BHUBANESWAR: Keepers of public amenities are wallowing in filth themselves. Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation's (BMC) office premises are filthy with overflowing sewer lines, heaps of garbage and betel leaf juice stained corridors.
As one enters the BMC headquarters near Kalpana Square, one is greeted with the sight of betel leaf juice stains and disposable tea cups strewn all around near the diary section right after the entrance to the main building. "Everybody spits here," said a visitor to the Right to Information (RTI) cell in the same section matter of factly when caught in the act himself.
Though BMC authorities have installed images of gods and goddesses at various corners to dissuade people from spitting on the office premises, the engineering section of the civic body office is quite friendly to betel chewers. Cartons have been put up at corners where one can spew out the betel juice easily. Not surprisingly, the steps of the block have been painted red with the oral discharge.
At one end of the old block, which houses the deputy commissioner and the mayor office, the drinking water cooler is surrounded by stagnant water and garbage. Besides, electric cable wires lying in the open at the backside of the building pose serious threat to passersby. An overflowing sewer line and foul smell of urine, discharged by people in the open, welcome those venturing further inside the campus.
The tax block, where the IT section, marketing section and tax paying counters are located, don't have drinking water or toilet facility for visitors and employees. "We use the Sulabh pay toilet when there is a crowd. During off peak hours, we urinate in the open," said an employee of the tax block. Heaps of garbage lie unattended behind the building, which is a major public interface area as people come here to pay holding tax.
Hoardings razed by the BMC from various places have been dumped in the open space in the BMC office, which make the area look like a giant dumping yard. One has to cross these dumps to reach the tax block to pay holding tax to the civic agency. "It is such an eyesore. The BMC should never use this space to dump this material," said Jogesh Rout, another visitor.
BMC authorities, however, said the office will soon don a clean look. "We will soon launch a cleanliness drive for the office and take stringent action against employees spitting and urinating in the open. Such activities will be monitored soon," said mayor Anant Narayan Jena.
The BMC's untidy ambience comes as a sharp contrast to the civic agency's high-tech scheme to monitor garbage and cleaning work across the city using satellite data, launched around two months ago. BMC has spent Rs 1.65 crore to hire a private company for two years to generate information on a daily basis about garbage and cleaning work.