The Orissa High Court has reprimanded various organizations, including the Cuttack Municipality Corporation (CMC), the Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO), and the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), for causing significant hardships to the residents of Cuttack due to the deplorable state of the city’s roads and drains. The court took suo moto cognizance of the suffering in 2020 and filed a public interest litigation (PIL).
During the hearing, a bench comprising Acting Chief Justice B R Sarangi and Judge M S Raman emphasized that the responsible authorities cannot arbitrarily determine project completion timelines and urged them to expedite the work. The court summoned the City Engineer of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation to explain the timeline provided. Additionally, the superintending engineer of R& B Division, Cuttack, the general manager of WATCO (sewerage), and the general manager of WATCO (drainage) were directed to attend the next hearing.
Furthermore, the general manager of the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), responsible for laying underground gas pipelines in Cuttack, was also summoned. The court’s decision followed representations from legal counsels for CMC, Odisha Water Supply & Sewerage Board (OWS & SB), and WATCO. Reports suggest that although WATCO had projected road restoration and repair works to be completed by October 20, the condition of the works indicates a potential delay beyond the set date.
City residents have been vocal about the unfinished road construction and gas line installation, which has greatly affected their lives. The court has scheduled the next hearing for tomorrow, October 13, to address these pressing issues.