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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Balangir Municipality Is Setting Examples

Riyan Ramanath V

Unsightly landscapes and fetid surroundings governed their lives for 50 years. Thatched houses, sometimes asbestos and torn polythene for a ceiling made life in slums a never-ending misery.

Especially so during the rains when the water would wash away the cow dung plaster from the wall. Dwellers would have sleepless nights when roofs were blown away by strong winds.

But luck smiled on them promising a better and healthy life. The dwellers came out of the doles of disgrace as the Balangir municipality, within less than two years, completed half of the slum development projects sanctioned by the central government.

Out of the 10 slums on the outskirts of Balangir, dwellers have been settled in six locations. In the next step, the municipality will construct concrete roads, drains, water systems, a jogging track and a community hall giving the slums the look of a modern township.

Sraddhakar Naik, who has lived more than half his life in slums, said, "When I saw people around us living in good houses, I cursed my luck. But god is merciful. Now I am happy that my posterity won't blame me as it is they who will have a descent life."

Under Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP), around 100 houses have been built. Municipality executive officer P K Gardia said they have listed 324 beneficiaries. "We didn't go by BPL norms. We looked into the living condition, economic status and checked whether the beneficiary has any permanent home anywhere," said Gardia.

The total project cost is Rs 8 crore. The municipality is awaiting a grant of another Rs 4.5 crore. "We have provided RCC roof in 300 sq feet area. Each unit will have a bedroom, kitchen and a living room," Gardia informed.

Bijakhaman, Salepali, Larkipali, Bishnumunda, Khaliapali, Talpali Pada and Bibhuti Pada slums were identified for the project.

"These slums were in such a pitiable state that dwellers could not enter or come out of their homes. During the rainy season, life would really be miserable. Rain water would collect and mix with drain water and garbage. Apart from the stink, epidemics would spread, there would be skin and stomach ailments," said Adikanda Jani, a slum beneficiary at Larkipali, adding that they were deprived of basic facilities as none wanted to visit the stinking locality.


It's good to see finally some govt organization that too a city municipality is actually Working !!! Keep Up the Good Work and hope politics and corruption will not become roadblock in the upliftment of the poor....

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Welcome to the land of culture "Koshal" . Koshal is the land of great warriors. The land of Maharaja's.The land of Maa Samalei, World famous sambalpuri saree , great teracotta works, land of tantrik Vidya, world famous Sambalpuri music and dance.

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