Bhubaneswar: The works department headed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik has turned into a monument of corruption with massive laundering of government funds. The spoils of the fund embezzlements are routed to BJD’s poll expenditure coffers, alleged the state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here today.
The flyover collapse in Bhubaneswar on Sunday is indicative of quality compromise and money-changing-hands in highly robust bridge construction work in the department that Naveen is heading, alleged BJP legislature Pradeep Purohit.
The Bhubaneswar flyover cave-in was not an exception. The bridges falling apart in Naveen Patnaik government have become a recurring feature, Purohit told reporters here today.
The deadline of the projects are being deliberately delayed and these are being allowed to cost escalate. And the lion’s share of the excess amount accrued from the cost escalation is going straight to BJD party funds, he charged.
Thus it’s no wonder, a strategic bridge like Gurupriya River Bridge in Naxal-hit Malkangiri distict collapsed on two occasions. Naveen is shouting from rooftop to root out corruption and end Percentage & corruption (PC) raj in government departments. But the irony of the fact is that PC culture is most pronounced in works department, which the chief minister is heading, he said.
Citing instance of corruptive practices, he said Gurupriya river bridge work began in 2006 with Rs 48 crore project cost. It was scheduled to be completed on 2009. However the project hardly made any progress. The deadline was extended to 2015 with cost escalation shooting up to Rs 115 crore. The project again failed to meet the deadline with cost escalation climbing up to Rs 173 crore.
The river bridge had caved in on April 16, 2016. Then the bridge had collapsed on July 25, 2017.Ordering high level inquiry has become ritualistic fashion by Patnaik. Nobody knows the findings of the probe the probe report. It is yet to be made public for reason best known to the chief minister. Things has come to such a pass that his own party MLA Dambarudhar Sisa on December 15, 2015 had alleged large scale corruption in Gurupriya bridge construction work and had shot off a strongly-worded letter to works secretary, Purohit said briefing reporters.
The Gurupriya bridge and Bhubaneswar flyover cave-in fiasco re clear indicator of all-pervasive ‘PC’ culture in Naveen’s own department. The department has turned into a milching cow for the ruling party. Through ‘cost-escalation’ strategy, works department project funds are coming in handy to mobilize BJD’s poll expenditure,