New Districts In Odisha: HC Extends Its Restraining Order By 4 More Weeks

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has extended the interim order, restraining the Odisha government from passing any final order on creation of new districts, by another 4 weeks as the petitioner sought time to go through the counter affidavit of 300 pages and file a rejoinder.

“List this matter after four weeks. Interim order passed earlier shall continue till the next date,” the two-judge bench of acting Chief Justice B R Sarangi and Justice M S Raman said on Friday while adjourning the hearing on the PIL against alleged creation of new districts without following any guidelines or principles.

President of Rairangpur Bar Association, Akshaya Kumar Mohanty, had filed the petition after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced to accord district status to Padampur.

In the counter affidavit, additional secretary of revenue and disaster management department, Sashadhar Nayak, claimed the government is conferred with the power to constitute new districts in consultation with the high court under clause (b) of Section 3 of Orissa Revenue Administration (Units) Act, 1963, and sections 7(2) and 7(3) of CrPC.

Nayak said the state government intends to create Padampur district by carving out Padampur sub-division from Bargarh district. “In this regard, a 11-member high power committee under the chairmanship of Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Northern Division) had visited Padampur in order to ascertain suitable places for the new collectorate office and associated offices on December 4, 2023,” he stated.

While order stopped the government from declaring Padampur as a separate district, Naveen on December 29, 2023, approved the proposal for the creation of a new post of ADM Padampur in Bargarh district and also appointed Chavan Kunal Motiram, an IAS officer of 2020 batch, to the post.

Apart from Padampur, people of Kantabanji, Titilagarh, Athagarh, Dharmagarh and some other place have also been demanding separate districts. The government had recently informed the Assembly that demands for 25 new districts have been received from different regions of the state.

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