Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today alleged that a part of the land allotted to the state government in New Delhi was subsequently leased out to a petrol pump and urged the Centre to return it. Patnaik said this in a letter to the Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. The chief minister was replying a letter of Pradhan who wanted steps to popularise Odia cuisine, art and culture of the state in the national capital.
Patnaik said that the state government was unable to add to its activities in Delhi due to lack of required land. “In fact, for Odisha Bhawan, we have only half of the physical area as compared to the adjoining state Bhawans since half of the originally allotted land in our favour was subsequently leased out to a petrol pump,” Patnaik said in the letter.
Stating that there seems no justification for the said petrol pump as there are two operating petrol pumps adjoining each other, Patnaik said “appropriately, the said plot of land, originally allotted to the Odisha government and subsequently leased out to a petrol pump, may be restored back to us so that we can add capacity to our state Bhawan.”
Patnaik said that the state government had been making concerted efforts since 2006 with the Union Ministry of Urban Development to allot a suitable land of 2000/3000 square meter to the Government of Odisha for setting up an integrated cultural centre which could be used effectively to showcase the state’s rich culture, heritage and cuisine.
The chief minister said Odisha government’s request for the land had not received any positive response from the Ministry of Urban Development though some other states like Gujarat and Jharkhand had been allotted a large chunk of land in central Delhi.
“I take this opportunity to request you to prevail upon the Ministry of Urban Development to allot a suitable land to the Government of Odisha to enable us to have an integrated cultural centre in Delhi,” Patnaik said adding that the Centre might return the land presently being used as a petrol pump.