BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has clarified that the reports about the sale of the 12th century shrine land are not true, opposition leaders have urged the government to take steps to protect the Lord’s land and to free them from encroachment.
Since the temple administration is yet to receive the record of rights (RoR) of large parcels of land belonging to Lord Jagannath, leaders suggested that immediate steps should be taken by the state government to identify and record such land in his name.
Officials said though 60,426 acres of land belonging to Lord Jagannath have been found in 24 districts of the state, the SJTA has received the RoR of only 34,876 acres of land so far.
Leader of opposition in the state assembly and senior BJP leader, Pradipta Kumar Naik, said the state government cannot sell or settle Lord’s land in favour of any individual and any agency.
“Even if people have encroached upon such land and built a house or any other structure, the state government should not issue a patta in the name of such individuals or persons. Instead of settling patta in the name of individuals or agencies, which have undertaken construction on Jagannath’s land, the government should come up with a new policy to charge annual rent for such land,” Naik proposed.
The state government had in 2003 framed a unified policy to settle lands, which are occupied or are under possession of various persons for long, but actually belong to Shree Jagannatha Mahaprabhu.