BERHAMPUR: Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) is all set to float tender for second phase renovation work on Ramlingeswar pond. The pond, which spreads across around 8.7 acre of land, used to provide bathing, drinking and irrigation facilities to locals till 1970. The embankments of the pond used to be the most sought-after place for residents to spend their leisure time. This apart, the space was also used to organise public meetings in which many top national leaders addressed the gathering.
However, the water body fell into dire straits due to lack of maintenance. Apart from fencing the embankments and placing cement chairs, the local civic body did not make any effort to restore the pond, which is located on a private property.Due to the neglect, the pond was filled with weeds while locals also started dumping garbage and waste into the water body. Gradually, the water level of the pond came down drastically.
While the civic authorities failed to renovate the water body, owner of the land on which the pond is located, too looked the other way on the pretext of paucity of funds.After assuming BeMC office, Mayor K Madhavi initiated measures to renovate the pond. Owner of the pond was persuaded to lease out the land on a long term basis and accordingly, BeMC sent a proposal to the State Government for renovation of the water body.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had laid the foundation stone for beautification of the pond and also sanctioned a grant of `8.5 crore for the purpose in the first phase.Subsequently, the BeMC prepared a blueprint for renovation and beautification of the water body. The beautification work includes installing benches on all sides, plantation of decorative and flowering trees, provision of adequate lighting and boating facilities to make the pond look attractive and aesthetic.
Last year, a private firm bagged the tender for the first phase renovation work. The construction firm executed the agreement in October last year with a target to complete the project by October, 2018.
The first phase work included digging the pond and erecting concrete walls up to ground level. The remaining work includes construction of rooms in the north side, parking place and a path for pedestrians on east and south side.
The BeMC had prepared a detailed project report at a cost of `6.4 crore and sent it to the State Government for technical approval. The report has been approved and tender for second phase work would start soon, the Mayor said.