Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Drought: Bt cotton farmers hit hard in Balangir, Subarnapur WEDNESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2011 23:53 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 10 User Rating: /

Drought: Bt cotton farmers hit hard in Balangir, Subarnapur
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After the Kharif paddy and groundnut crops were badly damaged this year in the district due to irregular and scanty rainfall, cash crop cotton, which is dubbed as white gold, has also been affected, thanks to the scanty, irregular and untimely rainfall and absence of irrigation facility in Balangir and Subarnapur districts.

Farmers who had grown Bt cotton clandestinely have suffered a lot. Few farmers narrated their woes before the farmer’s commission which visited Balangir on November 21.

“I have been cultivating cotton since 1990.I own 15 acres of land and have taken lease of another five acres, where I have cultivated BT cotton this year,” said Khageshwar Sahu of BankiBahal village. He added that he used to get 180-200 quintals of cotton every year.

However, this year first of all we have been hit hard due to irregular rainfall. By the end of September and October, there was no rain, which affected as many as 70 per cent of crop. This has led to a loss of `16,000 per acre. Even though the MSP of cotton has been fixed at `3,300, it is being sold at `3,800. We are facing trouble in getting Bt cotton seeds. Hence, the Government should make arrangement for supply of the seed as we are purchasing it at high price, Sahu said.

“I have taken up BT cotton cultivation in 100 acres, said Jatin Panigrahi of Anandpur in Sonepur district. There was acute shortage of fertiliser in the beginning in Birmaharajpur block. I purchased fertiliser through a dalal (middleman) at a higher price of more than 40 per cent of MSP to save crop. The insurance premium for cotton is quite high. Production would be around 7 quintals per acre and there is no market facility for the BT cotton I have cultivated. The MSP is too low and it should be increased. The insecticide supplied to us is almost the same at market rate which hardly makes any difference,” added Panigrahi.

The Bt cotton is a risky investment in the absence of assured irrigation. Cultivation of the crop also requires heavy use of fertiliser, insecticides, besides the high cost of its seed. Rather than going for the banned BT cotton, we are advising the farmers to go for approved variety cotton seeds and adopt the integrated pest management to get more production, explained an official in the agriculture department.

In our eco system, besides the harmful insects, there are also beneficial insects. Spraying of pesticides and insecticides kills the eco-friendly insects first and then the harmful ones, he informed.

The seed dealers and seller have induced a wrong conception that BT cotton is free from pest attack though it is susceptible to sucking pests like Jassids, Aphids, Mealy bug, among others, he explained further.

This year cotton cultivation has been taken up in 35,300 hectares in Balangir and due to unseasonal and erratic rain cotton production has been affected to a great extent, said SMS (cotton) K Murmu.

“We have all along advised the farmers not to go for BT cotton in view of rain fed condition of the district,” Murmu added.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Month-long stir for Kosal State from Dec 23 MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 23:30 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 14

Month-long stir for Kosal State from Dec 23
MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 23:30
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The Kosal Kranti Dal (KKD) will launch a movement in the entire ‘Kosalanchal’ region to sensitise people about its demand for a separate Kosal State from December 23 to January 23 next.
This was announced to the media on Sunday by KKD chief Pramod Mishra. The entire ‘Kosalanchal’ has been divided into five zones along with Boudh and Athmallik subdivision of Angul district, he said.
Commenting on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s move to create four smaller States out of the existing UP, Mishra observed that it is high time the Government of Odisha adopted a resolution in the State Assembly in favour of a Kosal State. All political parties should come forward to join hands for formation of a separate Kosal State, Mishra said.
The month-long movement in Balangir district would start from Harishankar on December 23, and simultaneous Yatras would be organised in the other districts of the region, Mishra informed.
“After this movement, we will visit New Delhi and put forth our demand of creation of a separate Kosal State to Centre leaders. We will also stage a dharna before the Parliament during its next session,” Mishra informed further.

Inbrief MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 22:17 PIONEER HITS: 3 •

MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 22:17

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Farmers stage dharna in Balangir
BALANGIR: Farmers of Loisingha and other areas of Balangir district, led by former MP Balgopal Mishra, on Monday staged a dharna before the district Collectorate here. They demanded that all drought-hit areas of entire Odisha be officially declared as drought-affected. The protesters also urged the State Government to provide bonus to pensioners of the drought-affected areas as the flood-hit old age pensioners in the areas have been given.

