Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jajpur/Dharmasala, Sept 22:
The noose appears to be tightening around Rajya Sabha member Kalpataru Das with the Odisha government initiating a probe into the much-talked-about mega land scam in Dharmasala block in Jajpur district in which he is alleged to have played a key role.
According to reports, additional chief secretary, Revenue Tara Dutt, during his surprise tour to Jajpur district on Sunday, visited Dharmasala and Darpana tehsils to probe the rampant fraud in government land.
Later, he asked the concerned authorities to take appropriate action.
After arriving at Darpana tehsil, Dutt visited the area where land had been illegally acquired and found illegal transport of laterite stones from hundreds of acres of government land in Bairi and Soloro areas under the tehsil.
From there, he went to Dharmasala tehsil to probe the mega land scam involving influential political leaders and their followers on the basis of the reports published in leading Odia daily Sambad in the recent past.
After verifying the documents at the tehsil office, Dutt asked the Revenue staff to begin immediate probe into the illegal land deal on the basis of the report published in the newspaper.
The additional chief secretary later visited the Paradip Port land near Haridaspur railway station and the encroached area of Sarei hill that is being probed by the Vigilance.
Dutt directed the district administration to take immediate steps for eviction of encroachers from government lands at Anjira and Mahulakholi villages and demolish a house constructed on government land by one Baya Sahu.
In the presence of villagers of Anjira and Mahulakholi, the additional chief secretary severely reprimanded the tehsil staff while seeking replies from them as to how over hundred acres of land came to the possession of Sahu, known as close aide of under fire Rajya Sabha member Kalpataru Das.
Dutt collected information on the mega land scam from the people of these two villages. He went round the Dankari hill area and found illegal running of crushers and stone quarry units.
Later, he visited the proposed land under Darpana tehsil area where an oil conservation unit would come up.
The additional chief secretary was accompanied by Jajpur collector Anil Kumar Samal, sub collector Maheswar Panigrahi, Dharmasala tehsildar Ranjan Kumar Jena, district Revenue and Forest staff and the local police.