• otv
Rojalin Mishra

Keonjhar: The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Western Zone, has directed the Keonjhar district administration to look into the land grabbing allegations against Montecarlo Construction Limited in the district and take stringent action.

The Montecarlo Construction was accused of grabbing reserved forest and tribal community lands. As per the allegations, the company had undertaken the construction work of NH-49 from Mayurbhanj Singada to Keonjhar Binchbahal but it grabbed the reserve forest lands near Bayapandapadar village.

As per reports, locals had protested the move of the company and approached the district administration; however, after failing to get any response from the local administration even after their repeated complaints, they took up the issues with the NGT, Kolkata.

After hearing of the case, the NGT has directed the district administration to evict the camp of Montecarlo from the forest and recover money from the company in order to restore the land to its original status.

“They were setting up a building on our land. We are thankful to the NGT for providing us justice,” said a villager, Kishore Chandra Khatei.

“At the time of establishment of our consultancy here, it was non-forest land.  After only receiving confirmation from the RI of the area, we had undertaken the work,” said Montecarlo company official, Ramesh Chandra Chatoi.

“Basing on the land documents provided by the Revenue department, Gram Sabha and NOC from sarpanch, we had given our consent to the construction company to establish their consultancy in the area," said Puskar Chandra Behera , Regional officer of the State Pollution Control Board.

However, the consent for the establishment of the consultancy was revoked after the board, following an investigation, found that it was a forest land.

On the other hand, Keonjhar collector Ashish Thakre said: "We hadn’t given them consent for establishment of the consultancy; the requisite documents were not verified properly by the State Pollution Control Board. Currently, we are taking action as per the direction of NGT."

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