Balangir DM visits hybrid paddy crop cutting MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 22:19 PNS | BALANGIR

Balangir DM visits hybrid paddy crop cutting
MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 22:19

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District Collector SN Dey inspected the hybrid paddy crop cutting at Ranipali village, 15 km from here, on Sunday.
The farmers of Balangir are very hard worker and production of around 40 quintals per acre of this variety of paddy seed needs to be popularised so that farmers could get more output, observed Dey after seeing the crop.
“I have taken up RIL-030 paddy cultivation in 2 acres of land,” said a farmer Laxminarayan Mahakur.
The Agriculture Management Technology Agency (ATMA) has given hybrid seeds of RIL-030 and RIL-060 of Rallias India Limited to the farmers.
“In this village, 17 farmers have taken up the cultivation of this variety of paddy, and in our district this hybrid variety has been taken up in 1,000 acres. Although the seed cost is high, its high yield will compensate the initial investment,” said Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) Manoranjan Mallick.
A comparative crop cutting of the hybrid variety and Swarna variety was taken up. “We undertook a crop cutting of the Swarna variety in a patch of 5 square metres and the yield was 17.2 kg and the per-acre production was 27.52 quintals. The crop cutting result of RIL-030 from a patch of 5 square metres showed a production of 33.019 kg, and calculated in terms of acre, the yield was 52.80 quintals per acre,” said an agriculture official.
Later, Dey formally launched the sunflower cultivation under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) in the village. Among others, Prabhat Biswal, UP Singh, Seed Development Manager of Rallis India, statistical officer and other agriculture and company officials were present during the

Sunday, November 27, 2011

42 students take ill after eating breakfast
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At least 42 students of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya at Solbandh in Patnagarh block suffered from dysentery and nausea on Sunday.

According to sources, the students fell sick after taking their morning tiffin of suji halwa.

On being informed, a medical team rushed to the school and started treatment of 14 students who were admitted at the Patnagarh hospital. The conditions of students have improved now.

“We suspect it to be a case of food poisoning,” said SDMO Patnagarh Dr Bhimsen Meher.

The sources said in case of any emergency, the students would be shifted to the district hospital.
Writer Pruseth passes away
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Eminent writer, columnist and academician Narayan Pruseth passed way at his residence in Bargarh on Friday morning. He was 70. Popularly known as Narayan dada, he was associated with several cultural and literary associations. He was also a member of the Odisha Sahitya Academy and a Senate member of the Sambalpur University.

Although Pruseth was in academician in profession, he was closely associated different journals, newspapers and journalists of Balangir and other parts of western Odisha. He was one of the founder members of the Balangir District Journalists’ Association.

Writers, journalists, politicians and other sections of people condoled his demise and described his death as loss of “one of the glorious persons of western Odisha.”

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Balangir migrant labourer dies after falling from train FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2011 00:56 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 9 User Rating: / 0

Balangir migrant labourer dies after falling from train
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Even as the Government is making tall claims of providing job work to people at their doorsteps and improving the livelihoods of the rural poor and checking distress migration, yet reports of rural poverty-stricken people are migrating in search of jobs livelihoods to neighbouring States, only to lose their lives and face various ordeals.

According to reports, Gautam Bhoi (26) of Bijamaal village of Muribahal block in Balangir district was going to Andhra Pradesh accompanied by his wife Sangita (24) to seek jobs in the brick kiln industry.

Gautam set out on migration on November 21 along with some residents of his in-laws’ village Mundpadar in Bongomunda block. While going to Andhra Pradesh, on the way he fell down from the train on November 22. His wife jumped from the train in an attempt to save him.

“We have got information that while Gautam has died, his injured wife has been admitted to a hospital at Rayagada,” said Bhajaram Raam Sahu of the Jana Mukti Anusthan.

He said this year; the police administration has taken a drive to check illegal migration by arresting 22 brick kiln owners from Andhra Pradesh at Kantabanji a few days ago. But people are migrating clandestinely. When asked, they would say they have gone for Ita Gadhi (brick construction) in Andhra Pradesh.

Even today, Basant Deep, a young migrant from Balikhamar village has been missing since last three years.

The absence of records of migrants and their unsafe way of migration are really creating difficulties to trace/or rescue them or to extend any help to them in case of any incident. The panchyat must keep a register of the migrants, which would reveal their names, destinations of migration so that in case of any eventualities necessary support could be extended, said Sahu further.

“I have not received any information so far on this incident (Od Gautam’s fate),” said District Labour Officer (DLO) PK Bhoi. “I will look into the matter,” he added.

