Aparajita Sarangi Moots Holistic Approach To Address Waterlogging In Bhubaneswar

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Bhubaneswar. Former bureaucrat and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi has written to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, drawing his attention for formulation of a comprehensive masterplan for addressing recurrent waterlogging and drainage problems in the Smart City.

She said that civil society organisations and Resident Welfare Associations have been complaining about severe inconvenience caused due to waterlogging and lack of adequate drainage system. “This issue was discussed at length by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development during its recent visit to Odisha on January 17,” she said.

The MP then listed out the findings of the meeting, which included absence of a comprehensive masterplan to combat the problem. “A plan prepared by Meinhardt, Singapore, in 2008, partly addresses the requirement but it lacks in terms of detailing and is inadequate as it does not factor in a lot of essential requirements including land acquisition costs. While it proposed construction of natural drains in two phases, the need for construction of all internal drains and making them part of the overall plan for effective discharge of storm water has not been fully considered,” the letter said.

It further said that the need to acquire land and free government land from encroachments for construction of 13 (three additional) natural drains was not considered while preparing the detailed project report in 2008.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has listed out 37 vulnerable points prone to inundation and Rs 110 crore sanctioned by state government to address the issue of drainage. “However, a glance at the breakup of proposed expenditure of Rs 110 crore reveals adhocism. It clearly indicates that tax payers’ money will be fettered away in the absence of a holistic approach to the problem,” she added.

Aparajita urged the CM to ensure proper utilisation of Rs 110 crore by taking up drainage work taking the 37 vulnerable points into consideration and instead of distributing it ward-wise.

“We urgently need to work on this matter to alleviate distress which the residents of Bhubaneswar are subjected to year after year. I assure you of my full support in this endeavour,” she added.

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