Mrunal Manmay Dash

As many as 67 work orders out of the total 98 in Cuttack’s Bali Yatra this year have allegedly gone to the relatives of a single Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Corporator, putting a big question mark on the credibility and transparency of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC).

The issue came to the fore after a copy of the work order issued by the CMC for Bali Yatra was obtained by OTV.

As per the work order, Monalisa Behera, the sister-in-law of BJD Corporator (Ward 16), Laxmipriya Behera was awarded 42 work orders alone. Similarly, another relative of Laxmipriya, Prabhat Behera was awarded 25 work orders, making it 67 in total.

Ashok Swain was another such contractor related to another BJD Corporator, Chandan Jena (Ward 22) who received 14 work orders from the CMC during Bali Yatra.

All these work orders were reportedly awarded without calling tender irking many political leaders in Cuttack including a BJD Corporator.

Demanding probe, BJD Corporator, Pradipta Khuntia said, “These work orders were materialized by the Engineering head of the CMC. A single person should not be awarded so much work, and that too without tender. A probe should be done in this connection.”

Congress MLA Mohammed Moquim was livid on the CMC. Demanding immediate inquiry, he said, “This proves that past allegations about corruption in Bali Yatra were in fact right. There should be a vigilance probe on this.

It is pertinent to mention here that the husband of Laxmipriya Behera, Akshay Behera is posted as an engineer in the R&B Division.

When asked about the allegations, Laxmipriya said, “I welcome the probe. If I am involved in any corruption whatsoever, I will plead guilty.”

Similarly, Mayor Subash Singh denied all the allegations. He said, “We have not received any complaint yet. An audit will be done if any complaint comes up. Then we will take help of all the relevant agencies. As far I am concerned, this is a false propaganda being spread to defame us.”

(Reported By Debasish Mohanty, OTV)