BHUBANESWAR: The urban development authorities of the State Capital had a tete-a-tete with children in the age group of eight to 15, who advocated their rights for a good and habitable surrounding for them in the City. On Wednesday, around 60 children from Nilamadhav Slum in Chandrasekharpur area met Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) officials and presented their needs in the proposed slum redevelopment plan under Smart City initiative.
It required a four-month effort for the young advocates to prepare a design and plan for a colony that will house 356 flats accommodating a population of 1,162 which includes 444 children. Seven child leaders, representing ‘child clubs’ and slums presented the unique and innovative plan by using three-dimensional models to demonstrate their designs.
Cheering the child representatives for the task, BDA Vice-Chairman Dr Krishan Kumar said a lot of effort and research has gone into the planning and presentations. “It is highly appreciable that children are actually thinking and planning for the correct development of their own locality and Bhubaneswar as a whole,” he said.
The BDA authorities explained the nitty-gritties of regulations to the children and advised them to come up with more plans that can be aptly fitted within official parameters. Children should now think of plans like having a reading room or more open space to make a habitation child-friendly. The youngsters can also be part of monitoring committees, Kumar said.
Badal, a 14-year-old child leader, said, “We want to ensure that these presentations get due acceptance so that our locality becomes the first child-friendly neighbourhood in the State.”
Among others, Smart City special purpose vehicle CEO R Vineel Krishna, Member Secretary (Planning) Sudhir Mohanty, Senior Country Representative, BvLF Dharitri Patnaik and senior engineers and architects from BDA were present.