Bhubaneswar: In a joint eviction drive by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) and Commissionerate Police 73 shops of existing vending zone near Ram Mandir Square were demolished for making way for the Smart Janpath project.
The eviction programme was fixed by the Central Enforcement Monitoring Committee (CEMC). It started around 10.30 am in the morning and continued till 3.30 pm in the afternoon. Besides senior officials of BDA, BMC, BSCL, one platoon of male police force and one section of lady police force were deployed.
According to BSCL sources, the evicted area will be transformed with the beautiful design under Smart Janpath as the Smart Kiosks with a symmetrical design along the entire stretch of 5.8 km of the prime road and will uplift the skyline between Sishu Bhawan and Vani Vihar Square.
There will be pedestrian way, paver blocks, buffer plantation and place making and adequate lighting system to provide the entire zone a different look. The most important thing about the entire exercise would be, however, not a single tree will be felled in the process as the BSCL has kept its green and clean city concept on the forefront. The existing trees will also be given adequate lighting effects to make the place a new landmark along Smart Janpath. Near to the exiting vending zone opposite the Satya Nagar Church, a small shopping complex, named “Vendor Haat Plaza’’ comprising the Smart Kiosks, will be developed.
All vendors were allotted Smart Kiosks before the eviction. The area under the evicted zone will also be developed as a utility corridor as planned under the Smart City Proposal to make way for the trunk lines for the gas pipeline, optical fibre cable network and trunk supply pipelines of Water Corporation of Odisha Limited (Watco), among others.
BSCL Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Kumar Singh said, “The work for Smart Janpath and other important projects under the Bhubaneswar Smart City Proposal are progressing on a war footing and we are expecting to finish them as per their timelines. However, there could be minor deviations due to COVID-19 pandemic.’’
Smart Janpath envisaged as the People’s Smart Path, is a dedicated corridor for pedestrians, cyclists, underground utilities, etc. and the entire stretch shall have active public plazas, proper crossings on the junctions, street furniture and dedicated vending zones.
The redevelopment of Janpath Road under the Smart Janpath plan includes streetscape design, beautification, landscaping, intersection redesign, and infrastructure upgrades with construction of new pavement, rehabilitation of existing pavement, construction and/or rehabilitation of existing structures. The project cost is Rs 79.56 crore.