Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak focuses on a Moon Riddle

Our photographer Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak observed Kumara Purnami Janha in a different way. He wanted to watch the moon before the full moon night.

While focusing his camera on the moon on 25th October, he stumbled upon a spot that riddled him a riddle. He captured it.

He searched through his lens the next evening and also found the same spot.

We place below two pictures of 25th October and three of 26th with the time of the clicks noted in accompanying boxes. The pictures are earmarked with circles and arrows.

25 October  2015_ 6_28_58 PM-125 October 2015_ 6_29_44 PM-126 October  2015_ 10_32_14 PM-126 October 2015_ 10_35_42 PM-126 October 2015_ 10_52_34 PM-1

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The Dengue Menace: Chief Minister should explain why his Govt. has kept the 2003 Act inconsequential

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Nothing new I am going to say. I am going to repeat what I have said repeatedly earlier.

To save the city’s inhabitants and visitors from mosquito menace and from pernicious pollution, Orissa Legislature had stipulated in the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 that cowsheds must stand obliterated within the limits of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) with immediate effect.

Most of government lands in important areas of Bhubaneswar are illegally occupied by the milkmen who do lucrative business by keeping hundreds of cows in sheds erected on the encroached lands. The 2003 Act was to clear the encroachments and free the capital city of pollution and mosquito menace.

They formed an organization styled ‘Orissa Milk Producers Association’ and moved the Orissa High Court against this new Law, praying for its nullification or in the alternative, direction to the Government to rehabilitate them in suitable places in the city before eviction and not to impose prohibition on running of cowsheds. Orissa High Court rejected their plea.

They went to the Supreme Court of India against the order of the High Court. There they also failed.

The Supreme Court, in deciding Civil Appeal No.940 of 2006 arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 16362-16363 of 2004, made it absolutely clear that the milkmen must be evicted from the limits of BMC and must not be rehabilitated anywhere in the City and its periphery, as “Right to environment being a fundamental right, it is the duty of the State to make it sure that people get a pollution free surrounding”.

The milkmen had pleaded that the present Chief Minister’s father had assured them with rehabilitation and hence they should be given plots in substitute to run their business. Rejecting this plea, the Supreme Court had declared, “In view of the 2003 Act, even the doctrine of Promissory Estoppels will have no application”.

It had further ordered that the milkmen cannot even be allowed to put up cowsheds in villages bordering Bhubaneswar. “As by reason of the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, within the periphery of the town, dairies or cowsheds cannot be maintained, the State cannot be entitled to adhere to its earlier plan of rehabilitating them in villages mentioned therein”, the Supreme Court had said while observing, “Not only filth, stench and unhealthy places have to be eliminated, but the (town planning) would be such that it helps in achieving family values, youth values, seclusion and clean air to make the locality a better place to live

Thus the Supreme Court has not only rejected the plea of milkmen to have cow-buffalo-swine-sheds in Bhubaneswar, but also has fortified the provisions laid down under Sections 409, 543 and 548 of The Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003, which prohibit keeping animals of cow category anywhere within and around the city limits.

The judgment delivered on February 2, 2006 is published in (2006) 3 Supreme Court Cases 229.

So, there was no legal problem at all over demolition of cowsheds and eviction of milkmen with their herds of animals to free the city from stench and flies and mosquitoes and malaria and filariasis and dengue and threats of cancer and tuberculosis.(ORISSA MATTERS, January 7, 2009).

But, for reasons best known to the Chief Minister, the milkmen, instead of getting evicted, are protected by the department directly under his charge.

Another Severe danger to human health

As the corrupt government has protected this menacing danger to human health, the city of Bhubaneswar has become a den of nitrous oxide, methane and other greenhouse gases as well as noxious stinks produced by these illegal cowsheds.

It is established that ammonia (NH3) evaporating from cow dung and urine play havoc with environment. An adult cow emits 80 to 110 kilograms of methane gas over its lifetime. Four thousand illegal cowsheds in Bhubaneswar harbor at least 4,00,000 adult cows at the rate of 100 per shed in the average. So, one fears, Bubaneswar is forced to face 400, 000, 00 kg methane gas menace, because Naveen Patnaik’s government is in nexus with the milkmen.

