**Bhubaneswar:** Veteran Odia Journalist and columnist Barendra Krushna Dhal passed away today (Tuesday) at the age of 77 in his residence here following a prolonged illness. His wife Snehalata Dhal had died earlier this year on January 6.
The founder of Book Fair Movement in the state capital city here, Dhal, while celebrating his 75th Birthday in January 2015 had said, “Till end of my life I will continue writing. I shall live to write”
Barendra Krushna Dhal was born in Charchika in undivided Cuttack district. He was associated with newspapers like Swarajya (as Editor), Aj Kal (as Odisha correspondent of the Bengali daily), Sambad, Prajatantra, and Dharitri (as a columnist)
Dhal was founder secretary of the Lekhaka Samukhya, a literary movement in the remote areas of Odisha. He worked there as the chief secretary during 1982-88. He was the chairman of National Union of Journalists during 1990-93.
During his long journalistic career, he had worked for a number of vernacular and national publications.
Gem of Odia journalism, Dhal was awarded with Kendriya Sahitya Academy in 1993 for translating Bengali novel ‘Samba’ originally written by Samaresh Basu.
Many eminent personalities, journalists and politicians reached his residence to offer their condolences to the departed soul.
Several politicians, including Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP President Basant Panda, BJP leader Biswabhushan Harichandan, Odisha Ministers Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Ashok Panda condoled the demise of Barendra Krushna Dhal.
His last rites will be performed tomorrow (Wednesday) at Swarga Dwar, Puri, according to the family sources.