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!

No heart for the handicaps; High Court of Orissa grants Conditional Relief

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Physically challenged 19 years old Narayan Sahu of village Karatali under Chhatrapur P.S. of Ganjam district defeated his deformities in pursuit of education and made first division marks in the examination of Council of Higher secondary Education. He also bagged ranks in Orissa Joint Entrance Examination-2014 that made him eligible for admission to degree course in Ayurvedic Medical Science (BAMS) or Homeopathic Medical Science (BHMS).

Section 39 of the “The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995” provides that “All Government educational institutions and other educational institutions receiving aid from the Government, shall reserve not less than three per cent seats for persons with disabilities”.

But despite clear availability of seats, he was not included in the qualifying list for counselling to take admission as per his rank. On being subjected P.C.Board investigation at SCB Medical College, Cuttack, he was identified as physically challenged to even greater level as the limit as defined under the guidelines.

Eminent advocate Bibhu Prasad Tripathy has taken up his case in the High Court of Orissa. In a writ petition he has shown that the selection procedure adopted by the Chairman if OJEE depriving the petitioner to take admission in the BAMS/BHMS course , besides being a blatant violation of the established principle of law including the Section 39 of the “The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995” is violative even of the guidelines prescribed in Information Brochure of OJEE- 2014. It speaks of total indifference and apathy towards the Physically Challenged candidates as they have not taken a single candidate from the PC category who had attended the PC Board.

The High Court has issued interim orders for inclusion of Sahu and others in his category for counselling to take admission in their preferred BAMS/BHMS courses, while making it clear that the finality of their admission shall depend on its final verdict.

ORISSA UNDER THE GRIP OF AIDS: DMET TRIES TO FOIL THE HIGH COURT ORDERS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“Donation of blood is a noble work. In order to achieve this avowed objective all necessary safeguards must be taken while collecting, testing, storing and supplying blood. Otherwise, instead of saving the life, the contaminated blood would take the life. It is not disputed that during window period, unless the special test known as Antigen Test is conducted through Polymer Chain Reaction (PCR) method, the virus cannot be identified. Therefore, the Government must ensure that in all Blood Banks the Polymer Chain Reaction (PCR) method is available to identify the virus of HIV during window period”.

Thus said the High Court of Orissa a year ago on 28 July 2011 in W.P. (C) No.133441 of 2009 while asking the State Government to pay the writ petitioner Rs.3 lakhs as cash compensation against deficient screening of blood without using the NAT PCR method, as a result of which, the 17 months old child of the petitioner was infected with AIDS.

By saying, “the Government MUST ensure that in all Blood Banks the Polymer Chain Reaction (PCR) method is available to identify the virus of HIV during window period”, the High Court has made it an unavoidable must for the Government to use the NAT PCR screening method in all the Blood Banks in Orissa.

It is a blatant contempt of Court to delay implementation of this mandamus.

The Orissa Government, therefore, had taken up the matter in a specifically held “Meeting on Implementation of NAT PCR in Blood Banks” under Chairmanship of Dr. Pramod Meherda, IAS, MD, National Rural Health Mission and Project Director of Orissa State AIDS Control Society.

Members present in meeting were: Dr. Mangala Prasad Mohanty (Honorary Secretary of Indian Red Cross Society – Orissa State branch), Kamalakanta Dash (FA, OSACS), Dr. P. K. Acharya (Additional Project Director, OSACS), Dr. Sudhir Kumar Ghosh (Professor and HoD, Microbiology Dept, VSS Medical College, Burla), Dr. Banojini Parida (Professor and HoD, Microbiology Dept, MKCG Medical College, Berhampur), Dr. Pritilata Panda (Associate Professor, Microbiology Dept, MKCG Medical College, Berhampur), Hrushikesh Mohapatra (Drugs Controller, Orissa), Dr. Bijay Kumar Swain (Joint Director, Health Services (T.B.Cell) Orissa), Dr. Jyotsna Patnaik (D.D., STI and JD, BS), Dr. Bimocha Pragna Pati (Associate Professor, Microbiology Dept, SCB Medical College, Cuttack), Dr. L. N. Hati (Ex-Director, State Blood Transfusion Council, Orissa), Dr. Chhanda Charan Sahu (Blood Bank Officer, BCSU, Anugul), Dr. Debashish Mishra (Director, Model Blood Bank, Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar) and Dr. Benudhar Satapathy (Director, Central Red Cross Blood Bank, Cuttack).

