Renovation of the Dhobi Joar nullah within the town limits is on the cards.
The seven-km nullah is a major drainage channel in the town and flows through Beheramunda, Danipali, Cheruapada, Housing Board Colony, Mudipada, Golebazaar and Hirakud Colony finally joining river Mahanadi at Binakhandi.
The nullah was bifurcated at Tamlapada near Mudipada after the floods in river Mahanadi in 1982 and the newly developed stretch of the nullah also flowed into river Mahanadi at Balibandha. It has been decided that Irrigation officials will clear the sludge, silt, garbage and wild growths from the nullah from JMJ hospital to Balibandha, which will be around 3,158 metre. Work on augmentation of the nullah has begun and is scheduled to be completed before monsoon.
Though the Irrigation Department had earlier renovated a portion of the tail-end of the nullah from Tamlapada to Binakhandi in 2009, locals have been demanding strengthening of the nullah upstream as encroachment and silt has been resulting in deluge in low lying areas every time the town experiences heavy rain.
Executive Engineer of Sambalpur irrigation division, Prabhas Pattnaik, said around `1.02 crore has been estimated for the work. “Renovation of the nullah has already begun and two agencies have been engaged in removing the slush and silt from nullah bed,” he said.
However, they were facing problem in expediting works due to encroachment along the nullah and have moved the Revenue Department to evict the encroachers.