Guv goes tough on encroachments over 18 lakh kanals Govt land

Admn directed to launch  eviction drive

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, July 21: Going tough on encroachments by land mafia, Governor N N Vohra today voiced deep concern over encroachment of over 18 lakh kanals of Government, Panchayat and Forest lands in the State in gross violation of Revenue, Forest and Municipal laws and directed Divisional Commissioners of Jammu/Kashmir to prepare by August 15 this year the lists of major encroachments through the District Collectors and initiate time-bound action for eviction of encroachments.
At a high-level meeting called to review encroachments on State, Panchayat and Forest lands in the State, Vohra noted that 18 lakh kanals of land has been encroached upon in gross violations of the Revenue, Forest and Municipal laws and directed the District Collectors in the State to carry out comprehensive mapping of the encroachments.
Besides Government, Panchayat and Forest lands, the Governor also directed the District Collectors to map the encroachments over Dal, Wular, Nageen lakes and other water bodies, National Highways and public roads in their respective jurisdictions.
He directed the District Collectors to make full use of available technologies like Geo Tagging and Satellite Mapping to prepare verified database by July 31 and forward the same to the Divisional Commissioners of Jammu/Kashmir.
Vohra directed that both the Divisional Commissioners of Jammu/Kashmir after receiving base data reports from the District Collections, should prepare by August 15 the lists of major encroachments, especially on the National Highways, major roads, public places, commercial hubs etc especially those causing obstruction and nuisance and initiate time-bound action for the eviction of encroachments.
An official handout said during the meeting Advisor to Governor Khurshid Ganai suggested that a Special Court/Tribunal be constituted to hear all cases pertaining to encroachments so that evictions in such cases are not delayed by the parties seeking stay of proceedings from various Courts.
The Governor directed the Divisional Commissioners to ensure that the Deputy Commissioners enforced the Ribbon Development Act and other legal provisions to strictly ensure against encroachments particularly along both sides of the National Highway from Lakhanpur onwards.
He also directed the Divisional Commissioners to ensure that the Deputy Commissioners urgently review issues related to enlargement of Abadi Deh for meeting the genuine housing requirements of the people living in the villages.
He directed the Police Department to provide all required assistance to the administration for removing illegal encroachments by deploying adequate forces.
The Governor directed Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam to review the status of digitization of land records in the State, which stands inordinately delayed. The Governor observed that he shall take a further meeting to review the results achieved around August 20.
Vohra directed the Chief Secretary to ensure that the instructions earlier issued by the Revenue Department, pursuant to the Supreme Court Orders in  “Jagpal Singh Vs. State of Punjab and Others” should  be suitably revised to clearly lay down the roles and responsibilities of district and divisional administration regarding encroachments on Government/public lands and issued to all  concerned for effectively enforcing the law to secure the existing encroachments on time bound basis and ensure against fresh encroachments.
The meeting was attended by BB Vyas, K Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Advisors to the Governor;  B V R Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; K B Aggarwal, Financial Commissioner, Housing and Urban Development; Dr S P Vaid, Director General of Police; Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to the Governor; Ravi Kesar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Wild Life Warden;  B. Siddhartha Kumar, Chairman, Pollution Control Board; R.K. Goyal, Principal Secretary, Home.
Shahid Anayat Ullah, Secretary, Revenue; Sanjeev Verma, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu (through video conferencing); Baseer Khan, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Raj Kumar Bhagat, Commissioner/ Secretary, Tribal Affairs; Khurshid Ahmad Shah, Commissioner/ Secretary, Public Works (R&B); SDS Jamwal, Inspector General of Police, Jammu (through video conferencing); S.P. Pani Inspector General of Police, Kashmir.
Farooq Ahmad Shah, Secretary, PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control; Sheetal Nanda, Secretary, Rural Development; Ramesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu (through video conferencing); Arvind Kotwal, Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation (through video conferencing); Sajad Hussain Ganai, Vice Chairman, Srinagar Development Authority; Riyaz Ahmad Wani, Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation; Rajesh Kumar Shavan, Vice Chairman, Jammu Development Authority (through video conferencing); Abdul Hafiz Shah, Vice Chairman, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority and Ajay Kumar, Project Director, National Highway Authority of India, Jammu (through video conferencing).
KB Aggarwal, Financial Commissioner, Housing and Urban Development Department made detailed presentation on the encroachments to the Governor.