BISHNU CHARAN SWAIN Vs. SECRETARY WORKS AND TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
BISHNU CHARAN SWAIN
SECRETARY, WORKS AND TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT
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(1.) THIS is a petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution seeking to quash a proposed action conveyed in Letter No. 17165 dated 31-7-1970 (Annexure 8) issued by the Secretary to the Government, Works and Transport department, to the Chief Engineer, projects (Express Highway) suggesting leasing out of the road-side lands to the Express Highway No. 1 for agricultural and piscicultural purposes temporarily on annual basis to landless Harijans, preference being given to the Fishery Co-operative Societies of the landless Harijans.
(2.) FACTS leading to the above petition are as follows: Fortyfour decimals of land lying in village Saintipur belonging to petitioner Bishnu Charan Swain of village padmalavpur, who is a non-Harijan, was acquired for the construction of the express Highway from Daitari to Paradip. Out of this land. 32 decimals appertain to Khata 12 and the balance to Khata 16. There was due notification for acquisition and there is no challenge that the compensation amount has not been received. The Express Highway No. 1 became complete by 1967 (1968 according to the counter) and it is open to traffic thereafter. Out of the acquired lands, the Highway runs actually over almost the middle portions leaving some lands on either side for digging earth therefrom and spreading the same for the construction of the highway leaving certain lands intact for future use in repairing the Highway. From the lands earth was taken, great pits have formed that contain water all the Year round and so fit for pisciculture. Under the impugned Annexure 8, the secretary to the Government Works Department, wrote to the Chief Engineer. Projects (Express Highway), suggesting that the lands on either side of the Express highway may be leased out temporarily for agricultural and piscicultural purposes to landless Harijang subject to the conditions noted below: agriculture: 1. Agreement should be executed in the form (Enclosed)before the land is allotted to lessee. 2. The land should be settled with the landless Harijans on annual basis and these Harijans should belong to the neighbouring villages and if no Harijans of other villages would be entertained (sic ).
(3.) THE lands to be settled by this process as indicated at Item no. 2 should not exceed 3 acres per individual lessee. This lease is valid for a period of one year. After the 1st year the temporary lessee may be continued after renewal of agreement The temporary lessees mentioned above will be liable to pay an amount of Rs. 25/- (Rupees twentyfive) per acre annually. This will be in addition to the basic water rate and optional water rate where leviable under the Orissa irrigation Act, 1959.;
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