Vikash Sharma

Prominent junctions and public places in different parts of Bhubaneswar now wear a bridal look for the ongoing FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup. The administrative officials have left no stone unturned to infuse new life into the Capital city which seems to be bustling with activities day in and day out.

From inspiring wall paintings to electrification and beautification of trees, one cannot simply ignore the fact that the capital city of Bhubaneswar is now the most happening place in the state along with Rourkela which is also hosting the hockey matches.

Apart from the beautification, a series of important events like Patha Utsav to Dotfest have added a special charm to the ongoing initiatives. However, resentment is brewing among residents as the statues of eminent personalities at important streets seem to have been forgotten amid the race for giving a new facelift to the city here. These eminent personalities had played a crucial role and had immense contributions in the formation of old and new Odisha. However, the statutes of the stalwarts are now allegedly reeling under neglect.

Amid the allegations, OTV took stock of the existing ground reality at different locations of the city only to find that most of the statues of eminent personalities are now covered with a thick sheet of dust while several statues are searching for identity owing to absence of proper lighting measures.

Similarly, some of the statutes have been left deserted with a dry flower garland. The statue of former Chief Minister and Maharaja Rajendra Narayan Singh Deo near the Commissionerate Police building in Bhubaneswar is a glaring example. Here the statue is at the mercy of a street light.

The status of the statue of legendary freedom fighter Buxi Jagabandhu near Kalpana square is also no different. The statue was unveiled by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in 2003. However, no step seems to have been taken for lightning near the statue.

The place where the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar has been installed near AG square is somehow better than other statues of eminent personalities with proper beautification and lighting. But the flower garland has not been changed since long which has defeated the purpose.

(Reported by Bibartan Panda)