Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation yet to spend 60 per cent of Rs 110 crore received in 2019
The funds were released by the State government to the civic body in 2019-20 for repair and renovation of 264 internal drains to manage storm water effectively and address waterlogging and flood.
BHUBANESWAR: Even as urban flooding during monsoon has become a regular affair in the State capital, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to spend around 60 per cent of the Rs 110 crore it was given two years back for storm water management through internal drains.
The funds were released by the State government to the civic body in 2019-20 for repair and renovation of 264 internal drains to manage storm water effectively and address waterlogging and flood in the city. Of the amount sanctioned, Rs 5 crore was earmarked for covering open drains with slabs. This apart, Rs 1 crore was set aside for construction of rainwater recharge pit.
However, sources in the civic body said only 40 per cent of the funds amounting to Rs 44 crore has been spent so far. The remaining amount remains unspent due to delay in tendering and other various reasons including the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, said an official on condition of anonymity.
He said around Rs 3.35 crore has been spent for covering the open drains since 2019-20. The civic body had sanctioned Rs 5 lakh to each ward for the purpose which proved inadequate.
The failure of the civic body in utilising the funds on time to revamp the internal drainage system for management of storm water has raised serious questions as the State capital has been facing severe water logging during monsoon every year.
The BMC is yet to come up with a comprehensive drainage plan to address the city's urban flooding and waterlogging menace. Of the 13 natural drains of 65.62 km length, flooring and expansion work has been completed on around 12 km under the Centrally-funded JNNURM scheme.
However, after the scheme was discontinued in 2015, no further drainage expansion work was taken up. The BMC’s plan to widen all the 13 natural drains through acquisition of land at an investment of Rs 753 crore also remains only on paper. City engineer Arun Nayak could not be reached for his comments on the matter.