Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 8:
The tall claims by the Odisha government that it would take drastic action against those involved in the land fraud in Ghangapatna panchayat under Chandaka tehsil on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, appear farcical now.
The fact remains that the state government, which had suspended two employees in connection with the illegal construction of a road on minor forest land in Ghangapatna, it has no record, whatsoever, of 20 acres of land that have been illegally sold over the years in the same panchayat .
The government, in an announcement 12 days ago, had made it clear that it would take stern action against the concerned tehsildar and sub-registrar involved in the land fraud. Besides, it had also asked the Crime Branch to complete the investigation into the land scam in two months’ time.
However, neither the Crime Branch nor the Khordha district administration are yet to file any formal complaint in the matter.
Talking on condition of anonymity, a senior Revenue official said the complaint would be lodged after the Revenue department gets the list of the erring officials and employees involved in the fraudulent act.
While reliable sources said that the sale and purchase of land at Ghangapatna has been made since 1988, the Revenue department is yet to identify the officials during whose tenure such fraudulent deals had taken place.
Besides, the department is clueless on the record of 20 acres of land as the files have mysteriously vanished from its office.
It may be mentioned here that the additional chief secretary, Finance, in a letter to Khordha collector Niranjan Sahu on August 28 this year, had asked to suspend the sub-registrars involved in the illegal act and initiate department and criminal cases against them. Besides, he had also asked the collector to take steps to bring 76 acres of land under the possession of the government within a week and modify records accordingly.
However, the department has not received any report from the collector till date.
While sources in the Khordha collectorate have informed that the district administration has brought 33.5 acres of land under its possession and efforts are on to recover another 22 acres of land.
However, there is no word yet on the recovery of theremaining 20 acres of land as the administration has no records of this land, the sources added.