Edu Secy’s Balangir visit raises high hopes FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2011 00:53 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 10 User Rating: / 0

Edu Secy’s Balangir visit raises high hopes
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The two-day visit of Commissioner-cum-Secretary of School and Mass Education Aparajita Sarangi to Balangir district on November 23 and 24, was not less than a VVIP visit, as her visit everywhere evoked curiosity among the people and also sent waves of fear among teachers and other officials associated with school education.

Sarangi’s first-ever visit to Balangir resulted in cancellation of deputations in Patnagarh area, withholding of salary of 52 teachers and placing of as many as six teacher under suspension for dereliction of duty, disengagement of two Siksha Sahayaks (SS), besides rewarding 19 persons including 17 teachers, one BRCC and a chairman of a school management committee, for their good work. Even she had a satisfactory learning from her field visit too.

“My visit to this district is a satisfactory one with very high response from the people,” Sarangi told mediapersons at the end of her visit on Wednesday evening.

“While the work of teachers in rural areas is good, but the work of teachers in municipality and other urban area is very poor,” she said ruefully. “Why this is happening despite so many trainings is surprising and we are looking into this aspect,” she said.

Sarangi lauded public cooperation, saying it has been very encouraging. “We visited Aampali, a remote village in Patnagarh block, only to find the students reading under a tree despite sanction of money for construction of the school building.”

Funds were sanctioned in 2006 for construction of the school building which has not been completed till today. Immediately after her visit, the Allahabad Bank agreed to make payments and the school building would be ready by December, 15, she added.

“The Government of India has stopped funding for the Residential Care Centre (RCC) the children of migrant labourers. We have arranged funds from different schemes and it would be opened by December 15,” Sarangi said.

The bicycle distribution scheme is going well in the district and the distribution of uniforms would be over by December 31, she added.

“One good thing I learnt from the district is supply of carpet to students in the schools where there is shortage of furniture. We are going to experiment it, in other districts too,” the Secretary was happy to note.

She said, “However, the monitoring and supervision part in school education in the district is very poor. Almost all the CRC/BRCC and School SIs are not at all moving to rural areas. We are carrying out an assessment of their performance and action will be taken against the errant officials.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Loan, seed, irrigation, storage glitches hit farming in Balangir

Loan, seed, irrigation, storage glitches hit farming in Balangir
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There is problem in getting timely loans from banks, shortage of seeds and fertiliser, irregular electricity supply, lack of irrigation, besides unavailability of agricultural labourers in rural areas, intermittent drought affect adversely agricultural operations in Balangir and Subarnapur, said the farmers in the two districts to a four-member farmers commission headed by SM Pattnaik on their visit to Balangir on Monday.

The major problem affecting us are absence of irrigation and timely credit from banks, said a farmer of Belpada block Premananda Sahu.

When we get loan from bank after lot of harassment, either it is in the middle of the crop or even towards the end of crop, which forces us to go for borrowing at heavy interest rate, Sahu said.

“We had to run to block office to get seed, fertiliser and insecticide for around 10 days which increased the cost of farming,” pointed out another farmer Santosh Patel of Damepali of Khaprakhol block.

“With easy availability of rice in rural areas due to rice at `2 per kg scheme, getting agricultural labourer in rural area has become a Herculean task. The labourers, who were earlier working in our field used to take paddy as their wage but now they are reluctant and demanding money at inflated rate, which has created a lot of difficulties for farmers, Patel further said.

Migration has also added to the woes and many a people, who are going for migration to earn more and some even are receiving money from the dalals in advance rather than toil in field, Patel pointed out further.

The district administration should check migration from the district, besides ensuring irrigation to farmer’s field, Patel suggested.

Besides, the problem in getting loans, farmers are also facing problem in soil testing.

“We have to wait for long days to get our soil test results at Patnagarh,” said president of Baghbahali village under Patnagarh block Seshdev Bhoi. It affects our cultivation process, Bhoi maintained.

The electricity which is supplied to us comes at its own sweet will and we are dependent on it and there is nobody to regulate it. However, the electricity department never fails to send its bill in the month end, said Abhimunayu Mundaof Larkipali.

It takes days to get loans sanctioned from a bank and the middle man and corruption play a crucial role without which it is difficult to get the loans, informed Karmu Nayak. Incentives should be provided to farmers to encourage fencing of fields, Nayak added.

The absence of rain in the early stage affected the cotton seedlings. Again farmers took up plantation. However, the dry spell of September and October affected the cotton crop and damaged it up to 70 per cent, said Khageshwar Sahu of Bangibahal village.

