• otv
Ramakanta Biswas

Cuttack: The State Panchayati Raj department has ordered action against some officials following allegations of massive irregularities in the allotment of houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in Nurtanga panchayat under Mahanga block of the district.

In a letter to Mahanga block development officer (BDO), Cuttack district rural development agency (DRDA) project director (PD) Abdaal M Akhtar asked to warn block project coordinator (BPC) Snehadarshini Debata to be more careful while verifying the beneficiary list.

The move came after OTV reported massive irregularities in housing schemes.

The BDO has also been asked to immediately transfer Nurtanga panchayat executive officer (PEO) Minati Soren out of the block and initiate penalty proceedings against her for dereliction of duty and wrongdoing.

Besides, the BDO has also been asked to immediately disengage the Gram Rozgar Sevak (GRS) of the panchayat, Daitari Samal and submit a compliance report.

Meanwhile, Daitari Samal claimed that he was pressurised by former Mahanga Block Chairman Bhikari Swain to make his brother Trilochan Swain eligible to get house under the PMAY despite having a pucca house. "Injustice has been done against me. As we are in the lower post, we are forced to obey to the people with higher position. Every official from the lower rank to the higher rank is aware of the fact," he said.

Refuting the allegation, Bhikari Swain said, “The allegations are baseless. Besides, I’m neither the BDO nor in higher post to influence the people or pressurise them to allot houses to the ineligible people. He (Daitari Samal) is trying to save himself after media highlighted the issue.”

The opposition parties, meanwhile, cornered the State government over the matter. “Those who support the Biju Janata Dal will be allotted pucca houses. Massive irregularity is going on,” alleged leader of the Opposition Pradip Kumar Nayak.

“Action taken against officials in the lower rank is nothing but an eyewash. Officials from lower rank to higher rank are all involved in corruption but it is the big fish who escape from being punishment," said OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik.

“It is not enough to simply level allegations after hearing from somewhere. They should have concrete evidence. The State government has asked the concerned officials to monitor properly as it is their duty,”  said BJD spokesperson Debi Prasad Mishra.

Notably, the state unit of BJP alleging massive irregularities in the allotment of houses under PMAY in Mahanga assembly constituency, home turf of State Panchayati Raj minister Pratap Jena, had earlier demanded immediate dismissal of the minister.

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