Friday, September 28, 2012

State Govt in trouble over 27% reservation for SEBCs FRIDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER 2012 23:15 PNS | BHUBANESWAR HITS: 6 ·

Dear all
Ifound this news  interesting and i enclose the news ,published in the Pioneer for your perusal.


 Bhubaneswar State Govt in trouble over 27% reservation for SEBCs
FRIDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER 2012 23:15
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There seems little hope for inclusion of the 27-per cent reservation benefits for the SEBC (Socially and Economically Backward Classes) in Odisha in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution in near future.
The State Government has legislated the Odisha Reservation of Posts and Services (for SEBCs) Act, 2008, which was notified in the State Gazette on February 7, 2009 for enhancing the percentage of reservation for this group from 11.25 per cent to 27 per cent.
The State Government notified the Act without sending it for Presidential assent and inclusion in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution. On the basis of the notified Act, steps were taken for recruitment in different posts resulting in a train of litigations in the High Court and State Administrative Tribunal.
The issue relating to reservation for the SEBCs got complicated as the Act was referred to the Central Government for inclusion in 9th Schedule. After examining the matter, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment raised several questions, and now the ball is in the curt of the State Government to justify the reason for inclusion of the reservation in the 9th Schedule.
It may be mentioned that in a landmark judgment in the case of Indra Swahney, the Supreme Court declared that reservation cannot exceed a 50-per cent limit. This was reiterated in several cases. But despite the apex court’s verdict, the State Government allowed 27 per cent reservation to the SEBCs in the year 1994, thereby enhancing the total reservation to 65.75 per cent.
The Odisha Administrative Tribunal, while adjudicating the Hara Priya Das case, had disapproved of this and remarked that by no stretch of imagination can Odisha be treated as far-flung and remote areas and the people of this State out of mainstream of national life.
The State Government took the matter to the High Court and then to the Supreme Court, but ultimately lost the battle for which the State was compelled to bring down the percentage of reservation for the SEBCs to 11.25 per cent.
Thereafter, the Odisha Reservation of Posts and Services (for SEBCs) Bill was passed in State Assembly which was later on notified in the State Gazette as an Act. There is a provision in the Act to give it retrospective effect from December 8, 1994.
Till date, this Act has not been validated as per Article 31(B) of Constitution. As it is affecting the basis structure of the Constitution and contradicting the law laid down by the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has sought specific clarifications. So, the law for 27 per cent reservation for the SEBC category is hanging in balance.
Besides, officers are also confused because soon after advertisement of any recruitment notification in State Government Services, including OAS, litigations are only multiplying in courts.
Though a section in bureaucracy is of the opinion that as the law is passed in the legislature and notified in the State Gazette, the provision of 27 per cent reservation for the SEBCs is just and proper, legal experts are giving contradictory opinion that till it is included in the 9th Schedule of Constitution the Act is inoperative.

Villagers stall Suktel construction in Balangir

 Bhubaneswar Villagers stall Suktel construction in Balangir
FRIDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER 2012 17:59
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Following stiff protest from the villagers, the construction work for Lower Suktel irrigation project worth `1,042 crore, which started on Thursday, was stalled after a few hours.
Despite the fact that police imposed Section 144 at the project site to restore normalcy, the Odisha Construction Corporation officials could not resume the construction works and returned from the site after one-and-a-half hours.
At around 9 am, the company officials and workers, along with district officials, including ADM and Chief Engineer RC Padhee, started the spillway construction works after performing puja at the site in the presence of police force. However, while the work was in progress, the protesters led by Ghunu Sahu, Udaya Singh Thakur and other members of the Lower Suktel Budi Anchal Sangram Parishad, besides Samajwadi Party’s Balangir unit president Arun Mishra and party members, staged a demonstration at Magurbeda construction site, 30 km away from here, and forced the officials to stop the work. The protesters demanded adequate compensation to the displaced.
Under the banner of Lower Suktel Sangram Parishad, hundreds of protesters, including women and school children, sat in a dharna at the construction site and said that they will not allow the officials to start work until their demands are fulfilled. Some of the protesters demanded that the Chief Minister should come and discuss with the displaced people and let all the people get compensation, before the project work is undertaken.
Following the strong protest from the people, the ADM and other officials intimated with their higher authorities and returned from the site. “We have postponed the work today after intimating with higher authorities about the situation. We shall work as per the direction of the State Government,” ADM Sadhab Minz told the media.
It may be noted that on Wednesday, the members of the Budi Anchal Sangram Parishad had declared the construction site as prohibited area by putting up red flags.
To keep a vigilant eye on the movement of protesters and control any untoward incident, the district administration deployed four platoons of armed police force and one platoon of Special Police Officers at the site.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Balangir Suktel Project faces resistance WEDNESDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 2012 22:59 PNS | BALANGIR HITS: 26 · · ·

 Bhubaneswar Balangir Suktel Project faces resistance
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A day before the proposed commencement of its construction work, the`1,041-crore Lower Suktel Irrigation Project faced stiff resistance with members of the Lower Suktel Sangram Parishad holding demonstration at the project site in Balangir on Wednesday.
Hundreds of Parishad members holding red flags marched to the project site in the morning and shouted anti-Government slogans and demanded stopping of work scheduled to start from Thursday. In order to prevent any untoward incident, four platoons of armed police forces have been deployed at the site, said official sources.
Officials of the State-run Odisha Construction Corporation, which has been awarded the contract for the project work, had inspected the project site on Tuesday carrying machineries. The project, which got the State Government’s approval way back in 1999, will affect around 5,309 families of 29 villages, if implemented.

