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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 15:

Finally, Odia will be used as the official language in all transactions of the Odisha government from tomorrow.

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“Rules of the Official Language Bill have been approved. It will come into effect from tomorrow. We are hopeful that all efforts will be made for implementation of Odia as the State language within this year,” informed Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here today.

A committee with the Chief Secretary as its chairperson has been formed to oversee implementation of the use of Odia in all official business of the state government. The committee will every six months take stock of the situation. A special division under the General Administration department will oversee implementation of the use of Odia language in official transactions of the state government.

On the other hand, linguists have expressed doubts over the implementation of Odia as the state’s official language. They have alleged that it was being implemented in haste.

They are of the opinion that Odisha was yet to constitute a language commission or a state directorate for overseeing its implementation unlike Hindi and other regional languages.

They have further said that had a State Language Commission been constituted with quasi-judicial powers then implementation of the government’s directives would have been much easier.

“A regulatory commission with quasi-judicial powers at the non-governmental level should have been constituted which could put pressure on the government where it would have failed. This has not been discussed. Now it cannot be said that it has moved forward or it has moved backward,” opined linguist Debi Prasanna Patnaik.

“In order to implement Odia as the official language, it’s essential to form language commission. But then neither language commission has been constituted nor have penal provisions been made. On the other hand, it has been left in the hands of the bureaucrats to implement the law. Then how it’s going to be implemented?” questioned Baisnab Parida, convener of Bhasa Surakshya Sammilani.