1 officer, 3 posts: Aparajita flags ‘serious impropriety’
The Bhubaneswar MP, however, avoided commenting on Puri’s BJP MLA Jayanta Sarangi, who has been facing criticism within the party, for his alleged support to the project.
BHUBANESWAR: Amid raging controversy over Srimandir Parikrama project, BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi on Monday launched a scathing attack on the State government alleging there is ‘serious conflict of interest and financial impropriety’ in the implementation of the project.
She alleged that assigning one IAS officer three positions directly associated with the multi-crore heritage corridor project around the Shri Jagannath Temple cannot be a coincidence.
The BJP national spokesperson told here that the present Secretary of the Works Department and Chairman of Odisha Bridge Construction Corporation (OBCC), the State PSU which is executing the Srimandir Parikrama Project, is also the Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).
“Is this a mere coincidence or it is a design? As SJTA administrator, he (the IAS officer) is awarding work to OBCC, passes bills and making payments. As OBCC Chairman, he has been entrusted to execute work and receive payments. This cannot be a coincidence,” she said and also wanted to know how the person floating tender and releasing funds for the project could be the same who was awarded the project contract.
“This is a conflict of interest and violates all norms of financial prudence and the requirements of checks and balances,” she said and demanded an answer from the State government in this regard.Sarangi also said this a well-planned conspiracy and burning example of financial irregularities in the State which people of Odisha will never support. “Had this not been a planned conspiracy, the breach of rules and laws wouldn’t have been possible,” she said.
To back her claims, Sarangi came up with a copy of the Supreme Court order dated November 4, 2019 where the apex court had directed the State government to depute a full-time Chief Administrator ‘not by way of additional charge forthwith’ four years back.“On what basis the Odisha government disobeyed the order of the apex court and what was the vested interest behind it?” Sarangi asked. The Bhubaneswar MP, however, avoided commenting on Puri’s BJP MLA Jayanta Sarangi, who has been facing criticism within the party, for his alleged support to the project.