Bhubaneswar: The Government of Odisha is organising a two-day Senior Officer’s Conference at the State Convention Centre in the capital city and in Konark on February 14 and 15, respectively. The conference has brought the Collectors from all the districts and the senior officers of the state together to share the vision of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to improve governance as well as the lives of the people of the state through various innovative approaches and programmes.
Mathi Vathanan, Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, along with Chakravarti Singh Rathore, Collector of Jajpur and Vijay Kulange, BMC Commissioner, made a presentation on the ‘Effective delivery of Urban Services through Technology and Community Partnerships for the citizens of all 115 urban local bodies (ULBs) of the state on Thursday.
Senior officials explained the vision of the Chief Minister for urban Odisha to improve the quality of life of urban denizens fuelled by community partnerships and driven by leveraging technological adoptions.
According to the presentation, under the visionary leadership of Naveen Patnaik, there has been a constant drive to improve the livability of the cities. With a special focus on the underprivileged communities, efforts are on to provide them with access to livable habitats, and clean drinking water and ensure livelihood opportunities.
Flagship initiatives of the state government, such as Jaga Mission – the world’s largest slum land titling and upgradation programme, are transforming the lives of 17 lakh slum dwellers. Similarly, under MUKTA the poor and the marginalised are provided with wage employment opportunities to secure their livelihood. Odisha created history when Puri became the first city in India to provide round-the-clock directly drinkable quality water at consumer’s taps to all its residents, assuring ISO10500 quality water. These initiatives are a testament to the Chief Ministers’ unwavering commitment to improving the standard of living of the common people, the presentation highlighted.
The presentation shows that the state government’s belief that slum dwellers are an integral part of the city fabric and deserving of security of tenure rather than eviction has been acknowledged and rewarded globally. In 2021, Odisha was awarded the PMAY-U award for “Best Policy Initiatives by State” and in 2023, the state was honoured for the record second time with the prestigious “World Habitat Bronze Award” by UN-Habitat. Similarly, MUKTA’s exceptional efforts have been recognised globally, including receiving the Guangzhou Award for Urban Innovations in 2021 and the prestigious World Resources Institute Award for 2021-22.
The presentation also showed the government’s success in extending ‘Drink From Tap’ by creating institutions such as WATCO which was acknowledged with the Distinction of Global Water Leader Awards 2022 in the Global Water Summit held in Spain.
The critical element ensuring the wide-scale successful implementation and impact of schemes implemented in cities across Odisha is the extensive engagement with people from the vulnerable communities, that too on a large scale through Mission Shakti Groups and the Slum Dwellers’ Association, it said.
Participating in the discussions, the Collectors highlighted how the widespread adoption of digital infrastructures and technology has improved the quality of service delivery and enhanced citizen satisfaction in cities & towns across Odisha. Some of the technology tools and applications covered during the presentation involved Ama Sahara for SWM across 115 cities, Safa Application of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, SUJOG – Odisha’s e-governance portal for delivery of urban services, smart water management system and Biju Adarsh Colony portal – helping track progress in Jaga Mission and mapping assets & services in urban poor communities, a press release issued by the HUD department read.
It further said that initiatives in the pipeline such as the MUKTA soft app for quickening the release of payment under MUKTA and Digital door and street numbering for the cities are going to revolutionise urban governance in the coming days.