Bhubaneswar: With the CAG slamming the Odisha government over allotment of valuable land in Bhubaneswar city, the Congress today held Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik responsible for flouting of law in the process and demanded an independent probe into the matter by an independent agency like CBI. "The CAG report shows that the chief minister is solely responsible for allotment of valuable land by violating the law and misusing power. There is direct allegation against Patnaik," media cell chief of state Congress Narsingh Mishra told reporters in Bhubaneswar.
Stating that the CAG has pulled up the BJD government for allotting valuable land in Bhubaneswar without proper policy for the past 12 years, Mishra said the chief minister is in charge of general administration departmetn which controls settlement of land in the state capital. "The chief minister is the ultimate authority and nobody else has the power to order allotment of government land in Bhubaneswar," the senior Congress leader said asking the chief minister to take responsibility, both legally and morally, for alleged flouting of law. Demanding thorough investigation into the alleged misuse of power and flouting of law in the allotment of government land in Bhubaneswar by an independent agency like CBI, Mishra said neither the chief minister nor the officials concerned should be allowed to go scot-free.
The Congress demand came in the wake of CAG gave its report on allotment by GA department of 464.47 acres in Bhubaneswar in 337 cases during 2000-12 to individuals, government offices, government undertakings and private bodies for establishment of hotels, hospitals, educational institutions and NGOs. Although the GA department was entrusted with the management of this land since 1952, yet no rules, regulations, manuals for allotment of land have been framed by the department for the last 60 years, the CAG report said.
A test check of 164 cases of the total 337 found that the process of land allotment lacked a defined policy and procedure and absence of any rule or criteria gave room to arbitration in allotment. "There was no uniformity in disposal of applications, sanction of concession on premium to be paid, changes in land use plan and resumption of encroached land," the report said, adding that proclamations inviting public objections as stipulated in the Odisha Government Land Settlement Rules were not published in any of the test checked cases.