TOP STORIES (1751)
Bhubaneswar;The State government has collected Rs 5,571.34 crore on Value Added Tax (VAT) from petrol and diesel in the financial year 2018-19, informed Food & Consumer Affairs Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain in the Odisha Assembly on Wednesday.
Replying to a question from Congress MLA Suresh Kumar Routray, Swain said that Rs 1,082.64 crore VAT had been collected from the two fuel items in 2019-20 (up to June 2019).
While Rs 317 crore has been collected as VAT from petrol in 2019-20, Rs 765.64 crore has been collected from diesel, Swain said.
In 2018-19, Rs 5,571.34 crore VAT was collected from petrol and diesel. While the collection was Rs 4,042.56 crore from VAT on diesel, the total VAT collected on petrol in 2018-19 was 1,528.78 crore, Swain further informed.
In order to keep the prices of petrol and diesel stable, the state government has not increased VAT on fuel since January 2016, the Food & Consumer .
New Delhi,31/07/19:After historic passage of triple talaq bill in Parliament clearing hurdle in Rajya Sabha yesterday, Odisha Congress today criticised the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for its support to legislation in the upper House.
Raising the issue during zero hour in Assembly, Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati questioned on the BJD’s ‘equidistance’ policy.
“The triple talaq bill was cleared in the Rajya Sabha due to BJD’s support. The party had issued a whip asking all its members to be present in the Rajya Sabha to pass the bill. Both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and BJD were attacking each other before general elections 2019 and BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik was asking to maintain equidistance from both BJP and Congress. Now, the party’s stand is clear with support to the BJP for passing the bill,” said the Jeypore MLA.
He sought CM Patnaik’s clarification over alleged BJD-BJP coalition at Centre.
“Whether the BJD is supporting all the bills drafted by PM Modi-led BJP government? CM Naveen Patnaik should clarify if there is a BJD-BJP coalition government at Centre,” he asked.
Responding to Bahinipati’s BJD-BJP coalition govt jibe, BJD Chief Whip Pramila Mallick said that the party has been maintaining equidistance from both BJP and Congress.
“BJD is always keeping equidistance from both BJP and Congress. Rather the Congress votes have been diverted to the BJP in recently held Patkura poll,” the woman leader said.
Speaking over the issue, Barchana legislator Amar Prasad Satpathy said that BJD has been giving emphasis on women empowerment for which the party has lent its support to the triple talaq bill.
Worth mentioning, BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi achieved victory yesterday as the landmark Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill was cleared in Rajya Sabha with support from BJD and walkout by BJP allies JD-U and AIADMK and some abstentions including Congress MP Ranjib Biswal.
While BJD’s seven members supported the legislation, JD- U’s 6 MPs and AIADMK 11 members walked out, helping the government to get Parliament’s approval for the contentious legislation. The bill was passed in Rajya Sabha with 99 votes against 84.
Talcher,27/07/19:Valuable lives have gone due to the unlawful mining at Bharatpur open Cast Project of Mahanadi Coalfields limited a subsidiary of Coal India. Now different social and political organizations demand huge compensation for the deceased and rehabilitation of any one of the family members. It is a matter of question that each and everyday accidents are being occurred in different coal mines in Talcher, but no anyone is interested to notice for zero accidents by implementing strong and modern scientific safety system in Talcher Coal Mines as a result no huge losses could not be arose and priceless lives could saved. It is a very woeful matter of fact that the company authorities who have taken the responsibilities to mining coal at accident point of Bharatpur OCP. Could they get the safety assurance from DGMS !!Could the authorities of Bharatpur OCP of MCL. Suggest the out sourcing company to mining at the abandon area !! There are several questions arise from intellects of the locality and request the political parties not to loss the labour and the human resources engaged for national interest. Till today no any national leader of union Govt. has come to the accident place except Talcher MLA Brajakishore Pradhan.
ESSMA is always in force in the mining areas of Talcher, but now this governance law is in freeze…why (!) It is a big question for common People of Talcher suffering from different types of manmade hazards due to large mining of coal in Talcher coalfields. When the people of Talcher are fighting for their legislate rights to survive from giant pollution created by these coal companies at that time the police as well as the personnel of general administration come forward to take them to jail custody. In this case the police and general admin are the silent audience to keep aside the main culprits of this manhunt situation.
Immediate stringent action is being demanded against the culprits by the public as well as by the intellectuals from nationwide to solve it immediately otherwise its impact will take another hazardous situation in power production in the country.
Rayagada,27/07/19:A temporary bridge on river Kalyani in K Singhpur block got washed away due to rains in the Niyamagiri Hills range. Though the rains in other parts of Rayagada district is scanty, Niyamagiri hills, being the highest mountain range of Rayagada, has got incessant rains due to low pressure on last Friday causing a flash flood in Kalyani. During the year 2017, the permanent bridge connecting Parsali gram panchayat, which is dominated by the Primarily Vulnerable Tribal Group(PVTG) Dangaria Kandhas, and other four GPs was swept away due to torrential rains and a severe flood marooning several villages. Since then the district administration has been putting up temporary bridge on river Kalyani. This has been a woe for around twenty thousand inhabitants including school students, pregnant women coming to Health Centres at K Singhpur, who remain almost cut off during rains.
