Bhubaneswar, Oct. 14: Five prime plots in the city, which were meant for expansion of the postal department’s operations, are lying unutilised.
The plots at Baramunda, Buddheswari, IRC Village, Kapila Prasad and Jagamara, which were provided to the postal department by the state government, have been encroached upon in parts, said a source. The overall area of the plots comes to 38,533sqft.
Interestingly, the postal department employees are now finding themselves unable to locate the 22,433sqft plot at Kapila Prasad, which was the largest of the five plots.
The department wanted to construct a post office and staff quarters on the plot.
Sources in the postal department said that while the plot allotted to them at Jagamara, measuring around 4,000sqft, had been encroached upon by a powerful politician, the 5,400sqft plot at IRC Village was partially under the control of a person who is running a dairy farm there.
The two other plots at Baramunda and Buddheswari measure 3,700sqft and 3,000sqft respectively.
“Local residents will benefit if the postal authorities take up the construction here seriously. If a post office comes up in our area, the people will be saved from running to the main post office at the PMG Square, which is far away,” said Piyush Ranjan Rout, a resident of Laxmi Sagar.
A resident of Baramunda Housing Board colony, T.N. Panda said he had tried to know the status of the postal department’s various projects from the department as well as the state government, but got no reply.
“Finally, I had to file an RTI (Right to Information) application and was learnt that the lease period for the construction of the post offices at Baramunda, Buddheswari, IRC Village, Kapila Prasad and Jagamara will expire at the end of 2013,” he said.
Postal authorities, however, indicated that the progress of the new post office projects largely depended on the financial assistance of the central government.
“Of the five plots, we have already submitted proposals for building post offices at Baramunda and Buddheswari.
“However, allocation of funds depends on the authorities in New Delhi and we can only hope for the best for our region,” said assistant director (buildings) at the post master general’s office Bijay Kumar Patra.
The status of the projects to be built on the three plots could not be gathered as officials at the senior superintendent of post offices, Bhubaneswar division, said they would need a written permission from their circle office to divulge the details.
A senior employee of the department, who did not wish to be named, said: “The construction of the post master general’s office took place at its present site only after the project could not be taken up at two others places.”
Construction of the senior postal superintendent’s office at Forest Park was also delayed. The authorities could not initially take up the work because of encroachment. The encroached portion was finally left out of the project area.