Punjab Newsline Network
Saturday, 06 February 2010
In view of the directions of the Supreme Court and the provisions of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961 and Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules, 1964 and the information received from Deputy Commissioners regarding unauthorised religious constructions, it was decided to suitably amend Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules, 1964 to enable the Gram Panchayats to regularise unauthorised religious constructions on Shamilat Deh or panchayat lands made after the commencement of Shamilat Law but before September 29, 2009, by way of lease.
The Competent Authority to accord approval to the Gram Panchayats for leasing out their lands to regularise such unauthorised religious constructions would be Deputy Commissioner for an area upto one acre and he or she would be able to give it at a lease rate of Re 1 per kanal per year. In case of area above one acre, the State Government would be the Competent Authority and the lease rate would be Rs 100 per kanal per year or the rate recommended by the Deputy Commissioner, whichever is higher.
As per this procedure, the Gram Panchayat shall publicise the policy in its Sabha area by way of ‘Munadi’ within 15 days of receipt of the policy. The management of such religious places will have to make an application within a period of one month from the date of ‘Munadi’ to the concerned Gram Panchayat for regularisation of unauthorised construction on Shamilat Deh or panchayat lands. Thereafter, no such application shall be entertained and the Gram Panchayat shall initiate proceedings for ejectment in accordance with the provisions of law.
Gram Panchayat, on consideration of the applications, may pass resolutions to lease out the land over which such unauthorised religious construction has taken place and forward the proposal to the concerned Block Development and Panchayat Officer within a maximum period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of application. The proposal of the Gram Panchayat shall be examined by a Committee headed by Sub Divisional Officer (Civil). The other members of the Committee would be Circle Revenue Officer (Tehsildar or Naib Tehsildar), Chairman, Panchayat Samiti and Block Development and Panchayat Officer would be the Member Secretary.
The Committee will examine the proposal and while submitting the recommendation, provide information on certain points concerning the place of worship to the Deputy Commissioner. The Committee may recommend the lease rate over and above Rs 100 per kanal per year in case the area of unauthorised possession is more than one acre. This rate could be in view of the location, market value and other factors.
If the proposal is approved by the Deputy Commissioner, it shall be treated as provisional for a period of 30 days, after which it would be deemed to be confirmed unless otherwise ordered by the Deputy Commissioner or Director, Panchayats within the period.
In case the unauthorised religious construction is resulting in any obstruction to the traffic, passerby or any kind of public utility, it shall be considered for the purpose of regularisation only if the management or institution agrees to its relocation to the extent of obstruction.
All unauthorised religious constructions made after September 29, 2009 shall be summarily removed as per the law and instructions. The concerned Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat and Block Development and Panchayat Officer will ensure that no new unauthorised religious construction takes place on Shamilat Deh or panchayat lands.
The Gram Panchayat shall maintain a register of such religious constructions which have been regularised as per the policy.