Paradip: Land dispute has posed fresh hurdle for implementation of the World Bank-funded solid waste management project in the town.
In the latest development, the Paradip Port Trust has asked the municipal administration to pay Rs 30 crore towards security premium of the land before undertaking any form of construction there. Ironically, the much-awaited project is worth Rs 30 crore.
“Fifty acres required for the project under the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Programme has been alienated to the urban development department.
The Paradip Municipality was authorised to implement the project. However, the port trust has put forth a demand of Rs 30.32 crore premium payment for construction of the project on the land. It’s an arbitrary action on part of the port authorities as it’s a public utility project,” said Paradip additional district magistrate Rama Krushna Sahu.
The project’s tender-bidding had been over and the private farm awarded the work had begun erecting the boundary wall. However, the port trust had stopped the work on the ground that it was done without the port’s approval, said executive officer of the Paradip Municipality Purna Chandra Mishra.
According to the project, the state-of-the-art solid waste treatment plant would be installed to treat and process the waste and garbage in a modernised technology.
Earlier, ownership dispute had arisen over the earmarked patch. The port trust had moved Orissa High Court by filing a writ petition. The court had ordered a go-ahead to resume the project through an amicable settlement.
“Accordingly, the port trust had given consent to us for carrying out the project on 50 acres at Bhitargada. The notice served on us by the port trust regarding premium payment is absolutely illogical and arbitrary. It appears to be an attempt to inordinately delay the World Bank-funded project,” Sahu said. Paradip port officials, however, differed from the state government officials’ views.
“The port trust is guided by the land policy guidelines of major ports. Though dispute of land at Bhitargada has been resolved by the court’s intervention, the said land could only be leased out against security and premium payment. Land cannot be transferred in an outright manner. It could be leased out or licensed. We had written to the Union shipping ministry and they issued us the instructions. Therefore, we have asked the municipality to pay the premium for leasing out of the land to the municipality,” said a port trust official.