Odisha govt moots new land allocation policy with more teeth

Odisha Sun Times Bureau:
Bhubaneswar, Dec 25:

Stung by all round criticism after the report of theTask Force on allotment of government land, houses and flats headed by additional chief secretary Taradatt became public, the Odisha government is contemplating putting in place a new policy for allotment that would minimise the scope for arbitrary allocation.

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

Though chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati told media persons after the cabinet meeting yesterday that such a policy is indeed being readied, he did not give any details about its contours.

Reliable sources, however, have told OST that the new policy would provide equal opportunity to all citizens to avail government land, houses or flats in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack from BDA, CDA and GA department and make sure that influential people cannot corner them by using their influence.

The present system of application based allotment of land to industry, commercial establsihments and educational institutions would be dispensed with and be replaced by one under which all such allocations would be made hrough tender or auction, the sources said.

After coming under severe criticism over the Taradutt Committee’s report and BJP’s expose of land scam on the outskirts of the temple city, the government on Wednesday took the ordinance route to promulgate the Odisha Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Ordinance, 2014 as the Bill could not be tabled in the State Assembly during the winter session earlier this month.

The ordinance will have the provision for imprisonment up to seven years, fine up to Rs 20,000 and establishment of a special court with powers to take cognisance and try cases of land grabbing suo moto.

The offence would be cognizable and non-bailable and no person would be released on bail without hearing public prosecutor.

Following the submission of Revenue Secretary Taradutt-headed Task Force report, Opposition parties were up in arms against the state government. The hue and cry over the findings of the report had forced the state government to cancel all allotments made under DQ scheme since January 1, 1995.


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