BARIPADA: Several ponds in Baripada, some of them more than 100 years old, are wallowing in neglect owing to apathy of Baripada Municipality and Endowment department. Hemsagar pond is a heritage pond used in religious functions of Haribaldev Jew temple. Residents of Deulasahi ward too use the water body for domestic purposes. The pond, where Chandan Yatra was once conducted, now stands neglected. Besides, growth of weeds, wild plants and dumping of garbage have taken a toll on the heritage on the water body which is managed by the Endowment department.
Similarly, Jinjiribondh pond, under the jurisdiction of Baripada Municipality, has become a garbage dumping site. The 100-year-old pond is flanked by a daily market and Maa Ambika temple. The pond used to play a major role in meeting the water needs of Baripada town.
The condition of Tinkunia pond at Station Chowk in the town is better than Jinjiribondh as its water is used by the locals for domestic use. However, owing to lack of maintenance by the civic body, unhindered growth of weeds and wild plants can be seen around the water body. Besides, no steps have been taken to disinfect the water in the pond.
Sources said encroachment around the town’s ponds and construction of unauthorised houses and drains have made matters worse. Garbage generated from vegetable, fish and mutton shops in the daily markets is dumped into the ponds.
Social activist Rana Satyakam Senapati said there was a time when Mayurbhanj Royal family used to take care of the heritage ponds of the town. However, the water bodies have turned into dumping yards due to neglect by the authorities concerned.
Contacted, Baripada Municipality vice-chairman Jitendra Mohanty said the ponds in the town have not been renovated due to shortage of funds. “A proposal has been submitted to the State Government to sanction funds for the purpose,” he said, adding that the sites were recently inspected by officials of Odisha Urban Infrastructure Development Fund.