BERHAMPUR: Revised biennial benchmark valuation of land for 2014 and 2015 by the Sub-District (Tehsil level) Valuation Committee, Berhampur has sparked off widespread resentment due to unusual raise.
In a memorandum sent to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently, local MLA Dr RC Choupatnaik, BDA Chairman Subash Moharana, Ganjam Bar Association secretary Ramprasad Panda, former secretary Jyoti Prasad Chhotray and several senior advocates alleged that without following the norms under Orissa Stamp (Amendment) Act, 2001, the land value was increased by 20 to 400 per cent of previous benchmark by the Ganjam Collector-cum-Chairman of District Valuation Committee.
The revised benchmark valuation was also approved by the Revenue Department and implemented in the areas under Berhampur, Bhanjanagar and Chhatrapur revenue sub-divisions with retrospective effect from February 5 last year.
The signatories pointed out that as per the guidelines of the IGR (guideline for registration of sale deed), Odisha, representation/objection from the public should be considered before finalisation of the market value of land by the District Level Valuation Committee.
Besides, the copies of valuation should be pasted at prominent places in the offices of the Registering Officer, the Sub-Collector, the Tehsildar and Panchayat Samiti inviting objection from the public. But no such notice was issued by the Committee.
Stating that the revised benchmark valuation would put a heavy burden on the public in Ganjam district, the signatories appealed to the Chief Minister to intervene in the matter.
While the matter is pending with the Chief Minister, Bhagirathi Moharana, a social worker of Berhampur filed a writ petition in the Orissa High Court through his advocate Jyoti Prasad Chhotroy challenging the Committee’s decision. Admitting the petition, the High Court has issued notices to Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue), Ganjam Collector, Ganjam District Registrar and Tehsildars of Berhampur, Kukudakhandi and Kanisi for submission of counter, said Chhotroy.