Bhubaneswar: In a startling revelation, the All Odisha Contractors’ Association on Monday alleged in a press meet in the state capital that the Naveen Patnaik led ruling BJD had been amassing on an average of Rs 1,000 crore annually from the engineering divisions of water resources and public works departments.
The association’s president Pravat Das stated that under these two departments, there are about 200 engineering divisions, which implement hundreds of projects through execution of agreements round the year. Elaborating the modus operandi, Das stated since majority of these projects are below Rs 50,000 amount, so bidding process is not a must for these projects. Such an arrangement helps the ruling party to pocket nearly Rs 1000 crore per annum, Das stated.
Substantiating his claims through documents secured through right to information (RTI), Das informed that the Khurda (Roads & Buildings) division alone executed 15,447 such agreements between 2011-12 and 2013-14. The combined value of the agreements stands at about Rs. 77 crore. Similarly, Keonjhar division executed 6,012 agreements worth about Rs 30 crore in the last four years, he stated.
He further stated that we have been demanding that this system of agreements be scrapped, but to no avail. It not only affects the state’s exchequer, but also the interest of the state-based contractors as well, All Odisha Contractors’ Association president lamented.