Chandikhole: The Block Development Officer (BDO) of Barchana block in Jajpur district has stayed the implementation of a 48-hour shutdown in Sunguda panchayat by the sarpanch.
Reports said the sarpanch of Sunguda panchayat Chachalin Swain using the power of the District Collector vested by the state government had ordered a 48-hour shutdown in the panchayat from 5 pm of May 13 till 5 pm of May 15 following movement of outsiders at Chandikhol Square in the district in a bid to prevent spread of COVID-19. He had announced the shutdown by organizing a press meet at the panchayat office Wednesday
However, Barchana BDO Ajit Narayan Giri put a stay on the shutdown order of the sarpanch citing that sarpanchs are empowered to implement shutdown in containment zones only if people violate prescribed guidelines. The BDO in letter-2044 clarified that there is no need for shutdown in the panchayat due to the ensuing lockdown in the country till May 17
A sarpanch can announce shutdown in only containment zone with permission of the the District Collector if he/she feels that the movement of people has crossed limits, the BDO said. There is no need for shutdown in the panchayat as the area has no positive case.
Meanwhile, Preetam Kumar Nayak, a samiti member, submitted a memorandum to the BDO demanding action against the sarpanch for misuse of power.
Notably, in view of the pandemic and the ongoing lockdown, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik conferred the power of a District Collector on sarpanchs to exercise the power in case of necessity to contain the spread of the coronavirus.