Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Suktel project: Panel threatens to paralyse Balangir DM office

Bhubaneswar http://dailypioneer.com/templates/ja_teline_iv/images/arrow.png Suktel project: Panel threatens to paralyse Balangir DM office
TUESDAY, 29 MAY 2012 23:30
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Demanding speedy implementation of the Lower Suktel Irrigation Project, members of the Lower Suktel Action Committee (LSAC) has threatened to paralyse the office of the Balangir District Collector from June 11 if no work started in the meanwhile.
This was decided at a meeting of the LSAC held here on Monday. The meeting was presided over by Samajwadi Party Balangir unit president Arun Mishra and attended by all sections of people, including those from the affected areas.
“We have earlier submitted an 11-point memorandum to the district administration on April 9 this year. We demand immediate resumption of the Lower Suktel Irrigation Project work and adequate compensation to displaced people and their rehabilitation. If the district administration dooes not take any steps to commence the construction work of the project, the entire Collectorate will be paralysed,” threatened Arun Mishra.

Bargarh minor held captive by brick kiln owner

SUNDAY, 27 MAY 2012 23:01
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In a shocking incident, a minor of Semelgudi village under Gaisilet police station of Bargarh district has been detained by a brick kiln owner in Tamil Nadu.
As many as 22 persons from four households of the village had migrated to work in Shiva Shakti brick kiln in Erode district of Tamil Nadu in December last year through a Sardar (middleman) of Titilagarh. The middleman had given each family an advance of Rs 10,000 before taking them to Tamil Nadu.
After working for four months when the migrant labourers wanted to return home and demanded their money, the owner said that each family owed a debt of Rs 21, 730 to him and hence they would be let off only after they repaid it.  However, the labourers maintained that they had made around 88, 100 bricks for which each family must get Rs 11,070 after deduction of the advance money.
Later, with some agreement, the labourers were allowed to come back to their home in first week of May. But, the brick kiln owner kept Japa with him on condition that he would be released only if his father, who was a labourer in the kiln, repaid his debt. After returning home, Japa’s father could not arrange the money and finally brought the incident to the notice of the members of Debadutta Club and Samuhik Marudi Pratikar Udyam at Padampur.
“We have appraised ADM Srinibas Kabi about the whole incident on Monday last, who spoke to the District Labour Officer and Superintendent of Police, Baragarh on the issue. He assured us to take step for the release of the child,” informed Kanhu Charan Majhi of Debadutta Club.
Meanwhile, Nehru Sahu, father of Japa, has appealed to the district administration of Baragarh and other agencies to rescue his child from the brick kiln owner.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Three Ultra Mega Power projects in pipeline in State FRIDAY, 25 MAY 2012 22:46

FRIDAY, 25 MAY 2012 22:46                            
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The State Government has initiated a process for installation of three Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs) in collaboration with the Union Government. A high-level meeting in this regard was held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary BK Patnaik here on Friday.
The site for one UMPP has been finalised at Bedabahal in Sundargarh district. Earlier, it was decided to have a UMPP at inland site and another in the coastal belt. It was proposed that the inland site should preferably be proximate to railway line and Ghogarpalli coal block.
In pursuance of the earlier in-principle decisions regarding the location of the other two UMPPs, a team of officers and technical experts consisting of representatives from the Central Power Authority, Power Finance Corporation of India, Idco and Ipicol led by PFCL Project-in-Charge PP Srivastav visited different sites in Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Balangir and Kalahandi districts. More particularly, places in the Dhamra, Motto, Mahakalada, Marhsaghai, Titilagarh, Narla and Kesinga areas were visited by the team.
Earlier, a similar team had also visited different places in Baleswar, Jagatsingpur, Ganjam and Puri districts. The team presented the preliminary topographical data collected from the field. The Chief Secretary has advised the team to identify locations which will require least displacement of people. The Government has decided to create reservoirs and barrages to raise the water level in rivers.
Sources said each project will have a 4,000-MW-capacity plant and all the three projects will involve an investment of around Rs 60,000 crore at the rate of Rs 5 crore per MW. The State will have 50 per cent power from both these additional units and 1m300 MW from the unit at Bedabahal. Around 2,500 acres of land will be required for each project.
The State will get power at lesser tariff from these projects. The plants will use the latest technology to minimise pollution and make minimum use of water. The projects will be implemented through Special Purpose Vehicles. The water for the plants located along the coastal line could be drawn from sea through a pipeline corridor. The water after treatment and cooling will also be taken back to sea through the same corridor.

