Mafia operate from inside Odisha jails, Home dept alerted

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 3:

The Rural Development department has submitted a list of gangsters, who are monitoring tender fixing inside the jails in Odisha, to the Home department.

Jail prisonIn its detailed report to the Home department, the department has said some dreaded gangsters, presently lodged in Choudwar Circle Jail and Jharpada Special Jail, are monitoring the tender works and demanding hefty extortion money from the contractors through their associates. As a result, most of the project works amounting of thousands of crores have remained incomplete as the contractors are not willing to take up the works.

It is known as to how these gangsters are able to operate despite installation of mobile jammers and CCTV inside these jails.

According to a senior official of the Rural Development department, the department awards project works of about Rs 6000 crore through e-tender every year. At present, works are on in 60 divisions.

“But the contractors, of late, are unwilling to take up the work as they have been threatened by the henchmen of these gangsters demanding hefty share from them. While in some cases the contractors have been threatened with life, in other cases, the goons have set their construction equipment on fire,” he said.

As per the report, such incidents are common in six divisions in the undivided Cuttack district. Apart from Cuttack, contractors in Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi districts are also being threatened by the goons.

In a high-level review meeting presided over by chief secretary GC Pati here recently, the Rural Development department had criticised the failure of the state police for security lapses inside the jail as the gangsters are able to contact their associates with mobile phones.

It was decided that the chief secretary would review the status of the project works every month.

In the meanwhile, the Rural Development department, in a letter to all executive and superintending engineers, has asked them to lodge complaints against anti-social, demanding extortion money from any official or contractor, with the police and inform the department without delay. Besides, it has sought help from the people to inform about such cases to the department through its mail id with an assurance that it would keep their name secret.

The contractors have been asked to inform the department officials immediately if they receive such threats.

Besides, the department has also asked the executive and superintending engineers to install CCTV cameras at their offices.

The department has also decided to ask the contractors to deposit their earnest money deposit (EMD) in the department’s account instead of calling them to office to deposit the amount in cash.

The department has also asked the persons, who have been awarded the tender, to sign the contract in the office of the executive or superintending engineers instead of coming to the concerned division in person.

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