BHUBANESWAR: Accusing the State Government of miserably failing to improve civic amenities, the BJP on Sunday decided to protest the Government’s apathy by staging dharna before all urban local bodies (ULBs) on April 21.
Presiding over a meeting of the BJP’s elected representatives of 113 ULBs, senior BJP leader and former minister Samir Dey said basic services like supply of safe drinking water, sanitation, garbage disposal, solid waste management, maintenance of roads, health and education are lacking in all the civic bodies due to utter neglect of the State Government.
Despite frequent outbreak of jaundice and dengue, municipal corporations in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Sambalpur have failed time and again to tackle the problem. While scarcity of water is a perennial problem in a majority of the ULBs, the State Government has not been able to solve the issues.
In its election manifesto, the ruling BJD had promised housing for all slum dwellers. The State Government is claimed to have provided only 200 houses to people living in slums of the Twin City of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
Earlier, the State Cabinet approved the Odisha Property Rights to Slum Dwellers and Prevention of New Slums Bill, 2012 with a promise to bring comprehensive redevelopment and rehabilitation of slums in the State, both in terms of basic civic services and assigning property rights to slum dwellers and prevention of formation of new slums. However, the Bill was never placed in the Assembly. Keeping the next elections to ULBs in mind, the State Government passed a Bill to give land to slum dwellers in September last year. However, no concrete measure has been taken so far to implement it, Dey said.
The party has decided to hang a list of problems faced by the people in each of the ULBs. If the problems are not solved within a weak, the party will intensify its agitation, he said. The party has convened a meeting on April 19 to further discuss the issue and will give a final shape to the agitational programmes to be taken up in the ULBs.