Tuesday, June 28, 2011

news published in the Pioneer of March29,to May14

Dear all
I enclose the news published in the Pioneer of March29,to May14 for your perusal
Sun, Mar 29, 2009 at 6:52 AM
Triangular contest on the cards in Patnagarh
PNS | Balangir

The breaking of 11-year-old BJP-BJD alliance in the State, set the stage for triangular contests in almost places in this general election in Orissa, has a cascading effect in the district especially in the Patnagarh Assembly constituency, with members of royal family contesting against each other.

Supposed to be the stronghold of BJP, Patnagarh Assembly segment, represented thrice by KV Singh Deo of BJP, will witness a keenly fought triangular contest this time.

The major political parties in fray this time are the BJP, BJD and the Congress.

KV Singh Deo won from the constituency in 2004 election defeating his nearest rival of the Congress Vivekananda Meher. However this time, KV is going to be not only challenged by Meher but Prakruti Devi of the BJD.

The BJD has filed Pakruti Devi as its candidate from the seat, after the breaking of alliance. She is the wife of Sribardhan Singh Deo, the brother of KV Singh Deo.

This is going to create an unpleasant situation for KV Singh Deo as one member of his family is his rival contestant.

“People of Pantanagarh constituency want a change and the response of the people during my tour is quite encouraging. Many areas are without the basic infrastructural facility, alleged Pakruti Devi.

“We would highlight these issues, besides, the pro-poor and welfare measures undertaken by Naveen Patnaik including the rice at Rs two per kg. I promise to present a developed Patanagarh once elected,” she said further.

The same feeling was echoed by BJD district president Kalikesh Singh Deo “Patnagarh Assembly constituency has suffered a lot because of the continuous neglect of the sitting MLA and MP and people want a change. The BJD workers are in upbeat mood after winning as many as five wards in Patnagarh NAC in the election to urban local bodies.

The BJD candidate Pakruti Devi is going to win from there” asserts Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo. However, KV Singhdeo rebuts and said “My developmental work is my identity. People of Patnagarh know me very well .The main issue this time is to carry further the developmental work that I have undertaken during the last 15years in the constituency.”

In a democratic country every one is free to contest, said KV Singh Deo The situation is not all an unpleasant one and I am not at all worried about Prakruti Devi contesting election further. He however, down played it by quipping “it is a non issue”.

“I am confident of my victory”, said KV Singhdeo. The Congress will highlight the failure of the BJP and BJD Government and its incapability in implementing the Central Government programmes, said a Congress functionary. Bedsides this, the Samruddha Odisha has also fielded a tribal Basanta Majhi and Baidyanath Mishra of the Kosal Kranti Dal is also contesting.

Mar 31, 2009 at 4:16 AM


Narasingha, Kalikesh file papers for Balangir LS seat

PNS | Balangir
On the last day of filing of nominations for the first-phase elections, Congress candidate for the Balangir Lok Sabha seat Narasingha Mishra filed his papers on Monday. This time people are going to reject the BJP and the BJD and the Congress will not only win the parliamentary seat but also all its seven Assembly segments, Mishra claimed while talking to mediapersons after filing the nomination.

Later, BJD district president Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo came in a procession of thousands of his supporters and filed his nominations as the BJD candidate for the Lok Sabha seat. Speaking to reporters, he said, “I am contesting election to serve the people of Balangir and Sonepur districts and ensure peace, prosperity and the development of the area.”

“The case of Balangir has not been represented properly. Once elected, I will represent the case of Balangir in a better way. More development work will be undertaken to ensure prosperity of this region,” Singh Deo added. He referred to the development works undertaken in the Saintala constituency during his tenure as its MLA.

Among others, the Kosal Kranti Dal candidate for the Balangir Lok Sabha seat, Bhibudutta Mishra, also field his nomination papers
Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 5:32 AM


BJP-BJD battle hots up
Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

With barely nine days left for the date of polling, political parties have stepped up their efforts to woo voters and the campaigning is in full swing in Balangir district. Out of the five Assembly constituencies in the district, Patnagarh is witnessing a stiff contest between the erstwhile allies, the BJP and the BJD, incidentally represented by two political rival members of the Balangir royal family.

The Patnagarh fight is between sitting BJP MLA and former Minister Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo and his younger brother’s wife, BJD candidate Prakruti Devi Singh Deo. Lending further seriousness to the electoral battle, KV Singh Deo’s mother Rajmata Premlata Devi has come out for the first time and is appealing to voters to support Prakruti Devi. Besides, the Rajmata is also openly backing KV Singh Deo’s cousin and BJD nominee Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo who is contesting for the Balangir Lok Sabha seat.

