CUTTACK: The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) has landed in a soup after the Orissa High Court-appointed amicus curiae recently filed a petition seeking a probe into the temporary licences granted to Kalyan Mandaps in the city by the civic body in gross violation of guideline as well as the court order.
As per reports, while hearing of a PIL filed on the basis of a letter petition by E Venkat Rao in August 2015, seeking intervention against the absence of parking spaces at most Kalyan Mandaps, the High Court had appointed advocate Arun Kumar Budhia as amicus curiae to assist in the case. Beside causing congestion on roads, the Kalayan Mandaps used to dump waste on the roadside during social functions as those did not have solid waste disposal system, the PIL had alleged.
The court had directed the civic body to come up with guidelines to regulate the Kalayan Mandaps while making a licence from the municipal corporation mandatory for operating the Mandaps. As per the court’s direction, the CMC came out with a new policy approved by the High Court in August 2016 and constituted a sub-committee taking the amicus curiae as a member to inspect the mandaps before granting licences.
Stating that without consulting the sub-committee with regard to the inspection conducted by it, the civic body sent its own officials to inspect the Mandaps and granted conditional licence in direct violation of the court’s order, the amicus curiae has urged the court to call for the records of the Kalyan Mandaps from CMC which were given conditional licence. Alleging that many Mandaps, which were issued conditional licences, did not satisfy the guidelines fixed by the court, particularly with regard to parking area, dumping of waste materials, installation of CCTV. Besides, in case of violation, no fines were collected by CMC which goes to prove the connivance of the CMC officials with mandap owners for grant of licence, thereby showing total disregard to the order of the court.
The petition filed on September 3 has prayed the court to appoint independent agency like the State Crime Branch or State Vigilance to investigate into the matter and submit report to the court for further action.