Kalyan Mandap turns ghost house

It was once abuzz with activity and played host to social functions. For the middle class of the town, this Kalyan Mandap near Jail Chhak offered the best bargain for marriages.

However, administration’s apathy and lack of maintenance have rendered the place useless.

Kashinath Trust had donated land to Sambalpur Development Authority (SDA) for a Kalyan Mandap which was constructed in 1991 at a cost of Rs 30 lakh. Pramila Bohidar was then at the helm of affairs of the SDA.

With two big halls, three rooms, an open space to solemnise marriage and hold social functions besides three toilets, the place was large enough to accommodate about 1,000 guests. With a daily rent of Rs 1,000, the place was a favourite among the middle class. While the rent was increased to Rs 2,704 after it was handed over to the district administration in 1995, the Kalyan Mandap is now dilapidated.

Leaking roof and fungus on the wall due to lack of maintenance and repair had people avoiding it. Even as the bookings dropped, the place was handed over to the CRPF in January this year.

While locals feel the place can serve its earlier purpose once repaired, no steps have been initiated to renovate it. With the CRPF yet to use the place, it has instead turned a safe haven for criminals, locals alleged.

The closure of the place has affected the common man with the two other kalyan mandaps in the town charging Rs 30,000 to

Rs 60,000. They also do not have sufficient parking space.? The few hotels that offer the facility too are out of their reach.

The district administration declined comment stating that the CRPF is in need of the place.

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