OB Impact: Odisha Govt Withdraws Decision To Give School Playground To IAS Officers’ Association
Bhubaneswar: Under pressure following widespread criticism, the Odisha government has withdrawn its approval for allotment of a part of a school playground here to the IAS Officers’ Association for construction of a transit house, official sources said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik decided to rescind allotment of 1.5 acre out of a plot measuring 2.458 acre belonging to a school and its playground at Unit VI here after it drew flak from various quarters including the alumni associations of Government Boys’ High School and Government Girls’ High School and the Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangha.
Odisha Bytes broke the story on May 24, bringing to light the government’s decision to give the land, belonging to gharabari (homestead) kisam (category), at Ganga Nagar to the IAS Officers’ Association. The state government had tried to justify the decision on grounds that the patch was ‘unutilised’.
What raised eyebrows was not just the intent and timing of such a decision but also why the service body needed a part of the land earmarked for a school playground when the BJD government in 2019 allotted a land with a building to it at Sishu Bhavan Square here. (Read here)
The government had also agreed to the service association’s proposal to construct a suitable building on the plot to help the IAS Officers’ Association, which is a private body, to carry out its activities including lodging and recreation facilities for those belonging to the cadre.
Odisha Bytes tried to get the reaction of Special Secretary, General Administration department, Sanjeev Chopra but he neither responded to calls nor to text messages. The IAS Officers’ Association, Odisha, had also not replied to Odisha Bytes’ questions.