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Civic bodies pass buck over muck

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 20: Waterlogged roads and stinking drains with heaps of garbage dumped on their borders can easily put off anyone visiting Indradhanu Market in Nayapalli, one of the biggest colonies in the city.

As people fret and whine, the vendors complain that civic authorities have turned a deaf ear to their demands for cleaning up the area and improving the condition of the roads.

“Since we depend on the market for our living, we have brought the issue to the notice of the corporation several times. But, nothing has happened so far. The conditions here are a disincentive for buyers who might prefer to go elsewhere,” said Bimal Pradhan, a vendor.

His concerns find an echo in the feelings of Khageswar Baneerjee, a local resident, who said that the market is full of mud and slush during the rainy season when one could go there only at his own risk.

“There are potholes filled with water everywhere. Anyone can fall into one of these pits and break his limbs,” said Banerjee, who prefers to buy vegetables from roadside vendors rather than going to the market.

Around 2000 vendors, including those with temporary shops, ply their trade in the market. While permanent vendors have bought their shops from the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), around 100 others have put up cabins which can be removed at short notice.

“Though we have paid the entire money due to the BDA, we are still facing these problems. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), too, is not doing anything for us,” said Trilochan Behera, president of the Indradhanu Market Development Association.

“The association had to employ two sweepers to clean up the inner parts of the market. We collect Rs 2 per day from the temporary vendors and Rs 30 per month from the permanent vendors in the market for cleaning and employing security guards here,” added Behera.

The BDA and the BMC are busy passing the buck. “We have handed over the internal development work to the BMC. They should take care of the roads and drains in the market,” said Jaladhar Swain, executive engineer of the division-III of the BDA.

The BMC officials, however, claimed that since it was a BDA-controlled market, the corporation did nothing beyond the basic cleaning and sanitation work.

Local councillor Subhransu Sekhar Pattnaik said the BMC was going to spend around Rs 25 lakh on repairing roads and drains. This would be done from the annual development fund of Rs 60 lakh provided to each councillor.

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