When the Tara Dutt Committee report on illegal plot/flat allotment was made public, people of Odisha were shocked to see most powerful people in the list, who hail from politics, media, bureaucracy and legal profession. Some Ministers, MLAs and sitting IAS officers as well as senior media professionals are found to be the beneficiaries of discretionary quota, which was far from transparent.
In total, 1,791 illegal allotments since 1995, have been listed in Tara Dutt Committee report. The list has BJD, BJP and Congress leaders apart from Ministers Ashok Panda, Bikram Keshari Arukh and Pradeep Maharathy. Union Minister and BJP leader Jual Oram is also mentioned in the list apart from Kalpataru Das, Pravat Biswal and Bibhuti Balabantray. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s late father Debendra Pradhan was also found in the long list.
Notable among the bureaucrats, whose names have been made public, include Vishal Dev, Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, Bhaskar Jyoti Sharma, Nikunja Bihari Dhal etc. Senior journalists Barendra Krushna Dhal, Srimoy Kar and Rajaram Satapathy are among the media professionals who were the beneficiaries.
Some of the most powerful people got the allotment even before the schemes were launched by the BDA, CDA and Housing Board. The rules were twisted by the Ministers and bureaucrats to grant maximum favour to their kin. The role of then Urban Development Ministers Bhupinder Singh, Sameer Dey and KV Singhdeo has been under the scanner. The BJP has already made it clear that it won’t defend its leaders if they are found to be involved in the land allotment scam.
It would be interesting to see whether the vigilance probe and government action can bring any results or the entire development will be stalled by legal tangles. Only people having more than allotment may be forced to return the plots/flats. However, those who are having one allotment each, may move the court to derail the crackdown launched by Naveen Patnaik, who played a masterstroke to silence his critics.
Politicians in Discretionary Quota List:
Ashok Panda, Manmohan Samal, Sameer Dey, Jual Oram, Padmanava Behera, Kalpataru Das, Pranab Balabantray, Pratima Das, Bimbadhar Kuanr, Bikram Keshari Arukh, Debendra Pradhan, Pradeep Maharathy, Pravat Biswal, Pramila Mallick.
Senior Journalists in Discretionary Quota List:
Barendra Krushna Dhal, Srimoy Kar, Rajaram Satapathy, Kishore Chandra Dwibedi, Ambika Prasad Kanungo, Sampad Mohapatra, Shamsher Singh, D.N. Singh, Debi Prasanna Pattnaik.
Bureaucrats in Discretionary Quota List:
Vishal Dev (IAS), Sanjeeb Kumar Mishra (IAS), Suresh Chandra Mohapatra (IAS), Bhaskar Jyoti Sharma (IAS), Siba Prasad Mishra (IAS), Nikunja Bihari Dhal (IAS), Pradeep Jena (IAS), RK Sharma (IAS), Bijay Patnaik (IAS), Satyajit Mohanty (IPS), Surendra Tripathy (IAS), Pramod Mohanty (IAS), Bishnupad Sethi (IAS), Ashwini Vaishnav (IAS).
Judges in Discretionary Quota List:
Justice Bijaya Krishna Patel & Narupa Patel.