The Government should make arrangement for supply of BT cotton seed. While BT cotton has been allowed in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, why the Odisha Government should not allow it? When I took the cotton to Jogimunda cotton mandi, it was not purchased and I had to bring back it to my house, said Khageshwar Sahu of Bangibahal village.

There was acute shortage of fertiliser in Birmaharajpur area of Sonepur district and I had to purchase fertiliser through a dalal at 40 per cent more than the declared price, Jatin Panigrahi of Anandapur village of Sonepur district informed.

This year cotton cultivation has been badly affected and insurance coverage should be provided. The insurance premium for cotton crop is very high and it should be reduced, Panigrahi said.

The check dams should be constructed in such a way that they should really serve the purpose of providing irrigation to the farmer’s field, a few farmers demanded.

Other problems that were brought to the notice of the commission included checking the dalas in Mandi system, miller’s harassment to farmers, better irrigation facility to farmers and treating agriculture as industry.

“We are listening to all the problems of the farmers of the districts. Farmers have specially complained of water shortage, problem in getting seed, timely supply of fertiliser and marketing problem. Besides these districts, we will also tour other districts and take into account the problems of farmers. We would recommend solutions to the Government after that,” said SM Pattnaik to mediapersons.

Other members who were present were Vice Chancellor of, OUAT Dr DP Roy, Sudhakar Panda, Gadadhar Parida, besides Deputy Director, Agriculture (DDA) Manoranjan Mallick.

Monday, November 21, 2011

‘Job-oriented training can check migration in Balangir’ TUESDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2011 00:21 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 4 User Rating: / 0 Poor

‘Job-oriented training can check migration in Balangir’
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Distress migration in Balangir is a cause of concern for everybody and it can be tackled by taking a series of steps, including sensitising the people, streamlining the migration process, and upgrading the skills of unemployed boys and girls by imparting them various vocational trainings like tailoring, mason work, motorcycle repairing, dress designing and plumbing.

“Migration cannot be stopped totally from the district but it can be streamlined and reduced by sensitising people about migration and its impact and by providing them extra job opportunities by imparting them various life skill vocational training, which can be employable. Once a youth acquires a life skill vocational training, he would hesitate to go for brick making and face the ordeal,” observed Pradeep Mahapta of Udyaam at a workshop on a district level workshop on adverse impact of migration and distribution of vocational training certificates to youth, held at Titilagarh on Wednesday last.

With the completion of the training, the youth would be able to become self dependent and hesitant to go for migration. Even if they would go for migration, it would provide them additional opportunities to earn more both in local and outside States, observed Titilagarh Sub Collector Biswanath Sahu in the workshop.

Balangir correspondent of The Pioneer, Sudhir Mishra, spoke about drought and distress migration in the district and stressed on streamlining the process of migration. As the youth have acquired life skill vocational training, they would become self reliant, which would help slow down migration further, Mishra asserted. Titilagarh Sub Collector Sahu, Udyaam president Kannanbala Das and activist Padreep Mahapatra gave away vocational training certificates and equipment to the rural boys and girls. Murali Charan Das proposed vote of thanks.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

ABVP bandh hits life at Balangir SATURDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2011 23:19 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 20 User Rating: / 1

ABVP bandh hits life at Balangir
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Normal life in Balangir town was affected on Saturday as a result of a 12-hour dawn-to dusk bandh call given by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

The ABVP activists, led by Hitesh Sahu, Himanshu Mishra and RK Sahu, demanded appointment of Lecturers in different colleges in the district headquarters town.

They also protested against the stoppage of admission to the Balangir Ayurvedic College in the current academic session by the CCIM due to absence of requisite Lecturers and paramedical staff.

The ABVP activists were supported by the Students’ Unions of different colleges of the town. Shops and business establishments were closed. Private buses were off the roads.

Banks, Post Offices and Government offices, including the CDMO office, were also closed

The activists squatted before the district Collectorate and burnt tyres on the roads.

Friday, November 18, 2011

22 AP labour Sardars arrested at Kantabanji SATURDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2011 00:43 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 10

22 AP labour Sardars arrested at Kantabanji
22 AP labour Sardars arrested at Kantabanji
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In a bid to streamline the migration process and put an end to illegal migration from this district, under the direction of Balangir SP Awinash Kumar a team of police personnel led by inspector Ranjan Pattnaik on Thursday raided three hotels of Kantabnji town and arrested 22 Sardars (labour contractors) of Andhra Pradesh, who had come to recruit labourers from the district. Besides, three hotel owners of Kantabanji were taken to custody.

