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Clean sweep, just for Pranab

- Civic bodies take steps to free streets of cattle and dogs

Bhubaneswar, April 22: Stray cattle and dogs are unlikely to be seen on the roads President Pranab Mukherjee takes in Puri and Bhubaneswar during his two-day visit to the state beginning April 24.

The civic bodies in these cities have been asked to keep the roads free of cattle and dogs for which special squads will be formed.

The issue was discussed at the high-power committee meeting held here last week presided over by the chief secretary. Officials issued specific instructions to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation to keep the city spic and span during the visit.

The civic body has been asked to take up a special cleaning drive on the routes identified for the President’s movement. The President and his cavalcade are scheduled to start their journey from Raj Bhavan on April 25 and reach Utkal University via AG Square and Acharya Vihar Square.

The corporation has also been asked to undertake a special cleaning drive of the Raj Bhavan and University compounds with mechanised sweepers. “We have asked all the officials concerned to co-operate in the drive. The electrical section will ensure that all the streetlights on the travel route of the President are working,” said deputy commissioner of the corporation K.P. Pati.

The corporation has also directed the licence section to remove all unauthorised hoardings, banners and pamphlets to free the city of visual pollution. The corporation has also been asked to ensure that no garbage or leaves are burnt during the President’s visit. “Trees and plants on the both sides of road will be watered properly,” said Pati.

The officials of Puri Municipality have constituted a squad to catch stray dogs. The municipality will also take up a special cleaning drive for the visit. “Roads are being repaired and a squad has been formed to capture stray dogs,” said chairperson of Puri Municipality Santilata Pradhan.

Mukherjee, who will address the 45th annual convocation of Utkal University on April 25, is scheduled to arrive in Bhubaneswar on the evening of April 24. He will reach Puri at 12.50pm the next day.

Residents agree that the city must look beautiful during the President’s visit. “It is a matter of great honour that the first citizen of the country is visiting our state. The authorities must ensure that the city is clean and beautiful to welcome him,” said Bairagi Jena, a resident of Saheed Nagar.