Rally in Balangir against petrol price hike held FRIDAY, 25 MAY 2012 23:30 PNS | BALANGIR

Bhubaneswar http://www.dailypioneer.com/templates/ja_teline_iv/images/arrow.png Rally in Balangir against petrol price hike held
FRIDAY, 25 MAY 2012 23:30
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The recent hike in price of petrol by the UPA  Government evoked sharp reactions among people and  political parties here and all major political parties gave vent to their  opposition here on Friday by staging dharna and burning effigies  of Prime Minister Manmohan  Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, demanding rollback of the hiked price.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) led by its district vice-president Bhavani Hota staged a dharna before the Collector’s office here.
Among others, Kailash Mohanty, Harekrushna Sarangi, Damayanti Bag, Gopa Mahananda and Ashok Rath addressed the rally. Dubbing the price hike anti-people, speakers opined that the common man would be worst hit and demanded its rollback.
“The common man would be worst hit by this hike in the price of petrol. The BJD demands rollback of the hiked price of petrol,” said vice-president Hota, speaking to this correspondent.
The BJD activists also burnt the effigies of the Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson at the dharna site.
Coming in a rally, the BJP activists led by its district unit president Prabhas Panigrahi also burnt the effigies of Sonia and Singh.
“The price hike will affect the common man most. We demand the rollback of the hike. Let the State Government also lower the VAT and Entry tax so that people could get petrol at cheaper cost,” said Panigrahi. He appealed people to support Bharat bandh call given by Opposition parties on May 31.
Earlier on Thursday, BJD youths activists led by Abhimanyu Sahu organised a protest meeting in Titilagarh and submitted a memorandum to the district administration demanding rollback of the hiked price of petrol.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Petrol price hike adds to woes of common man

Bhubaneswar http://dailypioneer.com/templates/ja_teline_iv/images/arrow.png Petrol price hike adds to woes of common man
THURSDAY, 24 MAY 2012 22:43
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Even as the people of entire Odisha are reeling under a severe heat wave and the frequent power failures and water shortage have made their lives miserable, the hike of petrol price by Rs 7.50 per litre has further added to their ordeal.
“The steep hike of petrol prices by a whopping Rs 7.50 per litre is unjustifiable on any count,” said former Sambalpur MP and president of All India University Employees’ Confederation Bhabani Shankar Hota.
“The Government is playing game with the people of this country. At 0.44 am on December 24, 2012, the Brent Crude price was US $ 105 per barrel whereas the WTI crude price was US $ 90.47 per barrel. The monthly average of exchange rate per US dollar in May (till today) was Rs 54 whereas yesterday it was Rs 56 per dollar,” Hota pointed out.
He further said, “The crude price is not US $110 per barrel as being made out by the Government. A simple arithmetical calculation would lead to the fact that due to falling rupees rate which is fluctuating (it was Rs 48 per US dollar as on February 3, 2012), the actual rise in prices of petrol should not be more than Rs  4 per litre that too assuming that the exchange rate of rupee would be constant at Rs 56 and would not go down. This was the case of a wrong decision at a wrong time which would be stoutly opposed by every section of the society except the lackeys of US imperialism.”
Balangir MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo said, “The common man is already reeling under the high rise of prices of essential commodities. The hike in petrol price is going to be a huge burden on the poor and middle classes.”
After the news of hike in petrol price came in television on Wednesday, people rushed to nearby petrol pumps and there was a panic buying of petrol. “We opened and sold petrol exceeding the schedule time,” said a petrol pump owner.
Samajwadi Party district president Arun Mishra said, “It is a gift of the UPA Government to Aam Aadmi on completion of its third years. We demand rollback of the hike.”

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Minister expects power crisis to subside within three days SATURDAY, 19 MAY 2012 23:54 PNS | BHUBANESWAR

