In Lord Jagannath of Puri’s name, 25,000 acres, a lot of it encroached


Bhubaneswar: He is possibly the only god in India who owns so much land —25,711 acres — but Lord Jagannath is struggling to get part of it back from encroachers.

Lord Jagannath, presiding deity of the 12th century temple in Puri, is listed as a landlord in the Orissa government’s revenue records. He reportedly owns 56,000 acres, of which at least 25,711 acres is registered against the name of “Sri Jagannath Mahaprabhu Bije, Puri” in the state’s land revenue records. The temple’s managing committee headed by the Puri king manages the land on behalf of the deity. The lands are spread over 23 of Orissa’s 30 districts as well as states such as Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

But the land mafia, allegedly helped by bureaucrats and corrupt politicians, is believed to have parcelled away at least 20 per cent of his recorded land in Orissa. Chief administrator of the temple Arvind Padhee, a senior IAS officer, decided to strike back early this week. The temple administration cleared 250 acres in Jatni area near Bhubaneswar and Delang area of Puri district. The land is worth an estimated Rs 500 crore.

“When I started clearing the area, there were goons all over the place. But we were determined to clear it,” said Padhee, who as revenue divisional commissioner, central division, has been trying to get the lord’s land records updated. Among the alleged encroachers was the son of a former Assam governor, whose stone crusher was obscuring the landscape. The anti-encroachment team’s bulldozers razed a rice processing mill, a housing society, a market complex and several dhabas that had mushroomed over the land. A head clerk working at the temple’s Jatni office, who was found guilty of conniving with the land mafia, was suspended.

Officials said the encroachers had sought to justify the land-grabbing, saying it had been authorised by the endowment commissioner under the Orissa Hindu Religious Endowments Act, 1951. But Padhee cited section 16(3) of the Shri Jagannath Temple Act, 1954, which says any transfer of immovable property recorded in the name of Lord Jagannath of Puri by any person including any institution would be null and void. As per section 2(1) of the temple Act, the provisions of the Hindu religious endowments Act are not applicable to the temple except with respect to actions taken, things done and contributions levied as such.

Padhee said the temple administration is now planning to evict encroachers from at least 1,000 acres in the next few weeks. After it is freed, the land would be sold to the general public through the Bhubaneswar Development Authority. The funds so generated would be deposited in the temple corpus fund.

Encouraged by the success of the drive, the temple administration is now in the process of identifying the remaining 30,000 acres for which there is no record of rights as yet. “Most of these lands are in districts of Puri, Khurda, Cuttack and Ganjam. If we get back the land, the lord’s would probably be the richest among all shrines in India,” Padhee said.









In Lord Jagannath of Puri’s name, 25,000 acres, a lot of it encroached
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  • Remote Odisha station converts moisture in ambient air into potable water

    BHUBANESWAR: Rauli — a small railway station in the hilly, tribal-dominated Rayagada district — has made the most of its scanty resources and overcome a major challenge — lack of potable water. The Waltair division of the East Coast Railway (ECoR) zone has installed a machine that converts ambient air into water by passing it over a condenser, and this has ensured that Rauli is now no longer a water-deficit station.

    The machine that has brought about this transformation — an Atmospheric Moisture Extractor — has cost the ECoR slightly more than Rs 2 lakh. It draws water from the atmosphere and passes it over a condenser. The water vapour in the air is extracted by cooling it below its dew point. Later, the vapour is transformed into water. Named Akash Ganga, the project is the first of its kind within the railways, the ECoR has said.

    “This area has a peculiar problem. There is little potable water here but the moisture quantity in the air is high. Hence, the machine yields a good output. The station harvests 120 litres per day normally,” said K D Rao, additional divisional railway manager of the Waltair division.

    He added that the machine’s energy consumption per litre is 0.35 to 0.40 kW and it needs minimum electricity. “The innovative idea has been appreciated by one and all and it is a big relief for both staff and passengers using Rauli station,” he added.

    The Waltair division — one of the three railway divisions of the ECoR — worked on the project after being asked to look for alternate sources of water by zonal general manager Umesh Singh during an inspection in March this year. The water extractor was installed on April 25.