The whole city is under layers of arsenic gas generated by burning of cow dung cakes by the milkmen for cooking and for repelling mosquitoes from their cowsheds and attached huts where they live. Arsenic is slow-poisoning the people residing near the cowsheds and specifically, the children. Cases of TB, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases and Pneumonia, Lung Cancer are increasingly hitting the Bhubaneswar Hospitals. Malaria, Filarial infection, Dengue and such other diseases caused by mosquitoes, various allergies, skin diseases, and cardiac problems are in the rise in the obstinately unhygienic environment the milkmen have created.

Offense against the Assembly

To save Bhubaneswar from this monstrous danger, the Assembly had laid down under Sections 409, 543 and 548 of The Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 that the city must be immediately made free of Milkmen. Their association, as already shown supra, had challenged it up to the Supreme Court and failed. Yet it is not implemented. If anything, it is a naked offense against the Orissa Legislative Assembly.

 Scam that possibly funds the CM

As my sources say, the milkmen were paying Rs.300/- as protection money to GA department Officials which after enactment of the Act of 2003 had reached Rs.2000/- per cowshed. After the Supreme Court rejected the milkmen’s case and fully endorsed the Act of 2003, giving a direction to the State government to oust the milkmen forthwith from the city limits and periphery of Bhubaneswar, the protection money has been increased from Rs.2000/- to Rs.4000/- well within the knowledge of the Chief Minister.

If Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is not involved with this scam, he should come forward to clear the doubts by explaining as to why his administration has not taken any step to demolish the cowsheds and to evict the cowherds and to free the government plots from their encroachments and to save Bhubaneswar from mosquito menace, from mosquito induced calamities like dengue, pollution, from the hazards of nitrous gases, from arsenic poison, from ammonia, from filth of cow dung and stench and from abnormal rise of temperature and collapse of its habitable climate under impact thereof.

Supreme Court verdict goes barren

The most beneficial Act has most brazenly been rendered inconsequential by Naveen Patnaik. And in this, we see, the Supreme Court verdict has gone barren.

It is time, the Supreme Court should ask the CBI or appoint a special Commission to conduct an in-depth investigation into why the State Government has slept over its order passed in Civil Appeal No.940 of 2006 arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 16362-16363 of 2004, published in (2006) 3 Supreme Court Cases 229.

We may remind the Supreme Court that in the said order it had mandated that “Right to environment being a fundamental right it is the duty of the State to make it sure that people get a pollution free surrounding”.

We may further remind the Supreme Court that in the said order, it had emphasized that. “Not only filth, stench and unhealthy places have to be eliminated, but the (town planning) would be such that it helps in achieving family values, youth values, seclusion and clean air to make the locality a better place to live”.

3 ft high cow dung on the road, the cow shed behind the green fense4 to 5 ft high heap of cow dung on western main road to Capital HospitalThe pictures of filth  given here are captured with the camera near about the State Secretariat. Minister Sanjay Das Burma is staying about 50 meters from this spot. many ruling-party heavyweights and IAS officers are living around this spot. This is the picture of a very important nerve center of  Bhubaneswar. What is happening in the interior of the City can easily be imagined.  As already said, there are 4000 such spots where cowherds are keeping hundreds of cows in illegally built up sheds, filling the entire area with filth. The Supreme Court as well as you dear visitors may please appreciate that no camera can capture the stench. Just imagine, how is Naveen Patnaik managing the affairs.

I call upon every responsible person, who peruses this posting, to ask the Chief Minister of Orissa to explain as to why he has kept the 2003 Act inconsequential if he is not involved with the Rs.1.6 crores monthly scam generated by his perceivable nexus with the milkmen.

demolition of temples_threedemolition of shopsThese pictures would show how slums and kiosks, even temples are razed down in course of retrieving public premises from encroachments. But, despite the specific Act of 2003 and  orders  of the Orissa High Court and the Supreme Court of India  no cowshed has ever faced the eviction crew.
Dengue is taking heavy tolls of human life and all other hazards as noted above are pushing people into death’s pernicious grip. But the milkmen are protected, possibly because around 4000 milkmen are greasing the palms of fellows empowered to implement the Act and the verdicts with at least Rs.4000/- per month. Shame!

Apartment Bill should be improved upon in the Assembly before being passed

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A few days ago, while talking with a top functionary. I had mentioned of Prava Apartment situated in Unit IV, Bhubaneswar, where my Samudi Dr. Asoka Mishra resides. I am unable to go to his house since around three months as the ‘Lift’ is not working. Nobody knows whether it is really damaged or rendered defunct. But, according to the belief of my Samudi, it is damaged, because that is what he has been informed by the Association they have formed.
Non-functioning of the Lift for months together is drastically hampering human rights of the legitimate residents of Prava Apartment, as aging or senior residents of upper floors are unable to come out even for medical checkups. Their regular life is severely affected because of non-functioning of the lift.

