BHUBANESWAR: The Khurda district administration on Wednesday began its demolition drive at Trahi Achyuta Ashram in Jhinti Sasan near Balakati, 25 km from the City.
Revenue officials, led by Tehsildar Sweta Das, along with a posse of police personnel, reached the spot at 10 am and carried out the demolition over an area of about 0.85 acre which was illegally occupied by self-styled foreteller Surendra Mishra alias Sura Baba.
The structures which were listed for demolition included a post office on 20 decimal, Dola Mandap on 15 decimal, ‘pothi’ room and a three-storey hospital built over 16 decimal. Sources said a major part of the drive was completed with the demolition of the hospital and post office which were built on Government land.
While Commissionerate of Police had mobilised ample force for the drive, no untoward incident occurred during the exercise. “We have sought help from police to carry out the second phase of demolition in which the Dola Mandap and pothi house will be brought down,” Tehsildar Das said.
Besides, a road constructed by Mishra on Government land and a 15-decimal land used as a dumping ground will also be reclaimed during the drive, Das said.
In 2015, Das had filed a case against Mishra on charges of encroachment. However, the foreteller had moved the court of Sub-Collector, District Magistrate and finally the Orissa High Court challenging the demolition order of the Tehsildar.
“The High Court had directed Khurda Collector to take appropriate decision in the matter following which the demolition order was retained,” Das said.
Mishra, currently lodged in jail, faces charges of fraud, physical assault and encroachment of Government land. His sons, Trilochan and Biranchi, are also in judicial custody in connection with similar cases.