Illegal entries in revenue records to create impediments in demarcation of JDA land

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, May 16: Though the Jammu district administration has prepared an action plan after being reprimanded by the High Court yet illegal entries in the revenue records are all set to create impediments in demarcation of land transferred to Jammu Development Authority till date. Moreover, both the agencies are groping in dark about actual status of huge area in Jammu and Samba districts thereby exhibiting level of non-seriousness towards the grave issue.
Huge chunk of land was transferred to Jammu Development Authority vide two Government orders/Act. Vide Government Order No.NDJ-46 of 1973 dated January 28, 1973, vacant and lease free Nazool land situated in and around the cities of Jammu and Srinagar was transferred to respective development authorities.
Similarly as per Section 4(3) (i) of the Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act-2001 the vacant State land falling within the territorial limits of Jammu Development Authority was transferred to it.
However, no attention was paid towards the demarcation of such a huge chunk of land transferred to Jammu Development Authority in Jammu and Samba districts as a result of which the encroachers had heydays and they left no stone unturned to grab the land.
Though the issue was discussed in several official meetings and a total of 117 communications were exchanged between Revenue Department and Jammu Development Authority yet the issue of demarcation of transferred land remained unresolved.
Accordingly, on the revelations made by EXCELSIOR a Public Interest Litigation came to be filed in the High Court which issued numerous directions from time to time for demarcation of land. However, the dilly-dallying approach continued and the same invited sharp criticism from the High Court, which even called personal appearances of Assistant Commissioners Revenue of Jammu and Samba districts and Director Land Management of Jammu Development Authority on April 11, 2017.
On last date of hearing, the Division Bench of the High Court directed the Revenue authorities of Jammu and Samba districts as well as JDA to prepare action plan for demarcation of land in a time bound manner. They were also directed to identify specific teams for carrying out their vital but much delayed exercise.
In pursuance to these directions, the Deputy Commissioner Jammu Rajeev Ranjan has submitted an action plan to the High Court mentioning that tentative schedule for demarcation of JDA land in Jammu district has been prepared. He has submitted that the Sub-Divisional Magistrates of the concerned sub-divisions have been made head of the concerned demarcation teams.
“The SDMs have further been directed to chalk out village wise demarcation plans and submit fortnightly progress report”, reads the compliance report of the Deputy Commissioner Jammu, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR. The Deputy Commissioner has mentioned that demarcation of 59500 kanals of land falling in Jammu district will be completed by mid-September this year.
“However, the demarcation exercise is likely to face impediments in the light of the issues of illegal entries/illegal possession on the land transferred to JDA in both the districts”, official sources said while disclosing that huge chunk of land was already under encroachment at the time when it was transferred to JDA on papers.
They further said that Revenue Department has not prepared such record of the encroached land/land already under illegal possession of private parties, adding “both the agencies are still groping in dark about actual status of huge chunk of land, which is likely to create obstacles in demarcation exercise”.
“Moreover, there has been interference of the public at the time of demarcation in the past leading to law and order problems and unless adequate police assistance is provided to the Revenue and JDA teams the demarcation is not going to be completed”, they further said, adding “a proper procedure-preparation of Tatima Shajra, incorporation of possession of land in favour of JDA in the record for demarcation/handing over of the land has rarely been followed by the Revenue Department”.
They said that Revenue Department was required to handover the land after preparing proper Tatima Shajra of the demarcated land as has been done in few cases in order to avoid any confusion or litigation.
“All this indicates that demarcation of land is not going to be that easy for both the agencies”, sources remarked.


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