Bhubaneswar, Aug. 12: Several employees of the development authority have managed to get more than one house and plot under various schemes in the city as controversy over misuse of the discretionary quota to favour the bigwigs continues.
Sources said that nearly 147 Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) employees, both retired and working, are the beneficiaries of various housing schemes. Many of them have also managed to get houses under the now-abolished discretionary quota.
Sources revealed that some of the employees, after getting three to four plots in their names, had later transferred those to others.
“We are trying to find out whether they had submitted any affidavit that they did not have any plot or house at the time of taking another plot or house,” said an official. Last week, the authorities had asked all the BDA employees to submit their property lists by August 31.
BDA secretary Ranjan Das said: “Whatever irregularities had taken place in the BDA regarding the allotments, will be examined by the newly constituted task force, headed by additional chief secretary Taradatt.” BDA vice-chairman Krishan Kumar could not be contacted as he was on a tour outside the state.
In a related development, the state government today announced the terms of reference for the task force.
The force will examine cases covering the period between January 1, 1995 and July 31, 2014 in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack urban areas in respect of all cases of allotment of land, flats and houses out of the discretionary quota. “It will also review allotment of more than one plot of land, flat and house to the members of the same family,” the notification stated.
The state government has asked the task force to submit its findings and recommendations to the government by four months.
All the government agencies — the BDA, the Cuttack Development Authority, housing board and the general administration department — will have to take action on irregularities.
Housing and urban development minister Pushpendra Singh Deo said: “Whatever the task force suggests, we will abide by it. If one gets one plot in Bhubaneswar and another in Cuttack under the quota from the government agencies, he or she will have to return one of these. However, the modalities of returning the property will be decided later.”
Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydev Jena said: “A judicial probe by a sitting judge should be ordered into the discretionary quota allotments. Besides, the probe should start from the beginning, including the period of Biju Patnaik as chief minister (1990-1995) and not from 1995 (when the Congress government was led by J.B. Patnaik).”
The BJP, on the other hand, demanded a CBI inquiry into the illegal allotment of houses. Between 2000 and 2009, BJP ministers Samir Dey and K.V. Singh Deo headed the urban development department.