Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 19:
It’s bad news for land grabbers in Odisha: the state government today introduced the Odisha Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Bill, 2015 in the State Assembly. The Bill makes land grabbing a “cognizable” offence.
The state government had promulgated the Odisha Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Ordinance, 2015 on May 26 last after it received the President’s assent. The Bill provides for imprisonment ranging between one to seven years for offences under it, besides penalty against offenders.
The Bill was tabled in the Assembly by Forest and Environment and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh on behalf of Revenue Minister Bijoyshree Routray. The Bill is likely to be taken up for debate during the current session of the State Assembly.
The state government went for the legislation after finding that there were organized attempts by groups and individuals to grab government land.
Any individual or group illegally occupying government land, trying to sell it or illegally doing construction work on it will be punished under the Bill once it becomes an Act.
The Bill provides for setting up of special courts which will have the status of ‘civil court’ to deal with the menace of land grabbing.