“What do you mean by legitimate residents?” he had asked me. I had explained that apartment owners are giving outsiders, unknown to all owners, their houses on rent and these people having no concern for safety of the Apartment building, are misusing the lift that is precipitating its malfunctioning, pushing it often and finally to collapse, as has happened in the Prava Apartment.

“The owners must have formed a society to manage the common utilities and to maintain the structure. What that society is doing?” he had queried. I confessed that I had no knowledge, except knowing that my Samuduni is leading almost an incarcerated life in her own house, because only of the non-functioning of the Lift. She is unable to come out for daily walking, marketing or meeting the relations for months together, because the society has failed to repair the lift promptly, when the apartment is fitted with only one lift by the builder.

I am glad to note that, the executive government has formulated legal provisions to save such disadvantaged residents of multi-storied apartment houses. A new Bill, named and styled as ‘The Odisha Apartment Ownership (Amendment) Bill, 2015’ has been moved in the Orissa Legislative Assembly. It aims to amend the Act of 1982.

In proposing an amendment in section 14 (1) of the Act, it wants the Competent Authority to be empowered to “direct the Association of Apartment Owners to repair or replace damaged property within such period as may be specified in such direction failing which the Competent Authority may undertake the said work and expenses incurred for undertaking such work shall be recovered from the Association of Apartment Owners”.

If the Assembly adopts the Bill, a great relief to residents like that of Prava Apartment would surely come.

But I feel that the draft Bill has areas to be improved upon by the Assembly while adopting it. I suggest the following improvements:

1. there should be blatant ban on letting out of apartments by their respective owners to any outsider to eliminate misuse of utilities and threat to common safety. Suppose an unsocial element occupies an apartment on rent and indulges in secret making of bombs and during the manufacturing process, a bomb accidentally blasts and destroys the entire structure over and above damage to and loss of life. In the prevailing environment of criminality, such apprehension cannot be ruled out. The authorities know of the misuse of an apartment in Krishna Towers for women trafficking involving even IAS and IIS officers. Laxity of law in allowing renting out of apartments to outsiders is the cause of such illegalities. Therefore, the proposed amendment Bill should be improved upon by the Assembly to provide for a total ban on renting out of any apartment by any owner without express agreement of all the owners as all of them co-possess the entire building and surrounding free space within the compound, subject to police verification by the Competent Authority on the person or persons to be accommodated on rent;

2. the residents of upper floors of Prava Apartment are suffering, because the Lift, which is the single Lift, has become defunct. The law makers should get educated from this experience and proceed to provide that every apartment building must be equipped with at least two Lifts before the builder is allowed to sell any apartment. The proposed Bill should be improved upon in this respect before adoption.

3. A case study of Prava Apartment shows that there is a sort of mafia raj in action through the owners association. As for example, the association has rented out the roof of the building to a mobile phone company that has erected its heavyweight tower directly on the apartment of an owner who is a lone and senior lady. Under impact of the tower, her roof is cracking and leaking. She is feeling unsafe and her protests are not heeded to. It is suspected that, the association has deliberately kept the Lift defunct to teach her a lesson, as it is most unbearable for her to entirely depend daily on stairs of the five floors. Keeping this in view, the tabled Bill should be improved upon to the extent of banning any such construction on any roof top of any apartment building and demolition of any and all such constructions prior to enactment of the introduced Bill.

But this depends upon legislative environment of the house and individual and collective concern of our MLAs for the people.

Assembly in Session // Has Mining helped Orissa? The question is directly put to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, history will certainly note, has squandered away Orissa’s mineral wealth in the name of earning for the State Exchequer. I have written on the subject so many times in these pages. Without going to any further elaboration, I will prefer to place here what his Minister of Mines Sri Prafulla Mallik has put on records in answering a query from Sri Dillip Ray (BJP) in the Assembly.

According to the Minister, the State has earned Rs. 5305.58 crores in the last financial year (2014-15) against mining worth Rs. 54,491.69 crores. In the preceding year (2013-14) the revenue earned was Rs.5,519.57 crores against mining worth Rs.54,556.73 crores. In 2012-13, the State had earned Rs.5,679.35 crores while Orissa was denuded of minerals worth Rs.34,994.28 crores.

