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Rajmahal Flyover beautification soon

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had thrown open the flyover at the busy Rajmahal Square in the heart of the city to public on October 17. But within days, political parities and business establishments have mucked the flyover walls with their posters and wall writings.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to beautify the landmark property in public-private partnership mode. Some private parties have already evinced interest to beautify the busy crossing and the flyover. SAM, a private organization, has submitted a proposal to develop the space with advertisement rights for 10 years.

“The organization has applied for contract to develop the space. As per its plan, it will create water fountains and lawn below the flyover. It will put up glow sign board for which it will charge fee from the advertisers and pay licence fee to the BMC. It will also maintain the area during the contract period,” BMC commissioner Sanjib Mishra told.

“We are likely to go for an open tender in association with the public works department,” said the commissioner. Mishra said the civic body will ensure that the flyover is not left to fend for itself after beautifying it once. A mechanism will be in place for long-term maintenance. Besides, action will be taken against those disfiguring the flyover walls, he said.
Rajmahal Flyover Bhubaneswar
Mishra said since multiple players are interested, BMC will take an appropriate decision to select the right player. Civil society members feel mere issuing of licence to a private party will not be of much help in beautification of such public properties. Stricter implementation of laws may not be possible because most such illegal pasting and writing on the walls are done by political parties.

“Previously, several such drives and wall painting initiatives have been undertaken. Many of those nice paintings were subsequently covered by promotional posters illegally,” said N K Panda, former chief secretary and president of Citizens’ Apex Association, a civil society group in the city.

Debendra Mishra, former state election commissioner and resident of Saheed Nagar, said people need to have a civic sense to prevent such defacement. “We are very protective about our own assets. But when it comes to public properties we don’t have a sense of belonging. Without that no law can prevent such disfigurement,” Mishra said. (Source – The Times of India)

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