Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 21:
Even as two prominent Odisha politicians belonging to the ruling BJD are being hauled over the coals for land grabbing in Ghangapatna mouza on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, what has so far gone unreported is that top bureaucrats and other influential people also have their hands in the till.
As per fresh revelations, senior IAS officer and additional chief secretary to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Aditya Prasad Padhi has acquired a piece of land measuring half an acre in Ghangapatna in his wife’s name.
As per the property statement filed by Padhi for the year 2013, his wife Namita Padhi acquired the said plot of land for Rs 4.2 lakh, ‘including some development cost’, in 2007.
The land used pattern, it may be noted, was changed to ‘gharabari’ before Mrs. Padhi acquired the land
The property statement filed by Padhi said the state government had taken note of the proposed change vide GA department Letter No AIS-VII 44/2007, 13324, AIS, Bhubaneswar dated 15.05. 2007.
The Gokarneswara Charitable Trust controlled by senior BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member Kalpataru Das and his family, which is in the eye of a storm for a spate of acquisitions in and around the capital city, has also acquired land measuring 0.5 acre in the same area.
Asked about the acquisition, Pranab Kumar Balabantaray, the son of Das and the authorised representative of the Trust, today left the matter in the hands of the government.
“I have nothing to say about the matter. Let the government take a call on it,” was his evasive answer to questions from the media.
The founder of a large educational institution was among the other beneficiaries, having acquired a piece of land measuring 0.9 acres in the same area.