Vikash Sharma

With mystery still shrouding the ‘Balle Balle Dhaba’ in Dharmasala, a new controversy has erupted over a luxurious Kusuma bungalow within the premises of a children’s park in Jajpur district.

The luxurious buildings have come up alongside Kusuma pond and children’s park. But the question remains who had given permission for its construction? How much money was spent on the project and by which department? Why such luxurious bungalow-type buildings were constructed at a place meant for public utilities? How much was the kick-back

Surprisingly, the administration also doesn’t have any concrete answers to such questions. Meanwhile, the Collector has ordered a probe into the matter.

“Now immediately we had called the Municipality executive officer and asked to find out how much money was spent, land details, pattas and who executed the work and whether transparency was maintained or not,” said Jajpur Collector, Nikhil Pawan Kalyan.

It is pertinent to mention here that Kusuma had turned into a centre of attraction when the renovated pond was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister on March 15, 2018, in the constituency of BJD’s organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das. It is said that several Bollywood singers and actresses had come for the inauguration ceremony and the total expenses incurred on the event was quite more than what was incurred for the construction of the pond and its beautification.

There are reportedly 9 cottages in the two-storeyed building. Rs 22 crore was sanctioned for the revival of the Kusuma pond and its all-round beautification and development in 20 acres of land in 2011. Lighting, children’s park, and installation of the statue of Kusuma queen around the pond were done with the sanctioned funds. Later in 2019, Rs 6 crore was spent on installing a floating musical fountain.

The local residents have alleged that the cottages were being used by powerful and influential people while others were not allowed.

“VK Pandian had come and we have heard the then CM and other influential people had come and the gates used to remain closed. Nothing was made public. An investigation is needed,” said former Jajpur MP Anchal Das.

“The place where the bungalows have been constructed was a children’s park, which was destroyed some two years back. We do not see it is coming to the use of public,” said Sanjay Singh, a local resident.

It remains to be seen what turn the entire controversy takes from here as already Pranab Prakash Das was in the news for constructing and then demolishing ‘underground and tree cottages’ in his official quarters in Bhubaneswar. No comments could be obtained from the former MLA whose name is being dragged into the Kusuma row by the locals.

  • Reported by:
  • Sanjeeb Nayak

OTV News is now on Whatsapp

Join and get latest news update delivered to you via whatsapp

Join Now