 Bhubaneswar http://www.dailypioneer.com/templates/ja_teline_iv/images/arrow.png Minister expects power crisis to subside within three days
SATURDAY, 19 MAY 2012 23:54
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Energy Minister Atanu Sabyasachi on Saturday exuded confidence that power crisis in the State would be over within three days with the cooperation of industrial houses having captive power plants as the State continued to reel under unprecedented heatwave conditions coupled with power shortage.
Talking to mediapersons here after a high-level meeting at the State secretariat on ways to tide over the crisis, Sabyasachi said he had sought cooperation of the private industries having captive generating units to provide surplus power to the State during the present crisis period by expanding their apacity utilisation. The companies who attended the meeting agreed to his proposal, Sabyasachi said.
He said the meeting was attended by, among others, senior officials of the Energy Department, Odisha Hydro-Power Corporation, GRIDCI and  representatives of Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Sterlite and Nava Bharat.
As per the decision, Sterlite would supply 250 mw of power against its capacity of 600 mw within next three days. The company would start supplying power to GRIDCO from Sunday with initial 100 mw followed by subsequent additional 150 mw within the next three days.
Sterelite had stopped the supply of 350 mw of power to the State for the last three days following serious snag in its units. However, the company had started production by undertaking repair and renovation work on war footing.
Similarly, JSPL, he said, promised to supply additional 70 mw of power in the next two days in addition to the present wheeling of 190 mw to Gridco. Besides, Nav Bharat assured to provide 64 mw of power in addition to its present supply of 90 mw. Admitting that there has been a shortfall of 500 mw of power during the peak hour, Sabyasachi asserted that the power crisis would be sorted out with the availability of around 400 mw.
He said the power generation from the hydro power stations in the State reduced this season with falling of water level in the reservoirs. At present around 200 to 250 mw of power was being produced in the hydel stations. However, the State Government has taken up with neighbouring AP and Chhattisgarh the question of increasing water levels in the reservoirs. Besides, he also said the State Government has urged the Andhra Government to increase the share of power being produced in the inter-State Machhkund Hydro Power Station.
The Energy Minister said he had asked the distribution companies to limit the period of power cut to the minimum and to ensure sustained power supply to the drinking water supply projects in view of the continuing heat-wave conditions.

Friday, May 18, 2012

MP wants family land returned if mill not set up at Kantabanji

FRIDAY, 18 MAY 2012 22:23
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Balangir MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo has once again demanded setting up of a railway wagon factory at Kantabanji “in view of availability of railway land and to ensure economic prosperity to the backward district.”
Singh Deo’s stand assumes significance in the wake of the demand by the people of neighbouring Kalahandi district for a wagon factory at Narla and the State Government’s reported decision to set up the proposed factory at Sitapalli in Ganjam district.
Singh Deo, in a letter to Railway Minister Mukul Roy on May 15, has stated, “Land acquisition is a highly time-taking and sensitive process and almost all departments and agencies have to face a lot of problems (in this regard). “My grandfather (former Chief Minister) late Maharaja RN Singh Deo had donated his personal land of approximate 400 acres for establishment of a railway factory at Kantabanji.”
The MP’s letter further pointed out that “As per the enclosed reply to RTI application dated 21st April 2010, a total of 125 areas of vacant land are in the possession of the Railways at the Kantabanji railhead. This land has also been identified for setting up the proposed wagon factory according to the report of the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM). This land can be used for setting up a wagon factory rather than looking for other possible venues where land acquisition process will need to be undertaken.”
Moreover, the Railways doesn’t need to seek any permission from any other authority for location of the factory, and the project can be executed at Kantbanji without any problem, the letter contended.
As Balangir is one of the poorest districts in the country, the Railways on a priority basis should set up the plant for economic development of this ‘no-industry district,’ the MP has argued.
Importantly, Singh Deo has told the Railway Minister that since the land at Kantabanji was donated for a specific purpose by his grandfather, the Railways should return the land if it is not utilised for the purpose.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Minimum wage for Odia migrant workers fixed in AP WEDNESDAY, 16 MAY 2012 22:49 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 0

·         E-mail Bhubaneswar http://dailypioneer.com/templates/ja_teline_iv/images/arrow.png Minimum wage for Odia migrant workers fixed in AP
WEDNESDAY, 16 MAY 2012 22:49
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There have been innumerable complaints by hundreds of migrant labourers that they are being tortured and exploited by brick kiln owners in outside States.
They alleged that they are denied of minimum wage and forced to work for long hours.
However, their ordeal seems to be heading for an end following the fixing of a minimum wage rate after a three-day strike by the Odia migrant labourers in the brick kilns in March this year. Not only was their wage fixed but they are also going to get a displacement allowance as per the provisions of Inter State Migrants Act, 1979.
In a landmark and the first-ever agreement between the brick kiln owners and Andhra Pradesh Government in the presence of representatives of the migrant labour union in AP on May 10 last, a minimum labour wage was fixed along with an allowance for displacement.
Attended by Human Rights Forum of AP president S Jeevan Kumar, brick kiln owners’ representatives, Deputy Commissioner of Labour, among others, the meet discussed the wage of the migrant labourers and fixed a wage effective from April 1 last.
According to the agreement, Rs282 will be paid for making of 1, 000 bricks and in every six month, there will be a pay hike called Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA).
However, for those who have produced bricks on or before March 31, 2012, they shall be paid Rs273.90 for 1,000 bricks. The brick loaders shall be paid Rs187.90 (before
April 1) and Rs196 (after April 1) for carrying of the bricks to the furnace. Moreover, each worker is entitled to get Rs2, 115 as displacement allowance in accordance with the Inter State Migrants Workmen Act, 1979, in addition to the wage.