Bagala Dharmashala Land Sale Row: Opposition Corners Odisha Govt, Alleges Conspiracy
Bhubaneswar: The Puri Bagala Dharmashala land sale has taken a political turn with the BJP and the Congress alleging massive conspiracy in the name of rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced.
“In the name of resettlement of the displaced, the State government hatched a conspiracy to loot the land,” alleged Congress leader, Satya Prakash Nayak.
BJP’s Puri MLA, Jayant Sarangi said that when the State, Puri Municipality and the Srimandir administration have enough land in their possession across the district, why a dharmashala land was allotted to the lodge owners.
Responding to the allegations, the State Revenue Minster, Sudam Marndi said, “The Puri collector has already clarified on the matter and it would not be appropriate for me to further comment on the same.”
It is worth mentioning that the Puri collector had sought permission from the State Revenue and Disaster Management department to execute the sale deed for transfer of Bagala Dharmashala land in favour of the displaced lodge owners as resettlement assistance.
The department had then granted permission to transfer a total of 2.097 decimals land (plot no. 461, 459 and 496) on market value. Later, the administration transferred the land to six persons.
The State Housing and Urban Development department had earlier allowed transfer of the land in question to the Revenue and Disaster Management department under ‘ABADHA’ scheme for the development of Puri.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Puri district administration has already informed through a presser that the Bagala Dharmashala was running a lodge with a capacity of 200 pilgrims and to increase the capacity by 50 times, the State government is constructing a lodge with a capacity of 2000.
On the land sale row, senior lawyer Ashok Mohapatra said, “The government is the superior landlord. It can give land on lease but can’t sell it. However, a collector has neither the power to sell or give land on lease. So, the entire sale is void.”
Meanwhile, the Puri district administration has clarified that only 12.23 per cent land of the dharmashala has been utilized for the rehabilitation and resettlement of those who have given their land for Srimandir development.
(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)