Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

A day after the district administration put up a notice, ‘Balle Balle Dhaba and Family Restaurant’ located on the premises of Dharmasala Bhawan in Jajpur district was vacated on Saturday.

As per reports, the items of the hotel were shifted to another place with the help of its employees.

The development happened after it came to the fore that MPLAD and MLALAD funds were allegedly pumped into this dhaba. This dhaba was allegedly given to a woman BJD leader on lease without any documents. Dharmasala’s former BJD MLA Pranab Balabantaray was allegedly managing the show from behind the scenes.

Dharmasala’s present independent MLA Himanshu Sahu claimed that he found the irregularity during the block inspection.

“The dhaba was built by spending crores of rupees. A woman BJD leader has been allowed to run the dhaba. We came to know that the former Dharmasala MLA was hosting private programmes there. There, the distribution of money was also being finalized,” said Sahu.

Following the legislator’s claim, the district administration swung into action on Friday and pasted notice on the wall, asking the dhaba to be vacated within three days.

In response, though Balabantaray refused to comment on the matter, he indirectly denied his links with the dhaba.

According to local people, the restaurant and lodging facility there was very costly and only VIPs were coming there.

When contacted, Jajpur District Collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan said, “We will investigate to find out whether proper guidelines were followed or not and take steps accordingly. It’s a government property and will return to the government.”

Meanwhile, Dharmasala BDO said that he has received a complaint regarding the unauthorized occupation of the dhaba and an investigation into the matter is currently underway.

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