KIIT’s forest land grab: Caveat filed in Supreme Court


Bhubaneswar: A caveat petition has been filed before the Supreme Court challenging the interim order of National Green Tribunal (NGT), which has directed the Odisha government to evict KIIT and KISS from the encroached forest land.

Environment activist and journalist Subash Mohapatra has approached the apex court. Mohapatra said that he has requested the court that no hearing could be taken without informing the petitioner.

“As officials of the Odisha are playing delay tactics and allowing opposite parties to get relief from otherwise, we are compelled to approach Supreme Court for a fair hearing if anybody challenges NGT order,” said Mohapatra.

 

Earlier, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Odisha government to evict two major educational institutions, including a tribal school run by education baron Achyuta Samanta, for allegedly encroaching 18 acres of forest land in Bhubaneswar in violation of the Forest Conservation Act.

Hearing a PIL filed by Mohapatra, a bench headed by Justice S P Wangdi of NGT Eastern bench on Tuesday asked the Odisha Chief Secretary to implement its order.

It ruled that the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) had in an unauthorised manner built playground, houses and gardens without taking approval from the Forest & Environment Department.

Last year, Mohapatra had filed a petition before the NGT’s Kolkata bench, seeking a direction to the Odisha government and Centre for starting criminal proceedings against Samanta, whose Kalinga Relief and Charitable Trust has allegedly encroached over 18 acres of forest land in Patharagadia and Patia mouza of Bhubaneswar.