The row over the proposed vending zone at Mangalabag near the SCB Medical College and Hospital here has intensified with corporators opposing its construction over a drain.
The issue was raised in the CMC council meeting here on Tuesday by several corporators, led by former deputy mayor Madhusudan Sahu, who alleged that the construction over the drain would render cleaning and de-silting operations impossible and lead to disastrous consequences in future. The vending zone is being constructed along the SCB campus till the Engineering School. The corporators stated that there was no gap between shops as a result of which cleaning cannot be done over such a long stretch.
The vending zone has faced opposition from different quarters with the Orissa High Court directing the Traffic Management Committee to make a reassessment of the situation and submit a report to it. The corporators also protested acceptance of deposits by the people, who intended to occupy the shops, on the grounds that the vending zone plans had not been ratified by the council nor was the deposit amount approved by it. They demanded refund of the deposit amounts until it is decided by the council. The council meeting was conducted even as Congress corporators abstained and staged a dharna outside alleging complete breakdown in civic machinery as well as rampant corruption in the administration. All the seven corporators, including Dharmananda Patra, Santosh Bhol and Ajit Behera, stayed away and demanded a high-level inquiry into the alleged irregularities.
They stated that even though the monsoon has set in, the cleaning of drains and repair of roads have not been completed. All the works, undertaken by the corporation, are mired in corruption and irregularities, Bhol alleged.