Odisha Government announced the merger of 26 villages with Berhampur municipal body at the time of formation of the Municipal Corporation in 2008.
Almost 8 years have passed and there is no movement on this promise to form Greater Berhampur that will add a population of 2.5 lakh to the city’s existing population making it the second biggest city in Odisha by 2021.
It is unfortunate that this vast population who live in the city periphery still belong to the adjoining Panchyats as the municipal boundaries of Berhampur have not been redrawn in the last 3 decades. Adding salt to the injury, the government is preparing to hold panchayat elections in these villages Jan-Feb 2017 blocking their merger with Berhampur before the 2021 census.
While there is growing demand for the merger of Chatrapur, Gopalpur and Hinjilicut along with 139 villages under BDA to form Greater Berhampur Municipal Corporation (GBMC) the Govt seems least bothered to ensure planned growth of the city.
As an immediate measure, Panchayat elections proposed for Jan-Feb 2017 must be stopped in these Panchayats and the road for their early merger with Berhampur Municipal Corporation must be initiated.