BARIPADA: The district administration on Thursday directed Baripada Sub Collector-cum-Endowments officer Anya Das to inspect the ongoing restoration of Hemsagar Pokhari. The century-old pond in Baripada town is used for rituals of the Trinity of Haribaldevjew temple.
The direction for spot inquiry came after district OBC cell of Congress demanded to clearly demarcate the land in the name of the pond and installation of a nameplate as the space for the water body is being restricted by illegal encroachments on both sides. In a memorandum to Endowments officer Anya Das on July 28, the Congress OBC Cell’s district president Rana Satyakam Senapati and State co-ordinator Sukumar Ranjan Pradhan stated that if the space around the pond is not clearly earmarked, its beautification will not be possible.
Located close to Haribaldevjew shrine under Ananda Bazaar Mouza in the heart of the town, Hemsagar Pokhari has 4 acre 15 decimal land in its name of which 2 acre 69 decimal is wet land (jalasaya). But the area around the water body has been encroached.
Earlier under the Endowments department, the pond is currently being managed by Baripada municipality. Its renovation had started in May this year and is expected to be completed by 2023. Sources said, the restoration project, estimated at Rs 1.39 crore, entails silt lifting and stone packing around the pond, walking paths, two gates and protection boundary (fence), seating and garden area.
Following the appeal by the OBC Cell, the contractor concerned has installed a board with project detail, on the bank of the pond. Collector Vineet Bhardwaj said he has asked Endowments officer Anya Das for spot inquiry and needful action. Ongoing restoration work of Chapal Pokhari in the town is also facing similar issues.