Odisha Cong demands judicial probe into discretionary quota scam

Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, Aug 12:

Soon after the Odisha government announced that the Task Force would start its probe from 1995 to unearth the misuse of discretionary quota (DQ) in allotment of houses and land in the Twin City, the state Congress today lambasted the government for trying to conceal its misdeeds and demanded a judiciary inquiry to probe the entire scam.

Jaydev Jena
Jaydev Jena

“The state government is trying to conceal all the misdeeds through the task force. The chief minister should go for a judiciary probe by a sitting judge and the probe should start from the beginning, including the period of Biju Patnaik, not from 1995,” said PCC president Jaydev Jena.

He also said that the government has no intention to probe the matter. “The task force was constituted only after media furore. Otherwise, it has no intention to find out the beneficiaries, who have availed more than one plots or houses,” said Jena.

As per the Terms of Reference announced by the government, the Task Force would probe all allotments under the discretionary quota from 1 Jan 1995 to 31 July this year. It will probe all allotment of land, flats and houses in the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack urban areas under the discretionary quota and allotment of more than one unit of land/plot/flat to members of the same family.

However, while the discretionary quota system had started in 1984, the government has decided to probe only from 1995 excluding the period of Biju Patnaik’s term.

The Odisha High Court had ordered the Odisha government in April 2002 to frame a uniform land allotment policy, but the government sat over it till 2010. The High Court had directed the state government to prepare a master plan for allotment of land in Bhubaneswar under the discretionary quota. But no concrete action has been taken on the order so far.

Though a committee chaired by the chief minister was formed in 2010 on such a master plan as directed by the high court, there has been no progress.

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