It not for the first time that the members of the royal family are fighting against each other. In the 1991 and 1996 Parliamentary elections, KV Singh Deo (BJP) and his uncle AU Singh Deo (erstwhile Janata Dal) had fought unsuccessfully from Balangir LS seat, resulting in the victory of their Congress rival. Later, the alliance between the BJP and the BJD, under which the LS seat was allotted to the BJP, had enabled KV’s wife Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo to win the polls three times consecutively in 1998, 1998 and 2004. Now, with the breakup, the intra-royal family political rivalry has worsened further.

Three-time Patnagarh MLA KV Singh Deo, however, observes, “In politics, nothing is unpleasant. It is for the voters to decide and elect whom they consider the best. I am confident of my victory as I have done a lot of developmental works here.”

On the other hand, Prakruti Devi says people want a change as the Patnagarh Assembly constituency area is lacking the basic infrastructure facilities all these years. “Once voted, I will strive to work for an all-round development of the constituency.”

The visit of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to various parts of the Patnagarh constituency on Monday boosted the morale of the BJD workers. The BJD would win both the Patnagarh Assembly seat and the Balangir LS seat this time, asserted BJD district president Kalikesh Singh Deo.
BHUBANESWAR | Saturday, April 11, 2009 | Email | Print |

Keen BJD-BJP-Cong fight in Balangir LS seat

Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

As the April 16 election is drawing nearer, all attention is focused on the performances of the two members of the Balangir royal family fighting against each other as BJP and BJD candidates and the third contestant from the Congress in the Balangir Parliamentary constituency.

The scenario revives the memory of the 1991 and 1996 elections when Congress took advantage of the division of anti-Congress votes and managed to win. Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo of the BJP had fought against his uncle AU Singh Deo of the then Janata Dal in the 1991and 1996 polls. Their Congress opponent was Sarat Pattanaik, who came out victorious both the times.

However, the BJD-BJP alliance stopped the division of the anti-Congress votes since 1998 and enabled BJP candidate Sangeeta Singh Deo, wife of KV Singh Deo, to win the seat in 1998, 1999 and in 2004.

Now with the breakdown in the BJD-BJP alliance, members of the royal family are again pitted against each other. Sangeeta is seeking reelection, with Narasingh Mishra of the Congress and Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo of the BJD, son of AU Singh Deo, being her opponents. Sangeeta considers the Congress as her number one challenger.

Kalikesh Singh Deo, who says peace and prosperity of Balangir are his major poll issues and he will try to act as the voice of the people of the area in Parliament, claims that he is confident of winning the seat. The people of Balangir want a young and new face, he asserts.

However, the Congress is making underdevelopment of the area its major issue. “A strong and capable people’s representative should be sent to New Delhi to ensure development of this area,” pointed out a Congress functionary.

Sangeeta describes her cousin Kalikesh as Bhashmasur, stating that a few years ago she used to take him to be acquainted with the constituency but now he dares to finish her.

The Balangir Lok Sabha constituency has seven Assembly segments across the districts of Balangir and Subarnapur-Balangir, Titilagarh, Patnagarh, Loisingha, Kantabanji, Sonepur and Birmaharajpur.
Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 6:44 AM

Migrant labourers become poll issue in Balangir
Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

As schedule for first phase of the elections is coming closer and politicians are trying to woo voters by all means, the issue of migrant labourers from this district, their voting rights and their rehabilitation is gaining momentum.

The Samuhik Marudi Pratikar Udyam, an organisation of 16 CBO/NGOs working in Balangir for drought mitigation has raised this issue, along with other issues.

“Every year around 1.5 lakh people migrate from this district in search of jobs to outside States and thus they are debarred from their voting rights and other entitlement,” said Convenor of SMPU, Jatin Patra, while speaking to mediapersons recently. They also demanded identification and rehabilitation of the migrants from the district as a bonded labourers.

“After consulting the member organisations and villagers, we have decided to submit a list of demands to all the contesting candidates from this area,” said Brahmananda Sahu.

The main aim of this exercise is to sensitise the villagers about the real issues of Balangir and to teach a lesson to the elected representatives so that in future these issues are addressed properly, he said.

“After elections, we can at least show the leaders about their acceptance of these demands and get an assurance from them to take up necessary steps in this regard,” he added.

He said villagers had already submitted their demands to Pakruti Devi, Narsingha Mishra and other candidates from Balangir.

Their charter of demands includes identification of around one and half lakh migrant labourers from the district, treat them as bonded labourers and take necessary steps for rehabilitation and providing them all other Government facilities besides making arrangement to cast their vote, appointment of teachers in primary schools and ensuring their presence and supply of land to landless villagers within the next six months.

