Amid allegations about a massive scam to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore under various plantation projects in Odisha, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will start an agitation on Friday to press for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
It is alleged that in Bhubaneswar alone, a major scam has taken place in plantations under various flyovers and funds to the tune of Rs 7 crore meant for the purpose have been misappropriated.
“This is how the money of the common people is being plundered. Hence, the state government should come out with a clarification,” said Babu Singh, president of BJP’s Bhubaneswar unit.
Addressing a presser in Bhubaneswar, Singh said, "Citizens seek to know if there has been such a massive scam in plantation, then what could be the level of corruption in other projects.”
He added “The 24-year-old government in league with non-Odia officers has looted public money. The government has betrayed the trust of the people of Odisha. The government is unable to come out in the open with a reply to people’s questions. The BJP will stage agitation in Bhubaneswar on Friday.”
He also stated that the ‘Chara Ghotala’ similar to this one had taken place in Bihar years ago and the scam led to the collapse of the then government. “The Naveen Patnaik government has committed such a Chara Ghotala. Lord Jagannath and Lingaraj will deliver justice in this matter. We demand a CBI probe into it.”
As per reports, RTI queries suggested that a huge amount of money could have been pocketed in the name of undertaking plantations under flyovers in Bhubaneswar and Shikharchandi Hill. The Congress and the BJP have been slamming the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) alleging irregularities in the plantation project.
In response to RTI queries, the Odisha Forest Development Corporation (OFDC) stated that Rs 25.12 lakh was spent on 1,972 saplings. As per the data, Rs 1,275 was spent per sapling. Besides, Rs 7,85,000 has been paid to the nursery that supplied the ornamental plants.
As many as 7,014 saplings were planted under the Vani Vihar flyover, for which Rs 30,85,000 has been spent.
A maximum of Rs 2.14 crore was spent on plantations at the foothills of Shikharchandi. As per reports, all the saplings were procured from nurseries in Andhra Pradesh.
No comments have been received from the BJD in this regard.