BHUBANESWAR: Even as the quality of infrastructure work for Nabakalebara came under scanner with a vital road caving in at Puri only around 12 days from Rath Yatra, a worried Chief Minister held two emergency meetings on Monday to review the progress of infrastructure projects.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated 14 infrastructure projects related to Nabakalebara festival at Puri, including a state-of-the-art bus stand at Malatipatapur and a 7-km stretch by-pass road connecting Malatipatpur to Puri-Konark road on Saturday.
Sources in the BJP maintained that Union Minister for Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari and Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha are likely to inaugurate the Bhubaneswar-Puri National Highway and railway projects within a couple of days.
Though the upcoming Rath Yatra has started an inauguration spree by the State and Central Ministers, major drainage and sewerage works remain incomplete in Puri town. Besides, many roads inside the town are yet to be upgraded.
The State Government set a new target to complete the drainage work in Puri. “Drainage works in Puri will be completed by July 8,” Development Commissioner UN Behera told mediapersons after the meetings.
Behera said emphasis during Nabakalebara will be on first-aid, ambulance services, drinking water and sanitation. Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be maintained for emergency service during the festival, he said.
As many as 30 first-aid centres and 30 ambulance vehicles will provide service on the Grand Road during the Rath Yatra while 2,000 volunteers along with 224 doctors will be deployed to provide emergency service in Puri town, he said.
Besides, 50 first-aid centres will be set up and 25 ambulances will be pressed into service in the town during the Rath Yatra.
Similarly, 2,925 toilets have been set up for the mega festival in a bid to maintain proper sanitation, Behera said.
Secretary in the Works department Nalinikanta Pradhan said 33 temporary shelters with a capacity to accommodate one lakh pilgrims will be set up for the festival.
The shelters will have electricity, sanitation and drinking water provisions. Besides, the shelters will also have CCTV cameras and will be guarded by security personnel.
Chief Secretary GC Pati and senior officials from different departments attended the meetings.