Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Following allegations about illegal construction near Bhitarkanika National Park (BNP) by twisting and tweaking the forest land regulations, the district administration swung into action and started measurement of land allegedly encroached upon by Swad Hotel in Kendrapara on Tuesday.

As per reports, the measurement work was carried out in the presence of Additional District Magistrate (ADM), Tehsildar and the Forest Department officials.

The hotel was allegedly constructed with the support of BJD’s Rajkanika MLA Dhruba Sahu.

While the construction of the hotel is alleged to be illegal, a three-storey building has also been constructed on the forest land near the BNP.

Bhitarkanika Suraksha Samiti and some local residents had lodged complaints following the development before Kendrapara Collector.

“A person who owns only 24 decimal land had encroached upon government land, forest land and cremation ground and was using it. The man who was behind him is sitting MLA Dhruba Charan Sahu,” alleged Sahadeb Sahu, a member of the Bhitarkanika Suraksha Samiti.

“Some lands of Bhitarkanika National Park have been encroached and we are undertaking a preliminary investigation. Some people have encroached upon the forest land by constructing commercial establishments and houses. After detailed measurement, demarcation of the lands will be done. A pond has been dug and a park has been built by the hotel on some encroached land and we are investigating it,” said Tehsildar Ajit Mohanty.

However, no comments were received from MLA Dhruba Sahu in this regard.

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