Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Following controversies around ‘Balle Balle Dhaba’ in Dharmasala and the luxurious Kusuma bungalow within the premises of a children’s park, the second Kusuma project under Kantigadia block in Jajpur district has come under scanner.

As per the allegations by the farmers and residents of the area, the under-construction project is being built with an estimated budget of Rs 10 crore, jeopardising local farmers' occupation. 

As per reports, the project has been set up in the constituency of BJD’s organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das and another leader Pranab Balabantaray. It has been alleged that the BJD leaders have misused their powers to construct the project, affecting agricultural activities in the area. The roads near the site have also been blocked.

“We have been facing lots of problems in agricultural activities and rearing cattle and goats due to the project,” said a farmer.

“The project should be stopped as farmers in the area are facing lots of problems. Common people are also going through lots of hardships as the roads near the area have also been blocked,” said another farmer.

It is learnt that the project work started by Dharmasala block administration under the stewardship of former MLA Pranab Balabantaray. However, later, the State Tourism Department took over the construction work. 

However, questions have been raised on whose interest the then BJD government granted crores of rupees from the State exchequer to build the project? Why BJD was hell-bent to build the project at the cost of common people and farmers’ interest?

“I have learnt that so many irregularities have been done in the project,” alleged Dharmasala MLA Himanshu Sahu.

However, no reaction could be obtained in this regard from Balabantaray.

Meanwhile, in response, Jajpur Collector Nikhil Pavan Kalyan said that the matter will be enquired.

“Let me check it out. Everything will be checked up. We will bring the files out and properly check them. We will go through the facts,” said Kalyan.

Mystery shrouds Kusuma bungalow

Meanwhile, the mystery is still shrouding the nine cottages in the luxurious Kusuma bungalow. While there was free entry for VIPs, a no-entry board was put up for the common people. A question mark has been raised on whose interest the bungalow was constructed within the premises of a children’s park? What kind of utility it has? How much money was spent on its construction?

“We have to buy tickets worth Rs 30 to enter the park. However, we are not allowed inside the bungalow. When we enquire about it we are told that there is no such provision,” said a local resident.

In response, Jajpur Municipality Deputy Chairman Santosh Mallick said that the bungalow is built for the development of sports.

“With due permission from the State government, land has been purchased and transferred to the Sports Department. As per the information with us, the project has been built with an expenditure of Rs 8 crore from the CSR grant," said Mallick.

“Now I want to ensure that everything is correct. For the project, a DPR has been made and we can see its cost. This was done under the CSR project,” said Jajpur Collector Nikhil Pavan Kalyan.

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