Vikash Sharma

The Odisha government claimed to have brought a massive transformation in the lives of slum dwellers through ‘Biju Adarsh Colony’. However, the beneficiaries have exposed the grim reality and the problems faced by them in various parts of Balasore district. The state government had identified 20 slums as Biju Adarsh Colonies out of the total 41 slums in the first phase.

Though three years have now passed, the beneficiaries are allegedly yet to reap the benefits even though land pattas have been provided to them. In several places, the construction work of houses is allegedly still incomplete.

The slum dwellers of Bikash Nagar under ward no 10 alleged that the contractor is now ‘missing’ after undertaking construction work, which remains incomplete.

“We have received 16 pattas out of 22 houses. They (authorities) are not providing pattas while the contractor is not coming to execute the construction work,” alleged Sabitri Mohanty, president of the slum.

Rashmita, another resident alleged, “We told officials that we do not have money to undertake construction work. Later, they engaged a contractor who took money, but did not complete the roof work. Such a situation has prevailed for the last one and half years.”

The bulk of the construction work for the Biju Adarsh Colony at ward no 8 is complete. However, the condition of the entrance road to the colony is in deplorable condition. A beneficiary under this ward is also 'forced to live under a polythene sheet as the construction work is yet to be completed'.

“We are yet to get pattas for 5 houses and construction work is incomplete. There is waterlogging in the area following the road construction work,” said Kabita Pradhan, a resident of Bikash Nagar slum.

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Balasore sub-collector Prathamesh Arvind Rajeshirke said, “The work is being undertaken under the Biju Adarsh Colony in a phased manner and the works for gates, painting and play equipment have been procured and will be installed. It will be done step-wise and no work will be done as the Model Code of Conduct is in force. But the existing works will continue and will be done very soon.”

(By Prakash Mohanty)