The Telegraph
Tuesday , March 11 , 2014
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One platform for all problems

Bhubaneswar, March 10: The civic body today received complaints in its first common grievance redressal meeting.

While lack of civic amenities, such as roads, drainage and streetlights, dominated the session that lasted for more than three hours, lack of co-ordination between the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) in developing the facilities also cropped up for discussion time and again.

Earlier, both the BMC and the BDA used to hold separate grievance redress meetings on Mondays. But from now, it will continue at the BMC conference hall every Monday from 11am till the last person is heard.

After assuming charge last month, BMC municipal commissioner Krishan Kumar, who is also the vice-chairman of the BDA, asked his teams to have a single grievance hearing forum to have better co-ordination and prevent overlapping of works. While the BDA develops large projects, residential colonies and urban infrastructure, the BMC’s forte is developing connecting roads, drains and ensuring sanitation.

Srikant Acharya and Bipracharan Chhotray, both senior citizens from Laxmisagar and Nayapalli (IRC Village) respectively, lodged their complaints on lack of maintenance of the nearby streetlights.

“I have lodged a complaint about six months ago regarding poor maintenance of the streetlights. I even met the person concerned at the corporation, but nothing has happened as yet,’’ said Acharya.

Sudhanshu Sekhar Mishra of Kharakhia Baidyanath Lane at Old Town sought action by the enforcement officials of the BMC to free encroachment from nearby roads, while retired scientist R.S. Rohella of the Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, alleged that a road in Sampur was under encroachment.

BMC additional commissioner Krushna Prasad Pati and BDA secretary Srikant Kabi led their respective teams at the grievance redress session as the municipal commissioner was preoccupied with a meeting concerning the coming general elections.

“We have placed the grievances in three categories — urgent, important and others. While the urgent ones have to be solved within three days, important ones are to be solved by 10 days and others will be solved within mutually agreed upon dates as discussed in the common forum of the BMC and the BDA,’’ said Pati.

BDA secretary Kabi said: “The new initiative will definitely help in solving people’s problems faster and we will send joint teams for inspection wherever necessary.”

Officials of all the wings of both the BMC and the BDA attended the session. In future, officials of the Public Health Engineering Organisation will also attend the grievance redress meetings as water supply will emerge as a major issue in the coming summer months.

BMC deputy secretary Subhransu Mishra is the nodal officer to co-ordinate the redress system.