This special meeting for the specific purpose of implementation of the High Court orders was held in the conference hall of OSACS on 25 February 2012 after collection of various documents and medical literature. The minutes thereof records, “the matter was placed before the committee with all the supporting documents like Hon’ble High Court’s judgment, correspondence letter to NACO, Transfusion Medicines Technical Manual, Screening of donated blood for Transfusion, Recommendation of WHO on Transmissible Infection, Proceedings of Karnataka Government on NAT PCR and supply order along with purchase of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi”.

This specific meeting, actively participated by subject matter specialist noted supra, unanimously decided to implement the High Court order as that was the most unavoidable and appropriate way to save the people from the transfusion-transmissible-infections(TTIs).

Its resolution said,

“All the Committee members went through the documents and also verified the possible grey zone documents of each individual disease (TTIs) and also went through the document from the website i.e. Journal of Association of Microbiologists, USA. After thorough discussion on NAT PCR technology, the Committee unanimously recommended that the NAT PCR technology, which is the latest testing facility, need to be introduced for screening of blood units to reduce the grey zone period of transfusion- transmissible-infections like HIV-I, II, Hepatitis B and HCV, as it is the latest and foremost technology available in India”.

But, despite this recommendation, the State Government failed to appreciate the urgency of its implementation. We exposed this menacing lack of concern for human life in these pages on 8 July 2012; and then a new case, seeking redressal in TTIs, gained cognizance of the High Court. This prompted the Government to remember the February meeting.

When the February meeting had unanimously recommended for adoption of NAT PCR method for screening of blood to eliminate the possibility of TTIs like HIV-I, II, Hepatitis B and HCV, it had constituted a sub-committee under chairmanship of the Special Secretary of Health to determine the manner of its execution. That sub-committee, after lapse of long five months, met on July 24.

But surprisingly, the D.M.E.T., Orissa, though not a member of that sub-committee, attended the meeting and tried to foil the High Court order with misleading emphasis on continuance of the outdated and deficient methods of blood screening presently in vogue in Orissa.

Our sources say, the meeting ended with no decision, notwithstanding how harmful be that to health of the people.

Election 2009: Returned Candidate’s Plea Rejected in the High Court, But Far Away is Justice for the Rejected Candidate

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In the 2009 election for Orissa Assembly, Returning Officers were used to reject the nomination papers of candidates that were seemingly disadvantageous to the ruling party.

In only these pages, this aspect is discussed in matter of Ranendra Pratap Swain in Athgarh as an instance.

Exposed only in orissamatters.com, – no other media had touched this point – the ruling party, after defeat of its conspiracy in even the Supreme Court, in the Court caused reelection, had to make Swain its candidate again to save its face and to keep the Constituency under its clutch, as Swain was certainly to win.

North Bhubaneswar is another instance where the Returning Officer “improperly and illegally rejected” the nomination papers of promising candidate Gyanendra Kumar Tripathy as a result of which the ruling party candidate Bhagirathi Badajena could bag the seat.

Tripathy preferred an Election Petition (Election Petition No.8 of 2009) in the High Court of Orissa. Badajena adopted dilatory tactics by filing objection to its maintainability, which the Court registered as a Misc. Case (Misc. Case No.6 of 2010) and once the Misc. Case was registered, took several adjournments, though he was legally required to prove his points sans any delay. Had he not played the dilatory tactics, the Misc. Case as well as the Election Case could have been decided in 2010.

Badajena had coined his Misc. Case on false and baseless pleas; but as there were points of law, the Court could not instantly reject his objection and posted the case to hear him. he did not cooperate and continued to seek adjournments as a result of which so vast time had to elapse in deciding the Misc.Case.

Justice Indrajit Mohanty ultimately heard the Misc. Case on 12 March 2012 and has delivered his judgment on 18 April 2012.