“We arrested the contactors as they could not produce valid papers to recruit labourers from this district. The Sardars showed letters of the Andhra Pradesh Government, but they are not valid in Odisha. The labour contractors should have applied to the Odisha Government through local District Labour Offices which had to be approved by the Odisha Government. After getting approval, they would be eligible to take labourers from Odisha,” said Inspector Ranjan Pattnaik.

The contractors and hoteliers have been booked under various Sections of IPC including 367 (kidnapping and confining as slaves) 368, 371 (dealing humans as slaves) and 120(b) (conspiracy) and Section 14 of the Sarai ACT of 1967 and Section 4 of the Hotel and Establishment Act of 1956, Pattnaik said

“During our raids, we found that a majority of hotel owners were not keeping ID proof of occupants,” he pointed out further. All the arrested persons were forwarded to court on Friday.

The arrest of the labour contractors at took a new turn in the evening as several Congress workers, led by their party’s Kantabanji MLA Santosh Singh Saluja, gheraoed the local police station demanding release of the arrested persons. The police resorted to mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Maoists gun down ward member in Balangir TUESDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2011 23:34 SUDHIR MISHRA/ LALMOHAN PATTANAIK | BALANGIR/JEYPORE HITS: 21

Maoists gun down ward member in Balangir
TUESDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2011 23:34
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Barely three months since the killing of BJD block president and MP nominee Rajkishore Panda on the eve of Independence Day in August this year by suspected Maoists, Maoists on Monday night gunned down another panchayati raj institution leader in Khuripani village in Khaprakhol block of Balangir district.
According to initial reports, the Maoist called out ward member of Khuripani village, Krushna Punji, from his house and shot him dead.
Punji's body with bullet injuries was found near a tamarind tree on Tuesday morning at the village, about 100 km away from here. Punji is stated to be a supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). BJP leader of Balangir district and the party's leader in the State Assembly Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo has come under threat of the Maoists several times.
The Balangir Divisional Committee of the Maoists left a leaflet at the village stating that Punji was a police informer.
"We are looking into the incident from all angles," said Superintendent of Police of Balangir Awinash Kumar while speaking to The Pioneer over telephone. The combing operation is in progress in the area, he added. Meanwhile, the Manpur division of the Maoists pasted posters in different parts of Raighar and Umerkote areas in Nabarangpur district asking the people to boycott voting in the November 30 by-election to the Umerkote Assembly constituency. They also warned the ruling BJD leaders to refrain from poll campaigning, sources said.
Though there was high security alert in the constituency with sufficient number of police personnel being deployed, the incident took place as there is a sizeable Maoist presence in the area as per intelligence sources.
The Maoists have called a bandh in Malkangiri district for two days from Wednesday. Posters and banners were found in all parts of Balimela, Kalimela and Podia areas of the district demanding transfer of Malkangiri Collector Balwant Singh as he "had failed in implementing development work in the remote areas as promised at the time of his joining in the district." They also asked the Government to fulfill their demands as assured by the State Government during the abduction of then Collector R Vineel Krishna.
The Maoists also blocked the roads from Balimela, Kalimela, Sikhpali and Podia of Malkangiri district by felling trees and digging big holes on the roads. The OSRTC and private bus services from Jeypore in Koraput district to Malkangiri district were suspended from Tuesday night and the passengers who were on their way to Malkangiri were left stranded at the Jeypore bus-stand.
No Government and private buses will ply to Malkangiri on Wednesday and Thursday from Jeypore, said both the OSTRC DTM and general secretary of Private Bus Owners' Association Durga Tripathy here.
Due to the security problem, the programme of BJD MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra to Umerkote for campaigning on Thursday was cancelled and Jeypore BJD MLA Rabi Narayan Nanda, who was camping in Umerkote, returned to Jeypore, sources said.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Punish fake certificate holders: Tribals FRIDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2011 23:12 SUDHIRMISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 3 User Rating: / 0 PoorBest

Punish fake certificate holders: Tribals
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Hundreds of tribals of Balangir, Sonepur, Boudh and other parts of western Odisha gheraoed the Collectorate here on Friday, demanding action against the fake caste certificate holders.

The tribals, dressed in their traditional attires and flaunting their traditional arms and weapons along with placards came marching through the town and rallied at the Collector's office under the leadership of Niranjan Bisi, Brajakishore Singhbhoi and Satyanarayn Bhoi of the Zilla Adivasi Kalyan Sangh.

