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Five farmers commit suicide in last 12 hours in Odisha

Slamming the BJD government for delaying amendment to Odisha Land Reforms Act, opposition BJP on Monday said that the drought package announced by CM Patnaik has failed to stop farmer suicides as it was faulty.
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Even after a drought package was announced in Odisha by CM Naveen Patnaik, five farmers have reportedly committed suicide in last 12 hours across the state allegedly due to crop loss. Slamming the BJD government for delaying amendment to Odisha Land Reforms Act, opposition BJP on Monday said that the drought package announced by CM Patnaik has failed to stop farmer suicides as it was faulty.”The drought package announced by the CM is faulty and full of discrepancies. It shows the BJD government is not at all serious about mitigating the plight of farmers hit by drought and debt burden,” senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that suicide by farmers continued to rise even after the package was announced on October 14, Mohapatra said in a span of one-and-half months 36 to 40 farmers have committed suicide as the entire state is reeling under drought conditions. “In fact, incidents of suicide increased after the announcement of drought package.”Claiming that the package suffers from many loopholes,he said it ironically provides for agriculture input subsidy of Rs 6,800 per hectare in rain-fed and non-irrigated areas and Rs 13,500 per hectare under assured irrigation area.”It exhibits the callous approach of the state government which has failed to gauge the gravity of the situation and the reason behind farmer suicide,” he said adding the government failed to realise that majority of the distressed peasants are engaged in share farming.The BJD regime has also failed to understand that most of the farmers who committed suicide were small and marginal farmers who had borrowed from private money lenders and not from any government agency, Mohapatra said.Coming down heavily on the BJD regime for delay in bringing necessary amendments to Odisha Land Reforms (OLR) Act, the BJP stalwart said a high-powered committee had gone into the issue and law department’s opinion was also obtained.However, the proposed measure has been lying with the CM for over six months without any concrete action, Mohapatra alleged and added that those engaged in share farming would not get any benefit from assistance package without amendment in OLR Act.Accusing Odisha government of being “callous” towards farmers’ problems, Mohapatra said it failed to prepare any contingency plan when the possibility of drought was predicted in the state this year due to scanty rainfall.The state government woke up only after the central team visited the drought-affected areas, he said adding BJD regime’s response was confined to the state secretariat and no action was taken to bring relief to the farming community.The BJP leader also hit out at the state government for seeking central assistance for drought and said the move was surprising after Rs 9,000 crore was returned unspent to the Centre. Similarly, utilisation certificate was yet to be given for Rs 12,000 crore of central funds, he claimed.Stating that BJP wants the the present situation to be declared as a calamity, he said the party has opened a helpline centre for distressed farmers who can share their problems through the facility.BJP would take up their issues with the state government, he added.

Cuttack: 40 infant deaths in Sishu Bhawan, parents allege medical negligence

Sishu Bhawan is the biggest paediatrics hospital in eastern India. The Hospital attends more than 400 patients on an average daily and is also facing an acute shortage of paramedics.

On Thursday, a high level meeting was conducted to chalk out action plan to check the deaths at the hospital.

The number of infant deaths in government-run Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics rose to 40 on Friday, after five infants died in the hospital, official sources said. The hospital is popularly known as Shishu Bhawan in Cuttack.The infants are mainly reported to be from Baleswar, Dhenkanal, Baliapal, Rajgangpur and Chandikhole areas, according to sources.Iamin sources said that all the five deaths occurred at the new-born ward hospital. The parents of the victims are alleging medical negligence behind the deaths. Meanwhile, the Health department today asked the head of the Surgery department of Sishu Bhavan to probe the incident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Thursday, a high level meeting was conducted under the chairmanship of revenue divisional commissioner Bikash Mohapatra to chalk out action plan to check the deaths at the hospital.“The SCB doctors would be on deputation to the Sishu Bhawan until further orders and would be joining here from Friday,” said RDC (Central) Bikash Mohapatra. The meeting was attended among others by the district Collector and members of a technical team, including experts from the SCB and AIIMS, Bhubaneswar.Sishu Bhawan is the biggest paediatrics hospital in eastern India. The Hospital attends more than 400 patients on an average daily. The hospital is also facing an acute shortage of paramedics. There are only 20 doctors against the sanctioned strength of 48 doctors to manage the hospital.An inquiry committee, led by the Director, Medical Education and Training (DMET) Prakash Chandra Mohapatra, which began investigation into the spate of infant deaths in the premier children’s hospital Wednesday, will submit its report to the state government in 10 days.For the original version of the report, click here

Cyclone Komen hits Bangladesh coast; heavy rains in Bengal, Odisha

Cyclonic storm ‘Komen’ hit the Bangladesh coast today evening, bringing with it heavy rainfall in Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha, the MET department said.

