Shrinking Farmland: Constructions On Agri Land Continues Unabated


Srinagar—Even though a high level committee compiled a comprehensive report of conversion of agriculture land into the commercial and residential purpose, it has been seen that the successive governments have so far failed to act on it.

Over the years, huge multi-storied commercial complexes, shopping malls, schools, and service centers have come up on agricultural land in the Valley.

A high-level committee constituted by the NC- Congress government in 2009 to report on master plan violations, had compiled a comprehensive report of around 3000 illegal structures in the Srinagar city alone. “Most of these constructions were made on agricultural land by some politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats. The government allegedly succumbed to the pressure of these influential people and shelved the report without taking any action on it,” official sources told KNS.

Over the last many years, hundreds of constructions had been made on the agricultural land, sources alleged and added that the state government had failed to stop the conversion of agricultural land into residential and commercial complexes.

Sources alleged that the conversion of agricultural land was going unabated in Jammu and Kashmir due to failure of the government in curbing it.

The provisions of J&K Land Revenue Act 1996 prohibit the conversion of paddy or vegetable land into any other use.

Besides violation of laws, the construction of residential and commercial buildings on agricultural land is violation of the master plan.

“The conversion of agricultural land into other purposes is done in connivance of officials who facilitate construction of houses, buildings and shops on the farming land over the years,” an official of Revenue Department alleged.

It has been seen that most of the agricultural land has been converted into non-agricultural purposes on the outskirts of Srinagar and other rural areas of the valley.

“The conversion of agricultural land into residential and commercial purposes is going on in the state. Laws have not been followed to stop it,” another official said.

The high court had pulled up the state government several times and directed the authorities to ensure that no conversion of agricultural land was allowed for commercial, residential and industrial purposes. Officials alleged that over 2 lakh kanals of agriculture land had been converted into commercial purposes over the years.

Agriculture is the prime source of state income as around 70 per cent of the population is directly or indirectly involved with it. KNS

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