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CAG cracks urban whip on govt

Bhubaneswar, June 23: The comprehensive development plans to regulate urban growth in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack has failed to receive due attention from the state government, the annual report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has stated.

The report was tabled in the Assembly today.

The report states that in the case of Cuttack, the government is yet to form a monitoring committee to oversee the implementation of the plan. Though Bhubaneswar has a monitoring committee headed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik, it has not met even once since 2011.

The twin cities have a population of around 18 lakhs and there are virtually no committees to monitor the growth of two cities. In the comprehensive development plan of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and the Cuttack Development Authority (CDA), 14 and 11 planning zones were envisaged for the two cities, respectively.

The BDA entrusted preparation of zonal development plan to IIT, Kharagpur, in 2010. However, IIT Kharagpur submitted plans for only four zones of the state capital before the expiry of its deadline in 2012 and completed survey work for another three. In case of Cuttack, nothing concrete happened. “Reasons for the delay were neither furnished nor available on record,” the CAG report states.

It pointed out that the government had not taken up any housing project for the economically weaker sections in the twin cities between 2002 and 2012. Though 10 housing projects were developed by the BDA and the CDA during this period, no plots and houses were earmarked for the economically weaker sections.

The report was critical of the officials of the two development agencies. They played the game of favourites in allotment of plots and houses in the twin cities.

“In the five housing schemes — Anant Vihar (Phase II), HIG Duplex, Lumbini Vihar, Netaji Subhas Enclave, Prachi Enclave and Udayagiri Housing scheme — in Bhubaneswar, the provision of one person being eligible to apply for one housing unit in a scheme was flouted,” the report said.

The audit noticed that 29 persons were allotted more than one houses by the BDA. In case of the CDA, eight persons were allotted plots despite their spouses being allotted assets under the same scheme. This was a violation of rules. The accountant-general has promised to reveal the names of the beneficiaries later. The CAG pointed out other irregularities such as delay in approval of building plans and granting of approval to buildings without parking space. It has questioned a joint venture project of the Odisha State Housing Board and a private builder on the ground that it was done without regular building plan.

There have been violations even in case of buildings constructed by the government agencies. There are 15 government buildings, including structures in the BDA- annexe complex of Nirman Soudh, Fortune Tower of Idco and the police commissionerate building, where construction was undertaken without approval of plans.

steps that cost state dear

• Power purchase agreements with independent power producers signed in violation of
Electricity Act, resulted in loss of Rs 554.80 crore

• Non-procurement of cheap hydro-power and procurement of renewable power below target resulted in the loss of Rs 372.70 crore to Grid Corporation of Odisha Limited

• Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha Limited (Idcol) failed to inject funds for its and expansion of pig iron and ferro chrome plant. It incurred a loss of Rs 47.09 crore

• Lack of proper planning for repair and maintenance by management of Odisha Hydro Power Corporation Limited (OHPC), leading to a loss of Rs 18.19 crore

• Land acquired for private companies violates land acquisition laws. Land acquired under public purpose given to private industrial houses. Landowners deprived of their rights to contest land acquisition and protect their property


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