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Odisha: Integrated Sanitation Project yet to start in Cuttack

 

Posted Wednesday February 26, 2013

Last updated Tuesday July 18, 2017

Odisha, JICA, Integrated Sanitation project, Cuttack  
 

In Odisha's filigree city of Cuttack, JICA project has already been delayed. After six years of wait, the foundation stone of the project was laid last year and the officials are now delaying it further by not initiating the construction process in time. And the worst part is that nobody has concrete reasons for the delay.

 
Binita Jaiswal  
 

After six years of long wait, foundation stone of the much hyped integrated sanitation improvement project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was laid by Chief minister Naveen Patnaik in Cuttack in October last year. But the site is yet to buzz with activity even three months after the laying of foundation stone.

It was touted that the Rs757.44 crore project would change the face of the city and would solve the persistent problem of poor drainage and sewerage system of Millennium city. The project was also regarded as a boon for the slum dwellers as it envisages to build low cost toilets in slums and to improve the sanitation condition of the slums.

Due to the inordinate delay in the project the administration has drawn flak from different section of the society.

 

"The JICA project has already been delayed. After six years of wait, the foundation stone of the project was laid last year and the officials are now delaying it further by not initiating the construction process in time. And the worst part is that nobody has concrete reasons for the delay," said Suresh Mohapatra, congress leader.

The project was targeted to be completed by 2015 but looking at the pace of work it seems difficult to meet the deadline. "It was announced that construction work would start from November but nothing has been done on the ground," said convener of Cuttack Bachao Samiti, Subas Singh. He further alleged that in last three months the administration has not even managed to add a brick on the site.

The project envisages complete revamping of the existing drains and channels in the city. A comprehensive network of around 255 km underground gravity sewers would be built and equipped with 14 pumping stations and two sewage treatment plants at Bidanasi and Matgajpur. The 23-km-long two storm water channels would be reconstructed scientifically along with the drains connecting them to ensure maximum efficiency in carrying and discharging water from the city.

Five pumping stations at Police Colony, Khan Nagar, Matgajpur, Bidyadharpur and Gulguli along with the sluice gates at Khan Nagar, Matrubhawan, Matgajpur, Bidyadharpur and Gulguli would be modernised for quick release of water during rains.

Of the total cost of Rs 757.44 crore, the Japan Government would chip in with Rs 624.65 crore and the rest borne by the state government. The project is of much importance for the city as it would ensure a better life for the denizens of Cuttack. Water-logging is a common feature in Cuttack because of its low topography and poor drainage system. A few bouts of rain and the entire city get submerged in water. Denizens really suffer a lot due to the poor drainage and sewerage system of the city, but the worst suffers are the slum dwellers. Almost all the 309 slums in the city are located in low lying areas and with few spells of rains water gushes into their houses thereby disrupting their normal life.

“Monsoon is in no way less than a nightmare for the slum dwellers in Cuttack. Water gushes into houses, knee deep water stands on the road for long hours and the overflowing drains add to our miseries. Situation turns so bad that we are not even to come out of our houses for days together during rains,” lamented V. Apparao, a resident of Pattapole area.

However, Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) officials said work on the project would start from March. "Detailed planning, survey and engineering groundwork have been completed along with the tendering process. Construction work will start from March," said commissioner of CMC Nihar Mohapatra.

[Binita Jaiswal is a Journalist from Odisha and is a media fellow with National Foundation for India (NFI). This article is written as part of the NFI fellowship programme]

 
 

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