    Before the installation of the machine, the station had to depend on stream water to meet its needs. Moreover, the water collected from the source of the hill streams was unfit for drinking. “Several attempts were made to install a tube well at the station, but we could not succeed because of the rocky terrain near the station,” said Rao.

    The station, located near Rauli village under Kashipur block of the district, 460 km away from Bhubaneswar, comes between Lilliguma and Tikri stations on the Koraput-Rayagada section. Three trains — Hirakhand Express, Koraput-Sambalpur passenger and Visakhapatnam-Koraput passenger — have daily stops here.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/remote-odisha-station-converts-moisture-in-ambient-air-into-potable-water/articleshow/64246334.cms
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  • Railway minister proposes to ink MoU with Odisha govt for construction of city station

    BHUBANESWAR: Railway minister Piyush Goyal has written a letter to chief minster Naveen Patnaik for signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Railways and the state government for the construction of Bhubaneswar railway station.

    He mentioned in the letter that the MoU will be signed jointly at the Rail Bhawan in New Delhi on May 23. He has invited the chief minister to grace the occasion with his officials.

    Goyal said in the letter that the station building will be constructed in partnership with the state government. For this, the understanding will be signed between the two government bodies.

    In January, both the state government and East Coast Railway (ECoR) had decided to sign the MoU to start the work of construction of multi modal hub and work of new station building at the railway station. But it could not be materialized.

    The multi-modal hub will be a part of the Smart City project executed by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA). It is not clear whether the housing and urban development (H and UD) will go to sign the MoU or not. When contacted, H and UD secretary G Mathivathanan did not respond to TOI’s repeated phone calls.

    The state government has agreed to construct a new station building entirely at its cost at the station. It has made a budgetary provision of Rs 60 crore for construction of this project. After construction, two rail lines and one platform will be constructed by the Railway at a cost of Rs 70 crore.

    The Railways has started constructing third foot over bridge (six meter wide) at the railway station with an expenditure of Rs 8 crore. The station will have a multi storey building and it will be used by both the parties.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/railway-minister-proposes-to-ink-mou-with-odisha-govt-for-construction-of-city-station/articleshow/64262843.cms
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  • Several parts of Bhubaneswar waterlogged in Nor'wester rain, CM takes alternate route to office

    BHUBANESWAR: People of Bhubaneswar woke up to overcast sky followed by heavy rain and thundershowers on Wednesday morning. Incessant rain continued for more than three hours waterlogged several low lying areas and submerged city roads causing severe inconvenience to public.

    Chief minister Naveen Patnaik also took a separate route from his regular road to secretariat due to waterlogging at Forest park road. Besides, major roads including National Highway-16 in front of ISKCON temple at Nayapally, Baramunda, Bomikhal, Rasulgarh, Rabi Talkies area, Samantarapur, Garage Chhaka and Old Town area.

    Due to heavy rain, thunderstorm and lightning, office goers in the city faced immense difficulty as they could not come out from their houses. Those started were stuck up due to waterlogging and traffic.

    “If this is the condition in a few hours rain in May just imagine the problem of waterlogging we are going to face in the coming monsoon season. We could not come out of houses due to knee deep water and used pumps to pump out water,” said P K Das, a resident of Gouri Garden of Old town area.

    Met sources said, rain and thundershowers are likely to continue in several parts of the state till Friday. “Bhubaneswar recorded the highest rainfall of 68.8 mm between 8 am to 11 am. Similar weather conditions may prevail till May 25 in most parts of the state,” said director of IMD’s Bhubaneswar Centre, Sarat Chandra Sahu.

    However, there is no loss of life reported in the last 12 hours, sources in the special relief commissioner’s office said.

    Other places recorded major rainfall on Wednesday included Cuttack, Puri, Chandbali, and Keonjhar. Day temperature at most places in the state witnessed sharp drop due to influence of Nor’wester rain.

    Temperature recorded above 40 degree Celsius in two places in the state including Titilagarh with 41.5 degree Celsius followed by Bolangir with 40 degree Celsius. The state capital recorded 29.6 degree Celsius, seven degrees less from normal. Similarly, Angul recorded 31.7 degree Celsius, eight degree drop from normal. Mercury on an average dropped by 3 to 5 degrees compared to normal all over the state.

