No comprehensive field inquiry has ever been carried out to ascertain how many houses have been built without approved plan under the jurisdiction of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), according to the State government.

The admission of Housing and Urban Development Minister Debi Prasad Mishra came in response to a query of Congress legislator Naba Kishore Das in the State Assembly.

“Neither any formal survey nor field inquiry was carried out to detect the houses built without approved plan. However, illegal construction of 16,144 houses in the BDA area has come to notice of the authority,” Mr. Mishra said.

The Minister said the government had registered cases under Section 91 (1) of Odisha Development Authority Act 1982 against 16,144 persons. “Courts, however, granted stay order in 93 cases.”

Similarly, replying to a query on whether any building was constructed illegally on the government land, Mr. Mishra said, “as many as 1,135 buildings were constructed on the government land. But, incidence of buildings built without approved plan on government land has not come to the notice of the BDA.”

The Housing and Urban Development Minister informed the house that the government would soon implement demolition of buildings constructed illegally through ‘control basis technology’.

“As part of the initiative, an Indore–based experienced engineer and consultant has been contacted. It has also been decided to invite suggestions from other experts by issuing public notice,” he said.

Last month, the State government informed the House that 139 illegal buildings in the city were identified for demolition. In 2011, the Assembly was informed that demolition proceedings were being initiated with regard to 149 apartments. However, there was no instance of any major building being demolished. The list of buildings to be demolished gets lengthier by days, but intent is hardly translated into action.