BHUBANESWAR: Unauthorized slums at Niladri Vihar in the city have taken sheen off the township set up by Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) in 1990.
Twenty-four years down the line, it looks nowhere close to the township BDA had conceived.
According to residents, they purchased land, hoping that BDA would develop the area into a model township. But they are now forced to live in unhygienic conditions with encroachments on adjoining vacant space within five acre of the township.
President of resident welfare association Sukadeb Bhuyan said slums sprung up in the area in 1994 after general administration department provided land for relocation of those at Saheed Nagar. "Those, who were not allotted government land, started occupying the vacant space. We have been opposing the unauthorized slums, but successive corporators turned a blind eye to our plea," said Bhuyan.
The association also met the newly-elected corporator (ward 14) Debiprasad Mallick for eviction of the unauthorized occupants, he added.
Prabhat Mishra, a resident, alleged Niladri Vihar was left out when Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation conducted survey in all slums of the city for providing houses under the centrally-aided Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY). "Had the survey been done here, some slum population could have been rehabilitated, paving way for an organized township," he said. The slum population too has grown from 3,000 to 14,000 over the years, he added
According to the corporator, slum dwellers vehemently opposed RAY survey as they apprehended eviction. "Four among eight slums in the area are unauthorized. A team visited the area, but had to return without conducting the survey following steep opposition from the dwellers. I have convinced people of one slum and they are ready to be included in the survey," Mallick added.