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Ramakanta Biswas

Months after the widespread outcry over selling of bicycles under Mo Cycle scheme at throwaway prices, the Odisha government on Tuesday told the State Assembly that it has no information on the claims of cycles being sold to scrap dealers. 

“No cycle has been stolen and the government has not received any data on the selling of cycles to scrap dealers,” Housing and Urban Development Minister Pratap Jena informed the House.

In a written reply to a question asked by Congress MLA Suresh Routray, the Minister said, “About 2000 cycles were purchased at a cost of Rs 25,000 each from three firms in 2018. Out of the total cycles, 1000 are in operation now while the rest have been sent for maintenance and repair.”

“A sum of Rs 29.50 lakh each was given to M/s Dharani Enterprises (for Yaana bicycle) and M/s Yulu  Bikes Pvt. Ltd (for Yulu bicycles) against maintenance of the bicycles till date. No cycle has been stolen and the government has not received any data on claims of cycles being sold to scrap dealer,” the Minister added. 

The reply of the Minister raised several uneasy questions as reports of many bicycles under the Mo Cycle scheme being sold to a scarp dealers had surfaced earlier. In July, the BJP had staged a protest over the issue.

According to reports, many bicycles procured under the 'Mo Cycle' scheme were sold at Rs 500 per piece to a scrap dealer in Patrapada on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

Meanwhile, the issue pertaining to the sale of the bicycles has reached the Orissa High Court. BJP legal cell coordinator Jayanta Jena filed a public interest litigation (PIL) today demanding a thorough probe into the alleged scam. The petitioner urged the Court to recover the money from the officials engaged in the corruption.

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