By Smithaa Patnaik
If we minutely observe the inner side of the Smart City Bhubaneswar, it is easy to find the dark underbelly of the city which is claimed to be a ‘Smart ‘.
An ordinary citizen fails to understand as what are the qualities that make a city look smart and make the citizens feel elated to stay in a place of some worth.
The short comings, which come on the way of such a claim, can’t be counted in fingers. Roads, lanes and by-lanes wear an all pervasive unclean look. Some are there left unnoticed by the authorities and there are more which are products of an old-habits-die-hard syndrome.
Except certain patches in the capital city, Bhubaneswar, a drive through any artery of the city reveal clutter on both sides. Be it the left-over garbage of the day before or the fresh loads ebbing out of the road-side vendors’ backyards, one can’t in anyway escape the stench emanating from all around.
With the city loaded with a bursting population, the need for commercial activities also grow, which flourishes further, legally or illegally. Even what is more surprising that people in general usually are not strictly averse to such surrounding.
Take a walk into the areas, for example, Unit-1 market and see for yourself how pitiable is the situation. Good that the markets there offer anything one looks for but it also offers filth and it is boundless.
Just take a U-turn on the left while coming from Lewis Road side at a bend leading towards Maushima Temple on wards, almost jostling with the BMC office, a 30 by 10 metre patch can be seen full with the obnoxious smell coming out of urination by commuters and anytime someone can be noticed doing it there.
The scene inside the railway station also deserves scrutiny. Perhaps, adjudged one of India’s finest railway stations, Bhubaneswar Railway Station hides more than eyes can see. Platform number one is an example where freight activities are so unregulated.
Dirt on the rail tracks are omnipresent. Even the cleaning agencies face tough time to maintain. We have fellow passengers those who have no patience to look for the right place to urinate, so they dot it anywhere and even in the gaps of two bogies of a stationary train!
Traffic problems are unending made more difficult by unruly bikers and auto-rickshaws. Let alone the traffic jams at points like Chandrasekharpur, Master Canteen Square and to top it all the famous Khandagiri Square, where the devils dare not tread.
Now, the mushrooming growth of shopping malls anywhere have given way to a proliferating traffic problem as they are never asked to create their designated parking places.
(Smithaa Patnaik is an educationist and nature lover)