BALASORE: In 2005, residents of Odia Shasan in the district saw light at the end of the tunnel with poles being erected for electrification of the village. But there has been little headway in the project since then.
Forget about watching television or sleeping under the fan, the 70 families of this village still depend on traditional means to light up their houses during night.
The villagers led by former Minister Bhupal Chandra Mohapatra had taken up the issue with the authorities of North-Eastern Electricity Supply Company (NESCO) on several occasions, but to no avail. The authorities were themselves at wit’s end as to how to complete the project.
Reports said the contractor entrusted with the job left mid-way. He had reportedly lifted electrical material worth ` 25 lakh from the Nesco’s store for the project.
Executive engineer of Central Electrical Division (CED) Sunil Kumar Pradhan said the work-order was issued in the name of P K Bhadra. But he instead handed it over to a sub-contractor, who happens to be the son of an employees’ union leader.
“He is not even coming for discussions. I have informed our Vigilance wing about the incident,” he said.
Pradhan said had the equipment not been issued, he would have
assigned the job to another contractor and electrified the village. “The work can be taken up only after recovery of the material,” he added.
Meanwhile, general secretary of Nesco Shakti Karmachari Sangha (NSKS) Niranjan Padhiary has demanded a Vigilance inquiry into
the alleged misappropriation of funds.