Once breathing space, crying for attention now

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SYMBOL OF NEGLECT: Ramlingam Tank in Berhampur.
SYMBOL OF NEGLECT: Ramlingam Tank in Berhampur.

Staff Reporter

It has become garbage dump yard of the fast food units

BERHAMPUR: Ramlingam tank, once called the breathing space of the city is now gasping for attention of authorities for its rescue from encroachments and pollution.

Since decades this large tank, which is also termed `lake' by many is the get-together point of all age groups. Hotels and cine-complexes had come up in its vicinity. It also filled in the gap when there was no park in the city.

Thousands take a stroll by the side of this large tank and spend hours sitting on its banks very morning and evening. Now they do the same out of mental compulsion and habit. It has become the garbage dump-yard of the fast food units near it. Without proper recharging it has become a large stinking swamp rather than a water body.

Greatest irony

The greatest irony is that the municipality has started leasing out the pavement and open space on the banks of the tank to shops congesting the space available there for the visitors, alleged Congress councilor of Berhampur municipality, Bipin Bihari Mishra.

Large hoardings have come up on the banks of the Ramlingam tank affecting the aesthesity of the area. "Municipal council never passed erection of these large hoardings," he said. According to him the municipality no developmental work was taken up around the tank since the days when the present union minister of state for rural development, Chandrasekhar Sahu was the chairperson of the municipality during the eighties. A fountain inaugurated on the banks of the tank is non-existent. A children's park was planned near the tank has got converted into a shopping complex.

But the municipality is yet to clean up the tank. A legal tussle is also a hindrance. As the city was included under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Townships proposals are on to renovate 22 tanks, including the Ramlingam tank.



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