Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has taken up restoration of 14 water bodies across the city with an investment plan of Rs 16.81 crore. The funding will be done by the Odisha Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (OUIDF).
Water bodies are lifelines of urban local bodies and where development is faster they needed to be restored as they provide a cooling effect to the local environment and also act as a catalyst in restring water-based ecosystem comprising floral and faunal diversities.
While there are seven water bodies under the Division I of the engineering wing of BMC, Division II will also renovate equal number of water bodies. The water bodies under the process of renovation by Division I of the civic body include Nilakantha Pond, Patia, Masjid Pond, Haridaspur, Sadhua Pond, Jeypur, Pahala, Maa Ugalmani Pond, Chakeisiani, Gadakana Pokhari, Bhotopada Tank and Balunkeswar Pond, Nayapalli.
Similarly, the water bodies included under Division II of the engineering wing of BMC include: Jena Sahi Pokhari, Jharpada, Fishery Pond, Laxmisagar, Kapileswar Temple pond, Jharpokhari, Jagamara, Baghua Pond, Jadupur, Badapokhari, Begunia and Haja Pokhari, Sundarpada.
All the 14 ponds will be de-silted, de-weeded, have retaining wall, `parikrama’ where land parcels are available, fencing, benches for visitors and lighting arrangement so that the localities would get a recreational space around their local water bodies.
For example, the Haja Pokhari in Sundarpada will have waste water diversion drain, `parikrama’or walk way circling the huge water body, landscaping to beautify the scene and give it a park like look, retaining wall to prevent further damage to the pond area, two hybrid toilets, adequate lighting, approach road from the nearby main road and parking. The investment would be nearly Rs 5.36 crore for this beautiful project.
City engineer Dwaipayan Pattanaik said “as the Sundarpada-Jatni Road and adjoining areas have already seen a rapid growth in housing and population has increased manifold, the renovation, landscaping and beautification of Haja Pokhari in Sundarpada will definitely provide a good option for the people to explore.’’
One of the most important water bodies in the other part of the city, i.e. Fisheries Pond in Laxmisagar, which has a important history with fisheries development in the past, will be renovated with a cost of Rs 6.69 crore and will have similar facilities like the Haja Pokhari in Sundarpada. However, in case of Fisheries Pond there will be one hybrid toilet.
Smaller ponds however, may scale down the nature of development for example, the Jhara Pokhari in Jagamata will not have parking and approach road and other options may also be less as land availability would be a challenge with it. The total cost here would be Rs 83.6 lakhs.
It can be mentioned here that while in case of 11 water bodies work is in progress, in case of Maa Ugalmani Pond, Chakeisiani and Bhotapada Tank renovation work is completed. In case of Baghua Pond, Jadupur, dewatering work has been over. The status indicates as on May 3rd, 2017.
While in case of Nilakantha Pond, Patia, the work progress is 95 percent, in case of Jena Sahi Pokhari, Jharpada the progress is 80 percent. While in Balunkeswar Tank, Nayapalli the work progress is 70 percent, in case of Masjid Pokhari, Haridaspur and Sadhua Pond, Jeypur, Pahala, progress is 60 percent each.
“As water bodies are very important for the city and resident can have quality atmosphere to spend near them during early morning and evening hours, their renovation has on our priority and we would be making the city more beautiful with their renovation,’’ said a senior BMC engineer.
A Sundarpada resident, happy to know about the renovation plan, said “the Haja Pokhari is a major water body of the region and if its depth would be increased then it can provide a nice cooling environment to its entire surrounding.’’