Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 13:
Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, is celebrating its 67th foundation day today.
Speaker of the Odisha Assembly Niranjan Pujari offered flowers at the foundation stone inside the Assembly premises in the morning. This was followed by a colourful parade by school children along the Mahatma Gandhi Marg at the PMG Square which was attended by the Speaker, Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Marik and distinguished guests.
To mark the foundation day, a number of cultural shows are scheduled in the evening.
It was on this day in 1948 when former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had dedicated the Temple City to the nation.
The master plan of the city was designed by renowned German architect Otto Königsberger in 1946 for a population of 50,000. However, the population of the city, which was only 20,000 in 1948, has gone up by about 20 times to reach nearly 10 lakh at present.
To provide basic amenities to the denizens of the city, the state government had formed Bhubaneswar Notified Area Committee comprising four revenue village – Old Bhubaneswar, Kapileswar, Kapilaprasad and Samantarapur – in 1948. The committee was later converted to Notified Area Council (NAC) with the addition of five more revenue village – Nuapalli, Baramunda, Laxmisagar, Badagada and Jharpad – in 1952.
The city was declared a municipality in 1979 by which time the population of the city had touched two lakh. The government finally declared the city as Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) in 1994 after the population touched six lakh. The corporation, which had 47 wards in 1994, now has 67 wards with 47 revenue villages under its jurisdiction having an area of 135 sq km.
The population of the city, which was 8,40,643 as per the 2011 Census, is estimated to have crossed 10 lakh at present.
With gradual increase in the area and population of the capital city, the state government had formed a Special Planning Authority (SPA) for Bhubaneswar in 1968 to make it a planned city. SPA was later converted to Bhubaneswar Regional Improvement Trust (BRIT) in 1976. BRIT set up a number of housing colonies in the city in a planned way.
However, with the city witnessing a steep rise in population, the government replaced BRIT with Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) in 1983 under the provision of Odisha Development Act (ODA), 1982 in which the civic bodies of Khordha and Jatni were brought under its jurisdiction.
However, the state government this year has transferred BDA’s plan approval power to the BMC.
For planned expansion of the city for its integrated development, the state government decided to prepare a Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) for the city in 1994 and roped in IIT, Kharagpur for the task. The premiere institute submitted the CDP to the government in 2010.
Though the capital city has undergone a sea change over the years with hundreds of high-rise buildings and modern infra projects like Info City, shopping malls, fly overs, world-class educational institutions, international airport coming up, it still has other problems which need to be sorted out.
For example, the city, which was once known for its excellent climate, has now emerged as one of the hottest cities in the country due to rapid depletion of its green cover.
Besides, the city is beset with other problems like the mushrooming of slums, poor drainage and sewerage and waste disposal.