Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 4:
The Urban Development (UD) Department of Odisha Government has chalked out a massive Rs 100 crore plan to renovate and beautify ponds in Bhubaneswar.
In the first phase, renovation and beautification work would be carried out on 67 out of the 128 ponds in the city. The government plans a complete makeover of these 67 ponds within the next four years.
The ponds would be freed from duckweeds and other polluting agents, jogging corridor and footpaths would be laid around the ponds, proper lighting and sitting arrangements would be made apart from setting up small commercial establishments like food courts, boating facilities, children’s corner etc depending on the size of the pond.
The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for 14 out of these 67 ponds has already been completed. Odisha Urban Improvement Development Fund is going to spend Rs 20 crore on these 14 projects. An organisation named ‘Spark’ is preparing the DPR for another 10 ponds out of the remaining 53.
The government is considering giving a new look to Chintamanishwar pond. As there are no religious sentiments attached to this pond, the UD department will start boating on this lake. As per the DPR, colored fish will be grown, a road will be constructed around it, a mini park and children’s games facilities would also be set up. Also, 10 food courts and a footpath would be constructed.
The renovation and beautification project would start after the DPR is completed.
The administration has special plans on the Bindusagar Lake as it often gets polluted due to religious rituals performed there and low level of water making drainage of polluted water tough.
As per a report prepared by IIT Chennai, a Rs 10 crore proposal is being drawn up that would connect five nearby ponds such as Godi Pokhari, Godabari, Kotitirtha, Ganga Yamuna and Debi Padahara ponds with Bindusagar via pipes. These ponds would be filled with clean water from an intake well either from Daya River or from Puri Canal to bring the water level to the level of outlet drain so that polluted water can be drained out of these rivers.
The biggest issue coming in the way of the renovation and beautification is illegal encroachment around most ponds.
“We are aware about the issue and it was recently taken up in the meeting with the Development Commissioner. We will soon bulldoze the illegal construction and encroachment around the ponds based on the data available on revenue records. A decision to this effect has already been taken in the meeting with the Development Commissioner,” said a senior official of Urban Development Department.