Odishatv Bureau

Puri: The row surrounding the expansion of the Puri Swargadwar (crematorium) is escalating day by day after the Puri collector on Wednesday disapproved the proposal for the second crematorium, while saying that the expansion plans of the existing Swargadwar will be carried out and action will be taken against any illegal encroachments and land grabs that come in the way of expansion.

In this regard, the Puri administration has decided that it will launch a probe into the 16-acre land under the custody of Shankaracharya which had been allotted for the crematorium.  If instances of land grab are found, then criminal cases will be lodged against the offenders.

Notably, the 16-acre land was allotted for the Swargadwar by the Shankaracharya mutt, however, there are no land records for the same at the designated place. The administration seeks to probe how business establishments came up in the area and under whose name the land has been transferred.

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“We will see if there are some fraudulent paperwork or instances fraud to transfer the land to private possession and in such cases we will file civil cases to take the possession back. If required we will also go for a criminal investigation,” said Puri Collector, Arvind Agarwal.

On the other hand, Puri Municipality Chairman Jayant Kumar Sarangi said that there are no records showing land in the name of Swargadwar and the amount of land which was acquired, it is still there.

“If the Swargadwar was built by acquiring land then it means that there was no land belonging to the crematorium. If there was land allotted to Swargadwar, then why land was acquired. If land has been acquired then who took the allotted land needs to be found out,” said Sarangi.