The Odiisha government has decided to accord Corporation status to Sambalpur, making it the fourth Municipal Corporation in Odisha after Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur. The decision was taken “in principle” in a high-level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Currently, Sambalpur holds the Municipality status.
It can be noted that Cuttack and Bhubaneswar were converted to Corporations in 1994, while Berhampur was added to the list in 2008. Under the Orissa Municipal Act, 1950, a minimum population of three lakh is required to upgrade any civic body to Corporation. Since Sambalpur town has a population of 1.87 lakh, the government has decided to add Burla and Hirakud NACs and 12 gram panchayats in the new Corporation.
The total population of Burla and Hirakud NACs stand at 78,000. With the inclusion of 12 panchayats (7 from Dhankauda and 5 from Maneswar) will take the population of Sambalpur Municipal Corporation to 3,35,761. The process will begin from October 1, 2013. Due to the poll boycott in Western Odisha, elections to 25 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in 9 districts could not be held along with 66 ULBs in the state on September 19. The ULB polls in those districts along with Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, could be held in December.