Continuing its move against government officials and employees accused of corruption, the Naveen Patnaik government on Thursday ordered compulsory retirement of an Odisha Forest Service officer and two engineers. With this, the total number of officers given premature retirement in the State since August has increased to 45.
Sudhanshu Sekhar Mishra, Divisional Forest Officer of Athagarh, was given premature retirement on charges of corruption. He was booked by the State Vigilance for acquiring wealth to the tune of over ₹5.5 crore.
The vigilance sleuths had seized over ₹1 crore in cash during a raid at his residence in 2016. He had also ₹3.46 crore deposited in banks. He was placed under suspension in February, 2016, following his arrest in the case.
Similarly, the two engineers who were given compulsory retirement were Prana Krushna Prasad, Executive Engineer at Angul Rural Works Quality Control Division, and Umesh Chandra Tripathy, Deputy Executive Engineer, working in the Works Department in Subarnapur district.
Last week, the State government had dismissed an Odisha Administrative Service officer and given compulsory retirement to four other officials after corruption charges were proved against them.
Meanwhile, an official of the Agriculture Department was placed under suspension on Thursday by the District Collector of Bolangir on charges of corruption.
Subhendu Behera was suspended and a probe ordered after a video clip featuring the official demanding bribe went viral on social media.
The government has become more active against erring officials following implementation of the ‘Mo Sarkar’ initiative from Gandhi Jayanti Day (October 2) this year to ensure transparency in governance.
The new initiative has been implemented in all police stations across the State along with 21 district headquarters hospitals and three government-run medical college hospitals. The programme will be effective at all the 30 district headquarters hospitals in the State by October 30.
Besides, the State government has also directed all departments to adhere to the “5T initiative” — transparency, teamwork, technology, time and transformation — of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to further streamline the functioning of all government offices.