"We had submitted a list of 357 fake caste certificate holders to the administration and only 31 fake certificates were cancelled in last four years. Many fake tribals have obtained a stay order against it. It is the duty of the State Government to vacate the stay order and punish the fake certificate holders," said Paschim Odisha Adivasi Kalyan Sangh general secretary Niranjan Bisi.

Bisi said a State-level scrutiny committee was formed to look into the cases of fake caste certificates and it has passed final order only in six cases since January, 2010. He alleged that following formation of the committee, a Vigilance cell was formed to protect influential persons who hold such fake certificates. "We demand withdrawal of State-level scrutiny committee. All fake caste certificates should be cancelled as per the Odisha Caste Certificate for ST/SC Rule of 1980," observed Bisi. He also demanded that criminal proceedings should be initiated against those non-tribals who have enjoyed the benefits of tribals under the fake certificates and the amount of such benefits in terms of money should be recovered from them.

We are taking today's rally to register our protest that even today fake caste certificate holders are enjoying the benefits too. We demand immediate action them. Unless it is done, tribals would force to take up arms in future, Brajakishore Singhbhoi, president of Balangir Zilla Adivasi Kalyan Sangh said further. The SC/ST atrocity Act is being misused and tribals are not getting justice properly, Singhbhoi said. Rather than taking action against them, officials are harassing the genuine tribal's observed Sri Niranjan bisi alleged further. Tribals are being harassed in the district .Rather than taking action against the accused the police is threatening the victim, alleged Sri BK Singhbhoi President of Zilla Adivasi Kalyan sangh.False cases, against the tribals should be withdrawn.

Moreover tribals of Niyamgiri in Kalahandi should be provided protection and the lease of forest are cancelled further and the Gandhmardarn Mountains which is a source of livelihood of thousands of tribal's of western Odisha should be declared a National property, observed Bisi further. Later they submitted a memorandum to CM through district administration.

Jumbo menace continues to hit Subarnapur, Balangir farmers THURSDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2011 23:12 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 5 User Rating: / 0

Jumbo menace continues to hit Subarnapur, Balangir farmers
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The ordeal of farmers of Subarnapur and Balangir districts is far from over even after losing their Kharif paddy crop, due to irregular and scanty rainfall this year.

As the winter sets in, they are facing another ordeal -loss of standing paddy crop, due to marauding group of jumbos from nearby forest in Subarnapur and Balangir district.

According to reports, around 16 jumbos have damaged paddy crop in Seragada, Dhuleshwar,Chouhanpur, Hathilimunda in Birmahajpur block of Sonepur district. These areas shares borders with Redahkhol forest and elephants are coming from there.

Around 20 elephants have damaged paddy crops in Lachhipur,Chhhatkhol and other adjoining areas in Sonepur block Similarly in Ulunda area around six elephants have damaged crop of farmers, explained a forest official.

"The damage to paddy crop is going on since last 15 days and as per our report around 500 acre of paddy crop has been damaged in our district. The main reasons for coming of so many jumbos from forest, towards paddy filed in plain land and damaging it, are due to availability of fodder, adequate drinking water, bushy forest area, absence of mining and blasting activity in this area and a safe habitat" points out forest range officer of Sonepur Sushil Tripathy.

"It is a gross misconception that jumbos are coming out to eat paddy crop in the field. Elephants are coming out as their habitat has been damaged and these areas were once their corridor. The movement of elephant towards paddy field and damaging paddy crop is more of a fun and amusement", Tripathy further added.

Besides Sonepur, the farmers of Balangir district have also been affected due to jumbo menace. According to reports last night around 30 elephants are moving in and around Bendra, Bakti, Asurmunda and Katapali and other villages in the Loisingha range in Balangir district.

Three persons have a providential escape on Saturday morning as these persons were coming to Bhalimunda Market to sell chillies on their bicycle. Seeing the elephant these people somehow fled from that spot leaving their bicycle and chilly which they were carrying to market for selling. At least paddy crop of four farmers have been damaged in Katapali village and if all the damaged paddy land is calculated it would be more than 50 acre, said Promod Bagarti of Katapali.

When contacted the Loisingha forest range officer says he cannot say the exact area of crop damage in his area now as he is away. Repeated attempts to contact Balangir DFO RK Sahu over the cell phone failed.

