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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Politics is now active over the breach of an embankment on the Kelua river in Ramapur area, under Dharmasala block, which was allegedly blown off using dynamites during the recent floods in Odisha.

Congress MLA Suresh Routray on Thursday trained guns on the Odisha government, holding BJD MLA Pranab Kumar Balabantaray and Junior Engineer Naren Jena-- who happens to be the maternal uncle of the legislator—responsible for the act.

The Congress MLA alleged that Rs 24-30 crores were spent and a road was constructed. “ And now after the destruction of the embankment, another Rs 50 crores would be spent,” alleged Routray.

“Both the MLA and JE are responsible for the breach and the man-made flood. On the allegations made by Congress the Odisha Lokayukta has served notices to all those involved in the incident. However, we suspect that all of them will go scot-free as they are part of the ruling dispensation,” the Congress legislator alleged.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Odisha Lokayukta has issued notices to six persons including a legislator of the ruling BJD in connection with a complaint filed by an RTI activist wherein serious allegations were made over the destruction of irrigation embankment from Gokarneswar to Budhalinga Majhipada road in Jajpur district during floods that led to inundation of thousands of acres of farmland.

The notices have been issued to the Dharmasala BJD MLA Pranab Kumar Balabantaray, and five other government officials including chief engineer of the Works Department, Nirman Soudha Bhubaneswar, Jajpur Collector, Executive Engineer R&B Panikoili division in Jajpur, Deputy executive engineer, Jaraka Irrigation Division, and the MLA’s maternal uncle Naren Jena, who is posted as a Junior engineer at the office of the Executive Engineer R&B Panikoili division.

Not only Congress, the BJP has also come down heavily on the Odisha government over the matter.

BJP leader, Lekhashree Samantsinghar today said, “All the accused should be booked under the National Security Act (NSA).”

The BJP leader further said, “We had produced evidence at a press conference, but the government is trying to shield them. However, we are thankful that the Odisha Lokayukta has taken cognizance of the matter and served notices in connection with the incident.”

Responding to the allegations levelled by the opposition parties, BJD MLA Amar Satpathy said, “Though allegations have been made, those need to be proved. However, as Odisha Lokayukta is probing the matter, the truth will come out.”

Also Read: River Embankment Damage: BJD MLA Among 6 Served Notice By Odisha Lokayukta

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