BHUBANESWAR: Land scam continued to haunt the BJD Government in the State with the Congress on Friday demanding resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his inaction over the issue.
Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra alleged that people of the area had complained about the encroachment of forest land in Ghangapatana mouza under Chandaka tehsil in Khurda district some months back. This goes on to show that illegal construction of boundary wall and a road was known to the Government, but no action was taken to protect the powerful BJD leaders, he said.
When the Chief Minister was aware of encroachment and did not act on this, he has no right to continue in office, Mishra said.
After senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra’s allegation of land grabbing, three Government departments have ordered separate probe into the matter. Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Bijoyshree Routray said officials of the Revenue and Forest Departments will jointly probe into the matter.
Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Kesari Arukh has asked the Divisional Forest Officer, Chandaka Wildlife division, to probe into the alleged encroachment of forest land under Chandaka tehsil. The Revenue Minister had earlier asked Khurda Collector to inquire into the matter.
Rural Development Minister Badrinarayan Patra also asked the officials to verify whether the Department had carried out any road construction there.
Meanwhile, Pranab Balbantray, son of former Panchayati Raj minister and BJD MP Kalpataru Das, admitted that a piece of land was bought at Ghangapatna in the name of Gokarneswar Charitable Trust but claimed that it had been sold off. “The land was bought in the name of our trust for establishing an educational institution which did not materialise. The land was sold in 2012,” he told mediapersons.