Thus, according to the government, Orissa has been denuded of minerals worth Rs.143,940 crores and 70 lakhs during only three years from 2012-13 to 2014-15, while earning for its exchequer a sum of only Rs.16504 crores and 50 lakhs.

Orissa government is deliberately not examining the cost of health hazards to which people are dragged into by the mining and related industries.

A single case study, which is the only research on the subject available so far,  covering a small patch of Anugul and Talcher years ago, gives us a chance to imagine to what unfathomable extent of damage mining and related industries are subjecting us to.

Scholar Dr. M. Mishra had conducted a case study of environmental economy in a micro level, under the head “Health Cost of Industrial Pollution in Angul-Talcher Industrial Area in Orissa, India”. In this research done a decade ago, Dr. Mishra has quantified the”health cost of pollution” to be Rs.1775 per annum in the average, only in the small patch of area under his research. This was when cost of health care was 200% less that the prevailing cost.

Just imagine what the cost of health damage management would be at the present rate all over Orissa!

Minerals are not created in a day. They take millions of years to be formed. Naveen and his likes, voted to power for a term of five years only, are finishing our mineral wealth oblivious of the needs of our future generations, obviously for private payola, when, as admitted in the above noted answer of the minister, the money earned for public exchequer is too marginally little to meet the cost of health damage, as the above cited research has indicated.

Will the Assembly in session note of it?

And, if the Assembly takes note, will the Chief Minister reveal, by way of study results, the cost of the health damage caused to whole of Orissa by mining?  The question is put to him directly in public interest.

Young India celebrates as Delhi HC Rules in favor of Priya Pillai

Young people of Bhubaneswar came together on March 13 with posters and banners declaring, ‘I am Mahan’, symbolizing the Mohan Forest, vandalized by coal block grabbers whom the plutocratic state has been patronizing.
Greenpeace volunteers and supporters from across the country celebrated the day as the day of victory of democracy following the historic verdict of Delhi High Court on the preceding day in favor of Greenpeace activist, Priya Pillai.

Young activists from all over the country have came together in solidarity with the people of Mahan – the 50,000 villagers from tribal and forest dwelling communities, who are threatened with dire loss of their livelihoods because of a proposed coal mine in Mahan forests –their home and primary source of livelihoods.

On January 11, 2015, Pillai was on her way to London to talk about the forest and human rights violations in Mahan, when she was arbitrarily offloaded from her flight. After a harrowing two months, the court ruled on March 12 in favor of Pillai and quashed the lookout circular issued against her. The court also ordered that the endorsement of ‘Offloaded’ be expunged and that she be removed from the Intelligence Bureau’s database.

“The government must accept that dissenters are essential to a vibrant democracy. The government cannot force their own definition of development down the throats of tribal and forest communities. They have to work with civil society to come up with a sustainable and equitable model of development,” said Priya Pillai, who has worked with the people of Mahan over the last five years, making them aware of their rights as per the Forest Rights Act.

De-allocated by the Supreme Court, after the coal scam verdict, the Mahan coal block was initially given jointly to London-registered Essar Energy and Indian firm Hindalco. The growing fight to stop the mine is believed to be the reason Pillai was singled out by the government as she was headed to the UK to brief British MPs on the issue. In December 2014, the Ministry of Environment informed the Ministry of Coal that Mahan coal block should be considered an inviolate forest area and not be auctioned for mining.

“In this new era of bans, this judgment will go down in history as a victory for democracy. It upholds our basic right as Indians to freedom of speech and expression and makes it clear that criticism of the government’s policies does not make one anti-national”, said Debu Nayak a volunteer coordinator with Greenpeace India.

Better to look at the Dogs

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

kuhu-5This is my elder grand daughter Kuhu (Adwiteeya Mohapatra) as she was seen last year while watching the Bhubaneswar Dog Show,organized by Orissa kennel Club. She is now in Class Two in Delhi Public School – Kalinga and has contributed the pictures used in this posting.

Last year, while editorializing our report on the Dog Show, we had call upon the State Government for allocation of land in the capital city to the OKC for a permanent Dog Park on the grounds we had elaborated therein. A click here would lead to that plea. The government is yet to pay attention to this urgent need.

In absence of a permanent park, Dog Shows are being organized in inclement conditions, shifting from place to place each year. This year the venue was the ground of Unit I high school. But, it was also a last moment arrangement, Originally, the Show was scheduled to be held at the Government Boys High School play ground at Unit VI.

