IN GOVERNMENT; BUT IN CRIME AGAINST THE STATE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

If you do not pay the State its dues, without any valid reason, how can one term it?

It is a crime against the State. Can one say, no? No.

Then a crime has hit our State. The perpetrators are Ministers and Leaders of Orissa. The crime is willful.

Let us rely upon Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s answer to a question in the Assembly. The pre-intermission part of the current session being hot under impact of acrimony generated due to suspected involvement of either the Chief Minister or the Chief Secretary or both in the brutal oppression let loose on poor tribal community of Kalinga Nagar, the baffling fact placed before the House by the CM escaped attention of many, this site not being an exception. But the information cannot be overlooked.

Any body watching this government must be knowing that Dr. Damodar Raut is considered weightiest amongst Naveen Patnaik’s own party ministers. He has been facing prosecution under the Orissa Public Premises Eviction Act, 1972 for having forcefully occupied Govt. quarter No. B-1 in Unit 1, Bhubaneswar for business purpose. He is to pay the State a sum of Rs. 1, 71,297.00 towards interim penalty fee as determined by the Director of Estates, Govt. of Orissa. The Rent Office is neither able to collect the penalty fee or nor to evict Sri Raut from the unauthorized occupation because of his proximity to the Chief Minister.

Another heavyweight of ruling BJD, former Minister and current Member of Parliament, Prasanna Acharya is in unauthorized occupation of one of the highest type of government quarter, i.e. VIMR-8 in Unit-6 since July 2004 and has defaulted Rs.92, 430.00.

The Congress has two former small time Chief Ministers in the defaulters list. They are Hemananda Biswal and Giridhar Gamango, unauthorized occupants of a VIIIC and 5R type of quarters respectively. Sri Biswal’s penal dues come around Rs.2, 25,500.00 whereas Gamango is to pay Rs.1,50,550.00 as interim penalty.

Former colleague of the Chief Minister Bijay Mohapatra who heads Orissa Gana Parisad in Opposition segment is carrying a govt. overdue to the tune of Rs. 5, 03,702 .00 for unauthorized occupation of a govt. quarter in VII category since April 2000.

But none of these defaulters can vie with Bikram Keshari Deo, prince of Kalahandi and M.P. of BJP. He has not paid Rs.7,94,581.00 despite demands and kept a VII-C type of quarter in Unit-1 in forceful occupation notwithstanding eviction orders, since April 1998. BJP heavyweight Ved Prakash Agrawal, who when Food and Civil Supplies Minister was more marked for his sympathy with the Millers oblivious of their role in distress sale of paddy, is to pay a sum of Rs. 2,22,801.00 to the Govt. as interim penalty over unauthorized occupation of govt. qrs after order of eviction following his loss of entitlement to official accommodation.

If the seniors could set a trend, why should a junior lag behind? Look at Dharmendra Pradhan, President of BJP Juva Morcha and M.P. He has not paid penal license fee applicable to unentitled persons though under his unauthorized possession is lying government quarter No.VIB-4/2 since 17 Nov.2005. He is to pay more than half a lakh of Rupees.

Though compelled to reveal this picture in the House, the Chief Minister is yet to inform the public as to why his machinery has failed to recover the huge money from his core colleagues and who has clipped down the eviction wings of the department of General Administration of which he himself is the Minister.

Prasad Harichandan of Congress, a former minister, held to be in unauthorized occupation of a government quarter since June 2004 says, he will comply with the Special Accommodation Rules the moment he finds that the Chief Minister has made his party colleagues pay their outstanding dues and vacated the quarters under their illegal occupation.

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