Posts Tagged ‘Bhubaneswar’
Bhubaneswar, Dec 10 (IANS) More than 20,000 children of Odisha’s Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) formed a 25-km human chain to mark the International Human Rights Day here Monday.
Carrying placards and banners, the children held hands for about two minutes to form the human chain that covered almost the entire city.
The children also performed traditional dances and dramas at various places. People from different walks of life including legislators, ministers, journalists, academicians and film personalities attended the events.
Located in Bhubaneswar, KISS is home to over 20,000 tribal children who receive free educational and vocational training from kindergarten (KG) to post-graduate (PG) level.
“The event was organised to create awareness among the people of the state on human rights,” KISS founder and noted social entrepreneur Achyuta Samanta told IANS.
“Poverty eradication is an achievable goal and KISS exemplifies this,” Samanta added.
Dec 10 is celebrated as the Universal Human Rights Day across the world.
This year’s spotlight is on voicing the various issues concerning women, youth, people from minority communities, people with disabilities, indigenous people and the poor and including them in political decision-making.
Bhubaneswar, Dec 8 (IANS) A team of the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) Saturday arrived in Odisha to examine implementation of the recommendations it had made two years ago on the alleged mining irregularities in the state, official said.
The team led by member secretary of the panel M.K. Jiwrajka has arrived here on a three-day tour and is scheduled to hold discussions with the top state officials here Dec 10, a senior official of the state mining department told IANS.
Although it is not clear if the panel will visit some mines, they are likely to focus on compliance with forest and environmental laws at mining areas, he said.
The team has come in connection with a petition filed at the Supreme Court in 2009 by Rabi Das, a Bhubaneswar based journalist and social activist.
Das had accused the state government of violating forest and environmental law and allowing illegal mining in the state.
The Supreme Court had asked the CEC to look into the allegations.
The CEC team had conducted hearings at New Delhi and submitted an interim report to the court in 2010, petitioner Das told IANS.
In the report, the committee had pointed out several irregularities in the state and had asked the government to take certain measures, he said.
The team is likely to find out if the government has complied them or not. The panel is expected to submit a final report based on their findings, Das added.
Bhubaneswar, Dec 8 (IANS) A man has been arrested in Odisha for posting a ‘distorted’ picture of a religious place of a particular community on Facebook, police said Saturday.
Pintu Sahu, 26, allegedly posted the picture a few days ago and also circulated it among his friends. He runs a computer shop in Rourkela, around 515 km from here.
Police launched a probe on its own after the news related to the post began circulating in the city, Additional District Superintendent of Police Sudarsan Sethi told IANS.
Police scanned the computer of the accused and found the picture on his desktop.
He was taken into custody Friday after he admitted to the crime, said Sethi.
Sahu has been arrested on multiple charges including for promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion and making deliberate attempt to outrage the religious feeling of the people.
Bhubaneswar, Dec 7 (IANS) At least four lakh migratory birds have so far thronged to Odisha’s Chilika Lake – India’s largest brackish water lagoon, an official said Friday.
Three lakh birds have been sighted on the lake’s Nalabana Island, while another one lakh birds were spotted on the other area of the lake, divisional forest officer B.P. Acharya told IANS.
The 1,000 sq km lake, about 100 km from here, is spread over the districts of Puri, Khordha and Ganjam along the eastern coast and is home to some of the largest congregations of migratory birds in the country.
Every year, about a million migratory birds come to the lake from places as far as Siberia, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan in October and return in March.
Acharya said more birds are expected to arrive at the lake in the coming days and the number may peak in January.
Bhubaneswar, Dec 6 (IANS) Hundreds of villagers, including tribal men and women Thursday held a meeting in Odisha’s Kalahandi district to reiterate their strong opposition to Vedanta’s alumina refinery and mining project in their region, police said.
Shouting slogans against the company, the tribal men and women, armed with their traditional weapons, assembled at Lanjigarh, about 500 km from here, and sought complete dismantling of the refinery which was closed down temporarily a day ago due to shortage of bauxite.
“About 1,500 people attended the protest meeting,” Pratap Rana, inspector in charge of the local police station told IANS.
“The plant has been built illegally. Why the company has temporarily closed it down? It should dismantle it completely,” Prafulla Samontray, an anti-displacement leader who attended the gathering told IANS.
