States

CAG- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service
BHUBANESWAR: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) pulled up the State-run Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) and Angul district administration for leasing out authorities land to unauthorised occupants at throwaway value with out approval of the competent authority.In the moment case, Jindal India Thermal Power Ltd (JITPL) which was in unauthorised occupation of presidency land since 2013 in Kaniha tehsil of Angul district was handed over 12 acre of forest land for industrial use at a concession price of Rs 72.95 lakh towards the market worth of Rs 3.03 crore.

In November 2011, JITPL had utilized for diversion of forest land for building of method street to its thermal plant at Kaniha to the State authorities. On the suggestions of the Forest and Environment division, the Ministry of Environment and Forest permitted the diversion proposal in September 2014.
After Central approval, Idco had utilized for lease of 12 acre of presidency land to Kaniha tehsildar for industrial use by JITPL. The district collector had granted lease of 12 acre of presidency land in favour of Idco for subsequent switch to JITPL at a concessional price of Rs 72.95 lakh. 

Since the land in query was beneath unauthorised occupation of JITPL, the precept devised by Revenue and Disaster Management (R&DM) division in November 2010 for fixation of premium, curiosity and penalty ought to be utilized throughout switch of the land.The Kaniha tehsildar had filed three encroachment instances towards JITPL in 2015 on the premise of stories of the income inspector of the tehsil that firm was in unauthorised occupation of presidency land since 2013. On inspection of the location, the tehsildar discovered that JITPL had constructed roads connecting to its plant on these patches of land. 

“The tehsildar had imposed a penalty of Rs 75,000 on JITPL which was realised in November 2015. Since it was proved that the JITPL was in unauthorised occupation of land, premium at concessional rate was not applicable for the land acquired for ultimate transfer to it as per the principle devised by the R&DM department,” the CAG report stated.While ignoring the report of the tehsildar, Angul collector calculated the land premium at concessional price. In such instances, the R&DM division is the competent authority to approve the lease, however the collector didn’t assume it match to take the approval of the federal government.

Audit calculated the land premium at market worth prevailing on the date of sanction of lease (December 2015) at Rs 3.03 crore. “There was undercharging of land premium by Rs 2.3 crore (land premium realised at concessional rate of Rs 72.95 lakh) which amounted to extension of undue benefit to JIPTL,” the report stated.

Timeline

2011: JITPL utilized for diversion of forest land for its plant
2013: JITPL illegally occupied 12 acre govt land
2014: MoEF permitted diversion proposal 
Nov 2015: Kaniha tehsildar filed three encroachment instances towards JITPL 
Dec 2015: Angul collector sanctioned the lease 

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