BHUBANESWAR: Despite claims by the State Government that it has initiated several steps to address the issue of regional imbalance in Odisha, the report of retired Justice SK Mohanty in this regard is gathering dust for the last eight years.
The issue was raised again in the Assembly by the Opposition Congress during the budget session. However, there has been no response from the State Government on the fate of the report.
The Mohanty Commission was set up by the Government on February 20, 2004 and the panel submitted its report on August 6, 2008. But, the report is yet to be placed in the Assembly as it is under the consideration of a sub-committee for the last eight years.
Surprisingly, the sub-committee has met only four times in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2015. The Government has also not implemented the recommendations of the commissions of inquiry it set up during the last 16 years.
In a written reply to a question from Krushna Chandra Sagaria (Cong), Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik informed the Assembly that the Government set up 20 commissions of inquiry from 2000 to 2016 on which Rs 14.65 crore was spent. Of these, five commissions of inquiry are yet to submit their reports so far.
The State Government had set up a commission of inquiry on Kalinga Nagar firing in January, 2006 which submitted its report recently. The expenditure on the commission was Rs 1.81 crore.
The commission of inquiry on unauthorised collection of public deposits in the State (chit fund), on which Rs 3.25 crore has been spent so far, is yet to submit its report. Retired Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court Radha Krushna Patra headed the one-man commission of inquiry into the multi-crore chit fund scam constituted in July, 2013. After death of Justice Patra, the State Government appointed retired Justice of Orissa High Court Madan Mohan Das as the head of the commission of inquiry.
The commission of inquiry on the incident of grievous injury to a girl of Arjungada village under Pipili police limits is yet to submit its report though more than Rs 35 lakh has been spent on it. Probe panels on police firing at Rangabhati and Raighar villages in Nabarangpur district on October 30, 2001 and November 11, 2001 respectively and confrontation between police and members of Bar Association, Puri on October 16, 2001 are yet to submit their reports.