Sambalpur, Apr 27 UNI | 3 months ago

After dilly dallying for a long period, the authorities here chalked out a plan to make Budharaja hills, a place of scenic beauty and a major tourist destination encroachment free.

The Forest department, Municipality authority and police have initiated process for eviction of the unauthorised encroachment from the foot of the hill spread over 126 acres.

Not only some people are staying on the foothills of Budharaja, many of them have also rented out houses made in the forest land and earning thousands of rupees every month.

'We have asked the residents of the Para to submit information including water, electricity and telephone connections, possession of voter identity cards and the benefits they are getting from the government. We have also asked them to mention the year of staying in this Para,' said Sambalpur ACF Mangovind Dalai.

Budharaja Ban Sanrakharan Samity President Rusi Patra urged the administration to take appropriate action to save the hill and the forest coverage.

The Budharaja hill, a place of scenic beauty is also associated with the freedom movement. Great freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai had launched his freedom movement against the British from the place.

A famous Shaiva shrine at the top of the hill attract tourists from the state and outside.

The state government has recently constructed a permanent structure to the hills for the convenience of the tourists.

A lot of things including a rope way are on the card for improvement of the place.But encroachment at the foot of the hill stands on the way.

Earlier, many attempts were made to evict the encroachers but failed due to the vote bank politics of various political parties.

But this time the authorities were firm to remove the encroachers and develop the place, sources said.

(Posted on 28-04-2014)