Besides, they also demanded proper implementation of Forest Rights Bill 2006, identification of physically-challenged people in the district and provide free bus passes to them, all profits derived from kendu leaf trade to be spent in kendu leaf producing areas and the names of all kendu leaf pluckers must be in their card, preparation of micro-level planning with people’s participation for all development work, giving priority to small and marginal farmers in Orissa Agricultural Policy 2008, processing of non-timber forest produce and its selling through government machinery, utilization of at least 50 per cent of MPLAD and MLALAD funds for pure drinking water and social work, and hike in total number of working days under NREGS from the present 100 days to 200 days in KBK region.
Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 8:46 AM
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Parties vie to provide subsidised rice
Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

Ever since the Naveen Patnaik Government announced to supply rice at Rs 2 per kg to all the Below Povert Line families in the State and to both BPL and APL families of the KBK region, it has caused worries among the other political parties as it was one of the easiest and safest methods to win the hearts of the voters.

As the polling date approached, political parties started promising the moon and they also started promising to supply rice at subsidised prices. The first to react was the Congress. It claimed that the State Government was giving only Rs 3 for the entire scheme and the major chunk of the scheme was borne by the Central Government.

If the Congress Government is voted to power it would provide rice at Rs 1 and dal, salt at subsidised prices to the poor people, announced senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra, while addressing a workers conference in the town.

On the contrary, a few days later the All India Congress Committee (AICC) released its manifesto saying that it would provide rice at Rs three if voted to power. Few days later the Congress in its State manifesto once again claimed that it would provide rice at Rs 1, besides providing dal, salt and onion at subsidised rates if voted to power.

The Bharatiya Janata Party went a step ahead as it promised to provide rice at Rs 1, dal at Rs 5 and salt free of cost. Moreover, according to a report, if the Biju Janata Dal is voted to power, Patnaik announced that it would hike the quantity of rice given under this scheme from 25 kg to 35 kg. The voters are going to take this seriously as they have seen the implementation of it. However, all the parties conveniently forget that mere announcement of schemes is not enough. There are several procedural difficulties at the implementation level which prevents the benefits reaching the poor people.

Even as the subsidised rice at rupees greatly benefited people of KBK and other areas, yet many were deprived of getting the benefit because the new BPL survey list has not been finalised and the scheme is working on the basis of the 1997 BPL survey.

If any party sincerely wants the subsidised rice go to poor people, it should streamline the distribution process and cheek all loopholes in the delivery system and should ready the list on the basis of which it should work.

Even as political parties are making tall promises and their politics over the subsidised rice is going on, the price of rice touched a minimum Rs18 and the flour has touched Rs 19-20 per per kg.

Amidst all this, the price of salt has touched Rs 10 per kg and onion at Rs12 to 24 and potato Rs 12. With reports of a price hike in store after the polls they are at a loss what to do? Is any body listening?
Candidates woo voters with wine, money
Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

As the first phase of elections are going to be held on Thursday, the candidates are trying to woo voters by any means, including personal contacts, door to door campaigning, distribution of liquor and money.

And there are complaints of money and liquor being distributed to woo voters. Reports said in Kantabanji police detained a person going to a village to distribute liquor pouches and money. There are reports that in Kantabanji constituency huge amounts of money is being used to influence voters.

The BJD is trying to win the election by using the administration and police. An aide of a BJD leader while going to distribute money in Upperjhar village of Degaon block was caught by people and the police were informed. But the cops helped them to take way the money. The Superintendent of Police assaulted a Congress worker and took away his ballot papers, alleged Congress MP candidate Narasingha Mishra.

Similarly, in Patanagarh although there was permission for only three vehicles’ around 300 vehicles were used for nominations of the BJD candidate. “I have drawn the attention of election observer in this regard,” Mishra further said.

Immediately after the information, the police reached the spot and surrounded the vehicle and the in the presence of magistrate the vehicle was searched and nothing incriminating was found, said SP Sanjiv Arora speaking to The Pioneer.

On the allegation that he assaulted a Congress worker and snatched away the forms and other papers, SP Sanjiv Arora refuted the allegations. He informed, “I was just verifying the paper after the campaign hours was over and seeing me he just fled away.”

“We have taken steps in this regard. Immediately after the information we sent our officers and searched the vehicle and nothing incriminating was found. The vehicle has been seized, said the district Collector Asked to comment on the “mysterious” bag allegedly containing money, he said, “We have no such information from our officers.”
Apr 28, 2009 at 5:04 PM
=Balangir, Titilagarh reel under heat wave

Pioneer News Service | Balangir

With the daily temperature remaining above 42 degree Celsius, severe heat wave condition is prevailing in Balangir district since more than a week, badly affecting normal life. Adding to the woes of people, problems like low voltage power supply, less discharge of water from tube-wells, drying up of ponds and irregular supply of pipe water has made the situation worse.

According to the local meteorological station, while the maximum temperature recorded on April 15 was 41.2 degree Celsius, it soared to 45.4 degree Celsius within six days, as recorded on Tuesday. Due to such heat wave condition, it has become difficult to come out door between 10.30 am and 5.30 pm.