    IMD bulletin said, strong and gusty surface wind speed reaching 45 to 55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is likely to prevail along and off Odisha coast. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/several-parts-of-bhubaneswar-waterlogged-in-norwester-rain-cm-takes-alternate-route-to-office/articleshow/64292253.cms
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  • Bhubaneswar: Passengers stranded as overhead electric wire snapped in squall

    BHUBANESWAR: Hundreds of train passengers were stranded at several railway stations on Howrah-Chennai main line and Khurda Road- Puri line after heavy rain along with gusty wind damaged overhead electric wire near Sarkantara between Lingaraj and Retang station in the city.

    Sources said a 33 kv high tension wire of the central electricity supply utility (CESU) passed over the rail line came in contact with the overhead electricity (OHE) wire of the railway line due to gusty wind at around 9.30 am. After the CESU wire fell on the OHE wire, the later got snapped disrupting the rail services for around five hours.

    Soon after the incident, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) stopped running of trains between Lingaraj and Retang stations. It controlled more than 10 trains at different stations till the line is cleared at around 2 pm.

    It stopped Angul-Puri Passenger train at Bhubaneswar from 10.10 am. Similarly, it controlled Tata-Kacheguda Special train at Mancheswar from 9.40 am, Talcher-Puri Passenger at Mancheswar from 10.10am, Bhadrak-Bhubaneswar Passenger at Barang from 10.03 am, Puri-Cuttack Passenger at Retang from 9.37 am, Palasa-Cuttack Passenger at Khurda Road from 10.53 am, Secunderabad-Howrah Falaknuma Express at Tapang from 11.10 am, Bangalore Cant-Bhubaneswar Express at Nirakarpur from 10.45 am, Puri-Santragachhi Passengers at Delang from 10. 50 am and Puri-New Delhi Nandankanan Express at Puri.

    The ECoR also cancelled four trains and partially cancelled three trains following the incident.
    “I along with my wife and kid were going Bhubaneswar to treat my son at a private hospital. The doctor had asked me to come at 11.45 am. But the train stopped at Khurda Road at around 10.55 am. I finally booked an auto rickshaw to come NH 16 and then came Bhubaneswar by a bus by spending Rs 250,” said Banahari Barik of Ganjam district.

    Some passengers, whose train was stranded at Retang, came to main road by walking. Some passengers had to wait till the line is cleared.

    “Our engineering and electrical staff immediately reached the spot and started repairing the OHE wire. Up line got ready by 12.10 pm. The common line was cleared by 1.20 pm and the down line got clearance at around 2 pm. After examining the safety of the line, we started running trains,” said ECoR chief spokesperson J P Mishra.

    Passengers were also got stuck at Bhubaneswar railway station for more than five hours as the main line was blocked for repairing work. Entry point of the station near the enquiry counter got flooded due to heavy downpour. Holes on the roof of the station allowed water to flow into the station area. “We will repair the holes. Work will start from tomorrow,” said Mishra.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/bhubaneswar-passengers-stranded-as-overhead-electric-wire-snapped-in-squall/articleshow/64292855.cms
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  • Dutee seeks her 'promised' land, questions govt intent

    BHUBANESWAR: Olympian Dutee Chand on Wednesday criticised the state government for not providing her with a residential plot in the state capital as was promised two years back. In May 2016, the state sports and youth affairs department had recommended the names of five sportspersons to the general administration department (custodian of government land in Bhubaneswar) to be allotted residential plots in the city.

    Besides Dutee, the names of Purnima Hembram, Jauna Murmu, Amiya Kumar Mallick and Srabani Nanda were recommended. On Wednesday, Dutee, in a Facebook post, wrote, "Despite two years after the government promised to provide a piece of land to Olympians, I am yet to get it. How long will we wait like this?"

    Speaking from Hyderabad, Dutee said she and other athletes approached the sports minister several times on the department's promise for residential plot.

    "I only got assurances every time I met the sports minister. When I contacted the sports department officials, they asked me to meet the chief minister. If I have to run from pillar to post to get a piece of land as promised by the government itself, how can I concentrate on my game and practice?" Dutee asked.

