Odisha minister suggests rejig of task force on allotment of land, houses

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 9:

Reacting to allegations that some members of the task force constituted by the Odisha government to probe the allotment of land and houses under the discretionary quota are themselves beneficiaries of such largesse, senior BJD leader and Excise minister Damodar Rout has proposed to the state government restructuring of the task force with members against whom there are no such allegations.

Dr Damodar Rout
Dr Damodar Rout

“How can the members of the task force, who have illegally availed houses or land under the quota, probe the alleged irregularities by other persons involved in the case? The truth cannot be unraveled unless the task force has members having clean track records,” Rout told the media last night.

Though the task force chairman Tara Dutt is an honest and able officer, there have been allegations against other members. If this is the state of affairs, there cannot be any coordination among the task force members and the investigation would not be proper, he maintained.

“The state government should come up with a clarification that all the members of task force are honest and investigation in the allotment of land and plot by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB) and the General Administration (GA) department under discretionary quota has been impartial,” Rout said.

He also said that an inquiry has to be conducted against the allegation that the OSHB, after purchasing land from the GA department at a throwaway price, had allotted it to the builders on the pretext of joint enterprise in the last 15 years.

“This apart, efforts must be made to find out the number allotment of houses by the OSHB chairperson under the discretionary quota and who were the beneficiaries of such allotment,” Rout said.

Meanwhile, the BDA has submitted its report on allotment of plots and houses under discretionary quota to the Urban Development department, reports said.

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