Berhampur Municipality gate.
Berhampur (Orissa): Berhampur Municipality that happens to be the oldest and first civic body in the state becomes the third Municipal Corporation after Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in the state following the Gazette Notification on Tuesday.
Ending all speculations and uncertainty over the Corporation status to the Berhampur civic body, the Urban Development Commissioner as per the Gazette Notification 641,642 / 2008 has declared the Corporation status to the state's historic civic body.
With the declaration of the Corporation status, the Berhampur civic body's area and limit expands further and as many as 23 villages under 13 Grama Panchayats located on the outskirts of the city. There were as many as 27 wards under the civic body till last elections during which the number of wards had been increased to 37.
Now onwards, the Chairman would be known as the Mayor, Vice-Chairperson as Deputy Mayor and Councilors would get the status of Cooperators like in other two corporations of the state. There would be one IAS officer as the commissioner instead of the Executive Officer. Besides that, many positions would also be created as per the requirements of the Corporation.
Mixed reactions have been observed following the declaration at a time while only before three months the election was held to the Urban Local Body. Besides, the General Election and the Assembly election are round the corner that is expected to be held during March-April.
While the common men and the leaders of the ruling parties were seen expressing satisfaction over the declaration, the political leaders and observers felt otherwise terming it as one of the political motivated moves keeping in view the upcoming elections.
Prof Prahallad Panda stated that the corporation status to Berhampur city was a due since long time. Much awaited declaration took place lately because Berhampur happens to be the oldest and first Municipality of the state.
Ten years after the establishment of Berhampur Municipality, Cuttack civic body was established. Yet, the later had already become the Corporation in 2002.
However, the declaration of the Corporation status was a welcome one and much to be done for the infrastructural development of the city in order to provide basic enmities and services to the citizens, he added.
The leaders of the opposition parties term the declaration of the Corporation status as Election Politics as the declaration came at a time when none had expected it in the present political situations.
Despite various assurances at several times by the leaders of the ruling party including Local MLA RCC Patnaik and Minister Surjya Narayan Patra, the status was denied to Berhampur city through these years. Voices were being raised at political forums demanding the corporation status.