Bhubaneswar: Alleged illegal mining in the land allotted to Bharat Masala company at Ramdaspur panchayat under Barang Tehsil in Cuttack district has incurred a huge revenue loss to the state government.
According to sources, Barang Tehsildar Manas Kumar Jena has stated that the state government has incurred around Rs 5 – 6 crore revenue loss after allotting land to Bharat Masala (company) to set up the factory at Ramdaspur. Jena stated that, out of the total area allotted to Bharat Masala company by the state government to set up its factory, 14.356 decimal area is full of murram.
As per the rule, it is the responsibility of the Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) to level the land for the concerned business entity who is willing to set up a factory on such land. Later, IDCO should pay the royalty received from the company to the state government.
However, in the case of Bharat Masala company IDCO has not paid any royalty to the government, for which the government has incurred a revenue loss of Rs 5 – 6 crore.
The state government had issued a letter to IDCO to pay the royalty, however, IDCO did not pay a single penny towards royalty. Later, the company took possession of the land and used it for own benefits.
IDCO and some powerful individuals have used the company for their self-interest after illegally transporting murram from this area to other parts across the state on the pretext of levelling the land.
After repeated complaints by the residents, the local administration had only directed the vehicles to pay challan before transporting murram from Ramdaspur area. The local has further alleged that the tons of murram are being stored illegally by the company on the acquired land in Ramdaspur panchayat. This came to the fore after a survey and fine will also be collected for the same, the Tehsildar had said.
Earlier the land was allotted to Vijay Mallya Group to set up a bear factory. However, after huge public protest, the decision was withdrawn. Locals have also filed a PIL against the land and the hearing is yet to be completed, informed sources.
Locals have raised the question on government decision in allotting a disputed land to Bharat Masala company to set up its factory. At present, Bharat Masala company is taking advantage of the delay in judicial proceedings and utilising the land illegally for its personal benefits.
Expressing dismay over the company’s illegal practices the locals have threatened to launch mass protest in the coming days.