BHUBANESWAR: Even as he presides over the Government action on Ghangapatna land grabbing by his colleagues, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Bijayshree Routray has landed himself in a controversy over misutilisation of land taken for setting up a hospital.
While his wife Jyoti Routray had been allotted a piece of land (Plot No.A/117) in Kharvelnagar for setting up a hospital, inquiries by the Health department have revealed that it has been converted into a residence.
Caught in a catch-22 situation, Routray on Tuesday tried to brazen it out justifying the move. The land was allotted in 1986 and a nursing home was being run there, he said. However, as the nursing home did not function properly, it had been closed for the last six years, the Minister explained.
“As I have no residence in the city, I have been residing there. I have done nothing illegal,” he said, adding that he has no other government plot in the city.
The Minister’s wife is among the 13 beneficiaries who have availed government plots in and around the city for running hospitals. The beneficiaries have availed the government land on subsidised rates between 1982 and 2006 to establish healthcare facilities.
The misutilisation of government land came to light when the State Government tried to implement the Supreme Court order making free treatment mandatory for below poverty line (BPL) patients at the rate of 25 per cent in outpatient departments and 10 per cent in indoors.
In a recent notification, the Health department asked for details of the number of patients treated (both outdoor and indoor), including BPL category patients and cost incurred by the hospitals on BPL patients, as per the apex court guidelines, from 44 such hospitals.
According to the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET), only 21 hospitals have responded so far. After scrutiny of records of those who did not respond, it was found that hospitals of 13 allottees did not exist.