    The 22-year old athlete, who represented the country in the 100 metres in Rio Olympics, asked why the government had to make the promise when it could not keep it?

    Jauna, who participated in the recent Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, said it was humiliating when sportspersons are treated like this.

    "The state government's effort in improving sports infrastructure is praiseworthy. But it should also take care of sportspersons who have excelled in various fields and brought laurels to the state and country. We should not face administrative hurdles," Jauna, who is in New Delhi for training, said. The other three athletes could not be reached for their comments.

    When contacted, sports minister Chandra Sarathi Behera said the sports department has already recommended the names of the sportspersons. "I will certainly look into it and try and expedite the process," he said.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/dutee-seeks-her-promised-land-questions-govt-intent/articleshow/64298055.cms
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  • Naveen Patnaik approves rural projects worth Rs 29.50 crore under his pet scheme

    BHUBANESWAR: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday approved developmental projects worth Rs 29.50 crore for 108 gram panchayats under the Ama Goan.....Ama Bikash (our village…our development) programme.

    The programme, under which the chief minister directly interacts with people and instantly approves projects within Rs 10 lakh on their suggestions, was held at block level instead of at panchayats.
    Since the chief minister directly connects to the people through the programme, the state government aims to cover all 8000 gram panchayats under the programme before the 2019 general and assembly elections.

    Over 50 panchayats have so far been covered under it which was launched on March 5 marking birth anniversary of Biju Patnaik and state panchayati raj divas.

    “We take the programme as a game changer. The chief minister has given top priority for it. A whopping Rs 1250 crore has been earmarked for it in the 2018-19 annual budget. Chief secretary A P Padhi has been taking stock of the status of implementation of the projects approved by the chief minister at regular intervals,” said a senior panchayati raj department official requesting anonymity.

    According to a statement from the chief minister’s office, the chief minister approved projects worth Rs 8.12 crore for 32 panchayats under Rangailunda block in Ganjam, Rs 4.38 crore for 15 panchayats under Lamtaput block in Koraput, Rs 9 crore for 36 panchayats under Chandbali panchayat in Bhadrak and Rs 8 crore for 25 panchayats under Jajpur sadar block in Jajpur.

    Addressing the people through videoconferencing, the chief minister said development of village is essential to make Odisha, the number one state in the country.

    “The Ama Goan..Ama Bikash programme is a perfect example of government’s 3T mantra as I could reach out to the people by the use of technology. Since the developmental projects are approved in presence of thousands of people, it ensures transparency,” Naveen said.

    The chief minister also asked the elected panchayat representatives to follow his 3D--dedication, determination and devotion-- model of governance which he recently asked his colleagues in the cabinet to follow.

    Urging the panchayat leaders to work for the people, Naveen said development and delivery should the aim of their life.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/naveen-patnaik-approves-rural-projects-worth-rs-29-50-crore-under-his-pet-scheme/articleshow/64291229.cms

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  • IED fear prompts call for concrete roads to bridge

    BHUBANESWAR: Odisha police have objected to construction of bitumen approach roads to the Gurupriya bridge, which is nearing completion in Maoist-hit Malkangiri district. Instead, police want concrete approach roads because rebels can easily plant improvised explosive devices (IEDs) targeting security forces in bitumen roads.

    Additional director general (operations) R P Koche in a letter to works secretary N K Pradhan stated that the Maoist groups operating in the area are opposing construction of the bridge and might target it in the future. Recently, the district administration installed CCTV cameras at different locations near the bridge to prevent any damage to it by Maoists.

    A senior official in the works department said though it has taken note of the proposal made by the police for bitumen approach roads, it may not construct concrete roads immediately. "Since the initial design was for bitumen approach roads, the executing agency has already completed construction. We will plan for concrete roads in the future," the official said requesting anonymity.

    Chief minister Naveen Patnaik would dedicate the bridge to the public in June. Construction of the 910-metre bridge was carried out amid thick security by police and paramilitary forces. At least five BSF camps have been set up between Chitrakonda and Janbai for the purpose.

