Land Mafia Rules The Roost As BDA Toils To Reclaim 10 Acres Of Encroached Land

Bhubaneswar: About 10 acres of land out of 68.445 decimals land in Saanpur Mouza under the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) is now in the possession of the land mafia.

The General Administration Department had allotted 68.445 dcm of land to BDA for development works. However, the mafia managed to encroach about 10 acres of land right under the nose of BDA. The civic body officials remained a mute spectator as illegal constructions flourished in the disputed patch of land and now efforts are being made to reclaim the land.

On December 27th, the BDA lodged a complaint with the EOW and in January wrote a letter to TPCODL urging not to provide new electricity connections. Meanwhile, the land mafia has been carrying out illegal constructions round-the-clock after obtaining a stay order from the High Court.

According to sources, the stay order is on about 10 acres of land and the BDA has indicated they cannot remove encroachment. As the BDA officials have yet to find out the land where the stay has been imposed, a BDA team including Amin & Land Officer have been engaged in demarcation and survey work.

The survey team learned that construction is continuing on the said land despite the imposition of Section 144. After that, a letter was sent to TPCODL to deny new electricity connections on the disputed land, said a senior BDA official.

According to information, after complaints about BDA land being sold in Saanpur Mouza, and two enforcement squads led by BDA Joint Commissioner Ranjan Kumar Jena inspected the ground situation on December 21. They reported that construction of 20 more houses including 16 old houses was going on. The said 16 houses have electricity connection. Before the BDA team’s visit, the police imposed Section 144 at the place. Along with that, on 27th Dec, BDA Additional Land Officer Debraj Sethi complained to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW). Despite all these steps by the BDA, the land mafia is busy with illegal constructions exposing the failures of the BDA to reclaim the encroached government land.

No Heed To Section 144 or BDA Order

Whether it is Section 144, BDA order or case in EOW, the land mafia managed to keep the construction work running. Around 6 to 7 acres of BDA’s land was under encroachment during the case in EOW. It has been revealed by the BDA that the encroachment has reached 10 acres. The role of the local police is also under question as the construction work is going on 24×7. On Dec 21st, when the BDA enforcement squads went to the spot for verification, some of the encroachers opposed them and 15 to 20 families gheraoed them and threatened to return. The people who had built houses on the disputed land were given a notice for eviction within 7 days but in vain.

Case Yet To Proceed From EOW Legal Cell

After it came to the notice the govt land was being illegally sold in Saanpur Mouza, BDA informed EOW and a complaint was filed with the EOW in the name of 13 people. As the land was under an affordable housing project, some brokers took advantage by encroaching and selling the land before the affordable project could begin, BDA officials told the EOW. Even after 2 weeks of this incident, there is no sign of any concern between BDA and EOW. The case file is now gathering dust in the EOW office as illegal constructions by the land mafia continue.

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