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Vasundhara Yojana: Bangla infiltrators reap benefits

Team Odian News |

Kendrapara: The state government’s ambitious Vasundhara Yojana to provide land pattas (record of rights) to the landless for construction of houses has gone haywire in this district after infiltrators from Bangladesh have encroached upon large tracts of government land, said a report Monday.

The needy people of the district have virtually been deprived of the benefits of government schemes despite running from pillar to post. The state government has launched Vasundhara Yojana from 2006 to benefit landless by providing providing land pattas for construction of permanent houses. The infiltrators, however, managed to get government land instead of the genuine beneficiaries, rued some senior citizens.

According to 2011 Census, the district had 2,512 landless people but by July 2019-end over 5,331 people have been included in the Vasundhara scheme. These beneficiaries have received 445.524 acre of government land under the scheme. The maximum number of beneficiaries are in Pattamundai and Mahakalapara blocks.

A person from Jambu in Mahakalapara block alleged that while he had been making several rounds of the district collectorate and the block office to get a land pattas, the infiltrators have managed to grab the benefits in connivance with some unscrupulous officials and touts.

He said he had applied for land patta under the scheme in the Mahakalapara block office and paid Rs 1 lakh to a revenue inspector to avail of the benefits. He first paid Rs 70,000 and received the land pattas and later paid Rs 30,000 and received a receipt towards the same. However, when he checked it with the office both the land pattas and receipts were found to be fake. He tried to lodge an FIR at the police station but police refused to listen to him and register his complaint. He even knocked the doors of the district administration and block office but they are yet to be addressed.

Social activist Pratap Kumar Padhi alleged delay in providing land to the landless has derailed the goals of the scheme. He said the scheme is a boon for the landless people but improper management has derailed its objectives. He alleged that even in some cases rich and affluent people have managed to get land under the scheme by conniving with unscrupulous officials. He alleged the government in 2017 directed inclusion of transgenders under the scheme but the district administration has not been able to provide a single piece of land to the former.

When contacted, Sub-Collector Jyoti Ranjan Mohapatra said various problems are hindering the successful implementation of the scheme. However, he denied that the scheme had gone haywire.

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