AC approves revised project of Tawi Barrage
SRINAGAR, Oct 19: The Administrative Council (AC), which met here today under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, authorized the District Collectors to grant permission to an agriculturist to alienate land to a non-agriculturist subject to certain conditions and procedure for extending primary activities on larger commercial lines and reap benefits under economy of scale.
There have been multiple demands by Mahajans, Khatris and Sikhs for right of sale-purchase of agriculture land for investment in agriculture and allied activities. Their resentment existed on the statutory provision that defined certain section of the society as agriculturist class who alone were eligible to own agricultural land under J&K Land Alienation Act Svt.1995.
The decision thus fulfils the long pending demands from the civil society seeking rights for sale-purchase of the agriculture land for investment in agriculture and allied activities. It is expected to assist in the revamping of the agriculture sector and aid economic growth to create employment in the primary sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has a substantial potential for agriculture and allied sectors which usually require land up to 80 kanal. The decision allows the Deputy Commissioners to permit sale of land up to 20 kanals for agriculture and allied activities, and up to 80 kanal in case of horticulture orchards. The entire process will be completed within 30 days of making an application to this effect.
The step will provide people from non-agriculturist class with the opportunity to acquire land for agriculture and allied activities and take up such activities as profession to systematically bring new investments in agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry sectors.
Meanwhile, the Administrative Council has approved the revised project for construction of balance works of Tawi Barrage at an estimated cost of Rs.73.34 crore.
Farooq Khan and Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisors to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor attended the meeting.
The proposed gated barrage on river Tawi is one of the three sub-projects of the prestigious Artificial lake Project – which was conceptualized to give a boost to regional tourism in Jammu by creating recreational activities like boating and water sports, besides enhancing the overall aesthetic look of the city. The other two sub-projects, viz Tawi River Development Project and beautification and creation of tourist facilities are to executed by Housing & Urban Development Department (H&UDD) and Tourism Department respectively.
The project was originally sanctioned in the financial year 2010-11 at a cost of Rs 70 crore by dovetailing funds from various sources with an aim to create pondage for creation of artificial lake. However, the project was stalled on account of contractor’s inactivity for 7 years leading to cancellation of awarded tender and related cost escalation.
The Administrative Council has sanctioned the revised project which will be completed within 10 months of allotment through e-tendering at an estimated cost of Rs 131.53 crore which includes the additional grant of Rs. 73.34 crore and already incurred expenditure of Rs. 58.19 crore.
On completion, the project will promote water recreation and sporting facilities besides boosting commercial activities around the artificial lake which in turn create employment opportunities for locals and attract tourists to Jammu city.