Jajpur: For the last decade, 34.46 acre of land belonging to Paradip Port Trust (PPT) has been under encroachment near Bramhapursasan under Dharmasala tehsil in Jajpur district. A farm house was set up on the land while a stone crushing unit is being run on it at present. Also murram is being excavated from the land on a regular basis. Surprisingly, there is no mention of approximately 14.42 acre of land of the 34.46 acre in tehsil records. Local RTI activists Sarbeswar Beura, Jitendra Sahu, Prakash Das and Pradip Pradhan have taken up the issue of illegal encroachment of PPT land and have written to the CBI. They have demanded stern action against the encroachers.
Reports said, the PPT has a total 34.46 acre of land in khata-222 and plots– 416; 419; 455; 459 and 472. One Sribas Jena of Dharmasala area was given 20.04 acre from this patch for six years on an agreement signed November 1, 2007. However, Jena violated the agreement for which the PPT cancelled it February 8, 2012. Despite all this, the land is still being occupied by Jena. Later, Jena moved the Supreme Court against the cancellation of the agreement. The matter is still sub-judice. PPT on the other hand, has failed to demarcate 14.42 acre land out of the 34.46 acre. This had earlier been stated by former assistant secretary of PPT, AK Samal in replies to RTI queries. It has been alleged that some influential people have got the land registered in their names in collusion with some tehsil officials. It may be recalled here that Shah Commission which had probed the multi-crore mining scam in Odisha has pointed out in its report that huge quantities of illegally extracted mineral from Keonjhar and Jajpur had been exported through PPT. After the Shah Commission submitted its reports to the Odisha government in 2010- 11, fines had been collected from errant mining firms. At that time, illegal minerals were being stocked on the PPT land mentioned above and were being shifted on a regular basis. Incidentally, a cargo ship called ‘Black Rose’ carrying minerals had drowned 9km off the Paradip coast and an engineer had died. The incident is still under investigation of the Crime Branch.
However, the case has not been probed by CBI. The RTI activists have asserted that the PPT land scam, multicrore illegal mining and the ‘Black Rose’ drowning case are interconnected. They pointed out that despite cancellation of the agreement with Jena, PPT has not reclaimed the land while large quantities of murram are being lifted from the land. They demanded a CBI probe into the entire matter. Tehsildar Swagat Das was contacted over the phone for his views, but he did not pick up the call.