The new venue was location wise a disaster to Dog Shows as separated just by a compound wall from Bhubaneswar’s largest vegetable market, the dogs were severely affected and detracted by the stupendous noise of the market. But, for the Kennel Club organizers, there was no choice.

The participation was, like previous years, tremendous. Besides participants from Bhubaneswar and other parts of Orissa, Dogs came from outside the State like Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

Judges were Mr. Roberto Santos Tesoro from Philippines, Mr. C. V. Sudarsan and Mr. C. R. Patnaik, both acclaimed Judges of Kennel Club of India.

There were participation from Toy Group comprising Chihuahua (long coat), Miniature Pinscher, Pekingese, Pomeranian, and Pug; from Terrier Group comprising American Staffordshire Terrier, Fox Terrier (Smooth), and Welsh Terrier; Utility Group having Akita, Bull Dog, Dalmatian, French Bull Dog, Poodle (Standard), and Shih Tzu; Hound Group represented by Afghan Hound, Beagle, Dachshund Standard (Long Haired), Dachshund Standard (Smooth Haired), and Whippet; Gun Dog Group represented by Cocker Spaniel (American), Golden Retriever, Iris Setter, Labrador Retriever, Pointer, Spaniel English Springer; Working Group including Alaskan Malamute, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinscher, Dogo Argentino, Great Dane, Mastiff (English), Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Siberian Husky, Tibetan Mastiff; and from Pastoral Group comprising Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) and German Shepherd Dog.

Kuhu captured some of the pleasant moments:

GSDs in Bhubaneswar Dog Show 2014 BGSDs in Bhubaneswar Dog Show - 2014Golden Retrievers in Bhubaneswar Dog Show-2014Rottweilers in Bhubaneswar Dog Show-2014

We earnestly appeal again to the authorities to give the Orissa Kennel Club the Orissa Kennel Club a gift of at least one Acres of land in a central location in the city of Bhubaneswar for a permanent Dog Park, in view of Dog Shows attracting national participation as shown supra. The land can be used for useful training of dogs and purposes as mentioned in our original discussion on the subject under the (already linked to) caption:

Bhubaneswar badly needs a Dog Park

A prelude to a Scam to be Discussed

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
This posting is a prelude to a scam to be discussed in my next article.

The posting is positioned on a prime plot of Bhubaneswar that the location map furnished below highlights.

location of illegal cowshed

A few meters away from the Raj Bhawan (Orissa Governors official residence) on the north-western side and Sachivalaya (State Secretariat) on the north side), nearby VVIP/VIP bungalows where ministers to top officials stay, on the second street behind Bhubaneswar Club, and the back street of Bhubaneswar Kala Kendra, is this location where a gowala (milkman) has encroached about half an acre government land operating a huge illegal dairy there to the total detriment of health of the local residents since October 2004. Another gowala had started a small size dairy there which he dismantled in June 2004 due perhaps to objections raised before the Director of Estates. The area remained vacant for a few months till this encroacher stepped in. Below is the picture of the dairy under the present operator taken on 15 November 2004.

gowala nenace 2

This was then many meters distant from where the Autopsy Rd was crossing the Kala Kendra Rd and the cowsheds of the gowala were standing on the 3rd street behind Bhubaneswar Club. He was drying cow dung cakes on the uneven open space lying between the cowshed and Kala Kendra road. The following picture shows the distance of the cowshed from the Kala Kendra Rd and Autopsy Rd crossing.

gowala menace 4

The man seen walking towards the cowshed is former Additional Director of Estates. The picture was taken in the morning on 18 April 2008. On the very same day, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation had started dumping collected debris on this uneven plot to make it level for the gowala to use. The picture below shows how the gowala had started drying dung cakes on unloaded heaps of the debris.

gowala menace 3

And then the encroachment expanded. The gowala having encroached the left side of the Kala Kendra Road from the east, crossed the same to use its right side for drying the dung cakes.

cowshed-4

The picture below was taken this morning. It shows how it has reached the Kala Kendra Road within these years.

as on 29.10.14

And, see below, how free passage on the road has been blocked by high heaps of cow dung.

Road blocked by heap of cow dung 1

This is only one instance. The entire city of Bhubaneswar is afflicted with health hazard by running of such cowsheds by milkmen on encroached prime government plots, despite the Municipal Corporation Act 2003 having banned keeping of cows and buffaloes, goats and sheep.

I will discuss the issue in my next posting.