Encroachers don’t spare even hospital land in Odisha Capital

Reported by Khsitish Ray
Bhubaneswar, Jun 5:

Slum dwellers, land mafia and some of the NGOs are busy encroaching government land wherever they can find some in Odisha capital.  It doesn’t really matter if the land in question belongs to a public hospital.

Sishu Bhavan in Bhubaneswar
Sishu Bhavan in Bhubaneswar

Hundreds of slum dwellers, along with a private organization, have been brazenly encroaching upon the land of Sishu Bhawan of Capital Hospital.  Even though hospital authorities are writing letter after letter to get the land freed, there has been no attempt to demolish the illegal structures.

Almost a third of the property has now been taken over by the slum dwellers. Another organisation named TASWELS Odisha, which had an agreement with the hospital authority to provide services for anaemia between 2002-2011, continues to operate there illegally.

It has recently stopped its illegal physiotherapy operations there after the issue was taken up at different levels. However, it continues to keep its testing and other medical equipment in the premises. While the organisation was allowed to construct only two rooms within 1700 square foot area, its illegal construction now covers eight rooms and two toilets.

Capital Hospital authorities had formed a committee to recommend action in order to demolish the encroachment and reclaim the land. Even though the committee has already submitted its report, no action has been taken on it.

The hospital authorities, however, have written letters. Many of them were addressed to the BMC Commissioner, General Administration Department of State Government, The Principal Secretary and the Police Commissioner of the Commissionerate Police back in March 2014.

None of them has so far acted to free the encroachment. In turn, this encourages other encroachers to set up camp in the Sishu Bhawan and other Government properties.

While we attempted to speak to Nalini Mohanty, the Secretary of TASWELS Odisha on the encroachment allegations, we were not able to get in touch with her.