Govt relieves CDAO from duty amid reports of paralysis in district agri office

It is learnt that the collector recently wrote to the Agriculture department in this regard.
Image used for illustrative purposes only. (Express Illustrations)
Image used for illustrative purposes only. (Express Illustrations)

ROURKELA: Amid reports of administrative paralysis affecting implementation of agricultural schemes in Sundargarh, the state government on Monday relieved chief district agriculture officer (CDAO) Janaki Ballav Mohapatra from duty less than a month of him taking charge. 

Reliable sources said administrative chaos gripped the office of the CDAO after retirement of Birendra Behera on April 31 this year. Though Mohapatra, then agriculture district officer (ADO) of Nayagarh, was posted as the new Sundargarh CDAO on May 17, he reportedly did not join his new place of posting. He briefly appeared on July 19 to join duty. 

Mohapatra officially took complete charge on July 31 from in-charge CDAO and Lefripada ADO Harihar Nayak. He was reportedly unwell and kept on skipping important meetings during his stay in Sundargarh. Mohapatra was also allegedly not responding to the Sundargarh collector as work in the agriculture office suffered in the district. 

It is learnt that the collector recently wrote to the Agriculture department in this regard. Subsequently, in an order on August 24, the department asked Mohapatra to join the office of the Director of Agriculture and Food Production, Bhubaneswar. In his place, Nayak was again made the in-charge Sundargarh CDAO and head of the department with delegation of financial powers.

However, when Mohapatra did not hand over official charge to Nayak, the Directorate of Agriculture and Food Production in another order on Monday 28 relieved him of his duties in Sundargarh on ‘administrative ground’. He was also asked to immediately hand over charge to Nayak. 

Sources said Mohapatra was present at a public grievance meeting convened by Sundargarh collector Parag Harshad Gavali in Bisra block when the second order arrived on Monday. But instead of handing over charge to Nayak, he rushed to Bhubaneswar.

Refusing to comment on the chaotic turn of events, Nayak claimed that he had assumed official charge from August 25 following the government order on August 24. “My focus is on expediting implementation of agricultural schemes in the district,” he added.   

Sources said due to the chaos in the office of the CDAO, cultivation of indigenous aromatic and non-aromatic paddy besides various agricultural activities are lagging far behind the targets.

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