Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) will not float tenders for stalls at the Khandagiri Kumbha Mela this year following allegations that the private agencies, who were given the contract in the past to set up stalls, sold the shops at exorbitant prices to poor vendors.
Instead, vendors, who had set up stalls, would be allotted space if they furnish last year's land allotment receipts this time. "We will not float tender this time. BMC will directly provide space to vendors. Many poor traders had complained against private agencies," BMC mayor A N Jena said. The 10-day annual fair would be held on the foothills of Khandagiri from February 17.
Before opting for the tender system, BMC used to allot land on a first-come-first-serve basis. But this gave rise to resentment as some people got more space while others were left with little land. There were allegations that some locals sold their stalls to others at higher prices after getting the space from BMC. The tender system came into vogue in 2010.
About 450 makeshift stalls, each measuring 8x8 sq ft, would be erected on both sides of the road connecting NH-5 to the Khandagiri hills. Jena denied there will be any upward revision in stall licence price this time. Even the licence fee collected from jatra (opera) operators would remain unchanged. "We will collect very reasonable price from vendors and jatra organizers," he said.
Last year, BMC generated nearly Rs 11 lakh from stall licences and parking lots.The civic body will set up a temporary office at the fair venue where health and food inspectors would be deployed to examine the food quality in eateries.
The stalls are expected to have uniform colour and design. "Last time we had appealed to the vendors to do up their stalls in uniform design and colour but they did not comply with it. This time we will pursue it more seriously," the mayor said.Job fair for BPL families
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to organise a fair for the below poverty line (BPL) families under the Step Up scheme of Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) to impart vocational training to the urban poor.
Around 27 training institutes, selected by the Centre, from across the country will participate in the fair. This is the first time that BMC will promote the programme on this scale. The Step Up scheme is aimed at helping the urban poor and enhancing their skills.
“The fair is aimed at providing a platform to the urban poor to learn about the vocational training being provided under the scheme,” said Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena. Previously people had to directly enrol into different programmes under the scheme. This fair will give them options to look at before choosing which trade would suit them.
“This will be a placement oriented drive where BPL families will also be placed after the completion of their training,” said BMC Slum Improvement Officer (SIO) Binaya Kumar Das. He also pointed out that all the trades on display through the fair may not guarantee a job. BMC has set itself a target to train 4,600 BPL individuals.
On completion of the training, certificates will be issued. They will also be provided a stipend of Rs. 750/-. The duration of most of the training programmes is either one or two months.City civic body identifies 12 no-vending zones
Seven persons arrested for overcharging parking fee
Seven persons were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly overcharging the fee at a vehicle parking lot outside the ongoing Adivasi Mela venue in Unit-I area. The parking place at the busy Adivasi Exhibition Ground was recognized by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The parking lot employees were caught red-handed by the BMC mayor A N Jena during a raid. The employees were collecting Rs 10 a bike and Rs 20 for a four-wheeler against the prescribed fee of Rs 2 and Rs 10 for the two categories of vehicles.
"I had been receiving complaints about the parking lot charging exorbitant money from visitors. We cancelled the operator's tender and blacklisted him," mayor Jena said.
Bhubaneswar, now a pilot city for climate change management
The capital has been selected by the Rockefeller Foundation, a world-renowned philanthropic organisation, to undergo a planning process to face the vagaries of climate change. Apart from Bhubaneswar, two other Indian cities — Shimla and Jamnagar — have also been selected as pilot cities under this project.
The learning process, models, approaches and best practices emerging from the three pilot cities will be adopted in 10 cities across Asia in future. Issues such as water supply system, drainage networks, solid waste disposal and energy-efficient building technology, will be addressed by a climate change core team that includes officials of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and an advisory group consisting of other stakeholders, social service organisations and the urban poor.
Areas for tie-up with BMC
November 16, 2010
The Washington State India Trade Relations Action Committee (WASITRAC) delegation went to Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) where they got a first hand knowledge of urban body’s functioning and at the same time explored possible areas of collaboration. Led by Congressman Jim McDermott, the delegation met city Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena who was accompanied by MP Prasanna Patsani and legislator Ashok Panda. The team was given presentations on the on-going programmes undertaken by the BMC under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Similarly, the Vision 2030 for Bhubaneswar-Cuttack was also presented. The team then was driven to Bindu Sagar where beautification drive was put on display. The WASITRAC members went round the medicinal plant garden. The delegation felt that there was much to collaborate with BMC. Of the various areas of cooperation, solid waste management, sanitation and sewerage were some which they said held potential. Similarly, infrastructure and higher education were two other sectors with great potential for collaborative action, McDermott said. WASITRAC members who had visited KIIT and CV Raman Institute are likely to enter into agreement with the two institutions in the field of higher education, sources said.
Energy efficiency lighting at lord Lingaraj temple
Entire lighting at temple retrofitted to include efficient CFL& TFLs.
Venders within temple complex made the switch.