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Urban Development Department fails to achive mission


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The officer continues as secretary for 8 years.

BHUBANESWAR: The various infrastructure projects implemented by the Urban Development Department in the capital city spending crores of rupees have been either delayed or have failed.

Micro Composting Unit backside of the International Airport.

While the Hockey World Cup is around the corner, various agencies like Works Department, and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation are struggling to carry out renovation and repairs of the roads, footpaths and other infrastructure. 

While the slogan ‘Keep the City Clean and Green’ is being parroted, the micro composting centres of BMC in the capital city are the biggest cause of air pollution. The local residents are having a miserable time due to the foul odour emitting out of the centres.

One such centre is located near NICCO Park close to the Kalinga Stadium, which would host the world-class event in which international hockey teams would be participating. The locals have informed the civic agency but in vain.

Though the garbage and other waste materials being collected from the city are being dumped at far-off places, the location of micro composting centres in populated residential areas has raised many questions.

The mission of smart city is messed up in last 8 years under UD secretary. The target is skipped since long.

 Even though the State Government’s Civil Service Rules say one officer cannot be posted at the same post for more than three years, one IAS Officer has been allowed to officiate in the same sensitive post for more than eight years.

In 2014, G Mathivathanan was posted as the Commissioner-cum- Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Department and is continuing in the same post from then.

In 2014, after his joining Mathivathanan steered the Centrally sponsored Smart City Mission, AMRUT, NULM and PMAY- Housing for All projects.  Knowledgeable sources most of these have ended in failures.

The mission and vision of the Smart City have gone haywire. the capital city Bhubaneswar which had once become the No. I Smart City in the country in 2016, occupied 22nd position in 2021.

Only 24 per cent of projects have been fully completed under the Smart City programme which kicked off in 2016 with great fanfare. Just about 31 per cent of projects (by value) in Bhubaneswar are still in tendering stage posing a serious question marks on their implementation on time, reveal the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs data.

The proposal for supply of 24X7 supply of piped drinking water to Bhubaneswar has also failed to achieve the desired results. As water is supplied 24 hours only to the State Assembly, Lok Seva Bhawan, and Government residential colonies like Unit-1 and Unit-6. But the majority of the areas are yet to get the benefits.

There are more than 2.21 lakh households, which are presently being supplied drinking water of 235 million litres per day (MLD) from three points at Munduli, Daya and Kuakhai.  As per policy, 135 litres of water should be supplied per head, and 210 litres per head is being supplied.

The Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board (OWSSB) for over the last 10 years is carrying out Urban Sanitation Missions sewerage and septage projects. This has become a headache for the Housing and Water Development, Water Resource and Works Department. A former engineer PK Swain. who has been given an extension and appointed as Chief Executive Officer of WATCO has been blamed for the mess.   

Sewerage work going on since last 15years in smart city Bhubaneswar

The Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission “JAGA” for transforming the slums into liveable habitats with all necessary civic infrastructure and services has failed to archive its objectives. The residents of even a single slum are yet to be relocated and provided with houses.

In the Bhubaneswar Development Authority and the Odisha Housing Board Corporation many important posts are being held by superannuated officials on whom the Urban Secretary has placed trust. So, in these circumstances why the UD Secretary has been allowed to continue in the same post for years though his performances have not been exceptional? This has raised many questions on the implementation of 5 T and Mo Sarkar initiatives.

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