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Grand plans for 7 urban hubs

Bhubaneswar, Dec 3: Keeping the upcoming industrialisation and urbanisation in view, separate master plans will be prepared for seven upcoming industrial hubs and urban conglomerates.

The identified industrial hubs and urban centres are Paradip, Kalinga Nagar, Jharsuguda, Angul-Talcher, Puri, Berhampur and Sambalpur.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level review meeting, chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik here today. Chief secretary Ajit Tripathy, who was present at the meeting, said a presentation was given by the state urban development department at the meting.

The master plans for the seven places will be prepared on the lines of the perspective plan prepared by IIT, Kharagpur, for Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and peripheral towns and submitted to the state government on October 24, official sources said.

On the basis of the perspective plans, the twin city of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack and its neighbouring towns will be developed into a greater urban complex of international standards catering to the needs of 42 lakh people by 2030, said sources.

The master plans will be prepared based on the satellite imagery pictures and according to the Geographic Information System (GIS), said state urban development secretary Arun Panda.

Green belts will be developed in and around the above townships and efforts will be made for the preservation of heritages in the area.

Not only will comprehensive plans be prepared for the urban centres in the state, but urban reform measures have also been initiated in 35 municipalities, two municipal corporations and eight notified area councils at the district headquarters in the first phase, said Panda.

Reform process has started with the introduction of double entry accounts system, property tax reform and e-governance. The property tax assessment will be made through satellite imagery, ground truthing and unit area method, said Panda. Formulation of building by-law for Bhubaneswar city by the Town and Country Planning Organisation, a central government agency, is in the advanced stage and it will be replicated in other cities and towns, he said.

More and more development authorities will be created for the upcoming urban centres to ensure a planned development, said the official.

Funds will not be a problem for the development of these places, as the state has already submitted various proposals under central schemes, but adequate staff for execution may be a problem, said sources.

such as Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns and Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme.

What is lacking is adequate staff for the execution and monitoring of various projects. For example, executive officer posts are lying vacant in as many as 30 out of 102 urban local bodies across the State.

Chief secretary, Tripathy will soon review the staff requirement and number of vacancies. Besides, steps will be taken for skill upgradation and training of the staff.

The government is also contemplating to create a dedicated urban service cadre for the urban development bodies, said Panda.

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