Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 12:
With an intention to sweep the report of the special task force on discretionary quota (DQ) allotment under the carpet, the Odisha government is doing all it can to send everyone on a wild goose chase on the issue.
While the chief minister has reserved his opinion on the matter, the Urban Development minister and the secretary have issued contradictory statements on this issue.
While the chief minister had earlier said that the state government, prior to cancellation of DQ, would issue show cause notices to all allottees and hear their plea, the UD minister, on the contrary, has said the notice would be served to the allottees for cancellation of DQ.
Going by these conflicting statements, which sources say are part of a carefully drawn up strategy to keep everyone guessing, it seems that the state government is determined to find ways to scuttle the task force report rather than act on its recommendations.
Besides, it is not yet known what steps the state government would take against those who, apart from availing DQ from the GA department, have also availed the same from the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) and Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB).
There has been no statement either from the chief minister or any senior official including the chief secretary, in this regard.
The task force, in its report, had clearly stated that the GA department, which is the ultimate authority in the allotment of land in Bhubaneswar, had allotted land as per its wishes under Section 3 of Government Grants Act 1895, without bothering to set any guidelines for such allocation.
According to the report, the GA department had floated a scheme in 1989 to allot flats under Ghatikia, Aiginia, Sampur and around 3000 plots in Bharatpur on the outskirts of the city.
However, only a meagre 2783 applications were received as advertisements were purportedly suppressed to favour a few.
The scheme was designed in such a way that multiple allotments could be done by the department in the absence of sufficient applicants. Despite this, the state government did not initiate any action, the panel report highlighted.
Apart from the task force report, the CAG had also come up with similar report on DQ allotment made by the GA department.
In its report, the CAG had stated that the GA department has allotted 464 acres of land to several persons and organisations between 2000 and 2012 without any guidelines.