SAMBALPUR: Narrow and damaged roads, encroachment, faulty intersection, haphazard parking, traffic congestion and stray cattle menace have stunted the expansion of Sambalpur town. This is precisely what the City Development Plan (CDP) report stated about the reasons behind slow growth of Sambalpur town.
The Director of Gujarat Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation (GITCO) Deepak Pandia, who had been entrusted with preparing CDP of Greater Sambalpur, said the growth was not healthy and the population growth should have been at least 25 per cent.
The population in Sambalpur Municipality and 21 villages under the Sambalpur Development Authority (SDA) rose to 1,80,948 in 2001 from 1,57,827 in 1991.
The district is on the threshold of industrialisation and is poised for a big leap but has not seen much development on the infrastructure front. There is lack of even growth under the SDA limits. The SDA needs to look into grey areas like sewerage and sanitation system, adequate water supply, drainage and solid waste disposal facilities. Lack of playground and recreation or entertainment centres which are a must to complement changing lifestyle also add to the slow growth of the town. Consider this, one of the cinema halls has been demolished to pave way for a concrete structure, the other two theatres are in a pathetic state, lacking comfort and viewers.
Food outlets, core of any developing city, are missing here. A family restaurant or food joints for get-togethers are absent. Though there are a few locations, those are up for grabs by encroachers or it is difficult to manoeuvre the crowded narrow roads to reach the place.
While there is no denying that Sambalpur is gearing up for a major face-lift, it will take long before people from other states will opt to settle down in the town.