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Malkangiri tribal development agency in Odisha left red-faced after contractor list revealed political bias

The Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) of Malkangiri found itself at the centre of a controversy after a purported list of development works hit the social media.

Published: 01st August 2021 09:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st August 2021 09:52 AM   |  A+A-

Naveen Patnaik, BJD chief, Odisha CM

Biju Janata Dal BJD President and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

MALKANGIRI:  The Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) of Malkangiri found itself at the centre of a controversy after a purported list of development works hit the social media. The problem - the list showed works were issued to contractors on political party lines and recommendations allegedly came in from party bosses of the region.

The works, all below Rs 5 lakh which does not require a tender to be invited, were shown to be awarded to people loyal to the ruling Biju Janata Dal as well as Opposition Congress. The allegation also was that elected leaders of the district had recommended who the works would go to.

The 15-page document listed out works worth about Rs 5.5 crore and names of those who are alleged to have endorsed the work distribution that included names from the ruling party and also from Congress. Interestingly, a block chairman was even shown to have recommended a work in his favour.  As per the list, a ruling party leader was shown to have recommended at least 85 works, followed by about 39 works endorsed by Congress and 27 works by another BJD leader.

One contractor’s name cropped up 30 times under the endorsement of a BJD leader who was shown recommending two works worth Rs 9 lakh in favour of son-in-law and headmaster of an SC & ST Development Department managed ashram school for repair, maintenance of hostel and construction of boundary wall.  Contacted, the BJD leader said he has not recommended works under ITDA for anyone. “I don’t know who was awarded the works. I am not involved in it,” he said. 

Collector Vishal Singh said there will be an enquiry into it and a probe against ITDA project administrator and assistant engineer. “I will ask the ITDA authority to float tender for works,” Singh added.  Meanwhile, locals and intelligentsia have urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to order a high level probe into the incident and take the guilty to task.



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