“The refinery is polluting our environment. No mining permission should be given to the company,” Siddharth Nayak, president of Kalahandi Sachetana Nagarik Manch said.
He said over 7,000 people attended the protest meeting.
The state government and the officials of the company, however, said the refinery has created employment opportunities for thousands of people and contributing to the economic growth of the region.
Vedanta Aluminium Limited’s one million-tonne-per annum refinery in Lanjigarh has about 550 regular staffs. It has provided indirect employments to thousands of people, a senior company official said.
Vedanta had entered into a supply arrangement with Odisha government who was to supply bauxite through a state agency from Niyamgiri Hills located near the refinery.
It has also applied for several other bauxite reserves in the state, but none of them have materialised so far.
After facing frequent raw material shortages which it was so far sourcing from other states, the company shut the refinery Dec 5.
While the company said it will re-start the refinery only after getting a sustainable supply of bauxite, anti-displacement activists say they do not want the plant or any mining in the region.
VAL is an associate company of the London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc.
Bhubaneswar, Dec 5 (IANS) The son of a human rights activist was arrested in Odisha Wednesday for supplying arms to the Maoists, police said.
Sangram Mohanty was arrested while he was supplying arms and other items to a Maoist courier in Mohana area in Gajapati district, Superintendent of Police C.S. Meena told IANS.
The courier was also arrested. Two pistols, 95 bullets and dry fruits were among the items seized from them.
Mohanty’s father Dandapani had negotiated with the Maoists and helped the state government resolve the abduction of a foreign tourist earlier this year.
“My son was picked up by a group of policemen forcibly when he was on his way from a garage in Berhampur town,” Dandapani said.
Police have cooked up the story. There were no arms or ammunitions with him, he told reporters.
“This is a conspiracy to suppress me as I have always raised my voice against atrocities and fake encounters by police,” he said.
Bhubaneswar, Dec 5 (IANS) Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) Wednesday temporarily shut down its alumina refinery in Odisha’s Kalahandi district due to shortage of bauxite, the company said.
The one-million-tonne per annum alumina refinery at Lanjigarh, about 500 km from here, has been facing raw material shortage since it was commissioned August 2007.
The company was running the plant by sourcing the raw materials from different states as the earmarked mines located in a nearby Niyamgiri Hills could not be commissioned till date.
For the last few days it had cut down output by 80 per cent as its stock of bauxite exhausted. Bauxite is the key raw material used to produce alumina.
“The refinery would re-start only after sustainable supplies of the bauxite” VAL president and chief operating officer Mukesh Kumar told IANS.
Set up on an investment of $800 million, VAL requires three lakh tonnes of bauxite per month to run the refinery at full capacity.
Vedanta had entered into a supply arrangement with Odisha government who was to supply bauxite through a state agency from Niyamgiri Hills located near the refinery but its clearance is mired in litigation.
It has also applied for several other bauxite reserves in the state, but none of them have materialised so far. The VAL is an associate company of the London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc.
Bhubaneswar, Dec 4 (IANS) Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) Tuesday said it was shutting down its alumina refinery in Odisha from Wednesday due to shortage of bauxite.
“Despite our concerted efforts over the past three months to ensure sustainable supplies of bauxite for our Lanjigarh refinery we have not been able to find any solutiona,” VAL president and chief operating officer Mukesh Kumar told IANS.
“For the last three days we have run the unit at around 20 per cent of the capacity and on Dec 5 we shall close down the unit as there are no stocks of bauxite,” he said.
The one-million-tonne per annum alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, about 500 km from here, has been facing a shortage of bauxite since it was commissioned in August 2007.
Kumar said the company was running the plant despite incurring heavy losses by sourcing bauxite from different states. The company had informed the state government in September its intention to shut down the refinery from Dec 5 until it gets long-term assured supply of bauxite.
Set up on an investment of $800 million, VAL requires three lakh tonnes of bauxite per month to run the refinery at full capacity.
Vedanta wants to mine bauxite from Niyamgiri Hills near its refinery but its clearances are mired in litigation and protests by locals. It has also applied for several other bauxite reserves in the state, but none of them have been materialised so far.
VAL is an associate company of the London listed Vedanta Resources Plc. Bauxite is the key raw material used to produce alumina.
Bhubaneswar, Dec 4 (IANS) A four-hour protest called by farmers in Odisha Tuesday to oppose the government’s “apathy” towards the farming sector hit road traffic across the western part of the state for several hours, a protest leader said.
