Jayanarayan has his hands full of problems affecting Sambalpur

However, now the onus is on him to expedite the municipal elections and ensure that these civic problems are addressed.
Sambalpur MLA Jayanarayan Mishra (File photo| EPS)
Sambalpur MLA Jayanarayan Mishra (File photo| EPS)

SAMBALPUR: Despite a lacklustre previous term, BJP leader Jayanarayan Mishra has been re-elected as the MLA of Sambalpur, bringing with it high hopes that he will address the city’s enduring problems now that his party is set to form the government in Odisha.

Mishra’s prior term was marked by prolonged absences due to ill health, leaving Sambalpur grappling with challenges such as the Covid crisis, displacement from the SAMALEI project, and violence during Hanuman Jayanti without his involvement. This absence led to a loss of credibility among voters. Initially facing resistance from both voters and his own party workers, Mishra managed to secure support after senior BJP leaders intervened and campaigned on his behalf.

Asked about his priority in this term, Mishra said, “There are numerous problems to be dealt. My priority would be the revival of education, healthcare and transport system of the city.” However, the key issues eluded his list of priority.

One of the primary issues Mishra faces is the delay in conducting municipal elections. This delay has resulted in a myriad of unresolved civic issues, including poor drainage systems, deteriorating roads, erratic electricity supply, sanitation, widespread encroachment and several others. The absence of an elected body in the Sambalpur Municipal Corporation (SMC) for more than 10 years now has left citizens struggling to access officials, leading to severe inconveniences.

Previously, Mishra attributed these issues to the then BJD government. However, now the onus is on him to expedite the municipal elections and ensure that these civic problems are addressed. Another challenge Mishra faces is the dire state of Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) in Burla, the region’s premier healthcare institution. VIMSAR is plagued by a range of issues, including dilapidated infrastructure, incomplete projects, and a critical shortage of doctors. These problems have severely impacted the quality and timeliness of healthcare services available to the public.

Since the 2019 elections, Mishra has envisioned making Sambalpur a smart city, a promise he reiterated after his recent victory. Residents are now looking to see tangible progress towards this goal during his current term.

Law and order remain persistent issues, contributing to a sense of insecurity among citizens. Mishra’s previous term witnessed several incidents of inefficient policing and rising crime rates. As a re-elected representative, he must implement robust measures to enhance public safety and restore confidence in local law enforcement.

Given Mishra’s past involvement in activities that disturbed law and order, locals are sceptical about his ability to effectively handle this issue.

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The New Indian Express