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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: While the Odisha government has decided to create 450 new revenue circles in the State to ensure timely delivery of revenue services, Opposition BJP and Congress have raised questions over the proposal and termed it a mere announcement.

According to sources, at present there are 2,279 revenue circles across the State and additional 450 RI (Revenue Inspector) circles will come up to provide services like mutation, assessment of crop loss, demarcation of land, collection of land revenue and maintenance of land records. The government has asked the district collectors to furnish tehsil-wise proposal for re-organisation of the RI circles.

As per the proposal of the Revenue and Disaster Management department, one revenue circle will be created comprising three GPs in rural areas while one circle will come up for three municipal wards in urban areas like Cuttack, Rourkela, Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Puri, Sambalpur and Balasore.

The government has prepared a tentative list of new RI circles. The highest of 45 revenue circles will be created in Balasore district, followed by 43 in Cuttack, 32 in Jajpur and 26 in Khurda, as per the proposal.

However, the Opposition raised questions over the proposal and alleged that a large number of RI and Amin posts are lying vacant in the existing RI circles. Terming the plan as mere announcement, the Opposition alleged that RI offices are the hub of corruption.

Congress MLA Suresh Routray said, "These are only political gimmicks. People are suffering due to lack of adequate number of revenue officials. Instead of filling up the vacant posts of RIs and Amins, the government is going for creation of new RI circles."

BJP general secretary Prithiviraj Harichandan also echoed similar views and said, "People are suffering and there is huge revenue loss due to lack of adequate number of officials in many existing RI circles. As one revenue inspector has to remain in charge of at least three circles due to shortage of staff, it is creating ground for bribery."

However, ruling-BJD MLA Amar Satpathy defended the move of the government and said, "Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has taken several steps under 5T initiative to provide services to people and creation of new RI circles is part of it. The new RI circles will ensure speedy delivery of services and quick disposal of revenue related cases."

Apart from creation of new revenue circles, the State government has also initiated steps to streamline land and property related transactions.

"People can get all land-related documents in the afternoon after completion of necessary registration works at sub-registrar offices from February 1. Similarly, land records will be made available to people within one hour of registration from April 1, 2020," Revenue Secretary, Pradipta Mohapatra had announced recently.

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