BHAWANIPATNA: Absence of officials and technical staff in the town planning unit and office of the Special Planning Authority (SPA) in Bhawanipatna has sparked public resentment as works like sanctioning of house building plans, land conversion, etc are getting delayed inordinately.
The SPA looks after Bhawanipatna, Kesinga, Junagarh, Dharmagarh and Utkela in Kalahandi, along with Khariar, Nuapada and Khariar Road of Nuapada district. However, the post has been lying vacant ever since the transfer of the officer in November last year. The office now is being run by one clerk and two grade four employees.
On the other hand, the Bhawanipatna town planning unit is reportedly running without technical officials. The posts of engineer, junior engineer, planning assistant, draftsman and Amin are lying vacant for more than a year now.
As a result, those applying for sanction of house building plan and conversion of land for homestead plots are facing difficulties as their applications remain piled up. Sources said, hundreds of applications for house building, land conversion and correction of documents are pending approval in the town planning unit here.
At present, one junior engineer of Berhampur town planning unit has been entrusted by the Directorate of town planning authority to visit Bhawanipatna each month to clear the salary of the existing staff. Similarly, one planning assistant from Balangir town planning unit is visiting twice a week to sign documents relating to building plans.
Prakash Pradhan, a local activist, said, Bhawanipatna is a fast developing township and many new constructions are coming up. The town planning unit despite being one of the major sources of revenue collection is unable to operate due to lackadaisical approach of the government. The SPA post and other vacancies should be filled up at the earliest in public interest, he said. None of the authorities concerned was available for comment.