Assembly Speaker calls upon people to take up greenery in a big way

The 65th foundation day of Capital City was celebrated here with Speaker Pradip Amat urging to take up greenery in a big way.

Addressing a function marking foundation day celebration here, Mr. Amat said Bhubaneswar was known for its greenery which was gradually getting thin. In order to bring back the previous greenery, every stakeholder, including government, residents and institutions would have to contribute in their own way, he said. Speaker felicitated 13 persons in different fields from administration to culture for their outstanding performance.

Speaking on the occasion, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surya Narayan Patra said government firmed up strategies to achieve overall development of the city and hoped it would be no less than metro city in near future. Three legislators representing different parts of the city also spoke on the occasion. Students of 54 educational institutes staged a spectacular parade on the occasion. While Maharshi College of Natural Law was adjudged first in the parade show, Royal College of Science and Technology stood second.

Celebration apart, unplanned growth and poor basic amenities in the city have attracted widespread criticism from experts and residents.

“In 65 years, Bhubaneswar area has grown up from 16.48 sq km to a little over 135sqkm with population touching one million. The city plan prepared by Otto H Koenigsberger in 1948 based on Neighbourhood principles Grid System is till today considered worldwide in planning profession as one of the model city planning. But successive governments did not pay required attention to planning that resulted in chaos in many areas,” said Piyush Ranjan Rout, urban development practitioner.

President of Samajwadi Party Rabi Behera said Bhubaneswar needed an inclusive growth. “Service provider communities such as milkmen, masons, construction workers and rickshaw pullers should be provided with low cost housing and as basic amenities such drinking water and electricity,” Mr. Behera said

Similarly, Alok Patnaik, a senior citizen who migrated to the city 30 years ago, said under pressure of population explosion, the standard of civic amenities had gone down.“The rhetoric of transforming the city into a metropolitan has no meaning, if basic civic amenities elude more than half of the population living in Bhubaneswar,” Mr. Patnaik said.