Odisha: After exposure of land encroachments by BJD leaders, CM Mohan Majhi orders collectors to take steps to free such lands

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Bhubaneswar, July 8: Following reports of encroachment of government lands by certain Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders at certain places during their 24 years of rule that ended last month following the party’s poll debacle, Odisha chief minister Mohan Majhi on Monday directed district collectors to take steps to ensure that all encroached lands across the state are recovered.

As per the CM’s direction, the collectors will take steps for removal of illegal encroachment of lands and take possession of unauthorised constructions on them in both urban and rural areas.

In a press release, the CM said that usually the government lands are used for development and welfare works for the general public. As the development process is adversely affected due to illegal encroachments, such encroachments must be cleared immediately.

The chief minister has directed district collectors to put up proper sign-boards and fencing after clearing all encroachments.

Earlier, the additional chief secretary of the revenue and disaster management department had asked the district collectors to make a realistic survey of rural and urban encroachments and remove them as per the extant rules.

In the letter, the collectors were directed to protect government lands by fencing and displaying boards by utilising the funds they received.

The order of the CM assumes significance as it comes close on the heels of exposure of land-grabbing by certain Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders during their 24 years rule. The BJD leaders built hotels and restaurants on the encroached lands.

It is alleged that the BJD leaders converted the hotels and restaurants “merry-making” and distribution of illegal money.

Jajpur district administration has already taken over some encroached lands and constructions on them at certain places. The recovered lands and constructions, among others, included Balle Balle Dhaba, which was allegedly built with MLA local area development fund.

Reports from Kendrapara said the district collector has ordered for freeing forest lands allegedly encroached by Rajnagar MLA Dhruba Sahu.

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