June 17, 2014

Odisha Channel Bureau Paradip: Paradip Port Trust authorities are in a spot of bother as long-standing land dispute with the State government is lying unresolved.While the major port is poised for a makeover with a series of infrastructure development project lined up, there has been a deadlock in the settlement of land row.In the meanwhile, the PPT has sought the intervention of Orissa High Court for the expeditious disposal of the matter. The PPT citing the land policy guidelines for major ports asserts that port land could not be transferred in an outright manner.It could only be leased out as per the major ports’ land policy rules.The disagreement between the port and the government dates back to May 18, 1966 when it was accorded the status of country’s eighth major port under the Major Ports Act, 1963.The PPT is asserting ownership over 6,382.07 acre while the state government is insistent on possession of 1072.27 acre of land out of it for its own use.Dispute mainly centres around 563 acre of land in Sandhakuda, new Sandhakuda and Bhitargada areas.These patches are accreted areas formed by sea.While PPT has lost about 300 acre due to sea erosion in southern portion of the port, the accumulated sand dunes has led to the formation of land area in other parts, said an official of estate department of the port. It’s pertinent to note here that PPT in past years claimed lawful ownership of the land as per major ports act and public premises act.Several committees have been constituted in the past.But nothing has come out of it.On the other hand, the state government is laying its claim of specific patch of land for state offices and residential quarters and other state government establishments.Stalemate was continuing as both the sides were not a mood to budge an inch.Significantly it’s country’s only major port that is encountering a crisis of this nature.“The dispute has remained unresolved since the day the port was commissioned in the sixties.The issues need to be sorted out expeditiously so that the Odisha’s lone major port would grow further,” said a port official.PPT is hopeful of early settlement of land issues.The port is in requirement of dispute-free land as a number of infrastructure development projects were pending for implementation, he added.PPT authorities had given consent to part with the land for use of the state government in different patches.The state government had asked for land within the port limits for airstrip, state government offices and institutions, places of worship, Orissa maritime academy, fisheries department block and extension of irrigation canal.However the port trust had refused to part with the land on the basis of major ports act and public premises act.That has led to the land-transfer stalemate, claimed official sources.

June 17, 2014 0 Comment

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