot of water. With most traditional water bodies already drying up having a bath is considered a luxury in summer here.

To compound the problem, despite a directive against work and plying of buses between 12 noon and 3 pm, labourers can be seen toiling under direct sun.

Although control rooms have been opened to combat the situation at the district and sub-division level, no such arrangements have been made at block and gram panchayat level.