Efforts to prevent encroachment of government land in the district including state highways, national high ways and rural roads have allegedly not been fruitful. Reportedly, the state government and higher authorities of the revenue department had directed the administration to evict those found guilty of such unauthorised construction.
The reason behind the failure is being cited as nonresponsive attitude and negligence on the part of the tahsildars. By the pressure of rich and influential people, many revenue officials including tahsildars have not shown their interest to evict the encroachers after fixation of eviction date
On the other hand, locals alleged that the administration had submitted the list of encroachments to the state government and revenue department, but no action was taken.
The district administration had identified the encroachment of government lands by traders and self styled God men.
According to sources, Tahsildars of eight Tahsils (revenue sub-divisions) had registered 86 encroachment cases against the identified persons and had spotted the encroachment of 104 acres of government land. But no encroachment has yet been acted upon.
A senior officer of revenue department confessed, “In 2015, all tahsildars had registered encroachment cases but they have not yet been acted upon due to pressure of ruling party leaders.”
As per the provision of the Orissa Public Land Encroachments Act 1972, all unauthorised government land should be freed from the encroachers within the definite time frame.
The act also says that tahsildars should serve a show cause notice within 15 days of the registration of case and a 30 days show cause notice for eviction.
Within 45 days of registration of case, eviction should be conducted to free from encroached government land. A local resident Siba Charan Nayak alleged that some traders in the construction business had stored their materials such as sand, bricks and chips on government land.
Such stored materials have been located at Purohitpur, Taradapada, Dedsardeulii, Sanra, Nalibar, Chapda, Cuttack- Nuagaon National Highway and Paradip Cuttack State Highway.
The loading and unloading of such materials by parking vehicles on the roads has led to traffic congestion as well. Allegedly, the district officials including tahsildars have been aware of the illegal encroachment resulting in traffic jam but have not taken any steps for their eviction.
This has been done under pressure from the ruling party leaders and other influential people.