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Odisha land scam: Jittery BDA asks staff to submit asset list by Aug 31

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 9:
In a move that gives a clear indication of the unease of the Odisha government over the unsavoury revelations about land and house grabbing by the rich and the powerful under the ubiquitous ‘discretionary quota’, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA)on Friday took the unpredented step of asking all its employees to submit their property list by August 31.
BDAThe latest revelation in the still unravelling saga of discretionary allotments had shown how BDA officials, along with the staff and relatives of a former Urban Development minister, had usurped prime land in the capital city at throwaway prices in 2000.

“BDA employees are governed by the conduct rules framed for government servants. So, they have been asked to submit their property lists by August 31. This would reveal if any of our employees holds assets disproportionate to his income,” said Ranjan Das, secretary BDA, while speaking to the media on Friday.

Sources said the task force constituted to probe the land/house allotment scam under the discretionary quota has sought all related documents from the concerned departments in the matter.
The Housing and Urban Development department has also sought all documents from the BDA with regard to allotment of plots/houses since 1985, the sources said.
Though the terms of reference (ToR) is yet to be fixed for the task force constituted under the orders of the chief minister to probe the allotments made under the discretionary quota, informed sources said the chairman of the task force had been asked at a later stage to probe all such allotments made by the BDA and CDA since their constitution.
Till date the BDA has cancelled allotment of nine plots made under the discretionary quota out of the 12 persons it had served show cause notices on. The other three cases are being probed.
The BDA vice chairman Dr Krishan Kumar had said on Wednesday that the Agency will be proceeding in the other complaints over the misuse of discretionary quota after completing its probe in the cases it has taken up in the first phase.
Sources said BDA had received from the CAG a specific list of 29 individuals who had availed multiple plots under the discretionary quota. This apart, there are reportedly nine cases of filing false affidavits.

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