Pradeep Pattanayak

Around 200-year-old historical Digi pond in Dhamnagar block in Bhadrak district has finally come to life after remaining like a marsh for years together.

Till two years ago, this historic pond used to bear a picture of utter neglect. Accumulation of silt and garbage and water hyacinth had made this pond unusable. None including the local administration was little bothered about it till OTV carried a story on this pond’s pathetic state.

Both the district and the block administration pitched in and took steps to infuse life into this dead-like pond.

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Now, the pond’s picture has changed. It is now full of blooming lotus and lily. A park has also come up near the pond. Local people have once again started visiting to the pond.

They thanked OTV and urged the administration to complete the rest of the works.

“Once there were bushes everywhere. Now the pond has been rejuvenated and developed. We come here to read. However, more things to be done for the beautification of the pond,” said Jyotirmayee Mahal, a local resident.

Another resident Narayan Jena said, “People have started coming here in the morning and evening to spend some time. It has become a favourite spot for morning walkers. Now there are plenty of lotus or lily flowers in the pond. Now these flowers are enhancing the beauty of the pond. Local youths are also earning their livelihood from selling these flowers.”

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So far, the administration has spent Rs 80 lakh for the development of the pond. While beautification, boundary wall and plantation works are going on, in the coming days, Children Park, drinking water facility, toilet and food court will be added.

“Thanks to the efforts of the block administration, the pond has been resurrected. Soon a swimming pool and a park will come up. And the block administration has a plan to attract 200 to 300 visitors so that some revenue will be generated,” said Sudeepta Khatua, a Samiti member.

When contacted, former chairman of Dhamnagar block Ashok Nayak said, “We had planned to complete the park work by the end of December. But the bypoll came in its way. So we will end the work by March. In this regard, we have sent a proposal to the State government for approval.”

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(Reported by Soumya Ranjan Sahu from Bhadrak, OTV)