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Plot row: Idco to punish officials

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 3: A day after showcause notices were issued to entrepreneurs who misused plots allotted in industrial estates, Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) has decided to crack the whip on errant officials.

The incident, which was reported in The Telegraph in its September 1 edition, has sparked off a controversy as some of the allottees have even sublet their plots. Idco has, therefore, decided to identify and take disciplinary action against officials, who connived with the entrepreneurs to misuse plots given at concessional rates.

According to the law, Idco is required to monitor utilisation of allotted sheds and plots, payment of dues and whether terms and conditions of allotment are being adhered to. The incident, however, shows that Idco officials had turned a blind eye to the violations. Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has also questioned the integrity of Idco employees.

“Even wherever deviations or defaults were detected, notices were to be served on such defaulting units and appropriate action was to be initiated. But it has not been done,” the CAG report states.

Chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of Idco and secretary, industries, Vishal Dev today said: “Action will be taken against those who have not followed the procedure and violated the existing law and favoured the entrepreneurs. We will also continue to issue showcause notices to the entrepreneurs, who have put their plots to uses other than they were allotted for.”

At a time when a series of irregularities are being reported, land allotment committee of the state government today decided to allot five acres to a leading garment manufacturing company to set up its unit at Mancheswar. The allotment will be made through Idco.

Idco has also decided to ask the law department to examine the allotment of 14 acres to Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) in June this year. “The matter has been referred to the law department since a controversy has erupted on the issue,” Dev said.

The issue snowballed into a major controversy after BJP’s senior leader Bijoy Mohapatra said that regularising the allotment of land to KIIT was the first thing chief minister Naveen Patnaik did after assuming office on May 21. This, Mohapatra said, was done although the land was under unauthorised occupation of the institution.

The issue had also figured in the CAG report that was placed in the Odisha Assembly on June 23.

In another development, Jyoti Routray, doctor and wife of revenue minister Bijyashree Routray, who has drawn criticism for constructing a residential building on the land allotted to her for setting up a nursing home, today started a charitable dispensary in a part of the building after a gap of nearly 25-years.

The plot was allotted to her in 1986 by the general administration (GA) department.

The health department has issued showcause notice to the doctor, along with 13 others, for violating the norms of the land user policy. Nearly 200 patients today came to the clinic from the nearby slums for health check-up.

A joint inspection team of the health and GA departments today visited the place to check whether the land was being used for purpose for which it had been allotted.


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