Probe into Forest Land Grabbing

Published: 22nd August 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2014 04:04 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: Two days after senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra’s allegation of land grabbing by two powerful BJD leaders including Minister, three Government departments have instituted separate probe into the matter.

Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh on Thursday asked the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Chandaka Wildlife Division, to probe into the alleged encroachment of forest land under Chanadaka tehsil.

“I have directed the DFO, Wildlife, Chandaka to probe into allegation regarding misuse and encroachment of forest land at Ghangapatana mouza under Chandaka tehsil in Khurda district,” Arukh told reporters here.

Arukh said he immediately directed a probe after being informed by forest officials about the alleged encroachment of the forest land including hills.

The preliminary report stated that 100 acres of land do not come under the reserve forest area nor the road constructed there falls under the rural forest category land, he said.

Claiming that action would be taken as per law if there was any violation, Arukh said he is expecting a final report from the DFO within a week.

The State Government’s action came barely two days after senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra alleged that over 100 acres of forest land under Chandaka tehsil are under unauthorised occupation of two BJD leaders comprising a Minister and a Rajya Sabha member. Mohapatra had alleged that the Government Department illegally constructed roads on village forest category land.

Revenue Minister Bijayshree Routray has also asked Khurda Collector to conduct an inquiry into the matter. 

Claiming that his department is not involved in the construction of the road at Ghangapatna village, on the outskirts of the city, Rural Development Minister Badrinarayan Patra said he asked the officials to verify whether the department had carried out any road construction work there. The officials have reported that the department was in no way involved in any road construction on the site.

Meanwhile, Khurda district administration has sought a report from the local tehsildar.

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