BHUBANESWAR: In a blow to land sharks, the state government has decided to turn the heat on people, who purchased large patches of agricultural lands for commercial purpose and kept them vacant for years, eyeing hefty returns from sale of the lands in future.
Revenue divisional commissioner (central) Arvind Padhee on Tuesday issued a circular to all tehsildars under his division to identify such lands and take action. "In big cities like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, builders and land mafia are purchasing chunks of agriculture lands for realty purposes in violation of the Odisha Land Reforms (OLR) provisions," Padhee said.
"Vast stretches of lands lying fallow indicates the extent of acquisition by influential people at the cost of agriculture production. Action against them might generate good extent of ceiling surplus lands for the government," Padhee said.
Vast stretches of 'green' lands in and around the city have been occupied by land mafias in view of the spiraling prices of land. Government also suspects that the land sharks might have usurped government lands in different places in state.
Recently, Padhee, who is the chief administrator of Jagannath Temple in Puri, initiated action against land mafias and retrieved vast areas of Jagannath from the clutches of encroachers at Jatni.