| Neglect cry
Kendrapara, Aug. 3: Residents of this town are upset with the way the Kendrapara urban local body has been working. They allege that ever since the BJD-led urban local body assumed office, sanitation, sewerage, garbage disposal, road maintenance, public utility and infrastructure projects are in a sorry state of affairs.
Almost a year has passed since the BJD came to power in the urban local body. The civic body polls had attracted state-wide attention, as the election was held close on the heels of the three-tier panchayat polls. A galaxy of BJD heavyweights had thrown their weight behind the campaign trails and promised a lot. But the authorities had done precious little to keep their promises, local residents have alleged.
Substandard work has left the three-km main road passing through the township in a sorry state. The civic body is in charge of road repair and maintenance. For better upkeep of the road, the government had decided to hand it over to the roads and building division. But the civic body authorities have not yet made official the transfer of jurisdiction.
Hygiene and sanitation measures seem to have apparently taken a backseat in wards of the Kendrapara Municipality. Heaps of garbage and waste can be seen lying everywhere on the roads.
Several public utility and infrastructure development projects have not been executed. The mosquito control drive has come to halt for a long time reportedly because of funds crunch. A plantation programme to give the township a green look is yet to take off. There are no signs of setting up a peripheral hospital that was supposed to reduce the burden on the district headquarters hospital.
“There is a total absence of a sanitation mechanism in the township. The atmosphere is unhealthy because of rotting garbage strewn wherever you look. The municipal authorities have failed to discharge their duty,” said Shasanka Sekhar Mohapatra, a local resident. There is no sign of the solid waste management treatment plant that was supposed to be set up for disposal of biodegradable waste. Though land has been earmarked for it, the treatment plant is yet to come up.
“The sanitation standard in the town is pathetic. Everywhere, the scene is the same. Garbage heaps can be found everywhere. These are a constant source of health hazard. The stench emanating from the garbage heaps is making life miserable. And the municipal authorities are watching silently as residents suffer,” said Rajesh Rout, another local resident.
“There has been a near breakdown of the system. Not only has the municipality failed in the matter of waste disposal, but it has done nothing to make the sewerage network actually work. Drains are clogged and filthy water overflows into localities and roads. The authorities are behaving very callously,” said resident Ramakant Acharya.The municipal authorities, however, brushed aside charges of negligence and said matters would improve shortly with the help of urban development funds.
“Sanitation measures are being streamlined. The councillors have been told to monitor sanitation at periodic intervals. Efforts are on to put in place the solid waste treatment system,” said Dhirendra Sahu, chairman, Kendrapara Municipality.