Keonjhar: A cluster of tribal settlements in the remote hills of mineral-rich Keonjhar district saw light some years ago, thanks to the rural electrification drives of the state and the Centre.

A two-year-old tribal child died of a mysterious disease at Munda Sahi of Swam village in Patna area of the district on Monday.

Keonjhar: After Similipal sanctuary in Mayurbhanj district, poachers now seem to be making inroads into the Hadagarh sanctuary. The fact came to light after wildlife division forest officials seized the carcass of three elephants, allegedly killed by tusk smugglers from Hadagarh wildlife sanctuary near Chakratirtha biodiversity area.

The forest department seized the carcass after interrogating five persons for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of tuskers. The department has seized about 12 kg tusks worth about Rs nine lakh from a house in Purunia village under Hadagarh forest range area on April 22.

KEONJHAR: The government and mining companies were feared to face a loss of over Rs 250 crore on the first day of the nationwide bandh in the district as mineral transportation by rail and road came to a halt on Wednesday.

"There was no mining activity here today and the loss is tremendous," said deputy director of mines Ballav Ch Nayak. While no trains plied in the district, supporters and leaders of various trade unions blocked National Highway-215 (Rajamunda-Panikoili) and NH-6 (Mumbai-Kolkata) at different places, affecting transportation of minerals.

KEONJHAR: Shrinking water bodies and depleting groundwater level in the district has once again brought to the fore the demand to protect river Baitarani, considered the 'lifeline of Keonjhar'.

The Keonjhar Citizen's Forum blamed the present situation on the 'faulty policy' of the government. "The water of the district is allocated to different industries and mining houses, without any consultation with the people here, who have the first right on the water," the forum alleged.