Kelua Embankment Blast: Odisha Lokayukta Asks Vigilance To Submit Probe Report In 2 Weeks

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Lokayukta on Thursday directed the Vigilance Director to submit the preliminary probe report on the damage to an embankment of Kelua river in two weeks.

On the night of August 28, 2020, a few villages were inundated following a breach in the embankment of Kelua river in Ramapur area under Dharmasala block of Jajpur district after it was allegedly blown off by some miscreants using dynamite.

Stating that the Lokayukta has no hearing bench in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, chairman Justice Ajit Singh asked the Vigilance Director to submit the preliminary report within two weeks. On the basis of the report, the Lokayukta will have a virtual hearing on July 9.

It may be mentioned here that the Lokayukta had ordered a Vigilance probe into the incident on January 8 this year in response to a complaint lodged by the RTI activist Sarbeswar Beura.

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Breach In River Embankment: Odisha Lokayukta Issues Notices To BJD MLA & 5 Others

The Lokayukta had also issued show-cause notices to six persons, including Dharmasala MLA Pranab Kumar Balabantaray on October 22 last year. The other five are chief engineer, Works, Jajpur collector, executive engineer Panikoili R&B division, deputy executive engineer Jaraka irrigation division and junior engineer Panikoili R&B division Narendra Jena, who happens to be the maternal uncle of the Jajpur MLA.

The RTI activist had alleged that the irrigation embankment road was severely damaged due to the use of explosives. The dynamite blast led to massive crop damage and rendered many local villagers homeless. The damage was man-made and an attempt by the local MLA in collusion with his maternal uncle to cover up low-quality of road construction work, he added.

Besides, engineer-in-chief, Water Resources, Jyotirmaya Tripathy, Jajpur collector and former Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy had also said that the breach in the embankment was man-made.

Also Read: BJP Accuses MLA, Kin Of Blowing Up River Embankment In Odisha’s Jajpur

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