The Board of Revenue has placed an officer in the rank of Orissa Settlement and Consolidation Service (OSCS) under suspension for his alleged involvement in unlawful recording of valuable government land in the name of some private persons.

Suspension order has been issued to Sridhar Mishra, who has been attached to the office of Deputy Director, Survey and Map Publication, Cuttack, as discipline proceedings against him is being contemplated.

According to the Revenue and Disaster Management Department sources, Mr. Mishra, during his stint as an assistant settlement officer in Bhubaneswar has been accused of unlawfully recording government land in villages such as Andharua, Gothapatna, Pathargadia, and Bhola. The extent of land in question is about 100 acres. The suspension, however, has again brought the issue of land scam in capital city to the fore.

At present, a team of CBI, after being asked by the Orissa High Court, is questioning the officers in land administration about fraudulent recording of three acres of government land in Andharua, on the outskirts of the capital city, in favour of a private entity. Sources say the CBI team will also go through settlement records after taking their possession.

As the land prices have sky-rocketed in and around the capital city, allegations of fraudulent recording of lands have been frequently surfacing. From influential engineering college promoters to real estate developers and from powerful bureaucracy to local musclemen are alleged to be involved in gobbling up valuable government land through unfair means.

One among many

Most land patches in 15 km radius from the centre of the capital city have been sold while builders are resorting to muscle power to purchase land from private persons. Sources in the department say the suspended OSCS officer is one among the scores of officials and middlemen active in the network of land sale purchase.

Meanwhile, a special cell under the Revenue and Disaster Management Department started functioning from April 1 to detect fraudulent recording of the government land.