Official lodges FIR against MLA Saluja THURSDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2011 23:23

Official lodges FIR against MLA Saluja
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Alleging misbehaviour, criminal intimidation and casting aspersion on his caste, deputy director Planning and Statistics Batakishore Paruaa lodged an FIR in Town Police station, against Kantabanji MLA Santosh Singh Saluja on Wednesday.

It may be recalled that during the Planning Board meeting held on November 1, there was a heated exchange of words among the members and officials.

The Town Police have registered a case (no 282) under section 294/506 of IPC and 3 of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocity Act against the MLA, informed Inspector-in-Charge Town PS Bimalendu Satpathy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Balangir BJD protests petrol price hike

Balangir BJD protests petrol price hike
Balangir BJD protests petrol price hike
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Biju Janta Dal activities of the party’s Balangir unit, led by Kailash (Tima) Mahanty, Harekrushna Sarangi, Ashok Ratha and Damayanti Bag, on Wednesday staged a dhrana before the district Collectorate here protesting against the recent hike in the price of petrol and describing the UPA Government’s decision as anti-people. They demanded immediate rollback of the decision.

While Naveen Patnaik is striving hard to ensure development of Odisha, the Centre is constantly neglecting the State and taking anti-people steps like the hike in price of petrol, said the speakers. They lauded the efforts of Minister AU Singh Deo and local MP Kalikesh Narayn Singh Deo for development of Balangir district.

The BJD activists later burnt effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the district administration.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

BJP demo catches people off guard in Balangir TUESDAY, 08 NOVEMBER 2011 23:52 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 11

BJP demo catches people off guard in Balangir
TUESDAY, 08 NOVEMBER 2011 23:52
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Monday's closure of petrol pumps due to the demonstration by BJP Yuva Morcha activists not only caught people off guard but also brought major embarrassment to the party in the absence of proper coordination.
According to reports, after demonstration and closure of petrol pumps by the activists in the town, they reached a petrol station at Madhipali located on the outskirts of the town.
According to sources, seeing that the petrol pump was open and carrying out business, a heated exchange between the agitators and petrol pump staff ensued.
It is alleged that the agitators heckled petrol pump attendants.
Angry over this development, the petrol pump owner lodged an FIR at the Sadar police station alleging that BJP workers abused his staff using derogatory words and snatched Rs 5,000. "We have received an FIR in this connection," informed Inspector-in-Charge of Sadar PS, Srimanta Barik.
"We should have publicised our programmes more to reach the people effectively," said district BJP president Prabhas Panigrahi, reacting over the apparent confusion cause by the agitation.
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Monday, November 7, 2011

BJP, BJD, SP demand rollback of fuel price hike TUESDAY, 08 NOVEMBER 2011 00:04 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 10 User Rating: / 0

BJP, BJD, SP demand rollback of fuel price hike
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Protesting the recent hike in the petrol prices and demanding its rollback, members of the BJP Yuva Morcha led by Anil Panigrahi staged a demonstration before petrol pumps on Monday morning, forcing the retail fuel outlets to down their shutters.

“We took the steps to close down the petrol pumps in order to register our protest against the price hike and demand a rollback,” said Anil Panigrahi. All petrol pumps will remain closed till 6 pm in the evening. This development put a lot of pressure on people depending on two-wheelers and four-wheelers as well as on the transport operators.

“Everybody, including the daily-wagers, has holidays for rest or personal work, which we don’t have. At least for a few hours we got respite due to this close-down,” confided a petrol pump employee requesting anonymity. Earlier on Saturday, a huge rally was taken out in Titilagarh by the BJD youth wing led by its general secretary Abhimanyu Sahu, Promod Pradhan and others, protesting the 5th price hike in 10 months. They said the price hike would further hit the common man and strongly demanded that the hike be called off immediately.

In a related development, district president of Samajwadi Party Arun Mishra condemned repeated hike in the price of petrol and termed the measure as anti-poor. It would hit the common man hard, Mishra said and demanded its rollback.

Friday, November 4, 2011

‘Declare areas hit by erratic rainfall as drought-hit’ FRIDAY, 04 NOVEMBER 2011 22:28 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 1 User Rating: / 0

‘Declare areas hit by erratic rainfall as drought-hit’
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Farmers of Puintala, Loisingha and Balangir blocks, led by former MP Balgopal Mishra and farmer leader Udayasingh Thakur, on Friday went around in a procession through the town and gheroed the district Collectorate, demanding all the areas of the State, which has been hit due to irregular rainfall and subsequent drought ,should be declared as drought affected .

