Govt Accelerates Anti-Encroachment Drive In J&K

Over 300 Kanal Land Retrieved On Wednesday, Eviction Notices Served To People; Warned Of Strict Action

Srinagar- The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday intensified the ongoing anti-encroachment drive to free state land, even as public notices were issued to violators in other districts of the Valley to remove illegal constructions within seven days.

According to officials, over 300 kanal of state land was retrieved during anti-encroachment drives in the three districts of Kupwara, Baramulla and Shopian on Wednesday. Besides it, an anti-encroachment drive was also carried out in Budgam.

The major chunk of land measuring 276 kanal was retrieved from encroachers in the Drugmulla area of Kupwara district, officials said. The drive, they said, was launched by a team of Revenue department officials headed by Tehsildar Drugmulla, Dr. Ajaz Ahmad in presence of SHO Drugmulla and media.

“This big patch of 276 kanals of land was encroached by just 03 families, who reportedly sold the land, as 05 marla plots”, Ahmad said, adding that the detailed report with survey numbers are being prepared and the expenditure for removing the encroachment will be realized as arrears of land revenue from the encroachers, for which necessary instructions have already been given by the authorities.

Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara, Dr Doifode Sagar Dattatray said that anti-encroachment drives will continue in all the parts of the district to retrieve the entire State and Kahcharai land.

He also warned of action under CrPC in matters of encroachment on State or kahcharie lands.

In a similar drive carried out in neighbouring Baramulla district, 35 kanal of prime land was retrieved at Batpora area in Rafiabad, officials said.

Acting upon the instructions of DC, a joint team of Revenue, and Police departments launched the drive to remove all encroachments on Kahcharai land which can be used for community purposes in the area.

“2145 Kanals of State and Kahacharai land has been retrieved across the district after a massive anti-encroachment drive was launched in all tehsils of the district,” the officials said.

Further, they said, the District Administration has given strict directions to speed up the drive against the land encroachments across the district.

In Shopian district, 14 kanals of state land was retrieved from encroachers by a team led Tehsildar Keegam , officials said

“Land measuring 12 Kanals situated at Village Daramdoor recorded as State Land and land measuring 2 Kanals recorded as Kahcharie situated at Diaroo have been retrieved from encroachers,” they said.

The authorities also issued notices in other districts of the Valley, directing the encroachers to vacate the state land within seven days or face action.

Political parties like the National Conference, PDP, Peoples Conference and others have criticised the move, saying the occupants are generally poor people who constructed their dwellings on these state land.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also held a protest against the drive in Srinagar on Wednesday.

Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah said on Wednesday that retrieving land provided to people under the Roshni scheme will be a big betrayal to them.

“The Roshni scheme brought by the then state government (in 2001) was passed by the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. After that it was approved by the Governor. No court rejected this scheme. It will be a fraud with the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the land rights vested under Roshni will be taken back because it was the poor farmers of Jammu which benefited the most from this scheme as they converted the lease land into freehold land,” he said.

“The government should review this decision,” Abdullah said, adding if retrieval of state land from illegal occupation does not cause problems for common masses, he had no problem with it.

Under the Roshni scheme, occupants of state land were vested with proprietary rights against a nominal fees paid to the government. While occupants in Jammu got rights for over 28,000 hectares, such area in Kashmir was much less at just 1500 hectares.

The NC leader said these drives were actually an attempt to divert attention of the people from the real issues.
“I feel all this is being done to harass the people because they have not been able to improve the situation which is evident from Rajouri attacks and arming of VDCs,” he added.

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