BHUBANESWAR: The state government on Tuesday conceded ?doubtful' use of at least 70 acre government land at Ghangapatna, on the outskirts of the city, even as BJP staged a dharna in front of the governor's house here demanding CBI probe into the alleged land scam.
"We will take steps to retrieve 70-acre doubtful land in the area," revenue minister Bijayshree Routray told the media here. He, however, did not elaborate on the exact nature of suspicious utilization.
The revenue department will take action on plots, which are on record. If plots are found on forest land, the forest and environment department would be intimated, he said.
The minister, however, said the government is yet to find out as to who built the controversial three-km road leading to BJD heavyweight Kalpataru Das' MLA son Pranab Balabantray's 5.2-acre plot. "The inquiry is on. It will take a day or two," he said.
Routray, who had asked for a joint verification of the land in question by revenue and forest officers, said the probe is still on. Government sources said the panchayati raj department in 2009-10 had sanctioned Rs 5 lakh for the road, but work was not taken up after that. Kalpataru was then the panchayati raj minister.
Mounting pressure on the government over land allotment irregularities, BJP staged a demonstration outside the Raj Bhawan, demanding a CBI probe.
"We strongly feel that only a CBI probe can unravel the massive land scam since ruling party politicians and senior bureaucrats are involved," state BJP president KV Singhdeo told media here.
"This is just a beginning. We will intensify the agitation unless the government orders a CBI probe," said senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra and accused chief minister Naveen Patnaik of shielding the land grabbers. In a memorandum addressed to governor S C Jamir, BJP sought a direction to the state government for probe by the central agency for all allotments since 2000.