PHULBANI: Owners of the private vehicles, used in the panchayat polls, are yet to be paid their dues.
As per official reports, as many as 319 four-wheelers were hired by the administration. Separate hire charges were fixed by the government.
Election was held for 18 Zilla Parishad zones, 153 panchayats and 2,083 wards in the district which concluded on February 17.
While the vehicle owners alleged that they had not been paid charges, District Panchayat Officer Kalindi Charan Nayak said the funds allotted for vehicle charges had been exhausted and new payments can only be made after fresh allotment.
“An amount of ` 31 lakh was received for payment of vehicle charges. While charges of some of the vehicles have been cleared, dues of others are pending. A request with the exact amount required has been sent to the State Election Commission in this regard,” he said. This apart, dues of ` 5 lakh are also pending towards use of 33 vehicles of the Police Department in the election.
Phulbani Private Bus Owners Association secretary Akshya Kumar Patnaik said in the past election dues were cleared instantly through the block offices on the day of the disengagement of vehicles. “But this time due to administrative problems, we are yet to get our dues,” he said.
The vehicle owners have threatened to go on strike on March 13 if their demand is not addressed before that.