August 18, 2010 12:32:55 am
Despite major industrial projects like Posco and Vedanta facing roadblocks,Orissa emerged as the most preferred destination for investment in 2009-10 fiscal,a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) study on corporate investment has said. Orissa surged ahead of states like Maharashtra and Gujarat on the back of the many upcoming mineral-based projects. The RBI study which tracked 796 projects in 2009-10 said that Orissa attracted the highest investment of Rs 74,757 crore in 31 projects,accounting for 13.4 per cent of total proposed investment during the year,with Maharashtra coming in second with investments worth about Rs 49,480 crore. Gujarat,Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were the other top investment destinations in the year.
While state officials are regularly in the Vigilance Department net on account of corruption charges,Vigilance officials were in for a surprise last week when they stumbled across a watchman working in state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDCO),who had amassed assets worth crores. Despite a measly monthly salary of Rs 3,500,watchman Rajanikant Jena,working in the Cuttack division of the organisation,was found to be in possession of assets worth Rs 2 crore. Jena owned a fleet of cars,three buildings in Bhubaneswar,a luxury guest house in Puri,bank balance,deposits in LIC and other financial institutions. The department also recovered movable assets like costly household articles,and gold ornaments from his house.
Pigs bear H1N1 brunt
With 8 deaths reported from H1N1 virus in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack last week,the twin cities are now in the grip of swine flu scare. Though around two dozen more people have been affected by the virus,state health department officials say there is nothing to be panicky about. However,it is the pig owners living in these cities who are facing the heat from local municipal authorities. Scientists in the Regional Medical Research Centre in Bhubaneswar say there is no documented proof of pig to human transmission of the virus in the current round of infections and if pigs are to blame,so too are birds and humans. But officials of the Bhubaneswar and Cuttack Municipal Corporations would have none of it and are busy chasing pigs out of the city.
The rain gods oblige
Just when the state agriculture department officials were throwing their hands up in sheer desperation,the rain gods looked kindly upon Orissa. With over 20 per cent shortfall in rains and very little activity in lands sown with paddy,Orissa was staring at a developing drought situation. But last weeks incessant rainfall in several parts of Orissa seems to have made up for some of the shortfall. Flash flood triggered by heavy downpour-hit districts of Kalahandi,Nabarangpur,Malkangiri,Koraput,Gajapati,and Balangir as well as some districts of northern Orissa. Flash floods have so far killed 2 and affected 10,000 people. The two major rivers of south Orissa,Vanshadhara and Rushikulya,were also flowing close to their warning levels.
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