Besides Balangir, the hottest place in the State Titilagrah is also reeling under a heat wave with temperature hovering above 42 degree Celsius. On April 17, Titilagrh recorded maximum 41.5 degree Celsius temperature and with 0.5 degree Celsius rise everyday, the mercury touched 44.2 degree Celsius mark on April 21.

The life of denizens of Titilagrh has come to a standstill with problems associated with the temperature rise. Due to low voltage of electricity, water cannot be supplied to distant areas.

The low voltage and frequent power cuts in Titilagrah is due to absence of grid. The demand to establish a grid at the town is yet to be sanctioned, rues Promod Pradhan, a resident of the town. Once it is established, the problem of low voltage and other power related disturbances would be solved, he said, while pointing out the worse condition of 10 air conditioned cabins in the hospital that were remaining defunct since a year due to shortage of staff nurses and other staff.

According to CDMO PC Sahu, sunstroke treatment cabins were opened in all PHCs and CHCs in the district with water cooler and all essential medicines. At each of the sub-divisional and district headquarters hospital, one air-conditioned cabin has been earmarked for treatment of sunstroke patients.

Replying to a query on the non -functioning of AC cabins at Titilagarh, Sahu said that they have only 27 staff nurses against the requirement of 64. They have appealed to the NRHM for appointment of more nurses.

Several ponds and non-perennial rivers like Undeer have been dried up. Few months ago, the river wrought flood havoc in the area, points out a villager. The drying up of ponds and rivers also added to the rising of temperature in the area, he added.

In villages Pudapali and Purniapali under Bongomunda block, residents are facing a lot of trouble due to damage of handles of tube-wells.

“We are getting almost boiled water due to high temperature from our overhead tank over our house till night, says a resident of Titilagrh. However, this is the beginning and by the real summer month of May till the first week of June, people of both the rural and urban areas are sure to go through a grueling summer,” says a resident.

Prompt repair of defunct tubewells
Thu, May 14, 2009 at 5:49 AM
PNS | Balangir

Even as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed officials to repair defunct tube-wells within 48 hours of receiving complaint, ground realities present a different picture.

According to a survey carried out by the Regional Centre for Development and Cooperation in collaboration with eight other NGOs in the first week of May across the State, including Balangir district, the situation comes as a shocking revelation. As against the directive to repair tube-wells within 48 hours, it is taking as long as 27 days in Balangir where water crisis is a perennial affair.

A PRI member of the survey team said: “We carried out a survey in Patnagarh, Puintala, Deogaon and Gudvella blocks. Out of the 18 tube-wells we surveyed in five gram panchayats of Patnagarh block we found that 11 are defunct.” A Panchayati Raj representative told the survey team that block authorities are taking a lot of time for repairing defunct tube-wells. “Earlier we had the authority to purchase spare parts. Now, as we are not allowed to buy the parts, it is taking at least 27 to 28 days to repair tube-wells in Patnagarh block,” revealed the PRI member of the survey team.

In Puintala block, out of 11 tube-wells, seven are defunct. Here also, repairing takes a long time due to same reason. Moreover, much to the surprise of the survey team, the mobile van meant for repairing work is being used for private functions like marriage. Similarly in Deogoan block, out of 148 tube-wells, 80 are defunct, and in Gudvella block, out of 23 tube-wells, 8 are defunct. The awareness rate among the villagers about the Chief Minister’s directives on immediate repair of tube-wells is almost non-existent due to very low readership of vernacular Oriya newspapers in the region.

However, much to the surprise of the survey team, the toll free number of the RWSS department meant to receive telephonic complaints of defunct tube-wells is not functioning anywhere in the State. But people of Balangir lodged their complaints in the control room itself, which is not seen in other parts of Orissa, the survey said. When contacted, the coordinator of survey team, Dr Manoj Mahapatra pointed out that the main cause of the ineffectiveness of the Chief Minister’s declaration is that it has been done without any ground level preparation. There is severe lack of coordination between the water resources department and RWSS engineers.

However, in Balangir, it has been found district RWSS officials have taken ample and satisfactory steps for creating public awareness. However, declining ground water table, partial engagement of self-employed mechanics (SEMs) and inadequate number of mobile vans with trained personnel are the main reasons for which the district takes approximately 27 days to repair a defunct tube-well, irrespective of CM’s declaration for repairing tube-wells within 48 hours of complaint.

Community awareness in Balangir is much higher than in other parts of Orissa, pointed out a member of the survey team. According to sources, out of around 13,000 tube-wells in Balangir district, around 2,200 are lying defunct. There seems to be lack of coordination between different stakeholders of RWSS, water resources and other wings which is affecting the service delivery mechanism, causing people to suffer, sources alleged.

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