BHUBANESWAR: Protests by locals of Unit VIII and its adjoining areas in the city have resulted in stalling of demolition of Unit VIII Kalyan Mandap which was scheduled to be executed this month to make way for central office of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The General Administration (GA) Department has written to Housing and Urban Development Department seeking a report on why the plot was finalised for proposed office of BMC.
Unit VIII Kalyan Mandap is one of the oldest community halls of the Capital. The GA Department has sought a clarification on what grounds the land allotted for community purpose should be used for construction of an office building, sources said.
Technical approval for the project, which is estimated at around `80 crore, has been submitted to the State Government, a senior BMC official said. As the valuation exceeds `50 crore, the project cannot commence without an approval from the Finance department. BMC has planned to carry out the project in two phases using its own money. The new building would house public grievance cell and conveniences, corporators’ lounge, conference hall, council hall along with offices of Commissioner and other officers.
BMC authorities have claimed that as the area surrounding Unit VIII Kalyan Mandap is centrally located, it would be accessible for citizens from all corners of the city. “We have converted an open park behind CBI office in the same locality into a community centre which would be inaugurated on August 31,” a BMC official said.
Meanwhile, Unit VIII residents are in no mood to buy this justification of BMC. “The new community centre is not as spacious neither does it match the amenities available at the existing Kalyan Mandap. Besides, the approach road to the new community centre is very narrow,” the residents complained.