| Dumping of soil by a house owner on a 50-year-old drain built by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation in ward No. 39 has generated huge protest among local residents of Shanti Nagar in Bhubaneswar. Telegraph picture |
Bhubaneswar, April 17: As the ‘Clean Bhubaneswar Campaign’ is underway in two select wards of the city, blocking of a 50-year-old drain by a house owner at one end of Shanti Nagar area in ward No. 39 has triggered strong resentment among the local residents.
The 50-year-old drain built by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation was built in the early 60s around the same time that Daya West Canal was constructed. After passing through Shanti Nagar area, the drain joins natural drainage channel No. 10 before falling into the Gangua nullah.
However, now dumping of soil by the house owner who is constructing a building has blocked the passage of the drain.
“The blocking of the drain is completely wrong. The person who has blocked the drain now claims that the land belongs to him. But the Easement Act clearly says that the passage of public road, water channel and air passage has to be retained if members of the public have been using it for more than 20 years,” said Ashok Ranjan Mohanty, senior citizen and member of Shanti Nagar Welfare Committee.
“The law being very clear, it is necessary for a strong and immediate action to save thousands of residents of Shanti Nagar. The natural drainage channel No. 10 when flows with full force chokes the smaller BMC drain in our colony. Now as the culvert near the meeting place of the two water channels has become damaged, the blockade of the parallel drain by the house owner along the coast of Daya West Canal will create a serious problem in the area with water logging,’’ added Mohanty, a consulting engineer, added.
Another member of the residents’ body, Nalini Acharya informed that already the BMC authorities, housing and urban development minister and the chief minister have been apprised of the facts and a team comprising a BMC executive engineer, recovery officer and city health officer has paid a visit to the spot.
“The BMC engineer has assured us action within three days and we are waiting to see that happen. While the city is busy in spreading awareness on keeping our surroundings clean, this unfortunate incident in our ward actually tells the story of the attitude of our own people regarding collective responsibility,’’ she added.
The BMC executive engineer said the technical details were already discussed and soon the recovery and enforcement team of the civic body will act. “The house owner has already blocked a drain on the front side of the building near the main road and constructed a ramp. Now the dumping of soil to block a major drain will certainly be taken seriously. You wait and see our action,’’ he added.
Secretary of the Shanti Nagar Welfare Committee Prasanna Kumar Behera added: “Not only the blocking of the drain, but renovation and desilting work for the BMC drain has not been done for years. The passage of the natural drainage channel No. 10 with an odd angle along the Daya West Canal is also creating many problems as water is coming in huge quantity from several areas like Jayadurga Nagar, Cuttack Road, Jharpada Housing Board Colony and Bomikhal. A proper passage of the major channel with a change in its angle near the culvert should also be carried out by the engineers.’’