14 ‘Plotted’ to Acquire Multiple Plots Illegally

A cornered BDA for the first time was forced to make public 14 violators who had acquired more than two properties within its ambit under false affidavits. BJD MP Kalpataru Das’s MLA son Pranab Balabantaray returns another house

Published: 02nd August 2014 08:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2014 08:33 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR:  Even as skeletons come tumbling out of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) cupboard over protecting people owning more than one plot/house under it, BJD MLA Pranab Balabantaray surrendered yet another house he had acquired from the Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB).

This is the second house that Balabantaray, son of the powerful BJD Rajya Sabha member Kalpataru Das, surrendered following an outcry over his managing to acquire several houses from the BDA and the OSHB.

A cornered BDA for the first time on Friday was forced to make public 14 violators who had acquired more than two properties within its ambit under false affidavits.

The BDA, however, did not furnish the names of those 14 who possessed two properties and the violators include some IAS and IPS officers too. But its Vice-Chairman Krishan Kumar informed that the Authority has cancelled two plots belonging to a scribe and a former MLA.

“We are waiting for the reply of the rest 12 to our show-cause notices and will take suitable action after getting their response”, Kumar told this paper. The settlement with regard to the cancelled property will be decided at the next Authority meeting, he added.

Naveen Patnaik Government came under severe criticism following attacks from within the BJD and the Opposition for not initiating action against those who violated allotment norms insofar as acquiring multiple plots/houses even as BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra demanded a CBI probe into the land allotment process after April 2002.

The BJD leaders were prompt to rebuff the charge saying that no irregularity has been committed in land allotment under Naveen regime.

School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Misra told a hurriedly convened Press conference that it was Naveen, on the other hand, who scrapped any allotment of land or house under discretionary quota of the Chairmen of the BDA and the OSHB.

Mohapatra said the Comptroller and Auditor General has in several reports indicted the Government over fostering illegalities by not adopting a transparent policy on allotment of Government land.

Besides, the Orissa High Court had directed the Government in 2002 to formulate a policy on allotment of land in a transparent manner.

The Government sat over the matter until 2010. Though a committee was set up the same year under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, nothing has been done so far.

Alleging that land mafia has virtually taken over the administration, Mohapatra said the Third Floor (CM’s Office) has become their (land mafia) corporate office. The Chief Minister must explain to the people the steps taken by his Government on the directive of the Orissa High Court and the irregularities pointed out by the CAG on distribution of land for various purposes, he said.

What is intriguing is that the Chief Minister is keeping silent despite the fact that the CAG has pointed out the irregularities committed in allotment of government land to former minister Kalpataru Das, he remarked.

The Plot Thickens

The BDA did not furnish the names of those 14 who possessed two properties and the violators include some IAS and IPS officers too.

Naveen Govt came under severe criticism following attacks from within the BJD and the Opposition for not initiating action against those who violated allotment norms.

The BJD leaders were prompt to rebuff the charge saying that no irregularity has been committed in land allotment under Naveen regime.

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