SAMBALPUR: Work on the much-awaited 1,000-seater town hall near Jhasketan Sahu Swimming Complex at Mudipada has come to a halt since the last three months due to delay in demolition of the market complex building existing on the land.
Construction work, which began in March last year, was going on in full swing till October. However, it had to be stopped in November as the dilapidated complex posed a barrier. The project is being executed by the Public Works Department (PWD).
The Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) has sanctioned Rs 9 crore for the project which is being developed over 1.14 acre of land owned by Sambalpur Development Authority (SDA) in the heart of the city. A target has been set to complete the project in 18 months.
The SDA already has a market complex comprising 87 shops on the land. However, the shops are in a dilapidated condition due to lack of proper maintenance and utilisation. Sources said there is a proposal to accommodate the shops of the market complex in the second and ground floors of the new facility.
As per the plan, apart from the basement, the ground floor of the project will have some shops and also be used for parking besides from the basement. While the first floor will house the town hall, the second will be developed as a market complex. In the first phase, the ground floor and the hall will be constructed with the funds sanctioned by WODC. The second floor will be completed in the next phase with funds from SDA. The PWD will hand over the building to the development authority after completion of first phase work. The SDA will run and manage the town hall.
Executive Engineer of PWD, Division-I Bijay Mohanty said the existing market complex has become a major roadblock for construction of the town hall project. “The work cannot move further without demolishing the complex. We have already apprised the district Collector about the matter,” he added.