AAI land encroached for Naveen Niwas: Congress

Bhubaneswar: Odisha unit of Congress today leveled serious allegations that around 1.6 acre of land belonging to the Airports Authority of India has been encroached upon for Naveen Niwas, the residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Addressing a presser today, Chief of Odisha Congress Media unit, Satya Prakash Nayak informed that as per an RTI query, the State Government on February 3, 2016 wrote a letter to the Airports Authority of India to hand over around 1.6 acre of land from Airport Colony Chhak to Palaspali flyover to the State government for widening of the road with a swap offer of equivalent state government land at some other place.

After the proposal was accepted, the AAI and the General Administration department of the State government headed by CM Naveen Patnaik signed an MoU for swapping of land on April 10, 2017.

As per the MoU, the AAI swapped 80 decimal land from plot-659 and 1.520 acre land from plot-1035 plot near Naveen Niwas in exchange of 307 decimal land from plot -495/ 1664 and 1.293 acre land from plot-493 in Bhimpur Mouza.

However, the Congress raised objections over the deal. The party today claimed that the State government had secretly struck the deal without informing about it in the State Cabinet meeting so that it can be used for the personal benefit of CM Naveen. This apart, the party also questioned that while the widening should have been carried out on the complete stretch, only a particular section of the road has been widened.

“After getting the land, the State government undertook the expansion plan and quite cleverly demolished the airport wall and merged the road with the airport road thereby opening up a huge space for the personal use of the CM,” said Satya Prakash Nayak.

“Naveen Niwas is not a government residence but it is a private property, so the State government has no right to swap it with a government land,” he said.

However, BJD leader and Minister Surjya Patro informed that the allegations are purely baseless.

“Congress is just trying to create confusion in the minds of people to reap political benefits,” said Patro.