Land scam: Odisha govt to bring in new laws, punish erring officials

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 17:

Worried over the public outrage over rampant land fraud in Odisha, the state government is now planning to crack the whip on erring officials and made it clear that henceforth the sub registrars would be held directly responsible for any such irregularities. It also proposes to bring in new laws to prevent landgrabbing and other illegalities in land transaction.

Illegally occupied land in Ghangapatna (Pic- Biswaranjan  Mishra)
Illegally occupied land in Ghangapatna
(Pic- Biswaranjan Mishra)

Informing media persons on Tuesday about the decisions taken in this regard, Revenue minister Bijayshree Routray said if such incidents are brought to the attention of the government, the concerned sub registrar would be dismissed from service while the amount of loss to the exchequer, incurred due to the irregularities, would be collected from the salary of the concerned sub registrar.

He said the sub registrars will oversee the land registration work online and steps would be taken to complete the process of mutation within a week.

“My department would come up with a notification in this regard very soon as per the directive of the chief minister,” Routray said.

He said the state government will bring two separate legislations very soon to prevent land grabbing and land encroachment.

The proposed laws will have provisions for stern action against the habitual land grabbers and others who have encroached government land, drain water passage areas, roads and playgrounds.

Stating that his department has reports on encroachment of government land in rural areas by the homeless people, the minister said the department would evict these persons from these lands and in turn, provide them with 4 decimal of land with house at other suitable places in those areas.

“My department has prepared the draft bills and these are being examined by the Law department. We will present the bills in the next Assembly session”, he said, adding, the proposed law will be implemented in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack and will be applicable to the other urban areas of the state where instances of encroachment of government land have been reported.

Routray also said the Rebenue department would initiate strong action against the builders who have constructed apartments on agricultural land after converting their category into the non-agricultural land.

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