Monday, 30th October 2017

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Revival plan for ponds

The housing and urban development department has decided to hire a single agency for preparation of a detailed project report and provide consultancy to the civic body to revive the natural water bodies across the city.

By Sandeep Mishra in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 26.11.17
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Renovation plan: Chilli pokhari at Tankapani Road and (right) Bada pokhari at Lakshmi Sagar in Bhubaneswar. Pictures by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: The housing and urban development department has decided to hire a single agency for preparation of a detailed project report and provide consultancy to the civic body to revive the natural water bodies across the city.

The plan is to bring in a uniform renovation and reclamation of various natural water bodies of the city. The agency will also help the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation in overcoming hurdles arising while renovating the ponds.

"A tender has been floated to select the agencies with expertise in pond reclamation. It will be over by the end of December, and the agency will be engaged in the job of restoring the ponds. All the ponds will be renovated simultaneously," said a department official.

Sources said apart from providing an inclusive plan for cleaning the pond water for human use, the agency will also come up with initiatives to make the peripheral areas look beautiful and fit for recreational activities. There will be benches, walking tracks and illumination of the embankments. Public toilets will also come up near the ponds.

The civic body had taken up similar projects with the help of separate contractors in the past. The authorities have tasted success with the smaller ponds such as the Bhotapada pond, Sadhua pond, Jena Sahi pond and a few others, while the bigger ones such as the Fishery Tank at Lakshmi Sagar and the Haz pokhari are still awaiting restoration.

In March last year, the municipal corporation had got Rs 27 crore from the Odisha Urban Infrastructure Development Fund to restore 14 natural water bodies in the city. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on March 29 laid the foundation stone for the project.

Residents, however, believe that only restoring the water bodies with no follow-up action to maintain them will not yield the desired results.

"We have restored and renovated almost all the smaller ponds. But after restoration, these ponds need proper and timely maintenance, and we hope that the new consultant will help us with that. We will work in co-ordination with the agency and restore the ponds in terms of the environmental regulations," said mayor Ananta Narayan Jena.