    Though foundation of the bridge was laid in 1982 by the then chief minister J B Patnaik and again by chief minister Naveen Patnaik in 2000, the construction activities could not be taken up over the years due to intense protest by the Left-wing extremists. The bridge would provide connectivity to around 151 villages spread over seven panchayats in the cut-off areas of Malkangiri district.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/ied-fear-prompts-call-for-concrete-roads-to-bridge/articleshow/64298176.cms
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  • We were never consulted on high tension towers being installed in our forests: Gram sabha

    Jayashree Nandi| TNN | Updated: May 24, 2018, 21:38 IST



    NEW DELHI: Villagers of Banjikachhar village in Odisha’s verdant Sundergarh district are protesting the installation of high tension electricity towers in their forests. They have alleged that the decision to clear forests and install these towers was taken without consulting the gram sabha.

    This, despite the fact that the forest village has already applied for recognition of community forest resource rights of its villagers which is pending with the government. Now, police is guarding the project area restricting the entry of tribals into forests.

    According to a complaint filed by the gram sabha on May 22 to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) and the district magistrate, SP of Sundergarh has deputed 8 platoons of police since May 11, 2018. Police is barring locals from entering the project area while trees have been cleared to make way for the high tension electricity towers. "Since our community is completely dependent on forests for collection of non-timber forest produce (NTFP), we are opposed to this project. Neither administration nor the contractor discussed the installation of these towers with us or have taken the consent of gram sabha. As per FRA’s section 5 and Panchayats Act, taking up a project without gram sabha consent is illegal," reads the complaint.




    It also alleges that 3 gram sabha members have been detained for protesting against the project and FIRs have been filed by the police against 15 other villagers. "The three gram sabha members haven’t been granted bail yet. Villagers are not being allowed to access land where they practiced subsistence farming. The project is underway. Contractors have cut down a lot of fruit bearing trees too without consulting the villagers," said Sanghamitra Dubey , member, Community Forest Rights- Learning and Advocacy (CFR-LA). She added that the contractor of the project appears to have lied to get a forest clearance. "We have seen the forest clearance documents. On whether the project is located in a scheduled area, the user agency says no. This is a lie. Entire Sundergarh district is a panchayats (extension to scheduled areas) act (PESA) area. So all the villages affected by the project are scheduled and are forest villages," added Sanghamitra.


    Anusuiya Uikey, vice chairperson, NCST told TOI that “we have issued a letter to the administration seeking details of this case. If tribals have been arrested on false charges then we will send an investigation team or summon officials linked with the case. We will also check whether tribals were consulted on the project that has come up on their forest land."







    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/64305887.cms
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  • IED fear prompts call for concrete roads to bridge Sujit Bijoy| TNN | May 24, 2018, 08:26 IST Picture for representational purpose only. BHUBANESWAR: Odisha police have objected to construction of bitumen approach roads to the Gurupriya bridge, which is nearing completion in Maoist-hit Malkangiri district. Instead, police want concrete approach roads because rebels can easily plant improvised explosive devices (IEDs) targeting security forces in bitumen roads.
    Additional director general (operations) R P Koche in a letter to works secretary N K Pradhan stated that the Maoist groups operating in the area are opposing construction of the bridge and might target it in the future. Recently, the district administration installed CCTV cameras at different locations near the bridge to prevent any damage to it by Maoists.

    A senior official in the works department said though it has taken note of the proposal made by the police for bitumen approach roads, it may not construct concrete roads immediately. "Since the initial design was for bitumen approach roads, the executing agency has already completed construction. We will plan for concrete roads in the future," the official said requesting anonymity.

    Chief minister Naveen Patnaik would dedicate the bridge to the public in June. Construction of the 910-metre bridge was carried out amid thick security by police and paramilitary forces. At least five BSF camps have been set up between Chitrakonda and Janbai for the purpose.

    Though foundation of the bridge was laid in 1982 by the then chief minister J B Patnaik and again by chief minister Naveen Patnaik in 2000, the construction activities could not be taken up over the years due to intense protest by the Left-wing extremists. The bridge would provide connectivity to around 151 villages spread over seven panchayats in the cut-off areas of Malkangiri district.







