Cuttack: The Orissa High Court (HC) Monday directed the Secretaries of Home and Urban Development departments to declare Aska, Bhanjanagar and Chhatrapur NACs in Ganjam as municipalities within three months.
A division bench of Chief Justice KS Jhaveri and Justice KR Mohapatra pronounced the order while hearing a plea of Bharatiya Bikash Parishad chairperson Surendra Panigrahy.
In his petition, Panigrahy had informed the HC that the residents of Aska, Bhanjanagar and Chhatrapur notified area councils (NACs) are yet to avail basic amenities like drinking water, education, transportation and healthcare. As per the Census-2011, the NACs have more population than that of the municipalities.
“There are 21,428 residents under Aska NAC, but it would be 37,186 if the residents of its nearby six major localities are taken into account. Likewise, Chhatrapur NAC has 22,027 residents. And the figure comes to 27,340 if the population of nearby four localities are added. According to Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, a locality having a population of 25,000 or more can be declared as a municipality,” the petitioner contented, urging the court to direct the authorities to declare the NACs as municipalities as they satisfy the prescribe norms.
Senior lawyer Basudev Barik appeared on behalf of the petitioner.