He has rejected the pleas of Badajena (the returned candiade) in a brilliant analysis of all the points of law he had raised and the baseless allegation he had made in attempt to mislead the Court. As for example, absence of an affidavit in Form No. 25 was made a point of objection to Tripathy’s case, claiming that Section 81(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and Rule 94 of Election Rules make such affidavit in this particular Form an unavoidable must for maintenance of an Election Case. But this Form is a must only if the election dispute is raised on the ground of “corrupt practices” and not otherwise. “On a careful reading” (Para 13 of the judgment) of the election petition the Court found that “there is no specific allegation of “corrupt practice” made by the election petitioner. Justice Mohanty has clearly mentioned, “I am of the considered view that since the election petitioner has not made any allegation of corrupt practice in his election petition, there is no requirement for him to make any affidavit in Form No.25 of Election Rules, 1961”.

So, on basis of factuality and in analysis of points of laws such as on animo attestendi and “substantial compliance” of the requirement of Section 81(3) of the 1951 Act, Justice Mohanty has rejected Badajena’s questions on maintainability of the Election Despute raised by Tripathy.

So, the hindrance willfully created by the returned candidate to decision on the election dispute has been appropriately removed by the High Court of Orissa.

Justice for Tripathy should no more be delayed. The Court should now follow the precedence it has created in Athgarh case. Yet, as there is no specific election bench of the Court, we apprehend, justice for Tripathy is far away.

In this context, we again put our emphasis on the need of separate and specific Election Bench to give justice to election petitioners that are victims of the mischiefs played by the Returning Officers and other players that endanger Democracy.

Case Against Mili Panda Rejected As Unproved

Shubhasree @ Mili Panda, wife of revolutionary Sabyasachi Panda, whom, despite nullification of cognizance against her in a court at Banpur by the High Court of Orissa, the State administration had denied fresh air and kept hostage under the guise of a cooked up case in Gunupur, has been release on Tuesday as the prosecution could not produce any evidence in support of its accusation.

Coming out of the jail, Ms. Panda has exposed the inhuman condition prevailing in the prisons. The government is not keeping them useable for human beings. If any funds for repair or maintenance might have ever come, it must have been misappropriated, she has remarked.

Proud wife of a revolutionary, she has no grief over her husband’s underground condition. “He is a very good man, addressed to well-being of people and protection of their interest from the clutches of the corporates and exploiters and has willingly adopted the path of suffering for the silent majority. I am proud of him”, she has said.

She informed that despite the court oder, she does not feel safe as the administration has obtained yet another warrant of arrest from another court to continue its repression, in order to force her husband surrender.

The Supreme Court of India, in an order on 23 March 2012, has served a notice on the State government seeking answer within eight weeks as to why should it not be asked to compensate her for illegal detention.

People of Orissa Should be Allowed to Know What the High Court has Ordered on Sahitya Award

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Mother tongue and motherland are in Oriya concept equated with the mother. “ମାତୃଭାଷା ମାତୃଭୁମି ଉଭୟ ଜନନୀ”.

Therefore, it is natural on part of every Oriya to know of what exactly the Orissa High Court has said while allowing the presentation of Sahitya Award 2011 by India’s National Academy of Letters to ‘Achihna Basabhumi’ (ଅଚିହ୍ନା ବାସଭୁମି) despite the book being a displayer of nasty words and expression of hatred against lower castes, women and muslims.

On the plea that selection of this book as the best book in Oriya language for the national award was obtained through manipulation, a man of letters – Sricharan Pratap ‘Kaniska’ – had preferred a writ case before the High Court of Orissa, which was registered as W.P.(C) 1871 OF 2012 with a Misc Case numbering 1876/2012 that had resulted in a stay on the award. But subsequently on 14 February 2012, the Court lifted the stay and dismissed the case as not maintainable as a PIL, on the basis of which, the Academy has already presented the award to the writer of this book.

As the people of Orissa – including the NROs – are also anxious to know what the High Court has really said, currently in a foreign tour, I tried to get it for my readers through the judgment site in the internet; but it was not available. I contacted the petitioner and from him I got the information that though he has applied for an urgent copy of the order, he has not yet got it, because the members of the bench – Chief Justice V. Gpal Gowda and Justice B.N.Mohapatra – have not yet signed the verdict.

This position worsens the predicament.

Presentation of the award by the Academy of Letters on 15 February following the rejection of the petition in the High Court, when the petitioner has not even got a copy of the order because the same is not signed by the judges, has given birth to a phenomenon that makes one see how eager was the Academy to give away the award, exposed in public platforms as manufactured through manipulations.

