Bhubaneswar: While on one hand the death toll due to the SUM Hospital fire continues to rise, on the other the murky affairs of the hospital and its authorities are coming to fore. In yet another such instance, it is learnt that the land on which the hospital has been built was originally approved for an Engineering College and its owner Manoj Nayak fraudulently went on to set up a hospital on it.
According to a document obtained by OTV, Nayak was running his own Engineering College in Sahid Nagar and Bomikhal areas in Bhubaneswar in 1996. Later, showing feasibility report of this educational institution, he applied for land from the State government to set up a permanent campus. At that time there was no Trust but the whole institution was backed by a society.
Subsequently the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) recommended the government to provide land in favour of Nayak to set up a college.
However, after getting the land in question to set up an engineering college, Nayak sought government’s permission to build a hospital instead. Initially 5 acre land was sought, but in the span of 10 days, it was increased to 15 acre. Nayak got the approval as well.
Nayak’s approval from government to set up a hospital came at a time when few others were denied permission by the government to set up heath care units.
It was alleged that the BDA showing undue favor granted the said land to Nayak way below the market price and that too in installments. SUM authorities also went on to acquire land below high-tension electricity lines at half the market price.
While the land should have been given at institutional and commercial rates, they were given at residential plot rates, it was alleged. At that time, the BDA had filed a case against SUM for illegal construction. It was also alleged that SUM authorities grabbed the surrounding land meant for playground and public health centre for locals.
Moreover, in 2000 another case was filed against Manoj Nayak in Kharavela Nagar police station for allegedly selling engineering college seats to students with lower marks.