Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Oct 7:
The Odisha government has not shown any interest to gain possession of 490 acres of land along the Puri-Konark marine drive since last 15 years, reports said.
It may be mentioned that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report in 1997-98 had mentioned about the encroachment of 520 acres of government land along the Puri-Konark marine drive.
The CAG report had brought to the notice of the state government about encroachment of 520.38 acres of government land under Nimapara tehsil.
Acting on the report, the state government had filed several cases to take possession of the land, but they are pending in the courts till date.
Stating that these lands have been illegally transferred in the name of some individuals by tampering with the original land record, the CAG had informed the government that failure in taking possession of these lands would mean a loss of nearly Rs 500 crore to the state exchequer.
The CAG, in the report, had held the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), Puri collector and the government advocate responsible for their gross apathy in this regard.
The state government, in its action taken report in September, 1998, had termed it as a mega land scam and asked the Puri collector to move to the higher court for recovery of the encroached land.
While six cases pertaining to the encroached land are sub-judice in the court of additional sub collector in Puri, it was later revealed in the course of investigation that out of the total encroached land, the ownership of 29.60 acres has been finalized in the name of one person. Not only this, the sub registrar office at Gop has also registered a sale deed of the land in the name of the same person at a cost of Rs 65 lakh.
Taking note of the irregularity, the state government had later suspended the additional sub collector of Puri.
Meanwhile, efforts are on to take possession of the remaining 490.78 acres of land by the encroachers against whom the government has filed cases, sources said.