To us, presentation of the national award to this book as the best one amongst Oriya books published in a given period of three years from 2007 to 2009 is an affront to the dignity of our language. We do not know, whether the judges have read this book or not; but we know the book is vitiated with so much obnoxious words and expression against the women, lower caste people and muslims that no sane society can vouch for it.

A few samples of filth from the book are viewable in saubhasya.com. We are not producing the same here as that should be requiring translation thereof into English and if done, that may be very embarrassing to any Oriya who prides over majestic beauty of his mother tongue.

This book in normal circumstances could never have earned national award as the most outstanding book in Oriya. But what for the High Court has cleared the book for the national award is not known to any in details as yet. Therefore the sooner the order is published or made available to the public, is better.

MALARIA AND ORISSA CM’S ACROBATICS IN THE MASS MEDIA

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Open any newspaper worth the name in Orissa, you will find Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s lovely face and uncial autograph on an official advertisement telling you that June is being observed as the Malaria Eradication Month. You are instructed in the advertisement to cooperate with the mission of making the State mosquito-free. Official agencies and unofficial agencies engaged by administration would spray insecticides to exterminate the mosquitoes and you are instructed not to tamper with the sprayed insecticides for at least three months. The ads are worded to give you the impression that Naveen Patnaik is determined to free Orissa from mosquito menace.

Is he?

Is he really in the mission of extermination of mosquitoes?

Does he really want to eradicate malaria?

As I look at his style of administration, I feel, he is only trying to show us acrobatics in the mass media.

I will marshal the capital city of Bhubaneswar, where he lives and from where he rules, as my evidence.

He being the Home Minister, it is well within his knowledge that Bhuaneswar is so much malaria infested that the police force had to suffer casualties due to mosquito bite while guarding the Assembly in session on summon.

The collective wisdom of Legislature had determined that crabbed dairies operated by cowherds in every nook and corner of the capital city are the principal centers of mosquito breeding and therefore the Orissa Municipal Corporations Act, 2003 had stipulated that there shall be no dairy or cowshed in Bhubaneswar.

Naveen Patnaik has kept this Law inconsequential and in the process, has killed the Supreme Court of India verdict of Feb.2, 2006 that had fully supported this special Law.

I had discussed this issue in these pages in a different context and in due deference to Article 51A (g) and (i) of the Constitution of my Motherland, had immediately sent copies thereof to the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary of Orissa for their perusal and action. But they are conspicuous by their silence. Several crores of illicit payola clandestinely collected from the milkmen is apparently the cause.

I reproduce relevant portions of that discussion for ready reference.

The illegal cowsheds are, I had observed:

flourishing because the corridors of Orissa administration are full of commission agents and robbers that act as protectors of the pollutant milkmen.

Many things can be known; but every thing cannot be proved. I know, because a milkman had once confided in me, that the Directorate of Estates collects a Sum of Rs. 1000/- off the record from each of the milkman in return for silence over their encroachment over Government land in prime localities in the new Capital to run their lucrative milk trade. Compared to the benefit they fetch this sum of Rs.1000/- looks too small an amount to them. But there being one thousand milkmen families in the heart of the Capital City, the bribe collected from them amounts to not less than Rupees ten lakhs per month. This money is shared amongst all officials who matter in the matter of land encroachment by milkmen.

I was inclined to reject this information as rubbish. But looking at the immunity the milkmen are enjoying, and looking at how the officials have made a farce of the Order of the Supreme Court in the matter of eviction of the milkmen, I am inclined to believe in the information though there is no proof in support of it.

Now let us look at the Supreme Court Judgment.

Published in (2006) 3 Supreme Court Cases 229, it pertains to Civil Appeal No.940 of 2006 arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 16362-16363 of 2004.