Every year rain comes and the torrential Kalyani river plays havoc by sweeping away the temporary bridge. According to Sri Pradip Mandal, Executive Engineer, RD, Rayagada, a tender has been floated and the work will start soon for a better bridge of permanent nature. Sri Anup Panda, BDO, K Singhpur, informed that no village had been marooned and a boat and safety jackets had been provided immediately with a trained boatman to ferry the people in the river. The district administration is alert for any untoward incident.
Sealed Underground Bunker Should be Opened
Rasgovindpur, (Mayurbhanj) Odisha, 26th July 2019: A memorial service was held at the Amarda Road Airstrip today for the fourteen airmen who had died in a crash here on the 26th of July 1945. War historian Anil Dhir, Gandhian Aditya Patnaik, Social Activist Dr. Biswajit Mohanty, Wing Commander Sishir Arora from the Indian Air and school children paid homage to the dead airmen who have been forgotten in history. Wreaths were laid for each of the dead airmen.
Very few people know that the skies of Odisha had seen the crash of two aircraft which has collided against each other and resulted in the deaths of 14 airmen. On the 26th of July 1945, two British Royal Air Force B-24 Liberator four-engine bombers collided at low altitude. The aircrafts were based at the Amarda Road airfield and were part of a six-plane contingent from the Air Fighting Training Unit engaged in a formation flying exercise. Fourteen airmen – the crew of the two aircraft, died in the crash. They were of different nationalities of the Allied forces and one Indian. The lone Indian was Aircraftman P.V.Mathai who was from Kochi in Kerala.
The Rasgovindpur Airstrip had a short but secret illustrious history which has never been made public. It had the longest runway in Asia, more than 3.5 km long. The total runways, taxiways, aprons, etc. were more than 60 km. Today all is forgotten, no details of the activities that happened here between 1943 and 1945 exist, not even in government and military records. The station came into existence during the war as a forward airfield against the Japanese conquest of Burma. The large strip served its purpose well as a landing ground for planes and also as a training space for special bombing missions. The Amarda Road airstrip, as it was called in war terminology, spreads across an area of nearly 900 acres. Built in the 1940’s at a cost of Rs 3 Crores, it was eventually abandoned after the war. It was named as the Amarda Road Airfield due to the nearby Amarda Road railway station.
Even today, seven decades after the base was made, one can still see the remains of the airfield, the 11000 feet concrete runway still intact, though the buildings that once cluttered the edges are gone. The offices, hangars, mechanic sheds and plaster walled barracks with thatched roofs have been ripped down. Instead, local women dry laundry and farmers their grain on the warm tarmac. The cows and goats crop weeds along the runway edges. The story of this crash and the victim had been lost in history.
Anil Dhir has got details of the crash from Matt Poole, a war researcher who had made a dissertation on the crash. He has repeatedly requested the government of Odisha and West Bengal to erect small memorials for these airmen at Amarda Road and the crash site. He has also requested to open up the sealed underground bunker which may hold relics of the period. Aditya Patnaik has agreed to give ample space in the nearby Gandhi Gurukul for setting up the Peace Museum which will highlight the importance of the airbase during World War II. The setting up of a Peace Museum was mooted last year and Dhir has contacted the British authorities for material to be displayed at the Museum. The response has been very positive and artifacts and materials have already been received from different places.
Anil Dhir also said that a book on the history of the base the and crash would be released on the opening of the Museum which will happen by February 2020. A few relatives and family members of those who had served at the base have agreed to come for the inauguration of the Museum.
Dr. Biswajit Mohanty said that the Odisha government should understand the importance of this historical airfield and promote it as a destination. There is a big tourism potential of the base. Many groups from Japan, Britain, America and other countries come to visit the war memorials in the North East every year. He said that all efforts should be taken up for the Museum. The airstrip is an important piece of history connected to the World War II and has a lot of significance as it was a secret base.
Among other, heritage enthusiasts Tarenisen Patnaik, Deepak Nayak, Shyam Sundar Behera and Samir Patro too were present at the memorial service.
Report;Dhiramohan Ray,Debaranjan Samal,Odishabarta
Talcher,26/07/19:After a rescue operation of 90 hours at the open cast mine of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) in Bharatpur . NDRF, MCL’s security personnel, police and Fire Services staff have found two more bodies outof three from the mining site where the landslide happened.The deceased have been identified as site supervisor RashmiRanjanBehera and Sibarampur pump house operator RajkishoreMohapatra. Since one more person is still missing, rescuers are continuing efforts to trace the body despite inclement weather. A 30-member NDRF team and MCL’s security personnel, local police and district administration have been carrying out the search operation to trace the missing bodies following the incident.
On 23thluly "Labourers working in the night shift at Bharatpur open cast mine in Talcher Coalfields of MCL came under a dump slide due to a strata failure," said an MCL statement. The accident occurred between 11 pm-11:30 pm when a portion of earth broke loose trapping 14workers and machinery at work, it said.
