|Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation office
Bhubaneswar, Sept 30: Councillors of the municipal corporation today took an unanimous decision to ensure easy availability of power, water and sewer connections to people residing in the old part of the city and a few other colonies.
To get civic amenities such as water and power, residents have to submit an occupancy certificate issued by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority. However, for houses in the old areas of the city, where people started living much before the development authority came into existence, getting the certificate has become a tough task. The councillors want these norms to be relaxed for the old Bhubaneswar area and few other colonies as those came up much before the new norms were put in place.
“At Talabania near Pokhariput, the old residents are facing problems in getting pipe water connection. The settlement was there much before the city came into existence. Now, if a son, after the division of his family property, applies for a water connection, the authorities are asking for an occupancy certificate, which is impossible to get,” said councillor of ward No. 62 Hrudaya Ballabh Samantray.
The housing and urban development department invested around Rs 7 crore to ensure pipe water to areas such as Pokhariput, Jagamara, Gandamunda, Talabania, Sundarpada and Bhimatangi. But for many residents of Talabania, getting water connection is not possible. They still depend on bore wells.
Lingaraj Sahu, a resident of Old Town, said: “Before the existence of the development authority, the occupancy certificate system was not there. So, the old house owners do not have it. If the state government does not consider their plea, why was so much money was spent on pipe water projects?”
The authority was constituted in 1983 taking 115 revenue villages of Bhubaneswar, Khurda and Jatni under its jurisdiction. In the last decade, the city has gone through rapid development and to accommodate such growth the development area has spread covering 556 villages.
In the city, many old localities such as Old Town (near Lingaraj temple), Rasulgarh, Laxmisagar, Patia, Khandagiri, Jagamara, Nayapalli, Samantarapur, Badagada and Brahmeswar Bagh are some areas, where people have been staying since much before the formation of the new capital in 1948. The housing and urban development department, on the other hand, started seeking occupancy certificates in 2008 to facilitate water, power and sewer connections.
Municipal commissioner Sanjib Kumar Mishra said: “This is a genuine problem raised by the councillors. We will send the resolution of our council to the government for consideration, so that the state government can have some relaxation for people staying in these areas.”
The council today also approved an allocation of Rs 2.40 crore to develop 17 vending zones in the city to rehabilitate 517 vendors. The money was granted by the Centre from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission funds.
“All the vendors will be given identity cards and there will be a survey to enrol them. The survey will start shortly,” said project officer of the central scheme Srimanta Mishra.
Mishra also said the council had approved another proposal to develop 384 houses for residents of Mandap Basti with an investment plan of Rs 21.51 crore. The Centre had provided the money to the civic body under the Rajiv Awas Yojana.