Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 2:
While the BJD government in Odisha is evicting poor people from slums on encroached government land and even planning to bring in a piece of legislation to prevent such encroachment, Naveen Niwas-Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s house, allegedly stands on a piece of illegally leased out government land.
Leveling such serious allegations at a press conference at Swaraj Ashram here on Wednesday, Odia Yuva Manch (OYM), a city based organization has questioned how Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was staying on a piece of government land illegally leased out.
OYM claimed that present Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s father late Biju Patnaik, while he was the Chief Minister, had leased out 100 decimals of land (plot no. 1200 B-1) in Bhimpur mouza which was under General Administration department of the state government to his wife Gyan Patnaik.
Manch president Rohan Mohanty has demanded that since Naveen Niwas has been constructed on the same piece of land, the then decision to grant lease needs to be reviewed.
In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Mohanty has stated that in 1991 Gyan Patnaik, had made an application to the General Administration department for legal rights to an additional piece of land which she had ‘mistakenly’ encroached on. Gyan Patnaik had cited in the application that she had purchased 400 decimals of land (plot no. 216/170,171,172 and 174 khata no. 910 in mouza Bhubaneswar) in 1962 from the then executive officer of the Lingaraj Temple Trust and the same land has been recorded in her name vide mutation case no. 4666/91 of Bhubaneswar tehsil. She had further stated that apart from the 400 decimals of land, she had mistakenly constructed the boundary wall on another 100 decimals of land adding that the saifd piece of encroached land had been in her possession for more than 30 years since 1962 to 1991. Stating that the said piece of land would not be of any use for the government for development purposes, she had prayed that the land be leased out in her name after accepting requisite dues of the government from her.
Notably, Gyan Patnaik had neither mentioned her husband’s name nor her father’s name in her application, which is mandatory in applying for getting lease of government land. Though officials of the General Administration department starting from the lowly Revenue Inspector (RI) to the special secretary recommended grant of lease in her favour, no one have bothered to find out the identity of Gyan Patnaik’s father nor did any of them mention it in the file notings.
On the other hand, In his orders, the then Chief Minister Biju Patnaik had maintained that the ‘lady concerned’ was not fit to get the piece of land on lease and hence should be charged double the government rate of the land before lease is sanctioned.
Mohanty has termed this as open violation of the principles of natural justice.
Further, the land purchased by Gyan Patnaik in 1962 was endowment (debottar) property, which was in possession of one Ushapriya Dash of Jagatsinghpur. Manch has requested Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to order an inquiry on how the endowment property, which was in possession of a woman, could be sold and mutation done.
Mohanty has demanded that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should take immediate steps after conducting an inquiry into a land scam that had taken place during the tenure of another Chief Minister.
The Manch president has exhorted Patnaik to move out of Naveen Niwas, which has been constructed on the same land to prove his Mr Clean image.