Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Sep 3:
Around 46 ashrams in Puri district have illegally encroached upon nearly 2000 acres of Odisha government land worth about Rs 200 crores, according to an initial inquiry.
A recent directive by the Central Range Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) BK Mohapatra to the Collectors of Cuttack, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Baleswar, Mayurbhanj, Puri, Khordha and Nayagarh districts has asked them to prepare a lists of encroachers and amount of land illegally occupied by self-proclaimed babas within 15 days.
As the public gaze on embattled Babas gets intense, around 400 maths and ashrams in Puri district are now under the scanner for land encroachment and wrongdoings. The police have been asked to verify their authenticity and keep an eye on their workings.
All tehsildars and all 27 police stations in Puri district have been asked to conduct surveys and check out the land records of all these places.
So far, the ashram run by Kalki Baba near Konark has been found to have grabbed 26 acres of forest land and half an acre of revenue department land.
Yesterday, Gouravihar ashram in Puri city falling under the Brahmagiri Tehsil was visited by a six-member team from the revenue department for measurement of the ashram which is spread over an area of 11 acres and 9 decimals.
In another development, the Trahi Achyuta ashram in Puri has been sealed off by the police after miscreants broke into the ashram and vandalised it. The ashram caretaker has fled the spot.