Cuttack, June 16: The administration seems to be in a quandary over the investigation of the Cuttack land scam case.
Official sources said a team of officers had detected several cases of mutations / leasing out of government lands to private persons and subsequent issuance of record of rights in their favour. But, further enquiry had not been possible over the past few months because of non-availability of case records related to these land transfers.
The tehsildars concerned had not been able to submit the case records required for conducting the enquiry, the sources said.
The alleged land scam involved illegal transfer of large tracts of government land in Bidanasi and other areas of Cuttack in favour of private persons.
The scam had surfaced in October last year when members of the high court bar alleged before the court’s PIL bench for civic problems in this city that government lands were being illegally transferred to several persons with connivance of the revenue inspector and amin of Cuttack Sadar tehsil.
Encroachment cases are being foisted in connivance with the revenue officials so that it becomes easier for the encroachers to regularise encroachment.
On October 21, 2011, the high court directed the Cuttack collector “to make an enquiry through his officers to the extent that government lands have been transferred to private persons, which are the recent cases, and the persons responsible for it”.
District administration sources said the collector had deputed five teams constituting of Odisha Administrative Service / Odisha Settlement and Consolidation Service officers assisted by technical persons such as revenue inspectors and amins to enquire into the matter.
A subsequent enquiry was conducted in 13 villages – Bidanasi Unit-I to VIII, Tangarahuda, Ramagarh, Bidyadharpur, Bentkarpada and Brajabiharipur, covering Sadar Cuttack, Barang and Athagarh tehsils. Though details of the outcome of the enquiry is not available, a senior official said: “The team of officers had detected that different tehsildars had disposed of different cases and mutated / leased out the government land in favour of private persons. But the position of case records where government lands have been mutated / leased out by tehsildars / additional tehsildars are not available in most cases detected in Sadar Cuttack and Athagarh tehsil.”
In fact, the helplessness of the administration in proceeding with further enquiry is evident from an action taken report submitted by the collector in the high court recently. “In spite of frantic efforts and repeated letters to them, the concerned tehsildars (Sadar and Athagarh) could not submit the same (case records) for a transparent enquiry,” the report said.