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Urban drainage division on the anvil in Odisha

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Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Sep 28:

Grappling as its is with lack of facilities to evacuate storm water following encroachment in urban areas, the Odisha government has decided to create a separate Urban Drainage Division under Odisha Water Supply & Sewerage Board (QWSSB) to execute all storm water drainage projects in the urban area of the state through one agency.

Scene in Puri after heavy rain on Monday
Scene in Puri after heavy rain on Monday

The government has also decided to develop a city-wide Integrated Storm Water Project in Bhubaneswar having features similar to the ones under the JICA assisted Odisha Integrated Sanitation Improvement Project (OISIP) being implemented in the Twin City of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

“This will minimize the problems linked to water logging and urban flooding as the efforts made under JNNURM could not succeed fully due to lack of available resources and land alienation problems,” said an official of the Water Resource department.

The implementation of the projects and creation of new division was decided in a meeting chaired by the Development Commissioner recently.

Water Resources department will depute the required number of engineers to manage the proposed drainage division. However, maintenance of the storm water drainage system will be undertaken by the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) concerned.

In order to implement the project for hassle-free passage of flood water in the capital city, the government has decided it would demarcate government land and clear them of all encroachments within the next two months.

“Stringent action/ demolition should be undertaken for buildings, which have come on ROW of such drains without building plan approval,” said the official.

The Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board has been asked to prepare a new DPR for Integrated Storm Water Drainage System, Bhubaneswar on the lines of JICA assisted OISIP being implemented in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.