BHUBANESWAR: Role of Tarava tehsil in Subarnapur district has come under the scanner following alleged irregularity in selection of a bidder to carry out sand mining in the area.
Narottam Mohanty, a Bhubaneswar-based businessman, has filed a complaint in the court of Sonepur sub-collector alleging massive wrongdoing in leasing out of the Ghatakaintara sand Sairat source to an undeserving bidder.
“I had quoted the highest bidding rate of Rs 696 per cubic metre. But my application was rejected. I strongly suspect political influence and kickbacks behind the selection of a successful bidder, who had quoted only Rs 282 per cubic metre, the lowest. Despite having all valid and requisite documents, my application was rejected. The government would have got more revenue as I had quoted the highest rate for lifting the sand,” Mohanty’s petition read.
Tarava tehsil staff denied the charges of irregularity in the tender selection process. “Mohanty’s application was rejected as the value shown in his solvency certificate is less than the successful bidder,” Tarava tehsildar Tripura Mahananda (in-charge) told TOI.
Mohanty said the Tarava tehsil office had granted him lease of Dubla stone quarry and Kamsara jungle stone quarry six months ago after accepting his same solvency value.
Last month, members cutting across party lines in the assembly had expressed serious concern over irregularities in the selection of bidders and sand smuggling in the state.
Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro had also expressed concern over the matter and asked revenue minister Sudam Marndi to take immediate steps to formulate a policy for lifting sand from different rivers.
The minister had assured the speaker that the government would soon frame a policy to streamline the lifting of sand, which comes under the minor mineral category.