Sambalpur, July 15: Planning, development and beautification of the town has gone for a toss with the Sambalpur Development Authority (SDA), the apex body to look after its urban affairs, reeling from staff crunch.
The post of secretary, which is responsible for executing most of the SDA’s works, has been lying vacant for the last one year. The local sub-collector is taking care of the secretary’s responsibilities.
The development authority also lacks the required number of assistant engineers and junior engineers.
The engineers are responsible for preparing various plans of the town and estimating costs for these proposals. But, a number of proposals are not being executed because of their shortage.
The SDA planning wing has also been hit by manpower crunch. It does not have full-time members in its planning body and the posts of amin, surveyor and tracer are also lying vacant.
“Hundreds of housing plans have been pending for approval because of staff shortage in the development authority. The backlog of plan applications will only increase following the government’s recent inclusion of 67 more villages under the fold of the SDA. The SDA area has expanded over time and the number of its staff should also be increased. The government should pay immediate attention to fill its vacant posts,” said Seshadev Dash, a resident of the town.
“There are a number of land disputes and problems related to encroachment and illegal construction here. But, no one is there to look into all this because of the lack of manpower in the development authority,” said Sarat Banzi, another resident.
Chairman of the development authority Bijaya Mohanty admitted that staff shortage had affected their functioning. “We have several proposals, including building parks and shopping complexes, at hand. But, staff shortage has emerged as a hindrance,” he said.
“The SDA had also passed a resolution urging the government to fill up the vacant posts. The state urban development department authorities were informed about the problem. We have also drawn the attention of the chief minister to the problem,” he said