Age-old “unresolved” issues continue to haunt the residents of Balasore Municipality. But with Odisha’s urban surveys approaching, can these problems be solved? As expected, voters disagree.
Residents of Balasore, one of the oldest municipalities in Odisha, said that several elections have come and gone but their issues have remained static. The municipality, which came into existence in 1876, has a total of 31 wards and a population of around 3 lakh, along with a host of issues that would have been pushed into the background long ago.
Residents of the municipality, especially those living in Wards No. 12, 18, 22, 23, and 29, usually have a hard time during the rains when the water flow in the Budhabalanga River increases. The inhabitants must suffer a lot because of the waterlogging. To solve the problem of nostalgia, although the dream of a ring road was shown to residents five years ago, it has yet to meet reality and has remained only on paper and pen.
Gobinda Chandra Nayak, a resident of Ward No. 23, said, “As our neighborhood is in a low-lying area, we see flooding 2-3 times a year. Also, we don’t have the basic amenities like roads and drainage system. “
A serpentine queue of women is seen every night in Damodarpur of Ward No. 12 to fetch drinking water. About 3 years ago, Balasore was included in the AMRUT yojana and the government of Odisha assured that people would no longer face the problem of water scarcity. But reality says a lot about what is being said and done so far.
Another issue that has gripped the Municipality of Balasore is the housing of slum dwellers. Although in 2018, slum dwellers received a land rights certificate under the state government’s JAGA mission, the beneficiaries have not yet obtained land.
Now, all these alleged issues will give a tough challenge to candidates from all major political parties, especially the BJD which is in power in the municipality where the seat of president has been reserved for a female candidate.
While BJD presidential candidate Sabita Sahoo tries to pacify voters by saying she will work for the overall development of the municipality, Congress candidate Pragyan Parimiti Biswal has targeted the state government for not having fulfilled its promise of society status in Balasore before the urban development. polls.
Similarly, BJP candidate Rashmirekha Deb is reaching out to the people and promising them to embark on construction and rehabilitation of roads, improvement of drainage system and completion of Ring Road project if elected. in power. “Only a Ring Road master plan was prepared before the election to appeal to voters, but no DPR or project has been prepared so far,” she claimed.