Khurda Dist Adm Halts Construction On Disputed Lingaraj Temple Land

Bhubaneswar: The Khurda district administration on Sunday stopped construction works on a piece of land that originally belonged to Lord Lingaraj, but was sold to the wife of the managing director of a mining firm, official sources stated.

The land is close to the Biju Patnaik International Airport here. A team led by Bhubaneswar tehsildar PK Sahu stopped construction on the land carried out by a private firm. It sealed a container on the plot at Bhimpur mouza near the airport and put up a notice.

Sahu, said the district administration stopped construction work on the site as per the direction of the Board of Revenue Court which has been hearing a revision case related to the land.

As per records, the mining firm owner’s wife purchased 228-decimal plot of land from one person for Rs 6.45 crore. The deed of sale was made on November 5, 2021 at Bhubaneswar where the Lord Lingaraj Temple is located.

In September 2020, the then Revenue Secretary Bishnupada Sethi had directed the Khurda district collector to bring back the land owned by Lord Lingaraj to the temple’s land records. Sethi had also directed the collector to refer the matter on change in ownership of the “Debottar” land to the Crime Branch for an investigation.

Minister and local MLA, Ashok Chandra Panda, said the land owned by Lord Lingaraj will not be handed over to anyone. “The plot of land in question was earlier being occupied by a family of a servitor who was in charge of the temple treasury and performing puja,” said Panda. He added that action will be initiated if any irregularity is found in this matter.

State BJP on Monday held a press conference demanding action against people and officials involved in illegal transaction of this land deal.