BHUBANESWAR: Employees of Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) have yet again opposed the proposed privatisation of its properties in the State and sought intervention of the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to stop the move.
As per reports, the OTDC under Tourism department has already privatised its properties at Balasore, Bhadrak, Gopalpur and Taptapani and plans to privatise the rest (Pantha Nivas, Yatri Nivas, Aranya Nivas and Panthasala) in a phased manner. These properties, of which 21 are Pantha Nivas, employ nearly 1,000 people including permanent and temporary staff.
Questioning the motive behind the privatisation at a time when the corporation made a profit of `34 crore in the year 2019-20, the employees alleged that some corrupt officers of the Tourism department in nexus with the project monitoring unit of the department are trying to privatise all OTDC properties for their vested interest.
“Prior to 2019-2020, OTDC had contributed `1 crore each in 2018-19 and 2017-18 financial years to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Under these circumstances, the reason behind privatisation of the properties is not clear”, alleged Sibananda Ray, president of Utkal Paryatan Unnayan Nigam Employees Association. He said most of the properties are located at eco-tourism spots and some cities where the private sector hospitality industry is not available.
The association members submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister recently alleging the privatisation will rob 1,000-odd workers of employment. While OTDC Chairperson Shreemayee Mishra was unavailable for comments, Deputy Director of Tourism department Rina Rath has written a letter to the Managing Director of the corporation outlining the employees concerns and seeking its redressal.