Bhubaneswar: Pushed to a corner over land
acquisition for the controversial Vedanta University project
in Puri district, Orissa government on Monday said it was
"examining" the Lokpal`s special report to the Governor on
"We have received Lokpal`s special report from the
Governor. We will certainly examine it and reply to the
Governor. The state government`s stand on the matter will also
be placed in the assembly," Chief Secretary BK Patnaik told
Patnaik was replying to a question on Governor MC
Bhandare seeking clarification from the state government for
alleged non-compliance of Lokpal`s recommendations regarding
the proposed Rs 15,000 crore university project by Anil
Agarwal Foundation, a sister concern of Vedanta Group.
Earlier, the Lokpal had sent a special report to
Bhandare drawing his attention to the state government`s act
of not implementing its recommendations on the varsity
Lok Pal Justice PK Patra had recommended to the state
government to appoint a competent authority to inquire into
different acts of omission and commission relating to
acquisition of about 6,000 acre of land for the varsity
project in Puri district.
The Lokpal had raised serious objections to the
manner in which the state government acquired land of Lord
Jagannath and other private persons for a company whose status
as a public limited company was doubtful.
The Lokpal had also recommended strong action against
some senior bureaucrats in the Chief Minister`s Office (CMO)
who allegedly violated laws to favour the promoters of the
Apparently displeased over the state government`s
action taken report which was submitted with the Lokpal in
June, 2010, Justice Patra brought the matter to the notice of
the Governor by writing a special report last week.
In November 2010, Orissa High Court had quashed land
acquisition for varsity project after terming it "illegal."
The HC also directed the state government to return land to
The state government had acquired 3495.21 acre of
private land and leased out another 509.27 acres of government
land to the company for the purpose.