Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 18:
In a decision that is bound to have far reaching consequences, the Odisha government today decided to cancel all allotment of houses and plots made under the discretionary quota (DQ) since January 1, 1995.
A decision to this effect was taken by the State Cabinet at a meeting presided over by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, chief secretary GC Pati said that the allotment of plots made by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) and the Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB) under the scheme during the period would be cancelled.
He said the meeting also decided to conduct vigilance inquiry into the allotment of all multiple plots and flats made under scheme.
“Those who have taken possession of the more than one plot and flat under DQ scheme through false affidavits, would come under vigilance inquiry,” the chief secretary said.
Giving details of the decision taken in this regard, Housing and Urban Development minister Pushpendra Singhdeo said a total of 1791 allotments had been made under the discretionary quota since January 1, 1995.
Out of this, 803 had been allotted by Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), 921 by Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) and 67 by Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB), he said. The 1791 allotments include 54 cases where multiple allotments had been made in favour of people, he added.
The decison was taken on the basis of the recommendations of the three-member Task Force headed by additional chief secretary, Revenue Dr Tara Dutt, Law minister Arun Sahu said
He also informed that a special audit would be instituted on the allotment of plots and houses made by the General Administration before 1995.
Of the total of 6001 allotments made, 3776 belong to the third party transfer. There is need to a fresh a look on these caseas some of these tranfers could be above board, the minister said.
Sahu hailed the Task Force saying, “The Task Force has done a commendable job within a very short period of time.
While generally welcoming the decision, the Opposition has expressed no confidence in the vigilance inquiry proposed by the government to look into cases of fraudulent allotments.
“Vigilance inquiry is not acceptable at all. If the government wants to come clean, it must order an inquiry by an independent agency,” senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra said.
Leader of Opposition Narasungha Mishra said the government must walk the talk and take the amtter to its logical conclusion.
“Mere cancellation of allotments is not enough. The government must institute criminal cases against those found guilty,” he said.
Newly appointed Pradesh Congress Committe (PCC) chief Prasad Harichandan said the government had ttaken the action fearing a stricture by the High Court, which is seized of the matter. “The government had no other way out,” he said.
BJD spokesperson Samir Dash, however, defended the government move, saying; “The opposition is criticising the decision only for the sake of opposition when it should be hailing it. Today’s decision has porved once again that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik brooks no violation of rules,” he said.