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Mrunal Manmay Dash

A contractor has allegedly locked up a newly built Anganwadi centre at Baghamunda village under Kutiria Panchayat in Dhenkanal’s Kankadahada block over non-payment of dues.

As per reports, the Anganwadi centre has been locked up since 2020 after its completion. The contractor, Kumar Patra decided not to handover the building to the administration and locked it up after the administration allegedly failed to clear the pending dues of Rs 4 lakh to Patra.

The building was constructed at a total reported cost of Rs 7 lakh.

Patra alleged, “The Panchayat JE has been pushing the payment date since 2020. He has paid me Rs 3 lakh and has been delaying to pay the rest amount since two years.”

As a result, the students in the village are forced to study at a thatched house of a local Anganwadi worker as a temporary measure.

Rashmirekha Sahu, a parent in Baghamunda said, “Our children are finding it very hard to study as the Anganwadi centre is yet to be opened. The government should take immediate steps to open it.”

While the contractor does not seem to budge, the locals of the village have urged the Panchayat JE and the Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) to intervene, but in vain.

Speaking to reporters, Kamakhyanagar Sub-Collector, Jyotishankar Sahu said, “I have already instructed the Block Assistant Engineer to visit the spot and if the building is completed as per the specifications then it will be vacated for the children to study after due paper works.”

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