Commercial and passenger vehicles were stranded on national and state highways near all major towns in 11 districts as thousands of agitated farmers squatted on roads at several places between 12 noon and 4 p.m.
Farmers also carried out processions and rallies at several places including at the district headquarters town of Bolangir, Sambalpur, Bhabanipatna, Angul and Sundergarh.
They also demonstrated outside government offices.
“It was a symbolic protest to warn the government. If the state and central governments do not pay heed to the plight of the farmers, we will launch a bigger agitation,” farmer leader Ashok Pradhan told IANS.
Pradhan is one of the convenors of the Paschim Odisha Krushak Sangathan Samanwaya Samiti (POKSSS), which has been fighting to protect the interests of farmers. POKSSS was the organiser of the latest protest.
Pradhan said POKSSS had organised a massive rally at Sambalpur, about 300 km from state capital Bhubaneswar Oct 31, seeking several government measures.
“Although we had submitted a 15-point charter of demands to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through the local authorities, nothing has been done yet”, he said.
“We want the government to implement a uniform paddy procurement policy in the state. We want the government to pay Rs.300 bonus per one quintal of paddy,” Pradhan said.
The farmers were also seeking assurance from the government that it would not acquire any farm land for industrial purpose.
Bhubaneswar, Dec 3 (IANS) Thousands of activists Monday participated in a protest here to oppose the Odisha government’s move to divert water from the state’s various rivers for industrial purposes at the cost of farming.
The activists, under the banner of Mahanadi Bancho (save Mahanadi) Committee, took out a motorcycle rally and gathered near the state assembly here to stage a sit-in demonstration.
About 2,000 people, cutting across party lines, participated in the rally and the sit-in, Samir Dey, former state minister and a leader of the Mahanadi Bachao Committee, told IANS.
The Mahanadi river flows through Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand and passes through 14 districts of Odisha.
“The state government had promised that the river water would be first used for irrigation and drinking purposes, and only surplus water would be given to industries,” Dey said.
The industries are not only drawing excess water from the Mahanadi but also from other rivers in the state. It leaves little for the people to utilize the water for farming and drinking purposes, he added.
He accused the government of providing river water to various industries by ignoring the interest of the common people.
“The government is not monitoring the water usage. Therefore, we are demanding establishment of a water commission to deal with such issues,” he said.
Dey said the protesters submitted a memorandum to the state assembly speaker Pradip Amat and distributed literature on the issue among legislators.
Bhubaneswar, Dec 1 (IANS) Cold wave conditions continued to sweep parts of Odisha Saturday with Phulbani town in Kandhamal district recording the minimum temperature of seven degrees Celsius, the lowest for this time of the season in the state, an official said.
The minimum temperature was three-four degrees Celsius below the average in several other areas of the state, especially those at a distance from the sea, a senior official of the Bhubaneswar meteorological centre told IANS.
Other places in Odisha that recorded below normal temperature Saturday included Keonjhar (7.8 degrees Celsius) Sundergarh (9.4 degrees Celsius) and Koraput (10.5 degrees Celsius), he said.
The official said the cold wave conditions would continue over some parts of the state for the next two days.
In view of the cold weather conditions, the state government had last month announced financial assistance for the elderly, widows and disabled people to enable them to buy winter clothes.
The beneficiaries would receive Rs.200 each Dec 15 along with their monthly pension.
Bhubaneswar, Dec 1 (IANS) Social activist Anna Hazare Saturday said he will campaign only for candidates put up by Arvind Kejriwal and ruled out the possibility of supporting people from other parties.
“I will campaign only for Kejriwal’s candidates,” Hazare told reporters here. “There may be good people in other parties but who has the control?”
Criticizing other political parties for indulgingin politics in the name of caste and communities, the 75-year-old activist also accused them of practicing unfair means to collect donations.
He said other political parties collected huge donations from vested interests and corporates but break them into amounts less than Rs.20,000 to hide the identities of the donors.
He also accused political parties of being controlled by individuals.
“I know Kejriwal. He has not done anything for himself. He is doing everything for the country,” Hazare said, reiterating that he will however examine the candidates and back them only the deserving ones.
“I will check them. If they are found to be good, if they are proper candidates, I will campaign for those candidates,” he said.
The India Against Corruption founder is on a three-day Odisha visit since Thursday. He addressed students, farmers and others.