Bangladesh cyclone

AFP photo
Cyclonic storm ‘Komen’ hit the Bangladesh coast today evening, bringing with it heavy rainfall in Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha, the MET department said.After making landfall in Bangladesh, it will move west- north-westwards and weaken gradually.”Rainfall would occur at most places, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy at isolated places over the Gangetic West Bengal on July 30-31 and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places on August 1,” said Mritunjay Mohapatra, head of the Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Isolated places in Odisha will also witness heavy to very heavy rainfall at most places today and heavy to very heavy rains at a few places with isolated extremely heavy rains on July 31 and August 1,” he added.There would be rains at most places, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over the northeastern states of Mizoram, Tripura and Assam till tomorrow.Jharkhand will also witness heavy to very heavy rains tomorrow and on August 1. “Squally wind speed reaching 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph would prevail along and off West Bengal and north Odisha coasts during next 48 hours.”Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph would prevail over Mizoram and Tripura commencing from this evening for next 24 hours and over Gangetic West Bengal from tomorrow morning. Sea condition would be high over north Bay of Bengal during the same period,” Mohapatra added.Meanwhile, the depression over Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh that brought heavy rains to the states leading to a flood-like situation has now reduced to a “well marked low pressure area” over West Rajasthan and neighbourhood areas.”Rainfall would occur at many places with isolated heavy rainfall over Gujarat region, Daman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Saurashtra, Kutch Diu, West Madhya Pradesh during next 48 hours.”Heavy to very heavy rainfall will occur at isolated places over Rajasthan during next 24 hours,” the IMD said in its advisory.

Ex Odisha CM Giridhar Gamang formally joins BJP

The father-son duo joined the BJP in the presence of party’s organisational secretary Ramlal, two Union ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan, party state president K V Singhdeo and other senior leaders.

PTI
Former Odisha Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang along with his son Sishir on Thursday formally joined the BJP at the party’s state headquarters in Bhubaneswar.The father-son duo joined the BJP in the presence of party’s organisational secretary Ramlal, two Union ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan, party state president K V Singhdeo and other senior leaders. The former nine-time Congress MP and central minister Gamang and his son Sishir were made to put BJP caps with lotus symbol. Thereafter, Gamang gave a missed calls from his mobile phone set to become a primary member of BJP.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am happy and ready to work for the growth of BJP in the state,” Gamang, said, adding that he does not have any political ambition by joining the BJP which is in power at the Centre. Besides Gamangs, Nagraj Dora and Rabindra Mohapatra also joined the BJP today. They were all welcomed into the party by the organizational secretary .On the occasion, the state BJP leadership announced to launch mass contact programme ‘mahasamperk abhijan’ through which the party will make attempts to reach out to each and everyone who have registered for the party’s membership in the state. Besides, the party also announced its plan to launch agitational programmes against the BJD government’s failure on different fronts. They also decided to highlight the achievement of one year work of the Modi govenrment.

Odisha police suspect several Maoists killed in encounter

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Several armed Maoists are suspected to have been killed in an on-going encounter with elite Special Operation Group of Odisha and Grey Hound of Andhra Pradesh in the cut off of Malkangiri district, Odisha police on monday said.”We suspect killing of some Maoists during the encounter. However, police are yet to get the bodies of the slain rebels,” Malkangiri superintendent of police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said.”There was no casualty on the police side. I can tell the number of Maoist casualties only after the encounter is over and the bodies are recovered. The operation is still on,” IG, South West, Yashwant Jethwa said.He said the assistance of Andhra Pradesh police was taken to make the operation successful and BSF, CRPF and local police have been engaged in the combing and search operation in the cut off area.There were about 60 ultras at the Maoist camp at Pingapuram village, he added.A heavy exchange of fire took place between the security personnel and armed left wing extremists and it is continuing since last evening at the cut off on other side of Balimela reservoir in Malkangiri district.The encounter took place after security personnel launched a regular combing operation in the cut off area last evening following intelligence reports that Maoists from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Chhattishgarh had assembled in the cut off area.As the presence of security personnel was less in the cut off area, Maoists dominated the area. Former Malkangiri district collector R Vineel Krishna was kidnapped by the rebels in 2011 and kept confined in the cut off area.