Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 30:
They reigned prime time television slots and made headlines on the first page of newspapers. They were the biggest newsmakers in the state. Odisha Sun Times does a recap of 2015:
- Cameraman at ITR, Odisha arrested for spying for ISI
Cameraman Ishwar Behera of Interim Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha’s Baleswar district was arrested on charges of spying for Pakistani intelligence agency ISI. During interrogation, he confessed that he had been passing on sensitive information about missile tests to the agent who recruited him.
- Bhubaneswar to become Odisha’s first smart city
With the Odisha capital meeting almost 80 percent of the minimum requirements of the guidelines set by the Centre, the temple city is in all likelihood going to become the first smart city of the state. It topped in the Smart City Social Media Campaign with over 53,000 page likes and over 11, 000 engagements with Indore in second place. Rs 4,537 Crore Smart City plan for Odisha capital was tabled before the Council of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation in December.
- Odias croon their way to glory in reality shows on national TV
While Odisha’s teenage sensation Ananya Sritam Nanda emerged the winner of the India Idol Junior Season II, Rituraj Mohanty walked away with a Maruti Suzuki Swift, a contract with STAR Plus, a whopping Rs.50 lakh cash prize and of course, the title of India’s first Rawstar. From zero representation on reality shows to bagging the ultimate trophy, Odias have made an indelible impression with their talent and won many hearts across the country this year.
- The last chapter of Baba-raj in Odisha
2015 was the dark year for the so-called godmen in the state. Skeletons kept on tumbling out of the cupboard for one Baba after the other in Odisha. From Abhiram and Kalki Babas’ land encroachment to Sarathi Baba’s sexcapades and murder charges against Sura Baba, even the national media glued itself to Odisha’s regional channels and websites for information. While these Babas are under-trial, the final verdict is yet to be announced.
- The rising toll of farmer suicides
With crop loss and debt burden weighing heavy on the farmers of the state, many resorted to take their own lives without finding an alternative and leaving behind families to fend for themselves. Countless times, Odisha Legislative Assembly has been adjourned and many promises have been made by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathi. 10-member central team also toured the drought-hit areas after the state government requested the Center for interim drought relief of Rs 1,687 crore. However, there is no relief for the farmers, yet.