Bhubaneswar, May 11: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) will no longer have to shoulder the burden of desilting drains of the city on its own.
The state housing and urban development department has decided yesterday that different departments would be responsible for cleaning and desilting the city drains.
Speaking on this on the sidelines of the monthly council meeting here today, mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said: “Earlier, problems related to waterlogging used to be referred to the civic body. But now, various agencies building the roads will also desilt the accompanying drains.”
Agencies such as the public works department, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), the public health engineering organisation, the Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board, the National Highways Authority of India and the National Highways (Odisha) have been asked to follow the guidelines.
While the municipal corporatin council today welcomed the housing and urban development department’s decision, it also extended the contract period of various vehicles engaged to lift solid waste from various transit points up to Bhuasuni, the dumping yard of the capital city on its outskirts. While tractors get the local garbage from various wards to the transit points, trucks carry the load to Bhuasuni site.
“June 15 has been fixed for the completion of the drain desiltation work so that the primary, secondary and tertiary drains are clean before monsoon. In fact, the development authority has promised to provide a grant of Rs 50 lakh for desiltation of natural drainage channels No. 5,6,7, and 8,’’ the mayor said.
Housing and urban development minister Sarada Nayak convened a meeting yesterday to begin a coordinated effort on desiltation activities.
However, it was learnt that even after the June 15 deadline, the coordination meet will be held every 15 days and the city engineer of the municipal corporation will be the nodal officer, who will look after the city-level coordination.
After the flood in the Mahanadi system during the first week of September, the state government last week convened a special meeting where problems related to drainage were discussed at large.
It was mentioned at the meeting that about 117 encroachments on various drains and drainage channels were yet to be removed. Sources also said that though much discussion had been done relating to construction of drains, about 70 per cent of roads in the city were without drains.
The municipal council was also informed that the municipal corporation could work as the nodal agency for utilising the MLA local area development (MLA-LAD) and MP local area development (MP-LAD) funds. Councillor of ward No. 49 Amaresh Jena said he was happy at this move.
Councillor of ward No. 34 Ramanath Samantray alleged that the ornamental lights between AG Square and Governor House Square were not functioning properly. While at many places the lights were not working, some light posts had also vanished.