Tag Archives: Sambalpur Municipal Corporation

Sambalpur’s Drainage Channel to Get New Life

With Sambalpur city facing artificial flooding every year due to the clogged drains, the Sambalpur Municipal Corporation is working overtime to clean them before the monsoon arrives.

Deputy Commissioner of Sambalpur Municipal Corporation, Sudhansu Kumar Bhoi said cleaning of drains in three Wards has been completed and work is underway to desilt all the main drains of 41 Wards in the city.

“We are planning to hire an additional 100 sanitation workers to step up the cleaning of drains before it starts raining,” he said. The civic body had already de-silted all the drains in the city during the jaundice outbreak last year.

On the other hand, the Irrigation wing of Agriculture Department is cleaning the Dhobijoar nullah and Tengna nullah, which carry the sewage of the city. Desilting and cleaning of these two nullahs will ensure free flow of water into river Mahanadi.

The civic body is also installing 15 pumps at three locations of Balibandha, Binakhandi and Chandan Nagar in the city from where sewage and rain water is released into river Mahanadi.

Similarly, work on two pumping stations at Balibandha and Binakhandi is nearing completion. Work is being implemented by Odisha Construction Corporation Limited (OCCL) and 18 pumps will be installed at these two pumping stations to prevent water-logging.

Come monsoon, the low lying areas along Dhobijoar nullah and Tengna nullah that carry sewage and water from canal head of the Hirakud Command area, gets flooded.

The Dhobijoar nullah opens to Mahanadi at Balibandha and Binakhandi. Since water level of the river rises, the sluice gates which release water from the nullah are closed to prevent the backwaters of Mahanadi from flowing into the city. As a result of this, water in the nullah flows back into the city resulting in deluge.

The pumping stations proposed to be located along river Mahanadi will ensure that the flood water can be pumped into the river during monsoon. This will also solve water-logging problems in the low lying areas.

Once constructed, the pumping station will bring relief to the residents of Charbati, Mandlia, Chandan Nagar, Binakhandi, Balibandha, Govindtola, Bahalpada in Sakhipara, Hirakud Colony, Thakurpada, Housing Board Colony, Cheruapada, Mudipada and Kumbharpara besides other low lying areas of the city which have been bearing the brunt of artificial flooding.

The citizens of Sambalpur finally heaved a sign of relief as moderate rain on Wednesday brought temporary relief to parts of the district which was passing through a long spell of heat wave. The rain, accompanied by gale and thunderstorm, lashed the city for about half-an-hour. The strong wind damaged three huts and ripped off hoardings in the city. With dark clouds still hovering over the City, more rain is expected on Thursday too. The city reeled under 46 degree Celsius temperature for over a week forcing people to stay indoors and officer-goers left to their workplace early to escape the scorching heat. The nights were not cool either as hot winds and low voltage in some areas made life miserable.

Municipality Collects Rs 15 Lakh as Rent

Following a drive launched by Sambalpur Municipality on December 5, about `15 lakh has so far been collected as pending rent from shopkeepers who had taken the shops on lease from the municipality. In order to prevent their shops from being sealed, the defaulters are making efforts to pay the amount to the Municipality.

‘’Since there was no response by the lesses after the Municipality issued several notices to them demanding payment of arrear rent, we were forced to launch a drive to seal their shops,’’ said Executive Officer of the Municipality Aniruddha Padhan. The result of the drive was encouraging and the shopkeepers are now willing to pay their rents, he said.

According to reports, the Municipality owns about 688 shops in the town which it had leased out on rent from past several years. But in absence of any follow up to collect the rent by officials, a majority of the shopkeepers avoided paying the monthly rent.

The shopkeepers owe around `50 lakh to the Municipality though the actual rent per shop is miniscule. There was no hike in the rent amount over the years which should have been done, according to norms.

In the past few days, the Municipality sealed about 45 shops at Golebazar, Kamlibazar, Hospital road, VSS Marg, Sen Park area of the town and 10 shops at Kunjelpada Chowk on Friday

Urban Body Wakes up to Remove Illegal Hoardings

After losing substantial revenue on account of hoardings, Sambalpur Municipality has finally woken up from its slumber and initiated a drive to remove illegal hoardings. While 11 hoardings have been removed in last two days, the drive will continue till all the illegal hoardings are removed.

According to reports, contract for hoardings in the town was awarded to a firm in 2011-2012 fiscal at `2,85,745 and the contract expired on March 31, 2012. Subsequently, a tender was floated for 2012-2013 fiscal. While a firm from Rourkela quoted `45,20,000, an agency from Bhubaneswar quoted `21,10,000 and an agency from Sambalpur quoted `19,99,000. Although the tenders were opened on April 20 last year, the contract could not be finalised for reasons better known to the Municipality authorities which continues to sit over the issue incurring huge revenue loss.

In absence of any contractor, putting up hoardings under the Municipality’s jurisdiction has become free. Any one who wishes to use 84 frames in the town for advertising his products can do so without making any payment to the municipality.

According to sources, about 20 councillors including last vice-chairman Siddharth Saha had written in this regard to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department demanding a probe into the delay in finalising the tender. They cited huge loss of revenue to the Municipality on account of delay and demanded stern action against Municipal officials. But there has been no response from the department.

However, in a belated move, Executive Officer of the Municipality Aniruddha Pradhan has initiated steps to remove the illegal hoardings. “The drive has been launched from Jail Chowk area. All the illegal hoardings would be removed except those for which the fee has already been paid,” said Pradhan.

He said the Municipality has decided not to sublet the hoardings and will lease out the frames on its own by taking payment in advance. But, doubts have been raised on the decision in view of the Municipality’s lackadaisical attitude so far.

Sambalpur gets corporation status

In a bid to soften the agitation over the demand for a permanent bench of the High Court in Western Odisha districts, the State Government on Tuesday decided to accord corporation status to Sambalpur municipality.

The decision was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The major city of Western Odisha would become the fourth municipal corporation of the State after Bhubnaeswar, Cuttack and Berhampur. Finance Minister Prasanna Kumar Acharya, who was present at the meeting, said  the Chief Minister has directed the officials of the Urban Development department to expedite the process. This was a long-standing demand of the people of Sambalpur, he said.

However, there were mixed reactions from the political parties. While the BJP welcomed the decision, the Congress described it as a move to placate the people of Sambalpur ahead of the urban local body (ULB) polls likely to be held there in December.

The corporation will include Burla and Hirakud notified area councils (NACs), along with 12 gram panchayats located on the outskirts of Sambalpur. At  least seven gram panchayats of Dhanakauda and five of Maneswar block would come under the corporation with a population of over 3.35 lakh. The process for converting Sambalpur municipality to a corporation will be started in October.

BJP MLA from Sambalpur Jaynarayan Mishra welcomed the decision. But he demanded that the city be included under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The decision is welcome, but will not be of much help unless the city is included under the JNNURM.

Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh criticised the State Government for playing vote bank politics. The Government should stop playing tricks on the people of Sambalpur, he said.