MAC: Mines and Communities

India Update

Published by MAC on 2006-03-15
Source: The Pioneer ()


India Update

15th March 2006

Displaced get land already in possession of another company

by Aurobinda Das / Rourkela, The Pioneer

14th March 2006

Land measurement in Tainsar under Tainsar Gram Panchayat of Lathikata Block by the Revenue Department is a sample of how the rich have hijacked poor men's land.

It is to mention here that when the RSP-displaced staged an economic blockade on January 10, 2006, RDC (Northern Division) gave a written assurance to the members of the Local Displaced Association (LDA) that it would settle the problem of reclamation land by providing them with map and pattas.

Accordingly, Panposh Sub-Collector issued a notice to different tehsils to identify the land in various reclamation camps. Basing on the instruction of the Sub-Collector, the Kuarmunda tehsildar sent an amina (man who surveys and demarcates land) to execute the order in Tainsar reclamation camp where 43 families were given 154 acres of land.

However, when the measurement work started on March 8, a unique observation was made both by the amina and LDA members. Most of the land allotted were under the possession of Jai Balaji Jyoti Steels Ltd. According to the amina, about 50 acres of land were under use (possession) of factory (35 acres factory area and 15 acres of dumping area). Interestingly, the amina said he was at a loss to figure out how it happened.

The factory owner claimed he had purchased the land from the actual owners which is next to impossible. According to amina, the then tehsildar, Kuarmunda, and Sub-Registrar, Panposh, are the right persons who can answer this question.

In this regard The Pioneer tried to contact with the sarpanch, Tainsar, but in vain. However, sources said the secretary is not sure about the decision/resolution of the Gram Sabha in relation to setting up of a factory. From the version of the secretary it was clear that proper PESA was not followed before awarding NoC to the factory. Now, everyone is waiting for the RDC's meeting with the LDA and the Government officials on March 17.

LDA president Rama Chandra Sahoo said through this case the conspiracy of capitalists, administration, land mafia has come out in the open. Citing some readily available examples, Mr Sahoo said Jagannath Chik, son of Mangru Chik of Raghunath Palli Mouza, was give 1.74 acres of land vide Hal Khata No 53 and plot no. 2352/2350/2558 at Tainsar against 1.78 acres of land at RN Palli, and till now he pays land revenue. But his land is under possession of Jai Balaji Jyoti Steels Ltd.

Another incident of Dwija Pada Banerjee came to the fore. He was allotted vide plot no 2,387, 2,575 and 2,385 lands of 1.8 acres, 15 decimals and 7.36 acres, but without his knowledge the ownership changed in favour of the factory.

Similarly, Raju Singh was allotted 3.24 acres and 15 decimal lands vide plot no. 2,355 and 2,566 respectively and Guru Tanty was allotted 1.7 acres of land vide plot no 2,351 and 2,391 and 15 decimals vide plot no 2,582, but they are simply paying the land revenues though the land is under possession of the factory.

Mr Sahoo said within a few days they would be disclosing the details of the 43 families. He reiterated that they are now keeping a watch on other sponge factories too.

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