The Location of trapped miners is at about 12000Meters away from the Maine entrance while the Coal Caved in at 30meters below on the surface .
Iswar Das an eyewitness said, “The incident happened so fast that we could not comprehend and try to escape the site. But fortunately 10 of us managed to stay alive and were rescued.”
The Director General of Mines Safety, Bhubaneswar and the district administration will conduct an inquiry to ascertain the reason behind the disaster.
‘Locals and employees working in the company have directly blamed that the MCL authorities’ lackadaisical attitude as the main reason behind the mishap. As huge cracks have got developed at the site following the incident, people have expressed concerns over the improper filling and dumping of quarried mines, more stress on excavation of coal under the pressure of more production, lack of security measures for the safety of workers. “There is no proper planning for drawing of coal in the area due to which the incident has happened. The GM of the company should be immediately put behind bars because the authorities are not following safety guidelines but are rather concentrating only on earning profits,” said a local resident.
The miners were working without any safety equipment such as hard hats, safety boots, gloves and goggles,” alleged Jagamohan Garanaik, a trade union leader.
A worker seconded Garanaik by saying the coal mining sites are death traps for workers. “Many workers have only two choices: To take the risk of death or lose income. We have to work in the coal mine to earn a living. We have no other source of income to depend on,” said GiridhariBehera, a coalmine worker.
Agitated Talcher BJP unit and thousands of Workers gheraoed the general manager of the coalmine and demanded stern action against those responsible for this incident and proper compensation to the family members of the deceased workers.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced an Ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of workers who died during a landslide incident.
Bhubaneswar,26/07/19:Self-styled godman Sarathi Baba, who had a huge following in coastal Odisha before being arrested on a battery of charges including sexual exploitation of women and misuse of religious institutions in 2015, was granted bail by Odisha High Court on Monday.
After Baba has been granted bail in the last of the three criminal cases, he is set to be released from Central Jail at Chowdwar on Thursday, said his counsel Manas Chand. Baba, whose real name is Santosh Raul, was lodged in the Central Jail for the last four years.
A Bench headed by Justice Sangram Kumar Sahoo of the High Court granted bail to the self-styled godman on conditions that he would not engage in any activity that would amount to influencing the witnesses in the cases against him. The Bench also restrained Baba from visiting his palatial ashram at Barimul in Kendrapara district.
The Lower Court in Kendrapara, where the trial in the three cases against Baba are on trial, can also impose any other condition to the bail if it felt necessary, the court ruled.
“Bail was granted in the Crime Branch police case number 20/2015 against a bail bond of Rs 2 lakh and the surety of two local bailers. Baba was lodged in jail since October 16, 2015 in connection with this case which pertains to a string of allegations levelled against him by a woman,” said Chand.
Claiming that she had worked for him for nearly 10 years and that Baba had taken some gold and cash from her with the promise to marry her, the woman had accused him of attempting to rape her, added the counsel.
A college dropout, Baba took to spiritual preaching in the mid-1990s and drew thousands of followers at his ashram at Barimul since 2010. Constant airing of his spiritual talks, often interspersed with his singing, on local television channels by way of advertisement helped swell his following.
Baba was arrested by Crime Branch on August 8, 2015 on the basis of complaints against him following media reports that he had spent time in the company of a young woman at a posh hotel in Hyderabad the previous month. Investigators had later found evidence that Baba had engaged in a string of immoral acts with his women followers and also accumulated huge wealth through illegal means.
Projecting himself as a modern incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Baba had allegedly indulged in sexual acts with his women devotees at his Barimul Ashram as part of a ritual he had formulated, which was called ‘supt seva’ or ‘secret service’. He allegedly engaged in these acts on a luxuriously built cot fitted with a wooden seven-hood snake and decorated with gold and silver ornaments.
The young woman who had spent a few days in the company of Baba in the Hyderabad hotel had also lodged an FIR later alleging that the self-styled godman and two women had threatened her with dire consequences if she disclosed to anyone her relations with him. This unmarried woman was then a final-year student of MBBS at a medical college in Odisha.
BERHAMPUR,25/07/19:In a tragic incident the compound wall of Saveri ladies Hostel of Berhampur University collapsed on Thursday morning. However, the Inmates of hostel are narrowly escape after the incident.
Eye witness said, the part that collapsed was in a decrepit condition and such a mishap was imminent. Fortunately, not a single boarder was present in the hostel at the time and all are in classes.
Notably. As many as 104 post graduate students were residing in the 120-seat hostel, built around three decades back.
Berhampur University has a total of 14 hostels, eight for girls and six for boys. Of the eight hostels meant for girls, six were built three decades back. These are Jhanjabati, Saveri, Mahendratanaya, Dhanei, Kolab and Salunki.
The old building had developed several cracks and plaster was peeling off from walls and ceilings frequently. In view of the threat posed by the dilapidated structure, the inmates of the hostel had repeatedly requested the university authorities to shift them.
Instead, the authorities took up repair of the damaged portions of the hostel during summer vacation. The students alleged that the block housing the bathroom of all the three floors was left unrepaired.
“This portion of the building had become weak and unsafe as water leaking from the overhead tank stagnated on the roof,” (!).