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Odisha H&UD Minister Stresses on Implementation of Metro Rail Scheme

 Bhubaneswar: Odisha Housing and Urban Development Minister Krushna Chandra Mohapatra announced the implementation of a metro rail scheme in Bhubaneswar. The initiative aims to form a ‘Triple City’ by linking Bhubaneswar with Cuttack and Puri, addressing the expanding urbanization in the region.

Speaking as the chief guest at a day-long training programme for municipal officials at the Convention Hall of Lok Seba Bhawan, Dr. Mohapatra underscored the importance of maintaining cleanliness in accordance with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. He emphasized large-scale tree planting within municipal areas to enhance the urban environment.

Highlighting the necessity of teamwork, the minister directed officials to ensure the provision of quality services to urban residents. He expressed concerns about waste management, particularly the pollution of water sources from urban and hospital waste, urging immediate action to mitigate this issue.

Dr. Mohapatra also stressed the need for municipal officials to engage in field visits, advocating for a minimum of three to four hours of on-ground inspection daily to address urban challenges effectively.

Addressing the urban traffic system, the minister called for a strategic plan to minimize travel time for citizens. He also recommended the installation of more CCTV cameras to bolster law and order in urban areas.

Accountability and Quality Assurance

The minister emphasized the responsibility of construction agencies and contractors in maintaining developmental projects in urban areas for at least three years. He warned that criminal charges would be pursued against those failing to comply with these maintenance standards.

Commitment to Urban Development

Additional Chief Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Department, G Mathi Vathanan, highlighting crucial urban development programs. He affirmed the readiness of ‘Team Urban’ to advance the new government’s urban development agenda, promising better habitats, clean drinking water, and waste-free cities.

Odisha’s impressive leap in the Swachh Bharat Survey, from 30th in 2019 to being among the top four states in 2023, was acknowledged. The state now aims to secure the number one position nationally in 2024. Emphasizing the importance of comprehensive waste management, Vathanan assured that no new waste would be permitted in any city, with efforts concentrated on making every city waste-free.

Safety Measures and Future Plans

Vathanan also addressed the issue of accidents in urban drains during the rainy season, instructing municipalities to take preventive measures by securing open drains. Guidelines have been disseminated to all municipal bodies, holding engineers accountable for any mishaps.

Workshop Highlights

The workshop saw the participation of key officials, including BMC Commissioner Rajesh Prabhakar Patil, Director Municipal Sangramjit Nayak, SUDA Director and Additional Secretary Sarada Prasad Panda, Special Secretary Sagarika Patnaik, and other senior officials. Additional Secretary Panda provided insights into various urban schemes such as Mukta, NULM, Street Lights, PMSVANidhi, Aahar Yojana, and the Deen Dayal National Livelihood Mission, while other officials discussed their respective areas of work.

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