Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, June 7:
To pave the way for the upgrade of the Bhubaneswar railway station in the Odisha capital to meet international standards, a joint team of municipal and Odisha government agencies today launched a major demolition drive removing all encroachment in the vicinity.
More than 100 shops and stalls and even a Hanuman Temple were demolished during the demolition drive undertaken by a joint team of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), General Administration Department (GA) department and the railways. Nearly 40 officials of these departments, besides three platoons of police force, led by zonal Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Pramod Kumar Rath and IIC of Capital police station MR Garanaik, were deployed at the spot to oversee the demolition.
The eviction drive seeks to free about five acres of land around the railway station currently under encroachment. The land thus freed would be used to provide better amenities for passengers, railway officials said.
According to BDA Liaison Officer Subhranshu Mohanty, today’s eviction drive was undertaken as peer the decision taken at the City Management Group (CMG) meeting chaired by Odisha Chief Secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra on May 9
.As per the master plan for the modernisation of the Bhubaneswar railway station, an additional five acres of land, including the existing town bus stand (3.17 acres) and Ashoka Market (0.977 acres) presently under the control of BDA will be handed over to the Railways for construction of three towers interconnected with each other. The first tower covering an area of three acres from the Railways Platform side, which will have a bus terminal, multilevel vehicle parking, a commercial complex and office space. The second tower covering an area of 1 acre would be sued for the commercial complex and office space while the third tower over on an area of 0.977 acres will have a high-end commercial complex and office space.
BDA enforcement officer Deba Prasad Dash has been appointed as the nodal officer for the project.
Those who lost their shops and spaces put up a resistance when the demolition began. But the presence of the sizeable police contingent ensured that things never went out of hand.
BDA officials said two temples, one hotel and one shop near Reliance Super store near Bhubaneswar Railway Station escaped the drive as the owners have court ordes against the demolition.