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Odisha civil society groups demand CBI probe into land allotment


Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 15:

As many as 28 civil society groups (CSGs) in Odisha today demanded CBI inquiry into the land and mining scams in the state and said if that did not happen,  they would be constrained to launch a state-wide stir.

They also referred to a land scam involving the IDCO in Rourkela and demanded a probe into it as well.

Addressing mediapersons here today on behalf of CSGs, well known RTI activist Pradip Pradhan said though they had given a one-month’s ultimatum to Odisha’s chief minister Naveeen Patnaik through a memorandum to order a CBI probe into the land allotment scam exposed by the CAG and into the other irregularities in respect of allotment of government land, houses and plots to ministers, MLAs, bureaucrats and other influential persons, the state government is protecting the deafulters and offenders in every possible way.

“ A total of 28 social organizations have already joined hands to broad-base the campaign and to fight unitedly against the scamsters and their protectors in the state by organizing demonstrations, awareness campaigns, leaflet distribution, signature campaign at block and district level. Besides, a state level convention will be held in the city on October 11 to apprise people of the issues at stake,” he said.

Stating that the general administration (GA) department and agencies like IDCO, BDA and CDA had generously allotted land and houses to a large number of undeserving people under the discretionary quota during the period 2000-2012, Pradhan, who is also the convenor of Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhiyan (OSAA)  said, “The CAG report has exposed details the instances of corruption, irregularities, undue favour, violation of law and arbitrariness in allotting government land to the individuals, private educational institutions, hospitals and hotels among others.”

The callousness and inefficiency of the administration had resulted in revenue loss to the state exchequer amounting to thousands of crores of rupees. With undeniable proof and evidences, the report has also brought to the limelight how a dubious nexus among politicians, bureaucrats and business class has been systematically working to loot and plunder the public wealth of Odisha, he said.

Pradhan also revealed a land scam involving IDCO in Rourkela in the allotment of an industrial plot measuring 0.145 decimal of revenue village land in favour of M/s Sai Sansar Associates, Based on details procured through RTI Act , he said, this has caused a revenue loss of crores of rupees to the state’s exchequer.