Pradeep Pattanayak

While the row over BJD leader Pranab Prakash Das converting his government quarters into a luxurious residence is yet to die down, Dharmasala’s former BJD MLA Pranab Balabantaray’s alleged link with a dhaba has come to the fore. 

The dhaba in question is ‘Balle Balle Dhaba and Family Restaurant’ located on the premises of Dharmasala Bhawan.  It has been alleged that MPLAD and MLALAD funds were pumped into this dhaba. This dhaba was allegedly given to a woman BJD leader on lease but without any documents. Dharmasala's former BJD MLA Pranab Balabantaray was said to be managing the show from behind the scenes.

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

Also Read: Demolition of ‘illegal’ construction at ex-BJD MLA Pranab Prakash Das’ govt quarters in Bhubaneswar underway

“The project was built, spending crores of rupees. A woman BJD leader has been allowed to run a dhaba from there. 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 and pasted notice on the wall, asking the dhaba be vacated within three days. 

“As per the direction of the BDO, we came here to put up a notice for the closure of the dhaba within three days,” said Managovind Baral, Panchayat Officer, Dharmasala. 

As of now, questions are being asked as to how the dhaba was leased to a woman BJD leader? How MPLAD and MLALAD funds were diverted for the construction of the dhaba?

Three days ago, MLA Sahu asked the Dharmasala BDO to close down the ongoing projects on the compound of Jaraka Stadium after the latter failed to give satisfying answers to the queries of the former. 

“We have received a complaint alleging unauthorized occupation of the dhaba. We will investigate it and if the allegations are proven to be true, we will take action,” said Debendra Bal, Dharmasala BDO.

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