Odishatv Bureau

Jajpur: In June 2017, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had asked the district collectors to put a check on collection of PC or percentage commission from contractors for undertaking government work orders at block-level in the State. Unfortunately, the evil practice of PC continues to hunt the State.

Currently, a video is viral on social media in which a Junior Engineer of Korei block is purportedly seen asking a Samiti member of Bandalo panchayat to give PC to pass bills of some government projects.

As per reports, the JE had allegedly asked the Samiti member Niladri Bhusan Sahoo to pay eight per cent PC for two projects worth Rs 6.5 lakh. When Sahoo urged to reduce the PC by one per cent, the JE allegedly threatened him stating that the contractor would have to complete the projects by selling paddy from his home, if the PC amount is not paid.

"The JE has been asking me to pay Rs 70,000 as PC for the projects worth Rs 6.5 lakh. I have made the phone recording of the same (conversation) viral. I think the 5T model of governance of the Odisha government has failed to put any impact on Korei block," alleged Sahoo.

Demanding an investigation into the matter, former sarpanch of Bandalo panchayat, Basant Prusty said, "We request the Chief Minister and the district administration to take stern action against the accused."

Meanwhile, Jajpur Collector Ranjan Kumar Das assured that those involved in such type of corrupt practices will not be spared. "I have directed the Block Development Officer (BDO) and the Project Director, District Rural Development Agency (PD DRDA) to initiate an inquiry. Once the probe report is submitted and if the allegation is found true, stringent action will be taken against the wrongdoers," added Das.

At a time when the Odisha government is making tall claims of good governance under its 5T charter and Mo Sarkar initiative, such allegations against government officials speak volumes about the level of impact such programmes are having at the ground level.