The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 22 , 2014
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Facelift takes backseat

- Ward No. 1 devoid of basic civic amenities

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 21: Several areas in ward No. 1 are deprived of basic civic facilities, including road, drains and sewerage.

Though Patia and nearby localities, which constitute the ward, have swanky malls and some high-profile educational institutions and hospitals, black top roads are missing. The drainage system in most areas is also lying defunct.

The ward includes Infocity, Kalinga Institute Industrial Technology, Aryapalli, Prasanti Vihar, Silicon Institute of Technology, Future Bhubaneswar School, Kanan Vihar and part of Sailashree Vihar.

“The old ward No. 1 is now divided into ward Nos. 1, 2, 6 and 7 because the earlier one was the city’s largest. The delimitation exercise has brought us new hope and I am going to plan new roads and drains for the areas under my ward,” said Mamata Rout, the newly elected councillor of the reconstituted ward No. 1.

The much-awaited sewerage work started at the ward two months ago. Rout hopes that the work would be over by the end of 2015.

Due to the lack of proper drainage system in the area, the two natural drainage channels have also been converted into sewer channels with the drains from individual colonies emptying into them.

Former councillor of ward No. 1 Manoranjan Behera said: “The limited grant of Rs 80 lakh per ward was insufficient for the area. This could be a major reason for the lack of development. On the other hand, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation never monitored the fees collected from the real estate developers for local development, so the development was never visible.”

Patia resident Ratnakar Pati said the development authority should take note of the real estate development near his area and its outskirts as many multi-storey buildings are coming up without proper planning for roads, drains and sewerage.

Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said: “The areas at the old ward No. 1 have become very important with development of some major educational institutions and IT majors. So, we are on the job to ensure a civic facelift for Patia and beyond shortly.”

The Bhubaneswar Development Authority has banned building plan approval by the block development officer of the nearby areas because they lack technical expertise to grant such approval. However, many buildings have come up with old approvals in some pockets of Raghunathpur.

BDA enforcement officer Debaprasad Dash said: “Earlier, we had attempted demolition on Patia outskirts. If any report from the planning wing comes to our notice, we can initiate action as the state government is willing only to target huge players and not tiny landowners.”

Zilla parishad member Basanti Patra, however, said the Raghunathpur gram panchyat was also contributing to the development set-up in the area. Low-lying areas near Raghunathpur were marooned by a bad drainage system on Patia outskirts as the waters released from the Deras barrage had flooded the localities after Phalin last October. The flash flood caused by the water released from the Deras reservoir took many by surprise on both sides of the Airport-Nandankanan road.

Patra said the area was flooded during the Phailin-induced flood and also during 1999 super cyclone. The outlet of the Budha nullah was linked to a sluice gate on the bank of the Kuakhai river. As there was no watch-and-ward system near the gate, the flooding was caused and it is not linked to a bad drainage near the outskirts.