Cuttack: The war within the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) over the construction of the mega bus terminus in Cuttack seems to have intensified.
BJD general secretary and former MLA from Barabati constituency Debasish Samantaray on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on fellow senior party leader and sitting Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahtab for the latter’s public displeasure over the selection of the site for the project, which he said was based on ‘Google-Map’ coordinates.
“The statement of the veteran parliamentarian is 'sad’ and ‘unfortunate',” said Samantray while claiming that the local MP had been duly consulted before the site was selected for the project.
"Being a former legislator I am aware of the developments. It's very unfortunate that a ruling party MP is feigning ignorance about the site selection process for the new bus terminal. As per my knowledge, the District Collector had apprised the MP about the site for the project. If the MP still says he is unaware, it’s really sad. I don't want to comment more on the issue," Samantray said.
On Tuesday, Mahtab, while expressing his reservations over the site for the proposed project which will come up at an estimated cost of Rs 65 crore, said it was ‘ill-conceived’. He said the unilateral decision was taken in the state secretariat without his knowledge though it fell in his constituency. He said the construction would mean the demolition of one of the biggest public libraries in the city and taking away a playground. The worst, he said, the locals were not consulted before such an important decision was taken to shift the location from the earlier Gopalpur to Khan Nagar.
Meanwhile, continuing his tirade against Mahtab, Samantray said the project was a 'perfect gift' of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to Cuttack which will ease the inconveniences of commuters.
"People from across the State visit the city for various purposes including availing medical facilities, High Court among others. When the new bus terminal comes up at Khan Nagar, commuting to various destinations will become easy,” said the former MLA.
On Mahtab’s claims that local residents were not consulted before deciding on the location for the new terminal, Samantray said,” It's quite natural that the people who have encroached upon the land will oppose the pro-people project.”