BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday asked Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan to restore the land adjoining Odisha Bhawan at New Delhi, originally allotted to Government of Odisha but subsequently leased out for a petrol pump for its expansion.
“In fact, for Odisha Bhawan, we have half of the physical area as compared to the adjoining State Bhawans since half of the originally allotted land in favour of Government of Odisha was subsequently leased out for a petrol pump," the Chief Minister said in a letter to the Union Minister.
“There seems to be no justification for leasing out land for the petrol pump as there are two petrol pumps adjoining each other,” Naveen said and added that the land should be restored to Odisha Government for expansion of Odisha Bhawan.“You may be aware that we have very limited space alloted to us for State Bhawans in Delhi, including Odisha Bhawan and Odisha Niwas,” Naveen said.
Naveen’s letter to Pradhan was in response to the July 18 letter written by the latter requesting his intervention for opening of Odisha Niwas canteen for general public.
The Chief Minister said, Odisha Government has requested the Union Urban Development Ministry in 2006 to allot 2000 to 3000 square metres of land for setting up an Integrated Culture Centre to effectively showcase the State's rich culture, heritage and cuisine.
After being informed by Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram in his letter on January 27, 2015 that the Urban Development Minister was inclined to consider the allotment of land if there was a proposal from the State Government, Naveen said he had written a letter on November 5, 2015 to the then Urban Development Minister for allotment of suitable land. The land would have been used for construction of an Integrated Odia Culture and Education Centre at New Delhi, he said.
Naveen said, though a few other states including Gujarat and Jharkhand have been allotted large chunks of land in central Delhi by the Ministry of Urban Development, there has been no response to Odisha Government's request. “I take this opportunity to prevail upon the Ministry of Urban Development to allot a suitable piece of land to Government of Odisha to enable us to have an Integrated Cultural Centre in New Delhi,” the Chief Minister stated in his letter.