The State Government on Saturday directed the district collectors to file cases against companies which have acquired private land in violation of Section 73 (C) of Orissa Land Reforms Act, 1960.
It has come to the notice of the Government that 140 companies have acquired 5,350.40 acres of private land. However, only 15 companies have acquired 1,876.05 acres with permission from the Government. The remaining 125 have acquired 3,474.35 acres of private land without taking permission of the State Government.
Revenue and Disaster Management Minister SN Patro on Saturday directed the district collectors to initiate proceedings against those companies and the tehsildars who had recorded the land in the companies’ favour illegally. He further directed to cancel the record of rights sanctioned in favour of these companies.
The OLR Act provides that government may issue notification in the official gazette specifying any area to be reserved for urban, non-agricultural or industrial development or any other specific purposes. The exemption from the provisions of OLR Act, 1960, is applicable only if such notification is published in the Odisha Gazette.
Industrial houses are making direct purchase of private land in anticipation of issue of such notification which is illegal.
Though the Odisha Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy, 2006, recommends direct purchase of land through negotiation with private land owners, it has been stipulated that the purchase can only happen after issue of Gazette Notification in respect of the very private land u/s 4 (1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, official sources said.