Outside BMC purview, Nandan Vihar residents wait for basic needs to be met | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com


Bhubaneswar: The state capital may be a smart city but it has pockets that lack even basic facilities. Take for instance Nandan Vihar. A stone’s throw from the KIIT Square Big Bazaar, a prominent landmark of Bhubaneswar, Nandan Vihar is a picture of neglect.
The locality, with a population of 10,000, has 23 apartment complexes but lacks a drainage and sewerage network, paved roads and street lights. “Despite repeated reminders to the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), nothing has changed on the ground,” said a resident.
In the absence of a drainage system, ditch water remains stagnant for days during the monsoon and even enters houses. The locality plunges into darkness after dusk as it does not have street lights. “Miscreants take advantage of the darkness and commit crimes,” said adviser to Nandan Vihar Bikash Parishad, Prahallad Dash.
Residents of the locality have met the chief secretary, the block development officer, the Khurda collector, the vice-chairman of the BDA, the secretary and the chief engineer of the works department and the principal secretary of the panchayati raj department, but in vain. The area’s problems can be attributed to the fact that it is part of the Kalarahanga gram panchayat (GP) and is yet to come under the purview of the BMC.
When contacted, BMC commissioner and BDA vice-chairman Prem Chandra Choudhury explained the process of including a locality under the civic body. “The sarpach concerned has to give consent; then, the BMC passes a resolution to be sent to the government. The government will bring out a notification declaring that the locality has come under the BMC,” he said, adding that the lack of a sewerage system in Nandan Vihar could only be addressed by the Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
Dash said the gram panchayat had passed a resolution for inclusion of Nandan Vihar as part of the BMC and had sent it to the concerned BDO. “The BDO forwarded it the collector, who sent it to the housing and urban development department,” he said, adding that the department sought an NOC from the panchayati raj department. “It is the panchayati raj department that refused to grant the NOC on technical grounds. Instead, it asked Nandan Vihar residents to get a fresh resolution passed by the gram panchayat,” added Dash.
While Nandan Vihar does not fall under the BMC, it does come within the jurisdiction of the BDA. Assistant secretary of the Parishad, Suvendu Mohanty, said, “The BDA is yet to initiate any development work here. The area’s natural drain has been buried, leading to increased instances of waterlogging.”
Khurda collector Sitansu Kumar Rout, too, pleaded helplessness and said he had a limited role to play. “We can forward a new resolution to the government once it is passed by the panchayat,” he said.
Residents now have little to do but wait for the basic minimum. The problems faced by Nandan Vihar has thrown up larger questions of development in the city. “The BDA gives permission to different real estate projects without considering their impact on the resources and existing infrastructure. Building projects in the area have choked the flow of the waste water. As a result, it is not uncommon to see three or four feet of rainwater accumulating in Nandan Vihar,” said an office-bearer of the Parishad.

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