Over 1.26 crore people suffer as storm hits transport, power lines

Seventeen persons were killed as the very severe cyclonic storm, Phailin, hit the Odisha coast near Gopalpur in Ganjam district late on Saturday evening, Special Relief Commissioner P.K. Mohapatra said on Sunday.

The state government has chalked out plans to improve conditions of 2,158 km State Highways at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore in four years.

Dengue scare has gripped North Odisha with three persons, two from Balasore and one from Bhadrak, falling prey to the vector-borne disease in last few days.

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.

BHUBANESWAR: The state government on Monday announced 314 villages of four districts, Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj and Nuapada, as drought-hit for poor rainfall during rainy season in 2012 leading to 50% crop loss.

Revenue minister S N Patro told the assembly that the declaration was made based on the crop-cutting experiment report received from collectors of these districts. He said the affected farmers of the areas would be eligible to get compensation as per the relief code.

Despite concern over the end use of both ground and river water for industrial purposes, the use of ground water for drinking, irrigation and industries in Odisha is 26.14 per cent.

The unseasonal rains and hailstorm that hit north coastal districts on December 11 and 12 claimed eight lives apart from damaging standing crop and houses.

The State Government has plans to create mangrove forest on 720 hectares to counter cyclones in coastal districts.

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government has failed to utilise the funds for the last three years despite increasing assistance from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) every year.

BARIPADA: Already shocked over frequent elephant killings in Similipal and Kuldiha reserve forests, the forest authorities here are in for some more trouble.

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