ROURKELA: With panchayat polls a few days away, residents of Bonai sub-divisional headquarter in Sundargarh district have lost all hopes of Bonaigarh being accorded NAC (Notified Area Council) status. Deprived of urban amenities and infrastructure, the NAC tag, residents feel, would pave way for development of the sub-division.
People of Bonai and nearby villages have been demanding an Urban Local Body (ULB) since quite some time. In 2010, the district administration had sent the first official proposal in the regard which subsequently underwent several revisions but no headway has been made so far.
Administrative sources said a proposal of including seven villages of Bonai and Kendrikela Gram Panchayats (GPs) was mooted to which the Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water PR&DW) Department in 2017 allowed inclusion of five and accordingly directed the Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Department.
Following this a revised proposal was sent which gathered dust till about six months ago, when the government sought more clarification on the issue. Bonai MLA of CPM Laxman Munda said he had raised the issue in the Assembly and only got hollow assurance. "The CPM would make it a plank during the rural elections," he said.
Being bereft of NAC status, people of Bonai are deprived of basic amenities and infrastructure, said Bonai Bar Association president and additional government pleader Kailash Chandra Pradhan. "Rourkela city is about 68 kms away and with growing industrial and economic activities in the vicinity, the accordance of NAC status is most needed for the development of the area," Pradhan asserted.