Villagers protest ‘police excess’ in Khaprakhol WEDNESDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 2012 15:40 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 46

 Bhubaneswar Villagers protest ‘police excess’ in Khaprakhol
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Several villagers of Saan Banjipali, Jhalbahal, Rengali, Telenpali, Junananibahal and Kapsibahal of Khaprakhol block held a rasta roko in Khaprakhol, 80 km from here, for several hours on Tuesday, protesting alleged excesses by Special Operations Group (SOG) jawans.
According to reports, several SOG jawans went to Behreapanmi village on Monday night and picked up Kanhu Bariha Pabitra and Hari Bariha. “They took them away and kept them in an undisclosed destination,” alleged a villager. After entering the village, they assaulted the  villagers too, he further alleged. 
“These people have been arrested in connection with murder of Sashi Bhoi on July 10, and the police have evidence to show their connection with the Maoists,” said SP R Praksh to this correspondent.
Trashing the allegation of torture by the police, Prakash said, “It is a clear attempt to malign the police.”

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rescue my family members from AP kilns: Balangir man

 Bhubaneswar Rescue my family members from AP kilns: Balangir man
TUESDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2012 22:43
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There are a few hapless migrant families in the district here who have been held captive in the brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh, where they undergo all trials and tribulations. 
While during the Nuankhai, family members from far and wide congregate at home in western Odisha to celebrate the grant festival and get blessing from the seniors, for these families, who are destined to live amid penury, mental and physical torture, the festival has little meaning.
According to reports, the family members of Laxman Chirangula of Munapali of Belpada block, who had migrated to brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh last year, are not permitted to go home. They are virtually held captives by the owners of the kilns.
According to a petition by Jata Chirangula, father of Laxman, to the District Collector, one Madhu Kumbhar of Belpada had taken his son, wife and four children to work in the brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh, a year ago and ever since they have not returned home. “When I lodged a complaint with the Belpada police, they did not take any action,” alleged Jatan Chirangul and appealed to the district administration to rescue his son and other family members from Madhapur in Hydrabad.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dashboard to display PR dept officials’ tour details FRIDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2012 23:38 PNS | BHUBANESWAR HITS: 5

 Bhubaneswar Dashboard to display PR dept officials’ tour details
FRIDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2012 23:38
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All block and DRDA officials have to maintain their tour details while visiting fields. They have to keep records of the time, date, destination and the purpose of their tour and all the details have to be displayed on a dashboard to be fixed up in the front wall of the block and DRDA offices.
The Panchayati Raj Department has issued a circular in this regard for all employees of the department. Besides, it has been made mandatory that the public grievances would be addressed every Saturday. And all officials cannot leave the headquarters on the same day.
All this has been decided because the Panchayati Raj Department is implementing welfare programmes which relate to providing of direct service to the beneficiaries. The department has also designated officers for each district who would visit remote pockets of the districts at least once in a month and give feedback to the department’s Secretary for appropriate action.
A strategy has been evolved for a monthly review of the progress. For this, the dashboard monitoring system is introduced where some colour code has been inducted to evaluate the officials’ performances. A district doing fairly well with the score 80 to 100 marks would be given a green colour code, a district with 60 to 80 marks would be given light green, the one with 40 to 60 marks would get yellow, those with 20 to 40 marks would be given pink and the ones with 0 to 20 marks would be coloured red as devised by Secretary Aparajita Sarangi.
The review system would be scaled up to the district level gradually and the Collectors would be provided with coloured maps with 50 parameters which itself would reflect their performances in the field.
Steps are also being taken to beautify the block and gram panchayat offices with a provision of adequate financial assistance for the purpose. Panchayti Raj Minister Kalpataru Das has directed that guidelines be prepared and circulated to all block and districts to utilise the funds provided under the scheme of devolution to the Zilla Parishads.

Digitised PDS cards in offing soon in Balangir FRIDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2012 22:50 PNS | BALANGIR

 Bhubaneswar Digitised PDS cards in offing soon in Balangir
FRIDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2012 22:50
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The days of old ration cards are numbered with the process of introduction of digitised PDS (public distribution system) cards in Balangr block of the district being underway to ensure transparency, check manipulations and to ensure PDS entitlements of people.
People of the 23 gram panchayats of Balangir block are to get their first-ever digital PDS cards as part of the digitisation process on a pilot basis.
A campaign for the purpose was launched in August in all the 23 panchayats of the block. All the eligible people were covered under the scheme, and photographs of the beneficiaries were taken. Meanwhile, a total of 27,571 persons have been photographed and 23,470 accounts have been opened in banks and post offices.
This digitisation process would go a long way in checking corruption in the PDS, besides ensuring entitlements of the people,” said AC Sahu of the Balangir unit of the Odisha Modernising Economy, Government and Administra
tion (OMEGA).
Another major advantage of the digitised PDS card is that it can be easily updated with information like addition of new member due to birth and its deletion due to death in a family which was a time-consuming process in case of the earlier traditional ration card.
Moreover with the prevalence of the digitised card, each family is sure to get its PDS entitlements and the scope of manipulations would not be possible with online records, said District Support Officer of OMEGA Debendra Bedbag. From November this year, the old cards would cease to be in use.  Meanwhile, the validations process is going on in the area to check whether correct data have been entered in the cards or changes are needed to make the exercise final. The final digitised cards will first be distributed on October 2 in Tusurabahal GP of Balangir block.