BHUBANESWAR: Eight years after planning to restore water bodies in the Capital, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally got down to start the ground work.
The BMC authorities on Wednesday held discussions with a private firm, entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the purpose, and zeroed in on 60 heritage and man-made water bodies for restoration. Most of the water bodies are bearing the brunt of urbanisation and industrial pollution.
Engineering division of BMC is scheduled to present the DPR before Odisha Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (OUIDF) on Thursday to get a go-ahead for budgetary allocation.
Sources said the water bodies shortlisted for restoration are located in 25 of the 60 municipal Wards of BMC.
While 10 water bodies located in Ward-41 will be covered under the project, Ward-6 has six such ponds which need urgent attention of the civic authorities. Four ponds each, located in Ward-1 and Ward-23, have been also included in BMC’s DPR.
The project’s estimated cost has been set at Rs 80 crore.
There has been a two and half-fold increase in the cost, which was Rs 32.92 crore in 2007 when the DPR was prepared, due to an inordinate delay in executing the project.
The project, scheduled to take off in June, will be carried out in three phases with 20 ponds taken up in each phase, said City Engineer Basanta Parida.
The restoration process will include dislodging sludge by removal of floating weeds, capacity restoration through de-silting and clearance of inlets and outlets to ensure proper recharging of the water bodies.
To minimise entry of pollutants, the civic body has planned to fence the periphery of water bodies apart from constructing turfs and walkways along the circumference. To reduce silt load, aesthetic landscaping will be done by building ‘green-belts’.
Sources said for maintenance of water quality, bio-remediation, aeration and survey of pollutant levels will be done on a monthly basis.
“In the long run, we have plans to build fountains, water parks and promote aqua-culture in the water bodies which are evaluated as feasible for this purpose,” said an assistant engineer of BMC.
Once approved, 50 per cent of the project cost will be funded by OUIDF, half of which will be in form of loan while the rest will be a grant. The remaining amount will be sanctioned by the BMC.