NGT notice to KIIT, KIMS over Forest land encroachment issue

Bhubaneswar: The National Green Tribunal (NGT), on Wednesday, issued notice to Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) here for allegedly encroaching upon forest land in the city. The Green panel has also asked the chief secretary to reply in the matter.

The court was hearing a petition filed by activist Subas Mohapatra in which he has mentioned that Plot no 516 in Patia Mouza under Bhubaneswar tehsil, having 55 acres of forest land has been encroached upon by KIIT and KIMS.

The petition further mentioned that though Record of Rights of the land is in the name of state-run Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO), the same has been transferred in favour of IDCO from the State government records without obtaining ‘mandatory’ approval from Centre as required under Forest Conservation Act 1980.

The petitioner also alleged that the educational institutions have been constructed on the land without valid permission from the State government.

Last month the NGT had directed the Odisha government to fence 18 acre forest area, that Kalinga Relief and Charitable Trust is alleged to have encroached upon, and restore it to its original status.

The order of the Eastern Zone bench of the Green panel came during the hearing of a complaint filed by Mohaptra. In his petition Mohapatra had sought the trust running KIIT and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) to be prosecuted for encroaching on forest land at Pathargadia in Bhubaneshwar in violation of Forest Conservation Act of 1980.