    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/ied-fear-prompts-call-for-concrete-roads-to-bridge/articleshow/64298176.cms
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  • Naveen Patnaik approves rural projects worth Rs 29.50 crore under his pet scheme Sujit kumar bisoyi| TNN | May 24, 2018, 08:22 IST


    BHUBANESWAR: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday approved developmental projects worth Rs 29.50 crore for 108 gram panchayats under the Ama Goan.....Ama Bikash (our village…our development) programme.

    The programme, under which the chief minister directly interacts with people and instantly approves projects within Rs 10 lakh on their suggestions, was held at block level instead of at panchayats.

    Since the chief minister directly connects to the people through the programme, the state government aims to cover all 8000 gram panchayats under the programme before the 2019 general and assembly elections.

    Over 50 panchayats have so far been covered under it which was launched on March 5 marking birth anniversary of Biju Patnaik and state panchayati raj divas.

    “We take the programme as a game changer. The chief minister has given top priority for it. A whopping Rs 1250 crore has been earmarked for it in the 2018-19 annual budget. Chief secretary A P Padhi has been taking stock of the status of implementation of the projects approved by the chief minister at regular intervals,” said a senior panchayati raj department official requesting anonymity.

    According to a statement from the chief minister’s office, the chief minister approved projects worth Rs 8.12 crore for 32 panchayats under Rangailunda block in Ganjam, Rs 4.38 crore for 15 panchayats under Lamtaput block in Koraput, Rs 9 crore for 36 panchayats under Chandbali panchayat in Bhadrak and Rs 8 crore for 25 panchayats under Jajpur sadar block in Jajpur.
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    Addressing the people through videoconferencing, the chief minister said development of village is essential to make Odisha, the number one state in the country.

    “The Ama Goan..Ama Bikash programme is a perfect example of government’s 3T mantra as I could reach out to the people by the use of technology. Since the developmental projects are approved in presence of thousands of people, it ensures transparency,” Naveen said.

    The chief minister also asked the elected panchayat representatives to follow his 3D--dedication, determination and devotion-- model of governance which he recently asked his colleagues in the cabinet to follow.

    Urging the panchayat leaders to work for the people, Naveen said development and delivery should the aim of their life.






    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/naveen-patnaik-approves-rural-projects-worth-rs-29-50-crore-under-his-pet-scheme/articleshow/64291229.cms

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  • Bhubaneswar: Passengers stranded as overhead electric wire snapped in squall Hemanta Pradhan| TNN | May 23, 2018, 21:10 IST


    BHUBANESWAR: Hundreds of train passengers were stranded at several railway stations on Howrah-Chennai main line and Khurda Road- Puri line after heavy rain along with gusty wind damaged overhead electric wire near Sarkantara between Lingaraj and Retang station in the city.

    Sources said a 33 kv high tension wire of the central electricity supply utility (CESU) passed over the rail line came in contact with the overhead electricity (OHE) wire of the railway line due to gusty wind at around 9.30 am. After the CESU wire fell on the OHE wire, the later got snapped disrupting the rail services for around five hours.

    Soon after the incident, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) stopped running of trains between Lingaraj and Retang stations. It controlled more than 10 trains at different stations till the line is cleared at around 2 pm.

    It stopped Angul-Puri Passenger train at Bhubaneswar from 10.10 am. Similarly, it controlled Tata-Kacheguda Special train at Mancheswar from 9.40 am, Talcher-Puri Passenger at Mancheswar from 10.10am, Bhadrak-Bhubaneswar Passenger at Barang from 10.03 am, Puri-Cuttack Passenger at Retang from 9.37 am, Palasa-Cuttack Passenger at Khurda Road from 10.53 am, Secunderabad-Howrah Falaknuma Express at Tapang from 11.10 am, Bangalore Cant-Bhubaneswar Express at Nirakarpur from 10.45 am, Puri-Santragachhi Passengers at Delang from 10. 50 am and Puri-New Delhi Nandankanan Express at Puri.

    The ECoR also cancelled four trains and partially cancelled three trains following the incident.

