Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
With Naveen Patnaik as the Chief Minister, it was not possible for the State Government to say ‘no’ to Reliance. Hence the government contrived an idea to shift Orissa’s busiest Bus terminus from Badambadi of Cuttack to a new venue in order to help Ambani acquire the most precious land in the most densely populated City.
Orissa High Court in a recent judgment has quashed that allocation to Reliance.
But when the conspiracy was being cooked up, in order to eliminate possible public outcry over the design, the administration was used to convince the people that the most densely populated ancient City of the State needs a large ultramodern Bus terminus in a vastly specious open land in the outskirts.
For this purpose, Naveen had laid the foundation of the new Bus stand in Sector 15 of Abhinav Bidanasi of Cuttack Municipal Corporation, on February 10, 2004 on a very vast picturesque stretch of open land adjoining the Naraj Barrage Bungalow on the bank of River Kathjory overlooking the great water body created by the Barrage.
Besides the Mayor of Cuttack Ms.Nibedita Pradhan and Deputy Mayor Madhusudan Sahu, Corporators Dharmesh Nayak and Pramod Behera, the political acolytes of Naveen Patnaik that had witnessed the foundation were Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, Urban Development Minister and a resident of Cuttack City Samir De, Works Minister Kalandi Behera, Housing Development Minister and a resident of Cuttack City Ranendra Pratap Swain, and Finance (State) Minister Panchanan Kanungo. Even as the above named occupiers of Cuttack Municipal Corporation have been rejected by the city inhabitants, except Mahtab, all other occupiers of ministerial berths have lost their positions. Swain was unceremoniously dismissed from the council of ministers for reasons known only to Naveen Patnaik and then debarred from contesting the Assembly polls through the kitchen room conspiracy. He fought against the man whom Naveen had helped to bag his constituency and won the battle in the Supreme Court and then won the by-election that has put him back in the Assembly as a member. Behera, who had to resign from the cabinet on exposure of his conduct as the patron of hooch killers, now represents the constituency of Cuttack Sadar, where, in the climate of reservation of constituencies for Scheduled Caste people, he was just a Hobson’s choice.
All the above witnesses to the foundation of Baimundi Bus Stand laid by the Chief Minister on February 10, 2004, have personal, social, economic and political interest in the Cuttack City. Yet within these eight years, none of them has queried about what happened to the said Bus stand. None of them has asked Naveen Patnaik as to why the area developed by the Cuttack Development Authority with huge investment from the State Exchequer, was not proceeding with the construction of the Bus stand, even though, as political activists, they have been witnessing that the Badambadi Bus stand has been creating massive traffic hazards due to inadequacy of its compound and shrinkage thereof due to Naveen’s love with land grabbers like Reliance.
What, then, has happened to the land of the Baimundi Bus stand, conceived, created, and projected as the best alternative to Badambadi?
As a new proposal to shift the Badambadi Bus Terminus to a new location in Gopalpur area on entrance to the city from Bhubaneswar side is put on the anvil, I visited the Baimundi Bus Stand site with Pabitra Maharatha, Convener of Orissa Nadi Suraksha Abhijan, who, as a resident of Cuttack city, had attended the February 10, 2004 event, to find why that project was abandoned. A young Lawyer Ayushman Mahant, who specializes in environment law, was with us.
We found the area being bound by high-quality metal grills with king size gates behind the foundation stone. To our query as to why the boundary has left out the foundation stone, a uniformed man guarding the area told us that, the boundary was not of the Bus stand, but of Brindavan Garden, that has occupied the land. He could not tell us anything about Brindavan Guarden; but informed that the grill-boundary was being constructed by the officer-in-charge of the barrage.
The barrage authorities are keeping mum about the Brindavan Gardens, even though their body language suggests that they know everything about hijacking of the Bus Terminus land by Brundavan Garden.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is the Minister in charge and only an idiot can believe that the hijacking of the land he had laid foundation on for the Baimundi Bus Stand has been taken over by Brundavan Garden without his knowledge and cooperation. Construction of the metal grill-boundary around the land by barrage officials strengthens the suspicion that the land is hijacked by the help of the Chief Minister.
Believing that public memory is short, instead of uttering a single word on the Baimundi Bus Stand, the shifting of the Bus Stand from Badambadi to a new location at Gopalpur is being trumpeted. So, it is clear that the Baimundi Bus Stand project is killed clandestinely.
If it is so, then Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik owes an answer to the public as to why this project for which he had laid the foundation stone in 2004 is so clandestinely killed.
And as the Water Resources Department is constructing the iron grill boundary of Brundavan Gardens on the Bus Stand land, the Chief Minister who holds the said department should also tell the public, who this Brundavan Garden belongs to and why his department is constructing the boundary of this garden.
This is necessary; because, whomsoever member of the local public we talked to is suspecting that the Chief Minister has acted a comprador to help Brindavan Garden acquire this vast precious picturesque land of immense public importance and interest by causing clandestine termination of the Baimundi Bus Terminus of which he himself had laid the foundation stone on February 10, 2004.