BHUBANESWAR: Palaspalli and the aerodrome areas in the city give a picture of social inequality despite rapid urbanization and growth.
The locality, home to chief minister Naveen Patnaik and prominent leaders and businessmenlike ruling party MLAs Bhagirathi Badjena and Ashok Panda, is dotted with posh buildings on one side and shanties on the other. While all-round development is evident in one part of the area, basic facilities for sustenance are absent in the other part of the locality.
The entire area comes under wards 30 and 47. The slum in the locality is called Bhoi Sahi, which is a picture of utter neglect. It is one of the oldest parts of the city and yet lacks road connectivity, proper drainage system and supply of piped water. "Waterlogging is a major problem during rainy season for the inhabitants here. Rainwater enters houses in the low-lying pockets," said Benudhar Bhoi, a resident.
Road building and other construction works have been stalled due to land disputes, Bhoi added.
The Bhois settled in the area in 1962, but even after 40 years, basic amenities remain elusive.
Asked why this paradox, Uma Charan Patnaik, a doctor residing in the area, blames rapid urban growth that pushed the original settlers here towards further backwardness.
The locality neither has a community hall nor a park. Though land was earmarked for a community hall a decade ago, there is no sign of construction due to the administration's apathy.
The population has jumped from mere 14,000 to 40,000 in 10 years. "The roads have been squeezed as many dwellers have constructed buildings encroaching on them," said Mahamaya Swain, corporator of ward no 30.
Swain said tenders have been floated for a Rs 1.5-crore work to improve the roads here.