Anti encroachment drive

It is a matter of satisfaction and less of any more hypothesis based on past experience that encouraging outcome about the levels of new anti encroachment drive going on across the State has been reported. The effective vigorousness brought in it and the measure of success achieved can create conducive space to intensify the efforts as the task is gigantic and provides no room for any complacency whatsoever. It is for these very reasons that the Chief Secretary has issued directions to both the Divisional Commissioners and all the Deputy Commissioners to keep on furnishing fortnightly reports of achievements and particulars about which land was retrieved where. It follows the direct intervention in the matter by the Governor who issued strict directions to launch intensive drive for removal of encroachments and structures raised thereon illegally by obtruding and impinging elements. He had desired about the periodic progress report to be sent to his office plus even the photographs. These directions of the Governor are incorporated in the communication of the Chief Secretary addressed to both the Divisional Commissioners.
These very measures and actions could have been initiated by the popular Government with the same quantum and degree of administrative apparatus but call it some political compulsions or just allowing such encroachments in a de-facto way to appease vote sections and political support bases, encroachments increased and the audaciousness of encroachers remained not only high but practically unchallenged even after the judgment of the Supreme Court on the matter.
We, through these columns, have been stressing upon the need to fix district and tehsil wise targets followed by calling for periodic information in all such matters so that not only could these measures lend seriousness of purpose and credibility to the entire exercise of evicting encroachments but a sense of responsibility and urgency about the subject matter would get automatically percolated deep down the entire administrative setup and machinery tasked to reclaim all types of usurped land.
What needs to be done is to draw a vision document or a policy as to how proper protection of retrieved land from encroachers in future could be ensured and how such lands could be better utilized for developmental purposes and for the benefit of the public. There are, however, encouraging reports and the favourable feedback received from all districts in terms of encroachments on State, Kahcharia, forest, common and other categories of land where process of evictions and clearing processes have been initiated with expected good results. That is why, the Chief Secretary has desired that there should be no slackening or any let up in the tempo or the cadence in the ongoing drive till the goal of clearing all encroached land of illegal “qabza” was achieved.
We do not hesitate in suggesting that the State Government should suitably commend and appreciate in writing, about the good job done by those State employees who have been entrusted with this job. Such appreciation letters should form part of their service records and annual performance reports which could be helpful in their promotions to next grade. For that, achievable and realizable periodic targets on monthly, six monthly and yearly basis could be fixed. The task is enormous as lakhs of kanals of such land is currently under encroachment and eviction process is not a cakewalk which, therefore, demands incentives for good performance.
A well comprehensive and credible district wise data in respect of encroachments has been collated and substantial progress has been made in retrieval of land in both the regions of the state and in a short span of time. Please keep it up at all levels.