BHUBANESWAR: With urban centres in Orissa growing at a very rapid pace, the state government today decided to expedite preparation of comprehensive development plans (CDPs) for eight industrial towns in the State. The urban centres include Berhampur, Paradip, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Talcher-Angul-Meramandali, Jharsuguda, Joda and Barbil.
Though the decision to prepare CDPs was taken almost five years back, it has not been completed for several reasons.
The CDPs of these towns are in various stages of preparation. The CDPs will streamline the growth of the urban centres where population has grown at a very fact pace.
Proliferation of slums in these towns have become a major problem for the state government which has announced convert all kutcha houses to pucca houses. Conversion of kutcha houses to pucca houses was one of the major promises made by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the 2014 general elections.
With agriculture failing to provide the required employment in rural areas, migration to urban areas has caused a shortage of housing and other basic services. Though the state government has announced a slum rehabilitation policy to make urban centres slum free, the implementation of the policy is yet to take off.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today reviewed the preparation of CDPs for these urban areas and asked the urban development department to complete these by March, 2016. Official sources said that development authorities will be set up for seven towns except Berhampur city by merging the urban local bodies (ULBs) and nearby areas. Berhampur city already has a development authority.
The CDP of Berhampur Authority has already been approved by the State Government. Berhampur development plan area, known as 'Greater Berhampur', comprises Berhampur Municipal corporation, two neighbouring towns, Chhatrapur and Gopalpur and 139 villages. Greater Berhampur is spread over 320 sq km.
According to official sources, assistance of the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New Delhi and Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University (CEPT), Ahmedabad will be taken for early completion of the CDPs.
Among others, housing and urban development minister Pushpendra Singhdeo, chief secretary GC Pati and senior officials attended the meeting.