Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 22:
The transfer of Enforcement Officer of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has set the rumour mills working overtime in Odisha’s capital city.
BDA Enforcement Officer Deba Prasad Dash has been transferred to BMC as Deputy Commissioner (Recovery). The news of his transfer was communicated to him while he was supervising an eviction drive near Doordarshan Kendra office here on Saturday, raising many eyebrows in various circles.
Dash played a pivotal role in clearing encroachments, beautification of the city, expansion of roads and rail infrastructure in the capital city, which was getting choked with unauthorised structures spilling over to every nook and cranny of the temple city.
Since last one and half years or so, the joint team of civic officials from BDA, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and General Administration (GA) Department had achieved unprecedented success rate in eviction and demolition drives.
The administrative officer was instrumental in working out the coordination between the three departments to launch a successful flush-out campaign.
Prior to him taking over the Enforcement Officer charge, the state of affairs was quite shoddy as the illegal encroachments continued unabated. The disputing parties would furnish court stay orders by the time officials undertook demolition works.
Dash, referred to as an eviction crusader, delivered his duties fearlessly without caring much about the consequences.
Speculation is rife that Dash faced government ire for demolishing the Bajrangbali Mutt, popularly known as Patasani Mutt, which was built on government land off Khandagiri on the outskirts of the city, allegedly encroached by local BJD MP Prasanna Patasani.
Despite stiff opposition from locals, the Enforcement team of BDA demolished the mutt after high drama, burning of tyres, blocking vehicular traffic and squatting in front of the mutt’s entrance.
The saffron clad parliamentarian had said at the time that he had nothing to do with the mutt, but had added that no mutt should be demolished. “I don’t know about the demolition. But as a general rule, no mutt should be demolished since it involves people’s religious sentiments,” he had said.
Asked about his role in the mutt, the MP had said, “I have nothing to do with the mutt, except that I go there occasionally to pray. I don’t own an inch of the land on which the mutt stands nor have I applied for the allotment of the land,” he said.
While the administration got a facelift after the proactive delivery, the government decision to transfer the enforcement official has put question marks on the move.