Bhubaneswar, Jan. 2: As a New Year’s gift to its citizens, the state government has decided to expand the development area of the capital from 419sqkm to over 1,000sqkm.
According to a notification issued by the housing and urban development department, the expanded area would include 367 revenue villages.
With the two-fold increase in its development zone, the capital’s area will now come to be known as the Bhubaneswar Development Plan Area (BDPA), comprising the districts of Cuttack, Khurda and Puri. The new expansion plan would perhaps be the biggest in the history of the city.
The expanded area will have 263 villages from the district of Khurda, 88 from Puri and 16 from Cuttack. With this new proposal, there will be 572 revenue villages under the development zone.
When the capital city area was planned under BDA in 1983, it had only 93 villages from the undivided Puri district. After two decades, the number of revenue villages went up to 205, and now, with the latest move, it would finally be touching a figure of 572.
Sources in the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) said the development of the capital, instead of remaining restricted along the Phulanakhara-Khurda line, would now be spread in all directions stretching from villages in Cuttack district to Delang in Puri.
BDA vice-chairman Deoranjan Kumar Singh said that the notification for the expansion of the capital’s development area would help curb unplanned growth and ensure orderly urban development.
“The comprehensive development plan for the city taken up by the IIT, Kharagpur, was already looking into the expansion aspect. The new plan will ensure proper development of all the micro-level zones,’’ added Singh.
The department has urged activists, general public, planners, experts and architects involved in the planning activities to provide their feedbacks within 30 days so that changes, if any in the plan, can be incorporated in time.
“Earlier, the urban expansion focus was restricted. But now with state secretariat as the central point, the entire region will be developed under the BDPA within a 20 to 25km radius so that there is enough scope for land development, effective road connectivity and special housing zones,” said a senior BDA official.
Not only the villages away from the city outskirts like Pipili or Delang, but even villages near the capital, which were left out in the earlier expansion plans, have been included in the current plan.
President of the Real Estate Developers Association (Reda) of Orissa, Anup Mohapatra, said the notification would help facilitate the development of the capital under the proposed BDPA. He also emphasised the need for proper civic facilities in the expanded area.
“To understand the city and BDPA area better in future, the BMC must make its presence felt. Providing civic amenities to the expanded area is a big challenge,” added Mohapatra.
Chairman of the state chapter of the Indian Institution of Architects, Akshaya Behuria, said: “The development planners should pay proper attention to infrastructure development in the expanded area.”