BHUBANESWAR: The state government has sanctioned Rs 4.72 crore for barbed fencing around the vacant government lands for protection from encroachments.
The engineering wing of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) will take up the work. Apart from barbed fence, BDA will construct boundary walls at some places as well, official sources said.
"The general administration (GA) department has identified the lands to be protected by boundary walls. Of them, we have earmarked almost 70 per cent for starting the construction work," said BDA vice-chairman Vishal Dev.
"The process of protecting the government lands began in 2012 and 50 percent of the total vacant lands have already been covered by protection fencing. But, the barbed type fencing was not secure. Encroachers and land grabbers continued to play mischief," said Dev.
Going by official data, 1941.74 acres have been encroached upon in Khurda district, including Bhubaneswar. "In reality it could be more in the city, considering the large patches over which slums have come up. Even some real estate developers, builders and private educational institutions have allegedly taken possession of government land adjacent to private land owned by them," an official pointed out.
The BDA in 2009 proposed to form a 'land bank' by acquiring government lands as well as buying the private ones. The lands would be used for projects such as education, health and research.