Odisha land scam: Task force member denies charges against him

Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, Aug 11:

With demand for the restructuring of the task force formed to probe the misuse of the provision for discretionary allotment of houses and plots gaining ground amid allegations that its members are involved in the scam, Housing and Urban Development secretary Deoranjan Kumar Singh today made it he is neither a beneficiary of the discretionary quota nor had he allotted houses or plots to anyone under such quota.

Picture Courtesy: telegraphindia.com
Picture Courtesy: telegraphindia.com

Singh was vice-chairman of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), which has allocated plots and houses to several persons including bureaucrats and politicians at different times.

“During my tenure as BDA vice-chairman, there was just one project named Pokhariput Duplex Housing project where three houses were allocated under the discretionary quota. However, all three houses were allocated by the then chairman. Out of the three, one had already been returned a house to BDA,” Singh told media persons here.

He also denied recommending anyone to avail houses or plots under the quota.

Singh clarified that he was only holding additional charge as the H & UD department secretary, who is a member in the committee. “Let me clarify that the H & UD secretary is a member of the task force. It has not named anyone. I am only temporarily in charge of the department and once the secretary joins, he will take care of the matter. So, I am not bothering about the task force,” said Singh, who is the Panchayati Raj secretary.

The committee is to be headed by additional chief secretary (Revenue) Taradatt while H & UD secretary and special secretary, General Administration are members of the committee.

H & UD secretary G Mathivathan, who is in America, will join the department on August 14, said sources.

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