Farmers of the district have suffered four times from the beginning of cultivation of paddy crop due to irregular rainfall, pointed out farmer leader Thakur. As a result paddy cultivation could not be taken up in many fields. And in those lands where paddy cultivation was not taken up through broadcasting method, transplanting could not be taken up in the paddy filed due to lack of rain. Further the rains in first week of September further destroyed the pulse crop also. Notwithstanding all this, the Government is yet to declare Balangir as drought hit, Thakur said further.

The demands are not about declaration of Balangir district as drought hit, but for the entire farmers of Odisha who have been affected by drought, said Balgopal Mishra

“The Revenue Minister announced in August that there is drought situation in 16 districts of the State and out of them six districts are badly affected. “In the Relief Code there is a provision that the Government can announce drought seeing the crop condition and necessary relief assistance can be given to farmers as per the relief code, immediately. Why the Government has not declared it as drought affected till today, it is surprising, said Mishra. In the present day Government farmer suicides are taking place on every two days,” he further alleged.

“We held this rally to draw the attention of Government to the plight of not only farmers of Balangir, but also of entire Odisha and we demand immediate declaration those parts suffering crop loss due to erratic rainfall as drought affected points out Balgopal Mishra further.

Addressing the gathering other farmer leaders criticised the anti farmers attitude of Naveen Patnaik Government and favouring the industry.

Later they submitted a 16point charter of demands to President of India through the Collector, which includes declaration of all those parts of the State , hit by drought, “as drought affected” and waiving of loan, early completion of irrigation projects in the districts which include Lower Suktel, Hariharjore ,hike in MSP of paddy to Rs 2, 000, and payment of Rs 20,000 as compensation to farmers towards the damaged caused by elephants within a month.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Subarnapur migrant worker dies in train sans treatment TUESDAY, 01 NOVEMBER 2011 22:06 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 17 User Rating: / 0

Subarnapur migrant worker dies in train sans treatment
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It is common to find a large number of people from Balangir district resorting to the course of migration every year to brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to earn bread. But, more often than not, that lands them in a world of torture and exploitation.

This time the report of the death of a labourer during journey in a train and the trauma of the accompanying persons from neighbouring Subarnapur district has shocked many.

Sources said Santanu Biswal and Tarunkumar of Kandhpali village under Menda panchayat of Subarnapur district had migrated to Chennai two months ago and were working at a spare part company. Another person of nearby Ardda village had also migrated to Chennai with the same mission. As Tarunkumar fell ill, he was sent back to his home along with two ohers. While returning, Tarun Kumar died at Vijayawada station on October 27. He could not avail treatment due to lack of money. Seeing the dead body, the Viziaanagarm railway police detained the other two.

However, after the detained migrant labourers communicated the news to their family members, Dhruba Biswal, father of Santanu submitted a petition to Subarnapur Collector Gagan Behari Swain to rescue his son and others.

The DC took up the matter with his Vizianagaram counter part and requested him through a fax message to take step for the smooth release of the two detained laboueres. Getting the fax message, the Vijanagaram district administration intervened. The dead body after 24 hours was stinking and so was consigned to flame after discussion with his family members. The local Rotary Club and Municipality provided all support. Then the detained persons were let off, who soon returned home.

To incident made the Subarnapur district administration to sensitize the local people here to go through registered contactors to outside States after holding a village meeting. “Necessary instructions were issued to all gram panchayats of the district to ensure the registration of migrant labourers taken by contractors. Besides, the contractors were asked to register with the DLO”, District Collector Swain said.

Declare Balangir drought-hit: BJP TUESDAY, 01 NOVEMBER 2011 22:08 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 4

Declare Balangir drought-hit: BJP
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BJP members led by district president Prabash Panigrahi and others staged demonstration before the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) office on Tuesday, demanding Balangir district to be declared drought-hit. The agitation coincided with the District Planning Board (DPB) meeting at the DRDA conference hall under the chairmanship of Revenue Minister Surjya Narayan Patro.

Panigrahi said, “We are demonstrating here demanding declaration of Balangir district as drought-hit and announcement of necessary concession to farmers and assistance to families of those who have committed suicide. While the Government is over-concerned for the flood-affected areas, it is neglecting the severe drought in this region.”

However, the Revenue Minister who faced the ire of the agitating BJP members at the venue of the DPB meeting said, “Today morning, I had visited six tehsils of the district and interacted with farmers. The drought situation in the entire district is grim and after getting the report from the district Collector, necessary steps would be taken to declare the district drought-hit. Patro announced that Balangir district would definitely be declared drought-affected in due course.