Land transactions in and around Bhubaneswar – the biggest property market of the State – have come to a standstill as lawyers and deed writers have kept themselves away from the process.

Trouble started on September 1 last when the government made a ‘steep’ revision in the benchmark valuation of land in the State capital.

Taking exception to this, lawyers and deed writers operating under offices under district sub-registrar and Khandagiri sub registrar refused to participate in land transaction processes saying it would hurt general public badly.

“The State government revised benchmark valuation of land twice in a year which is against the spirit of the law. The high benchmark valuation will only encourage monopolistic tendencies, ” said Bansidhar Behera, President of All Odisha Deed Writers’ Association (AODWA).

Mr. Behera said the number of land transactions would go down drastically as people would not turn up for selling or buying land due to high rate of process fees.

Lalat Patnaik of Bhubaneswar Bar Association echoed similar apprehensions.

“Local people have limited purchasing power. After increase in benchmark valuation, they cannot think of purchase a property in their neighbourhood. Gradually outsiders would usurp land of capital city.”

Both the associations have moved court seeking a stay on the government’s revision of land valuation.

AODWA President said, “One third of government’s total revenue from land transactions comes from Bhubaneswar circle. On an average 40000 land transactions take place in Bhubaneswar.”

According unofficial estimates, more than Rs. 200 crore worth properties are sold and bought in Bhubaneswar in a month.

Besides the issue of loss to State exchequer, the halt in land transactions has affected many needy people who are desperate to sell their land for bearing marriage and medical expenses.

Realtors are finding it very difficult to cope with the situation. Several projects worth crores of rupees have failed to make progress as properties could not be acquired on account of ‘non-cooperation’ by lawyers and deed writers.

“We have resorted to peaceful protest. We are not preventing anybody from approaching office of sub-registrar for land registration. The State government has turned a deaf to our demands. We have submitted representations twice, but government is not coming forward to resolve the issue,” Mr. Behera alleged.

Bhubaneswar remained the first attraction of people for both setting down permanently and making investments in property.

  • ‘High processing fee will deter people from buying or selling land’

  • More than Rs. 200 crore worth properties are sold and bought in Bhubaneswar in a month