Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Cuttack: It now seems long ago when Odisha government kicked off its multiple mega projects including JICA and AMRUT- Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation as initiatives for development of Millenium City Cuttack. Residents of the silver city were quite hopeful that after completion of the projects, everyone will witness a spectacular makeover of the city. However, the tardy progress of both the multi-crore projects has raised questions on target achievement.

AMRUT scheme was meant to distribute clean and safe drinking water to the residents across the silver city. Apart from several other instances, recently it was found that the pipeline laid from Bidanasi Chhak to Baula Chhak goes through a sewerage tank. In several places of the city, it has been found that JICA chambers are filled with soil leading to contamination in the water pipeline.

"After witnessing the pathetic condition of the pipeline laid through the sewerage tank, it clearly shows how clean water we are consuming," a local Sanjib Behera questioned.

"Both the concerned authorities and the contractors are to be blamed for such a mess. The workers didn't pay heed to the work and laid the pipes inside the tanks and this went unnoticed by authorities. It seems, after completion of the project, the city residents are going to drink water contaminated with sewage waste," said another resident raising serious concern on the matter.

Though several times complaints were reported about such woes in AMRUT scheme, no action was taken by the responsible authorities. Apart from that, residents had earlier registered complaints about the sluggish work progress and the road excavation in different locations that created hurdles in conveyance, but the concerned authorities of JICA reportedly didn't respond to it.

Meanwhile, giving assurance to address the issue and relocate the pipelines within seven days, Executive Engineer of Public Health Engineering Organization, Cuttack division, Sushant Ghadei informed, "Our department had laid the pipes initially and later on JICA built chambers. JICA informs us if any pipeline comes through their chambers and we immediately relocate it. However, this case has not been reported by JICA. We will verify the matter and take necessary action on it."