The Opposition political parties in Rourkela have levelled allegations of a massive corruption to the tune of over a crore of rupees in the construction of the central park in Chhend area of the Steel City.
Members of Congress on Monday staged a demonstration before the central park while raising slogans against the ruling BJD MLA Sarada Nayak. The party has quoted an RTI report which mentions that lakhs of rupees were released in separate phases during the financial year 2014-15 however no eye-catching work has been carried out in the park.
The Congress has directly pointed fingers on the involvement of MLA Sarada Nayak in the large-scale irregularities in expenditure of funds meant for the construction of the park.
Rashmi Ranjan Padhi, an activist who had filed the RTI query said Rourkela Development Authority had spent around Rs 1.10 crore for the construction of the park during 2014-15. Subsequently, the city authorities had also used up Rs 45 lakh for installing boating and Rs 25 lakh for children’s amusement facilities.
"But the ground zero scenario at the park clearly indicates that the expenditure budget of Rs 1.80 crore was never fully utilised in the development of the park which means corruption," he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has also targeted the BJD government and the local legislator over the reports of the fraud. The party has warned to gherao the office of the Vigilance SP seeking a high-level thorough investigation into the allegations of the corruption.
"Why only the central park, blatant corruption is visible in almost all the projects initiated under the Smart City plan and BJD MLA Sarada Nayak is the biggest beneficiary of the fraud," said Latika Patnaik, President of BJP’s Panposh Organisational District.
“We exposed the scandal before the Vigilance and just as the probe was about to begin, the SP was transferred. This has always been the trend in the administration. The ruling party MLA Sarada Nayak has duped over a crore of rupees from the Central Park project. He is the ringleader of all corruption activities in Rourkela,” alleged senior Congress leader George Tirkey.
However MLA Sarada Nayak has distanced himself out from the corruption accusations and also assured to face any kind of probe into the case.
"Not only Vigilance, I am always ready to face even the CBI probe if at all necessary. Rourkela had become a dormant city once but now thanks to Naveen Patnaik, it is reclaiming its glitz to become a Smart City. All allegations of corruption are baseless and only meant for political gains," said MLA Sarada Nayak.