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Amenities elude Prachi Enclave

Bhubaneswar, March 14: The development authority, which has given possession of plots to allottees of Prachi Enclave in Chandrasekharpur in 2001, is yet to provide them with basic amenities.

More than a decade after it came up, the locality is yet to get good roads and a proper sewerage system. Light posts are without bulbs at many places.

“The civic amenities were supposed to be ready when the people took possession of their property. Though the development authority started providing amenities in 2005, it is yet to cover the entire area,” said secretary of Prachi Enclave Welfare Association Chandramani Behera.

“It is not only that amenities were not extended to new areas after 2005, but the existing amenities were not even maintained properly. As a result, the roads of the locality are in very poor condition, while the drains have collapsed at many places,” said Behera, an LIC employee.

When Behera started constructing his house in 2001, electricity was yet to come to the area. The streetlights came two years later.

Terming the infrastructure support by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority as “haphazard”, retired Reserve Bank of India official Purnachandra Patra said: “The development authority provided very limited infrastructure support. The services it provided were grossly inadequate for the 168 plots it allotted. Our repeated reminders to the authorities also remained unheard. The job of maintenance has not yet been transferred to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation.’’

Sashibhusan Mishra, another resident of the colony, said: “The sewage system is lying defunct here. We have to pay from our welfare association funds to private operators to keep it working. The local waste is being dumped into the nearby drainage channel.”

Kalindicharan Nayak, another resident of the colony, alleged that the corporation officials had once said that they were only given the responsibility of maintaining the streetlights. “But in reality, we are paying from our own pockets to replace the fused bulbs or tubes at many locations.”

A member of the Prachi Enclave Welfare Association said that for the last three years, they had been running from pillar to post to know which government agency was responsible for maintenance of their area.

“The development authorities told us that the responsibility was lying with the municipal corporation as the roads were handed over to the latter for maintenance, but the corporation claimed that they had not received any letter,’’ said the secretary of the residents’ welfare association.

After getting confusing reply from both the agencies, Behera approached the first joint grievance redress forum of the civic body and the development authority last Monday.

“The authorities have assured me of action within seven days,” he said.

Executive engineer of the municipal corporation R.N. Mallick told The Telegraph that the engineering section was informed two days ago that the responsibilities of the civic amenities had been transferred to municipal corporation. “But, I am yet to see the letter as it is with the land section. Once I receive it, we will visit the site and initiate the process to assess the situation,” he said.

(From top) A potholed road, an undeveloped park and choked and broken drains at Prachi Enclave. Pictures by Ashwinee Pati

BDA secretary Srikanta Kabi said they would monitor the status of all the projects developed by them and transfer the civic maintenance responsibilities of those areas to the municipal corporation if the had not already done so.