State to lease out commercial lands via auction route

Bhubaneswar: After drawing flak from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) for allotting lands in the state capital  in an ‘arbitrary manner’, the state government decided to lease out lands for commercial purposes through open bidding process. This will come into effect once the state Cabinet approves the Odisha Land Grant Policy-2012 draft that was passed by a five-member Cabinet sub-committee headed by Revenue Minister S N Patro on Friday.
 
“For commercial purposes such as multiplexes, malls and hotelslands will be allotted through auction process. Final call will be taken by the government on location and size of land that will be utilized for commercial purposes,” Revenue Minister SN Patro said.
 
Under the new proposal, the General Administration (GA) will identify patches of land in the city and hand over these to societies for construction of affordable houses, the minister informed adding the government will time to time take a decision regarding lands for societies.
 
Recently the CAG report had rapped the GA department for allocating 464.47 acres land in Bhubaneswar during 2000-12 in an arbitrary manner.
 
The report said, “During 2000-12, GA Department allotted 464.47 acre land. Despite such a huge volume of land allotted during the period, there was no policy or procedure framed by the departments for allotment of government land in Bhubaneswar.”
 
The CAG had observed that apart from GA department, various other government authorities in Bhubaneswar such as Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) were also allotting land for similar purposes, namely, educational institutions, hotels and hospitals.
 
The CAG report said, “However, there was no clear demarcation regarding jurisdiction for allotment by these authorities.”