Civil Forum Demands CBI Inquiry Into Odisha Land Allotment Scam

**Bhubaneswar**: The Odisha Soochna Adhikar Abhiyan (RTI mission) here on Tuesday demanded a CBI inquiry into the multi-crore land allotment scam in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

Addressing a press conference, State Convener of Odisha Soochna Adhikar Abhiyan (OSAA) and a lawyer Pradip Pradhan alleged that Odisha government’s announcement to probe further into the acquisition of multiple prime properties by the vigilance department was nothing but an eyewash.

“The State Government had formed a task force in 2014 to probe into the illegal plot allotments under discretionary quota but the government hasn’t taken any action against them afte two years. Therefore, we demand CBI probe into the matter,” Pradhan claimed.

The lawyer also said: “In its last report, the CAG had exposed massive irregularities in allotment of land and houses in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Following the revelation, political parties and civil society groups had demanded a CBI inquiry into the scam. However, the State government constituted a task force headed by Taradatt, which was an attempt to hush up the matter.”

Commenting on the matter, former minister and BJD Spokesperson Pratap Deb said, “The law is same for all and action would be taken against the culprits as per the rules and regulations.”

Notably, following controversy over multiple allotments of plots/flats under DQ, the state government constituted a taskforce under senior IAS officer Taradatt.

“On the basis of report by Taradatt, around 900 houses which were allotted under DQ are illegal. The Stat Cabinet had decided that the vigilance will investigate the matter and it is probing the matter. There is a procedure to cancel these allotments. The BDA, CDA and Housing board have also started cancellation process,” said senior journalist Dilip Bisoi.

The task force in its report submitted to the government on November 3, 2014, recommended cancellation of allotments of plots/flats/houses made under DQ from January 1, 1995, onwards.

A total of 1791 allotments had been made under DQ since January 1, 1995.

Out of this, 803 had been allotted by Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), 921 by Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) and 67 by Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB).