Bhawanipatna: A branch of the Odisha Government Press here in Kalahandi district is on the verge of closure due to the apathy of the state government.
The unit catering to the undivided Kalahandi and Koraput districts was established in 1981. Once a busy press, printing various forms and documents for government offices in undivided Kalahandi and Koraput districts, it is slowly on the wane due to lack of adequate staff to run it. The press is passing through a tumultuous period which has cast a shadow on its future.
Now, the press does not have a machine man to run the unit and out of 17 posts 13 are lying vacant. Currently, two senior compositors and a helper are managing the press. A senior compositor is now managing the day-to-day affairs of the press after the transfer of another to Cuttack in November.
Things have come to such a pass that printing works have almost stopped. As a result, official forms and documents are now being printed at the Odisha Government Press in Cuttack and then supplied to the government offices in undivided Kalahandi and Koraput.
The press has a good printing machine but lack of a machine man has hampered its work orders. Moreover, compositors have been tasked with supply and binding works due to lack of any salesperson and binders in the press.
It is feared that the press might be shut down in future as higher officials or local leaders have not shown any interest to make it fully functional. This has sparked concern among the residents and officials of government offices.
The press was inaugurated at Bhawanipatna by then commerce minister Dayanidhi Nayak August 5, 1981. The press then used to carry equal importance like the Government Press at Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Bolangir, Keonjhar, Chhatrapur and Khandapada.
It used to print various forms and documents and supply them to the government offices in Kalahandi, Nuapada, Nabarangpur, Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada districts including the block and tehsil offices in these districts.
However, the press soon fell into bad days after the machine man who was running the printing unit retired from service in August, 2017. It was then expected that some new person might get appointed in his place. But, that was not to be as no one was appointed. Since then printing works have been stopped in the press.
People have demanded the state government to intervene and fill up the vacant posts in the press and make it fully functional.