Cong, BJP fume over delay in modalities on task force report

Bhubaneswar: Opposition parties including BJP and Congress today slammed the State government over the letter written by the Housing and Urban Development department to Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Cuttack Development Authority (CDA), Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB) asking them not to hand over the files related to allotment of plots/flats to vigilance.

Leaders from both the parties also questioned about the effectiveness of report of task force which was constituted to look into plots and flats allotment under discretionary quota (DQ).

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said the chief minister is trying hard to hide corrupt people. “Involvement of his ministers, party MLAs, MPs and reliable government officials are suspected,” Mishra added.

Expressing similar views, State BJP chief spokesperson Suresh Pujari told mediapersons, “Ministers of the State, BJD MLAs and some government officials will face the action with the implementation of this. That’s why the government is trying to save them.”

Meanwhile, urban development minister Pushpendra Singhdeo said, “We are only waiting for modalities from the General Administration (GA) department. After that whatever information will be sought by the vigilance will be provided.”
Notably, after the Cabinet’s approval to the task force report on December 18, 2014, the minister had told mediapersons modalities would be prepared to put the recommendations of the report into action within three months. However, even after more than four months the modalities are yet to be completed.

Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB) chairperson Pratap Deb said, “An in-house committee has been formed and collecting information on this. Yesterday, we got a letter saying the modalities have not been fixed and were asked to wait till further instructions. There is nothing unusual about it.”

On the basis of the task force report, the State Cabinet had approved cancellation of all houses and plots allotted under the discretionary quota (DQ) since January 1, 1995, and decided to conduct a vigilance inquiry.