Anti-encroachment drive intensified in J&K
The ‘elite club of encroachers‘ is growing fatter with every passing day as the Union Territory administration in Jammu and Kashmir is intensifying its ongoing anti-encroachment drive to evict the illegal occupants from the state land.
So far several hundred kanals of ‘state/ Kahcharai’ (Grazing land) land have been retrieved from the custody of former cabinet ministers, bureaucrats, close relatives of former chief ministers, and their sympathizers.
The anti-encroachment drive has already exposed the faces of top politicians belonging to mainstream political parties including the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Bharatiya Janta Party, Congress, and others.
According to official handouts issued by the Department of Information and Public relations in the last one week, names of former cabinet ministers and close relatives of former chief ministers have surfaced in the list of violators.
The Union Territory administration had directed all the Deputy Commissioners to ensure 100% removal of encroachments from State land including Roshni and Kahcharai by 31st January.
The anti-encroachment drive was launched in the last week of January 2023.
First of all a concrete structure of National Conference general secretary, and former cabinet minister Ali Mohammad Sagar, was demolished adjacent to his house at Humhuma near the Srinagar Airport on January 25. Initally, hue and cry was raised by the political leaders against the special drive but when the UT administration made clear its intentions and deployed several teams on ground zero to evict the encroachers from the state land the campaign gained momentum.
Who’s who of J&k politics turned out to be encroachers of the state land
So far names of several politicians have figured in the list of encroachers and huge chunks of land have been retrieved from their custody by the revenue authorities.
In Srinagar the administration has retrieved government land grabbed by the relatives of four former chief ministers and a former Congress president while the district Jammu administration has retrieved land from a former deputy chief minister and former cabinet ministers.
In Srinagar the revenue authorities have retrieved 40 kanals of state land which was part of Nedou’s Hotel that belongs to the maternal uncle of National Conference president and former chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah.
The heritage Srinagar Nedou hotel has been non-functional since 1990.
The property was, however, taken over by the ITC on long lease last year as they were planning to construct a luxurious hotel.
Authorities have also retrieved land illegally occupied by former Pradesh Congress president Peerzada Mahammad Sayeed at Arad Khoshipora.
According to official sources Sayeed had grabbed one kanal of Kahcharie land which was retrieved during the drive.
Revenue authorities also retrieved encroached land occupied by the family of PDP leader Syed Farooq Andrabi, former legislator from Dooru. Andrabi is a close relative of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.
Similarly 15 kanals of Shamilat lands which had been occupied by the heirs of Syed Mir Qasim, former chief minister have also been retrieved.
Over 13 kanals of State land have been retrieved from former Minister and senior leader of Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP), Taj Mohi-ud-Din in Shopian.
According to the official sources, “13 kanals and 16 marlas of forest land grabbed by Taj Mohi-ud-Din were retrieved at Sedow in Shopian district by the officials of the Revenue Department.
Authorities have issued a list of hotels that have grabbed government land in Sonamarg and Gagangir area of Ganderbal district.
At least 28 hotels have been found to be on grabbed State and Kahcharai land in Sonamarg and Gagangir areas.
An official said that action will be taken against all these land grabbers as per law of the land as higher ups have already issued directions in this regard.
In Jammu, state land measuring 23 Kanal and 09 Marla was retrieved by the revenue authorities in village Ghaink Tehsil Bhalwal. The retrieved land was encroached by a former deputy CM Kavinder Gupta.
The revenue authorities have also retrieved 3 Kanal prime state land in Chowadi area which was encroached by former cabinet minister of Jammu & Kashmir and former MLA from Darhal Assembly constituency Zulfikar Choudhary. The state land signboard was also installed on the retrieved land.
In another anti encroachment drive, the revenue officers vacated state land measuring at 89 Kanal and 01 Marla in Sohanjana and Murarpur villages of Tehsil Mandal.
Similarly, state land measuring around 60 Kanal was retrieved by revenue officers at Village Gandharwan in Akhnoor. This is a prime state land which is only 3 KM away from Akhnoor- Poonch Highway.
Likewise, 23 kanal state land was retrieved in village Nardi of Tehsil Maira Mandrian during an anti-encroachment drive conducted by District Administration.
A total of 2,16,683 kanals of State land has been retrieved from the encroachers in 10 districts of the Kashmir valley
As far as Kahcharai land is concerned, encroachments have been removed from 1,72,907 kanals in 10 districts of the Kashmir valley.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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