Barabati Stadium Land Encroachment: AG to audit Accounts of OOA

Bhubaneswar, Jan 22: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Odisha Accountant General (AG) to audit the accounts of Odisha Olympic Association (OOA) and submit the report within six weeks in connection with an alleged land encroachment near Barabati Stadium.

The court ordered to constitute a committee comprising Cuttack district collector, and two Additional District Magistrates that will monitor the Barabati Palace, the kalyan Mandap and 23 business establishments constructed on the encroached land near the Barabati Stadium.

Earlier, a bench of Justice Dipak Mishra and Justice U.U. Lalit in the apex court had stayed the Orissa High Court order that had directed a crime branch probe into the fraudulent activities of OOA including encroachment of land near Barabati stadium.

Following the court order, the district administration had taken the possession of Barabati palace and all the shops constructed on the encroached land. Even the crime branch had also begun its probe.

There are allegations that the OOA had illegally occupied the land for 30 years and has been running business constructing several shops and kalyan mandap on it. The OOA had got 20 acres of government land on lease for construction of Barabati Stadium in 1949. But it encroached two acres more adjacent to the stadium in mid 1970s. Ashirbad Behera, who was the then Chairman of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation, allegedly had used his power and constructed a Kalyan Mandap, named Barabati Palace  and some shops. He allowed a private firm, in which his son was proprietor, on the land.

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