‘Waterlogged’ Bhubaneswar: Aparajita & Shreemayee Cross Swords As Blame Game Begins

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Bhubaneswar: Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to formulate a comprehensive master plan at the earliest to address the perennial drainage problems in the city.

Speaking to mediapersons during her visit to the waterlogged areas in the city on Monday, she said the meeting between the Odisha government and Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development in January revealed that a comprehensive master plan to combat the problem has not been prepared so far. “The plan prepared by the Meinhardt, Singapore, in 2008 partly addresses the requirement but lacks in terms of detailing and is inadequate as it does not factor in a lot of essential requirements including land acquisition costs,” said Aparajita.

This plan proposes the construction of natural drains in two phases, but the need for construction of all internal drains and making them part of the overall plan for effective discharge of the stormwater has not been fully considered, she added.

Aparajita said that the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities have listed out 37 vulnerable points in 31 wards that are prone to inundation. Although the state government has sanctioned Rs 110 crore to address the issue, a glance at the breakup of the proposed expenditure clearly indicates that the taxpayers’ money will be frittered away in the absence of a holistic approach to the problem, which needs to be settled once for all.

“I had requested the Chief Minister to direct the authorities concerned for gainful utilisation of Rs 110 crore to ensure that the drainage work is taken up keeping in view the requirements of 37 vulnerable points and not spending by just distributing it ward-wise. There is a need for a systematic and sustainable approach towards desilting of the drains and preparing a comprehensive master plan by taking into consideration natural/internal drains and overall cost implication,” she pointed out.

BJD leader Shreemayee Mishra, however, blamed Aparajita for the current state of affairs. “City denizens are paying the price of the work done by her during her tenure as the BMC Commissioner from 2006 to 2009. She should atone for her wrongdoings,” she added.

Also Read: Bhubaneswar’s Wettest September In 63 Years

Several areas in Bhubaneswar were flooded following heavy rain since Saturday afternoon due to a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal. Water gushed into markets, apartments and houses as sewer lines and stormwater drains were blocked, sources said.

Also Read: [Watch] Bhubaneswar ‘Not Smart Enough’ For Rain

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