Archive for November, 2012

Naveen Patnaik – The richest among his council of ministers

Naveen Patnaik - the Rich CM of Odisha

Naveen - Richie Rich

Mr. Naveen Patnaik is the richest person in his council of ministers with an net worth of Rs 12 crore. The fact confirmed by the website of chief minister’s office has also brought forward many interesting facts.

Energy Minister Mr. Arun Sahu is the poorest among the council of ministers with a newt worth of Rs 24.47 lakh.As compared to the asset list of previous year, properties possessed by Finance Minister of odisha Mr. Prasanna Acharya and revenue Minister Mr.Surya Narayan Patra has doubled. Similarly the properties of Urban Development Minister Mr. Raghunath Mohanty has come down considerably compared to the previous year.

The information disclosed point to the fact that while the assets of the CM that had increased just by Rs 7.47 lakh in 2011 compared to the previous year, the total net worth of the finance minister Mr. Prasanna Acharya has seen a whopping 3.36 crore increase ! The website goes on to provide details of the properties owned by the chief minister.

The website mentions that the Chief Minister owns a farmhouse spreading over an area of 22.7 acre at Faridabad that costs around Rs 3.43 crore. Similarly his residence at Bhubaneswar spreading over 2 acre would be worth Rs 2.80 crore. He also has a 1/3rd share in a flat at Aurangzeb Road in Delhi which is pegged at Rs 5.14 crore and his ancestral house in Cuttack is priced at Rs 51 lakh! The chief minister surprisingly has no fixed deposits or shares. His total bank balance stands at Rs 16.88 lakh which has gone up substantially from Rs 9.18 lakh last year. He owns a 1982 model Ambassador car and has rs 1.49 lakh worth of jewellery!

Following is a truncated list of assets owned by his council ministers

  • Kalpataru Dash – Rs 47.52 lakh, House
  • Bikram Arukh – Rs 1.70 crore , House
  • Debi Prasad Mishra – Rs 1.85 crore, 1250 gm gold ( in the names of son a& wife)
  • Maheswar Mohanty – Rs 1.60 Crore, Five buses( in wife’s name)
  • Rajnikant Singh – Rs 1.17 crore
  • Pratap Keshari Deb – Rs 2.19 crore
  • R N Nanda – Rs 75.48 lakh
  • Sarojini Hembram – Rs 85 lakh
  • Subrat Tarai – Rs 25.31 lakh
  • Usha Devi – Rs 43.40 lakh
  • Niranjan Pujari – Rs 1.92 crore
  • Ramesh Majhi – Rs 87.90 lakh
  • Lalbihari Himrika – Rs 27 lakh
  • Badri Narayan Patra – Rs 16.59 lakh
  • Dama Rout – Rs 1.3 crore and three flats
  • Bijayshree Routray – Rs 3.95 crore

The Wait Ends: Bali Yatra starts off today in the Millenium city

Bali Yatra

The New Entrance gate at the bali Yatra ground

Days of anticipation end today and millions in the millennium city of Cuttack would throng the Baliyatra ground to be a part of the scene that buzzes with excitement and euphoria! The fair which has defied history to be celebrated with unequivocal zing with each passing year will be special this time around foe what beckons the visitors would be a new welcome gate that is not only visually entreating but also offers insight to the rich maritime history of  odisha – the fact tha the Bali yatra endorses!

Bult at a whopping Rs 54 lakh by the Cuttack Municipal Corporation, the 40 feet high gate took two years to be built. The gate has a huge concrete boat built atop two pillars. Seven traders are seen travelling in it. Noted artisan Lakshmidhar Rana has built the statues with fibre and concrete. The gate is an apt tribute to the history of Odisha and its rich cultural heritage.

The annual fair which is held on the banks of river Mahanadi, is spread  over 37 acres! Of this, 23 acres are on the Mahanadi river bed and 14 on Kila Maidan near the Barabati fort. The fair beginning from the full moon day of Kartik is organized every year as a reminder of Odisha’s rich maritime past.people float toy boats made of colored paper,dried banana tree barks and cork in the river Mahanadi to commemorate the voyage of their ancestors to the islands of Indonesia, Bali and Sumatra long back! The fair visited by lakhs of people and continues for seven days.

The Baliyatra fair is organized every year to  display a great variety of goods and accessories for buying and selling. Apart from the rituals and fair there are number of arrangements by the government like boating for the visitors which has slowly emerged as a great temptation. The district administration  has planned a book fair this year to add flavor to the occasion.Apart from these, a competition for the local games of Odisha will also be held. This will provide a great platform to the sportsperson of the rural games of odisha to showcase their skills. Rural games like Mati kusti, bagudi, thia puchi and basa puchi are on the verge of extinction . The government is hoping to cash on the grandness of the fair to promote  awareness about the tradition and cultures of the state. A special stall for showcasing the local sports will also be put for this purpose.

Odisha and It’s Bamboo Business

Bamboo Forests of Odisha

Bamboo Forests of Odisha

What’s the tallest grass to grow on the surface of Earth? Well, you guessed it right! It’s bamboo! The ubiquitous plant to don the length and breadth of the earth is used with such gusto by the human species that it is impossible to think of life without it. In fact it’s use has been instrumental in shaping the civilization in one way than other. Be it house building or paper industry; Be it making agricultural equipment or other things of daily use, bamboo has been used by human beings in more ways than one!

The same holds true for the people of Odisha! We have been using bamboo since time immemorial for many purposes. Odisha, in truth  is one of the leading state in the country to produce bamboo. It stands just behind Madhya Pradesh in the production of the  bamboo plant. The state once boasted of thick bamboo forest and still accounts for 7% of total bamboo produced in the country. About 374.77 sq km and 17794.61 sq km area in the state contain pure bamboo forests and mixed bamboo forests respectively.

People in Odisha have mastered the art of using the bamboo for different purposes since time immemorial. Here it is used in house making,fencing, making agricultural equipment and different kinds of house hold equipment. Apart from this, the shoots of the bamboo plant is relished as a vegetable  by different tribes of Odisha. So heavily is the plant used in Odisha, that a statistics  have revealed that over 60% of  tribal population in the state is dependent  directly on bamboo production and business related to bamboo and its products. The annual turnover of bamboo in Odisha is estimated to be around  Rs 150 Crore.

Bamboo in the state is mainly classified into two categories depending on its use. One is the industrial bamboo that is consumed mostly by the paper industry and the second is the commercial bamboo which is used for household purpose that is used for household and as raw materials by the rural artisans. The harvested bamboo in the state are traded  and many people derive direct livelihood out of it.  However the nationalization of the bamboo produce   has restricted the tribal people from directly getting involved in the collection and trading of bamboo items! Now the collection and marketing of bamboo in Odisha is done directly by the OFDC ( Orissa Forest development Corporation).This has seriously hampered the life and livelihood of the forest dwellers that were directly dependent on the bamboo plant for their living. This has also led the local artisans of bamboo to look for alternatives to earn a livelihood.

It is high time that the government of odisha stop the bamboo business of  OFDC and provide the forest dwellers with a mechanism to benefit by the use of bamboo.