Bhubaneswar: In order to meet the immediate expenditure needed for development of Heritage Security Zone around Jagannath temple in Puri, the state government has utilized `300 crore from Odisha Contingency Fund (OCF).
The Works Department has drawn the amount from the OCF for land acquisition charges to develop the Heritage Security Zone.
“I am directed to say that, `300 crore only has been sanctioned from the Odisha Contingency Fund vide Finance Department Order No.36566/F Dt 29.10.2019 to meet land acquisition charges for development of Heritage Security Zone around Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri under Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme during the 2019-20 fiscal,” read a Works Department letter.
The amount has been released in favour of the executive engineer, Roads & Buildings division, Puri, in six phases in November and December. While `250crore has been released in five phases in November, `50 crore has been released December 11.
As the government has suddenly taken the decision about the massive development plan for the pilgrim town without making provision in the annual budget of 2019-20, the OCF has been utilised by following due procedure, sources said.
During supplementary budget passed November 25, the government has made necessary provision for recoupment of the advance taken from the Contingency Fund. The government has provided `730 crore towards land acquisition in Puri under ABADHA scheme.
Therefore, the Works Department has urged the Accountant General to make necessary adjustments in the accounts, in this regard.
During the financial year 2018-19, the government had spent `734.66 crore from OCF for implementation of the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (Kalia) scheme. For this move, the BJD government had received flak from various quarters.
Contingency Fund of each state is established under Article 266 of the Constitution and is placed at the disposal of the Governor. The corpus varies from state to state as is decided by their respective legislatures. In Odisha, the government has `400 crore under the fund. Advances from the fund shall be made for the purposes of meeting unforeseen and emergent expenditure pending authorisation by the legislature.