    “I along with my wife and kid were going Bhubaneswar to treat my son at a private hospital. The doctor had asked me to come at 11.45 am. But the train stopped at Khurda Road at around 10.55 am. I finally booked an auto rickshaw to come NH 16 and then came Bhubaneswar by a bus by spending Rs 250,” said Banahari Barik of Ganjam district.

    Some passengers, whose train was stranded at Retang, came to main road by walking. Some passengers had to wait till the line is cleared. “Our engineering and electrical staff immediately reached the spot and started repairing the OHE wire. Up line got ready by 12.10 pm. The common line was cleared by 1.20 pm and the down line got clearance at around 2 pm. After examining the safety of the line, we started running trains,” said ECoR chief spokesperson J P Mishra.
    Passengers were also got stuck at Bhubaneswar railway station for more than five hours as the main line was blocked for repairing work. Entry point of the station near the enquiry counter got flooded due to heavy downpour. Holes on the roof of the station allowed water to flow into the station area. “We will repair the holes. Work will start from tomorrow,” said Mishra.






    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/bhubaneswar-passengers-stranded-as-overhead-electric-wire-snapped-in-squall/articleshow/64292855.cms
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  • Several parts of Bhubaneswar waterlogged in Nor'wester rain, CM takes alternate route to office Minati Singha| TNN | May 23, 2018, 20:20 IST

    BHUBANESWAR: People of Bhubaneswar woke up to overcast sky followed by heavy rain and thundershowers on Wednesday morning. Incessant rain continued for more than three hours waterlogged several low lying areas and submerged city roads causing severe inconvenience to public.

    Chief minister Naveen Patnaik also took a separate route from his regular road to secretariat due to waterlogging at Forest park road. Besides, major roads including National Highway-16 in front of ISKCON temple at Nayapally, Baramunda, Bomikhal, Rasulgarh, Rabi Talkies area, Samantarapur, Garage Chhaka and Old Town area.

    Due to heavy rain, thunderstorm and lightning, office goers in the city faced immense difficulty as they could not come out from their houses. Those started were stuck up due to waterlogging and traffic.

    “If this is the condition in a few hours rain in May just imagine the problem of waterlogging we are going to face in the coming monsoon season. We could not come out of houses due to knee deep water and used pumps to pump out water,” said P K Das, a resident of Gouri Garden of Old town area.

    Met sources said, rain and thundershowers are likely to continue in several parts of the state till Friday. “Bhubaneswar recorded the highest rainfall of 68.8 mm between 8 am to 11 am. Similar weather conditions may prevail till May 25 in most parts of the state,” said director of IMD’s Bhubaneswar Centre, Sarat Chandra Sahu.

    However, there is no loss of life reported in the last 12 hours, sources in the special relief commissioner’s office said.

    Other places recorded major rainfall on Wednesday included Cuttack, Puri, Chandbali, and Keonjhar. Day temperature at most places in the state witnessed sharp drop due to influence of Nor’wester rain. Temperature recorded above 40 degree Celsius in two places in the state including Titilagarh with 41.5 degree Celsius followed by Bolangir with 40 degree Celsius. The state capital recorded 29.6 degree Celsius, seven degrees less from normal. Similarly, Angul recorded 31.7 degree Celsius, eight degree drop from normal. Mercury on an average dropped by 3 to 5 degrees compared to normal all over the state.
    IMD bulletin said, strong and gusty surface wind speed reaching 45 to 55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is likely to prevail along and off Odisha coast. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea.







    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/several-parts-of-bhubaneswar-waterlogged-in-norwester-rain-cm-takes-alternate-route-to-office/articleshow/64292253.cms

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  • Odisha govt sets target to make state open defecation free by end of this year

    BHUBANESWAR: The state government has set an ambitious target to make all districts of the state open defecation free (ODF) by end of this year. It also aims to declare four districts ODF within two months.

    Chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said this after reviewing implementation of the ongoing ‘Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)’ in the state on Thursday. He along with Parameswaran Iyer, drinking water and sanitation secretary of government of India, chaired a high level meeting on the issue at the state secretariat here.

    “Toilet coverage was only 10 per cent in October 2014 while starting work under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. But it touched 55 per cent now,” said Padhi, adding, “We have witnessed substantial progress in construction of individual household latrines (IHHL).”

