MALKANGIRI: Malkangiri Collector Vishal Singh has cancelled the solvency certificate for Rs 1 crore issued favour of Andhra Pradesh-based trader Ch Venu Gopal putting an end to the stone quarry tender fixing controversy leading to the transfer of his predecessor Yedulla Vijay.
The certificate was issued by Malkangiri Sub-Collector on March 17 this year basing on which the then Collector Vijay issued orders to lease out seven valuable quarries in favour of Venu Gopal, owner of VG Granite at Peta in Motu tehsil. The issue snowballed into a major controversy as allegations of manipulation of bid papers were brought up.
Singh cancelled the solvency certificate on July 13 while hearing the case in his court but the order sheet was made public on Sunday. In his order, the Collector cancelled the Rs 1 crore certificate basing on reports of the tehsildar and revenue inspector (RI) of Motu which stated that the land cost and building owned by Venu Gopal at Peta would be Rs 5 crore.
It was also found that the solvency certificate was issued solely basing on the report of Motu RI without verifying its genuineness. It was issued without having any certification on building valuation by any competent authority as mentioned in Rule 5(6) of Odisha Miscellaneous Certificate Rules, 2019, the Collector’s order stated.
Singh’s order has posed serious question marks on the manner in which the former Collector leased out the stone quarries. “The RI has reported on the valuation of machinery which doesn’t come under immovable property. Further, he stated that the plant is under construction. So the valuation made by Motu RI is questionable and in gross violation of rules. Hence, the solvency certificate issued in favour of Venu Gopal shall be treated as cancelled with immediate effect and any benefit to the party is hereby withdrawn,” the order added.
The Malkangiri Collector also cancelled two other solvency certificates issued in favour of One Binay Ray and Rudra Kumar Patra by the Sub-Collector on the recommendation of the Kalimela tehsildar. Contacted, Collector Singh confirmed the cancellation of the solvency certificate.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and former MP Pradeep Majhi said with cancellation of the solvency certificate, justice has been delivered to the people of Malkangiri. As per the law, the administration needs to demolish the building owned by Venu Gopal which stands on dangar-II, paddy-II and jungle kissam land.
“The Malkangiri Sub-Collector, Motu tehsildar and former Collector Vijay were involved in issuing solvency certificate by violating Government rules and hence, should be taken to task. Action should be also initiated against Venu Gopal who was given the lease for seven stone quarries illegally,” Majhi said.
Earlier, the Congress leader had claimed that tender boxes were shifted to the Collector’s residence by Vijay where the bid papers were manipulated to favour Venu Gopal for leasing out seven stone quarries.