Congress warns Odisha Govt on land misuse by industries

Bhubaneswar: Warning Odisha government of serious consequences ahead, Opposition Congress on Thursday alleged that some industries had mortgaged land allotted to them with banks in order to take loans to invest outside the state.

"A number of industries have acquired land for setting up factories. Instead of establishing their units, some of them keep the land mortgaged with banks and take huge loan amount to invest outside the state," Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan said.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Harichandan claimed that he possessed documents from the Registrar of Companies to prove it. "Certain investors could keep the land mortgaged with banks only due to indiscriminate land allotment to the industries," he said.

Stating that state government had allotted land to 108 industrial houses including 55 MoU signed firms, Harichandan said the "unscrupulous" investors would vanish with the loan amount from banks leading to seizure of land in the state.

"The state will face serious consequences when banks or any other financial institutions take possession of land meant for setting up of industries," Harichandan said.

Revenue and Disaster Minister S N Patro said the government had no knowledge that industries taking loans by mortgaging land allotted to them.

Official sources said the MoU signed companies had been allotted 15,280.808 acres of land in 10 districts.

The highest 4,529.39 acres of land have been given to industries in Sambalpur district. About 1,935.65 acres of land have been allotted to Vedanta for setting up its refinery project in Kalahandi district. Bhusan Steel Limited has been given 1052.470 acres in Dhenkanal district, the sources said.