Nayagarh: The Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission also known as Jaga Mission is giving rise to encroachments in Nayagarh district.
Encroachments are increasing in the district headquarters of Nayagarh after the beneficiaries received pattas (Record of Rights) for five times. The local civic body is clearing the encroachments through eviction drives but has failed to check rapid encroachments in the town. Moreover, well to do and affluent people are grabbing government lands taking advantage of the existing loopholes in the law.
These affluent persons are acquiring government lands despite having their own houses and lands in their villages. This has happened due to existing vote bank politics in the area which is favouring the encroachers in grabbing government land.
On the other hand, local residents in the town despite their taxes in time have been deprived of receiving the minimum benefits. However, the encroachers after receiving the ‘pattas’ are allegedly being provided with all the benefits.
Some taxpayers have alleged that they have no objection in providing government benefits to the poor and the landless after providing them with land ‘pattas’ but object to affluent persons grabbing government benefits on the pretext of being poor and landless.
They claimed neglecting taxpayers is not good for the health of democracy. Reports said the intensity of encroachments can be gauged from the fact that houses have been built on hills and forested areas in the district headquarters of Nayagarh town.
Moreover, construction of houses is underway on hilltops and foot hills of Jajangi, Rukhi and Balaram hills. The hilltops and foothills of these hills are under encroachments. The costly and high value lands are being encroached.
This apart, government lands are being sold at prices between Rs 40,000 and Rs 4 lakh. Recently, a sarpanch reportedly sold a government land at Bebartapalli in the town. The matter came to the fore after six families residing on the land were evicted from the place.
When contacted, Santosh Kumar Jena, executive officer of Nayagarh Municipality said around 486 beneficiaries were provided with land certificates under Jaga Mission scheme. The exercise of certification distribution was carried out five times.
Among them, 214 beneficiaries have been sanctioned houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) while 106 of them have received work orders for house construction.
Works orders have not been issued to the rest of the 146 beneficiaries as their pattas mention their land as less than 225 sqft. As a result, a detailed project report has been prepared and submitted to the state government urging it to allot a minimum of 230 sqft of land to the beneficiaries as per government rules.
Those who do not have government land cannot be given more lands or work order for house construction under Awas Yojana. Moreover, the civic body has a rule to provide land pattas to the landless families.