HC stays operation of Malgodown eviction notices

Cuttack: In a major relief to thousands of traders in Malgodown here, the Orissa High Court today stayed the operation of recent eviction notices issued by East Coast Railways (ECoR) to traders to vacate the railway land by March 31 this year.

Taking up a batch of petitions filed by several traders, Justice Biswnath Rath issued notices to the railways, Odisha government and to the Cuttack district collector asking the respondents to file their counters to the petitions within two weeks.

Malgodown, the biggest wholesale trading centre of the state, came up here over an area of 25 acres almost eight decades ago, of which nearly 80 percent of the land belongs to the railways, which were given to the traders on lease that expired in 1985.

Since then, the traders are in occupation of these lands and despite several notices from the railways, they were not vacating the property. However, the railways this time are determined to evict the traders from its land.

When the executive and the legislature failed to provide any relief to the traders over the issue, they have approached the judiciary seeking iys intervention towards their plight.