BHUBANESWAR: As thousands of acres of Government land are under unauthorised occupation of land sharks in the Capital, the Assembly Standing Committee on the General Administration Department has recommended stringent penal and criminal actions against the encroachers.
“The existing Act and rules do not contain component of stringent penal and criminal action against the encroachers (of Government land) to ensure retrieval of the Government land,” the House Committee headed by Ramesh Chandra Chau Patnaik said.
The Committee expressed concern over Government land, under unauthorised occupation, could not be utilised for public purposes like construction of roads, sewers and conservancy lanes.
The prevailing laws are not sufficient to deal with the unauthorised occupants, the Committee said. It suggested the Government to amend the laws and incorporate more stringent provisions which will be a deterrent.
The Committee recommended to the Government to intensify the anti-encroachment drive to evict encroachers, particularly in the Capital where the land administration comes under the purview of the General Administration Department.
“The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1972, be suitably amended like the one in Andhra Pradesh to ensure drastic and exemplary criminal action against the encroachers ...,” the Committee said. It added that compound wall should be erected around all the vacant sites under the General Administration Department to thwart encroachment.
The issue was raised in the just-concluded Budget Session of the Assembly by the Opposition Congress through an adjournment notice.
Revenue and Disaster Management Minister SN Patro, while admitting that more than 2.42 lakh acre of Government land is under encroachment in the State, said more than 1,000 acres of the General Administration was under encroachment in the Capital.
He further informed the Assembly that the Government had prepared a draft amendment to bring in changes in the Orissa Prevention of Land Encroachment Act, 1972, on the lines of Acts in vogue in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to make the laws more stringent.
As a large number of Government employees are without official accommodation, the Committee suggested the Government to construct adequate number of high-rises through a meticulous action plan to cater to the housing needs of its employees.
Since a large number of Government quarters have outlived their utility, steps should be taken to demolish the single-storey residential buildings to pave way for multi-storey buildings to meet the requirements of the employees.
Besides, the buildings having asbestos roofs in Unit-V area should also be demolished to facilitate creation of more office space for the Government.