BJD Leader Lashes Out At CMC Commissioner Over Eviction Drive During Lockdown
Cuttack/ Bhubaneswar: Senior BJD leader Pravat Biswal on Tuesday caused a stir by lambasting Commissioner of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) Ananya Das over the latter’s alleged disregard to political leaders and her decision to evict slum-dwellers in the millennium city despite the lockdown.
In a video telecast by a private news channel, Biswal, a three-time MLA and whose son Souvik is the incumbent Choudwar-Cuttack legislator, can be seen blowing his top against the IAS officer, who allegedly did not turn up for a meeting with evicted slum-dwellers.
“We had requested her not to go ahead with the eviction of people of Behera Sahi (in Chhatra Bazaar area) because the people would face serious difficulties during the lockdown. But she paid no heed to it and evicted them,” Biswal said.
On May 9, CMC evicted an estimated 200 families from the area to facilitate road expansion and other development projects.
The father-son duo got infuriated after the evicted families faced a miserable situation on Tuesday when rains and strong winds swept the city. They made the Biswal duo walk about 10 km to see the condition of the people. “We invited the commissioner to come over for 15 minutes to see the plight of these poor people and work out some mitigation measures. But did not show up,” Biswal Senior could be seen telling Cuttack collector Bhabani Chainey in the video.
In the video, Souvik, too, could be seen expressing serious displeasure with the commissioner, leaving the collector a mute spectator.
The administration and the Biswals subsequently pacified the agitated slum-dwellers, allowing them to stay in school buildings, assuring meals and other facilities to them till suitable alternative arrangements are made.
However, what has created a buzz in political and administrative circles is the manner in the Biswal duo openly castigated an IAS officer, considering that it is no secret that bureaucrats call the shots in the ruling dispensation.