By 1994, as many as 686 milkmen had encroached upon prime plots of Bhubaneswar City and running dairy business from there oblivious of the health hazards that was causing to genuine inhabitants. The situation was so unbearable that the then Chief Minister in a bid to get rid of the gowalas declared to rehabilitate them in the villages in the city’s close vicinity. But they did not go while on the other hand they were encouraging other gowalas to encroach upon other vacant plots. By 2003 their number increased to 1000. The dung and other filthy matters of the cowsheds run by them on government plots in prime areas of Bhubaneswar imperiled public health to such extent that in the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act framed in 2003, the legislature not only prohibited establishment and running of dairies or cowsheds in the city proper as well as in the periphery of the town, but also provided for penalty against the dairy operators. Under the new act, all of the milkmen were bound to be evicted from Bhubaneswar city. Against this mandated eviction, the milkmen through their association had gone to Orissa High Court. The Court refused to intervene. Then they stressed on rehabilitation and wanted a mandate from the Court that the Government provides them with plots to run their business. The High Court rejected this plea. Alleging that the High Court’s refusal to order for their rehabilitation before eviction from Government plots was illegal, the Milk Producers Association, Orissa and others preferred the appeal in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court took serious note of the health hazards the milkmen were causing to the citizens of Bhubaneswar. Even the Supreme Court made it clear,

�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�.

Making it abundantly clear that there does not exist any legal concept which confers a legal right upon the encroacher to be rehabilitated by State action, the Supreme Court has not only rejected the Appeal of the Milkmen but also has ruled,

�In view of the 2003 Act, even the doctrine of Promissory Estoppels will have no application�.

So in the Supreme Court the Milkmen have lost their case and the Apex Court has made it clear that the State Government is not even entitled to rehabilitate them.

In an earlier Order [(2004) 8 SCC 733] in Friends Colony Development Committee V. State of Orissa and Others case, the Supreme Court had ruled,

�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�.

In another case between N.D.Jayal and another v. Union of India and others, reported in [(2004) 9 SCC 362], a 3-Judge bench of the Supreme Court held,

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 Orissa municipal Corporation Act, 2003 under Sections 409, 543 and 548 by banning running of cow-buffalo-swine-sheds, has provided for the environment the Supreme Court has emphasized on.

Therefore the Supreme Court refused the Appeal of the milkmen and removed every obstacle from their eviction. This verdict was delivered on 2 February 2006.

But neither the Director of Estates, nor the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation nor the Bhubaneswar Development Authority has bothered to evict the milkmen. The concentration of milkmen rose from 686 in 1994 to 1000 in 2003 and it has possibly doubled by end of 2006. The surprising and unexplained reluctance of the State Government to evict the milkmen, even though brilliant youths like Bibhuti and Rubi have succumbed to air pollution caused by the cowsheds and scores of genuine citizens near whose residences the milkmen have been running unauthorized dairies on encroached lands have fallen victims to unhealthy environment affected by filth, stench, dung and other excremental matters.

When the Law enacted in 2003 has prohibited dairy activities in Bhubaneswar and when the Supreme Court by rejecting the Appeal of the milkmen has stressed on their eviction saying simultaneously that the State is not entitled to rehabilitate them anywhere in the city and its periphery, why the State Government has not evicted them so far even though the Apex Court verdict was delivered on 2 February 2006?

It is therefore believable that the milkmen have been greasing the palms of officials to purchase their cooperation in rendering the Supreme Court judgment inconsequential.

Huge Money

If it must be happening then it must be a scam of ten lakhs of rupees per month, taking the officially admitted figure of milkmen to be one thousand. The 1000 figure pertaining to 2003, if they have doubled by this time, the amount of bribe must be 20 lakhs per month. This is a secret income exceeding many times the income the officers earn on records. According to a calculation recorded by the Supreme Court, at Para 14 of its Judgment, “the income per annum of each gowala family of Bhubaneswar comes out to about Rs. 3,71,910.00 as admitted by them in the SLP. Deducting 50% out of the total income towards establishment and maintenance charges, net annual income per family comes to 1,85,950.00”. This huge money every milkman family earns because he runs the dairy on encroached government land in prime areas of Bhubaneswar. To keep up this lucrative business, why should he hesitate to grease the palms of officers who are in a position to carry out eviction?

With this question, I had attracted attention of the Chief Minister as well as the Chief Secretary to the menace that poses pernicious dangers to human health in Bhubaneswar. It is not that they are not aware of this. But payola determining administrative decisions, the breeding centers of mosquitoes are flourishing in every cowshed illegally running in Bhubaneswar.

I have information that attempts are being made to amend the Municipal Act to undo the ban imposed by the 2003 Act on cowsheds so that the changed face of Law can obliterate the impact of the Supreme Court verdict.

Do I err in holding the Chief Minister’s advertised eagerness to exterminate mosquitoes as mere acrobatics politicians display when they propound a cause that they never stand with?