BDA-Nicco Park no Joyride

Amrita Misra

STOP PRESS: Not everything seems fine with BDA-NICCO Park. While the denizens around the park allege the park of thriving under unhygienic conditions the Park authorities refute the accusation as baseless.

The area where the Nicco Park now stands, was an open space with an artificial lake running in middle. In 1997 it was taken up by the Nicco with collaboration with the BDA to develop it into an amusement park. The sewerage of the nearby areas were dumped into the lake through crude drainlines. The plots were sanctioned and planned according to that. In apprehension that a park might disrupt the sewerage flow the people of this area had protested it. During the construction of the Park the residents of the apartment sanding parallel to the Park, which would otherwise share its boundary with the Park, filed a suit against Nicco. Nicco built sewerage pipelines for the private quarters that were letting their sewerage into the lake. But allegedly did not built one for the apartment. And as such the sewerage of the apartment still flows into the lake.

The latest hearing of the court reads: Case no.2688 of 1998″While constructing the boundary wall, precaution shall be taken so that sewerage system of the area is not destroyed. Proper care shall also taken so that there will be no accumulation of water.”

“The boundary remains unfinished. The sewerage water of our building is flowing into the lake. This is the most dirtiest and polluted lakes in the country. And the BDA is apathetic to the serious danger this Park poses for the people who live here and those who visit the Park,” says Mr. Chudamani, .the ex-secretary of Prava Apartment. “The sewerage water and rain water is being blocked by the Park. This has started infecting the ground water and as a result the wells and tube-wells of this area. A single treatment test can tear of the beauty mask of the Nicco Park. The people are aware of the facts but sadly are not protesting vehemently against the inhuman practice,” laments Mr Chudamani.

But the Park authority have another story to tell. “We have taken all necessary steps to make the lake water safe. We have taken half the area and developed it as yet. Halfway through from where our Park starts we have installed a treatment plant with guide-dam which filters the water. We have installed aerated system and the paddle-boats, a speed boat and aqua-cycles also help in aeration of the lake. With collaboration with the SIFA we have about 1 lakh fishes released into the lake. We have ducks to maintain the weeds. And regular lime-dosing and bleaching of the lake keeps the water body hygienic.,” says Mr Binod Dhar, chief of Nicco Park. ” The Indo-Canadian Environment Association has taken up five lakes of Bhubaneswar for treatment purpose and Nicco lake is one of them,” added Mr. Dhar.

When asked about the legal hassle with the apartment over the sewerage dumping he said,” yes, we had a case with the apartment over the boundary wall construction. They have encroached upon the BDA area where our boundry is supposed to be built. But the case got over in 1998. They must be having their sewerge line on the otherside.” {AM}

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