    He said two districts- Jharsuguda and Deogarh- have achieved ODF tag. “Four districts- Balasore, Gajapati, Sambalpur and Sonepur- will be declared ODF within two months. We are trying our level best to make the rest of the districts ODF by end of this year,” said the chief secretary.

    The state government had conducted a baseline survey in 2012-13 to get the exact picture of households with and without latrines. Out of the total 90, 20,107 households, as many as 79, 81,980 households had no toilets by 2013.

    After the Centre launched SBM on October 2, 2014, construction of individual household latrines (IHHLs) had been expedited. Official sources said, as many as 9,639 villages and 13 blocks in Odisha have been declared open defecation free till now. The state has constructed 36, 50,000 household latrines under the SBM till today.

    The SBM scheme is being implemented with the central and state funds with a ratio of 60:40. The government is providing Rs 12,000 to a household to construct toilet.

    As many as 14 states and four union territories have achieved 100 per cent coverage of IHHL.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/odisha-govt-sets-target-to-make-state-open-defecation-free-by-end-of-this-year/articleshow/64308806.cms

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  • Odisha: Cabinet approves four drinking water projects worth Rs 432 crore

    BHUBANESWAR: The state cabinet on Saturday approved four rural water projects worth Rs 432.22 crore which would benefit over 3.53 lakh people in 307 villages under three districts.

    Briefing the reporters after the cabinet meeting, water resources minister Niranjan Pujari said people in Kendrapada, Jharsuguda and Angul districts would get benefit due to the projects.

    “The projects would help over 2.34 lakh people of 200 saline affected villages of Mahakalapada and Marsaghai blocks in Kendrapada and 79,289 people in 65 water scarcity affected villages under Lakhanpur block in Jharsuguda and 40,603 people of 31 water scarcity areas in Angul districts,” Pujari said.

    While the projects would be implemented under state’s BASUDHA scheme in Kendrapada and Jharsuguda district, the project in Angul will be taken up from Odisha Mineral Bearing Area Development Corporation fund.

    The L&T would take up four water supply projects which is targeted to be completed within a period of 24 months.

    With an aim to provide safe and affordable drinking water to all urban population, the cabinet approved a proposal to waive off around Rs 50 crore pending against various urban local bodies.

    The cabinet also formally approved a proposal to abolish block grant system, the announcement made by chief minister Naveen Patnaik in September, last year.

    The state government has introduced grant-in-aid system for the employees of around 3701 educational institutions, which will come into force from January 1, 2018. Around 34,000 teaching and non-teaching employees of will get enhanced GIA.

    A proposal regarding appointment of Suvendu Kumar Ray as member of the Odisha Public Service Commission was also cleared by the cabinet.

    As recommended by Orissa high court, the induction training of civil judges has been reduced from two years to one year by the state cabinet. Similarly, the cabinet approved restructuring of the cadres of Geological Survey and exploration wing, mineral administration wing and chemical analysis wing under the steel and mines department.

    The tender for construction of additional spillway with hydro-mechanical works on Left Gandhi Hillock at Hirakud Dam has been approved. Tata Projects would take up the construction work with an investment of Rs 369 crore.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/odisha-cabinet-approves-four-drinking-water-projects-worth-rs-432-crore/articleshow/64335112.cms

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  • Heritage walk interests people from all spheres of life TNN | May 27, 2018, 16:57 IST

    An elderly couple from Nalandain Bihar, NCC official Colonel Chandan Jha from Berhampur with family, Ishwari Bhalerao, a student of Slade School of Art, London and four Odissi dancers from the city were among the prominent walkers at the 25th Monks, Caves, and Kings heritage walk at Udayagiri and Khandagiri on Saturday. City-based archaeologist Jitu Mishra of Viraasat-E-Hind Foundation led the 52-member visitors' group at the Twin Hills and explained the stories behind the architecture to the participants. The walk, organised by Odisha Tourism and curated by Detour Odisha, has become popular among tourists and heritage enthusiasts along with the Ekamra Walk at Old Town on Sundays.







    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/heritage-walk-interests-people-from-all-spheres-of-life/articleshow/64342149.cms

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