Fifteen engineering and professional institutions, located in and around the capital, have encroached over 50-acre government land, a fresh inventory prepared by the Khurda District administration has revealed, pointing at the brazenness of these technical colleges in usurping public land.
These institutions located in Bhubaneswar, Jatni and Balianta tehsils have been served notices and cases initiated under the Odisha Prevention of Land Encroachment Act, 1972.
The investigation by the district administration suggests that maximum volume of Government land has been encroached in Jatni tehsil where at least eight institutions __ big and small __ have grabbed over 27 acres. One institute was found to have encroached as much as 8.540 acres while another grabbed over 6.500 acres to set up campus.
Similarly, in Bhubaneswar tehsil, one institution was found to have encroached over 18 acres while another management college is alleged to have grabbed over 3.2 acres. The total encroachment in the tehsil amounts to about 22.3 acres. In neighbouring Balianta tehsil, the total encroachment was estimated at 0.830 acre by the three institutions.
“These institutions will be issued a 30-day notice beyond which the tehsildars are authorised for carrying out eviction,” said an official. The inventory of the land possession and encroachment was conducted following a direction from the Revenue and Disaster Management department which had announced that criminal cases will be filed against engineering colleges which have encroached Government land to set up or expand their campuses.
It had even threatened to approach the All-India Council for Technical Education seeking cancellation of affiliation of such colleges. The district administrations were asked to examine land documents of engineering colleges for 11 years.
The revenue administration is also looking into instances of non-conversion of land category before their use by the engineering and technical institutions. Those which did not convert the land kisam unintentionally would be given opportunity to complete the conversion process. Institutions which secured land by way of leases from Bhubaneswar Development Authority or Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation would also be inspected. If they were found not to have used land as per the purposes stipulated in lease, they would be taken to task and may face cancellation of leasehold.