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Saptari jail's land encroached for decades, authorities yet to act to recover it



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By Dhirendra Prasad Shah, Rajbiraj, Feb. 18: Private houses, shelters and structures have been built by encroaching over one Bigha land of Saptari prison area in Rajbiraj Municipality-6 of Saptari district. Denizens who had been encroaching the prison land area since long have been building additional physical infrastructures of late.

The land ownership document, issued by Land Revenue Office, Rajbiraj on July 11, 1994 states that the prison owns 2 bigha, 13 kaththa, 17 dhur land of plotsheet no. 66.

Of the total land owned by the prison, 1 bigha, 6 kaththa and 12 dhur land has been encroached and around 100 families have been living in the usurped land.

The concerned authorities have been unable to take action against the encroachers for over three decades.

In past nine years, encroachers have made 74 houses and sheds in the encroached land. The number of sheds have been increasing lately.

Currently, more than 100 shelters are being built on the encroached land.

Satya Narayan Yadav, Chief of Saptari prisonhouse said, “We have been directing the encroachers to leave the jail’s property every now and then but they have not been listening to us.”

Even though then Rajbiraj Appellate Court had ordered to remove the houses constructed in the encroached land in 2010, the concerned authorities haven’t effectuated the order. The order is limited in papers.

On December 1, 2001, then Chief District Officer (CDO), Dhrubaraj Wagle, had tried to remove the houses from encroached land but he was unsuccessful.

In 2004, CDO Ananda Raj Pokhrel, in coordination of Shiva Raj Sapkota, Chief of Land Revenue Office, District Administration Office, District Development Committee and Rajbiraj Municipality had formed a team to remove the residence from the encroached land.

The team was failed to achieve its goal as the encroachers protested.

As the encroachers were successful in protesting, it encouraged them to construct more structures over the encroached land, said gaol chief, Yadav.

He said that they had been requesting CDO and Deputy Superintendent of Police to help recover the jail’s property, upon which, the concerned authorities have just started taking action.

The jail administration issued a notice on January 6 to remove the infrastructures constructed over its property and to leave the encroached land within 15 days, said Yadav.

If the encroachers do not leave the land within given time frame, action as per the decision of jail Committee will be taken, he added.

But the encroachers have been protesting against it.

Majority of people belonging to Mehatar community have been residing over the encroached land.

They had filed an application to the Ward Office to construct citizen’s residency (Janata Awas).

The office has given approval of construction by disclosing the nature of the encroached land.

The locals say that people living over the encroached land possess properties in other areas as well.

How do you feel after reading this news?