BDA halts demolition at Bharatpur due to public resistance

Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) on Thursday failed to demolish the illegally constructed houses in Bharatpur mouza on the outskirts of the capital city due to stiff resistance from the locals. On Wednesday, the civic body had announced to raze these houses in the area which have been built on government land. The announcement followed after OTV reported of a scam which could go in excess of Rs 500 crore.

Earlier in the morning, as the joint team of BDA, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and General Administration (GA) reached the spot to bulldoze the houses, locals blocked the main road and staged a sit in. They too shouted slogans against the State government.

The residents of the area also threatened to set afire the vehicles which will be used by the civic body to demolish their houses.

Official sources said, the drive would be started soon with adequate forces.

“There was a resistance from the locals. Currently we are in discussion with the locals and will take appropriate action,” said BDA vice-chairman Krishan Kumar.

On the land scam the official stated: “It is an organized land grabbing and not an encroachment. We will take stringent action against the wrongdoers.”

On Wednesday, soon after news telecast on OTV on the land scam, the Odisha government ordered a probe into the matter.

“I have asked the Revenue Inspector (RI) to submit a probe report and we will take necessary action against the wrongdoers,” said Debendra Mohapatra, Estate Director, GA department.

A team of officials of BDA, BMC and GA department too visited the area and took stock of the situation.