Chopper landing row: Koraput Collector shunted out

Bhubaneswar: Bowing to the 11-day cease-work agitation of the clerical staff of Koraput district over Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s chopper landing approval row during panchayat elections, the Odisha government on Friday transferred Koraput Collector Jaykumar V.

Official sources said, Anupam Shah, Project Director, DRDA, Bolangir district will replace Jaykumar with immediate effect.  Jaykumar has been asked to report to the General Administration (GA) department, the sources added.

Meanwhile, the clerical employees protesting under the aegis of Koraput Revenue Employees Association have withdrawn their strike following the government action. The employees’ body during a meeting with private secretary of chief minister Naveen Patnaik earlier in the day had demanded the cancellation of transfer order of 11 of their colleagues and removal of the Collector among others.

On February 13, the permission for landing of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s chopper at Borigumma in the district was delayed over approval pertaining to landing. Though the chopper landed in the area after much delay, the incident prompted the Koraput Collector to suspend a junior clerk Krushna Chandra Pradhan and transferred an ADM and an assistant collector for dereliction of duties.

Angered at the arbitrary action, the association launched a cease work stir.  Following protests, ten other clerks were suspended for negligence of duties.

However, the collector withdrew the suspension orders of all the 11 clerks but transferred them to various other block offices.