Thursday, July 31, 2014

12,208 ha panchayat land encroached in Haryana:CAG

Press Trust of India
Jul 14, 2014

A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report has revealed that 12,208 hectares of panchayat land in Haryana had been encroached upon while Rs 2.39 crore of annuity had not been paid by state public sector undertakings.
The CAG, in its report on Social, General and Economic Sectors which was tabled in the Haryana Assembly today, found that land measuring 12,208 hectares was under encroachment as of January 2013 but the cases for eviction in respect of only 7,567.38 hectares were filed up to September 2013. 

In the remaining cases, the Principal Secretary directed, in September 2013, the staff to initiate proceedings to remove encroachment. However, the final action was awaited, the report states. The report was based on records of the Director General of Development and Panchayats departments. 

The report said in seven test checked districts, no gram panchayats had prepared the land utilisation plan as required under the Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) Rules, 1964. 

The DG (D&P) stated in September 2013 that it was due to shortage of revenue staff in the field. There are 6,083 gram panchayats having 3,37,698.4 hectares area of common land as of March 2013. 

The Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961 also applicable to Haryana provides that all lands vested or deemed to have been vested in a panchayat shall be utilised or disposed of by it for the benefit of inhabitants of the village concerned. 

The CAG found that the state public sector undertakings had not paid the annuity in six cases and in two cases, the full payment of annuity was not made which resulted in non recovery of annuity of Rs 2.39 crore. 

In five districts, the annuity so sanctioned and released was not actually disbursed to gram panchayats and a sum of Rs 7.13 crore (including interest) was lying in the bank account of the District Development and Panchayat Officers (DDPO), according to the report.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Encroachment of pastoral land continues unabated

Times of India
Jul 24, 2014

The state government received 10,814 complaints about encroachment on pastoral (gauchar) land in the past four years - from 2010-11 to 2013-14. Despite the Supreme Court order not allowing any encroachment on the pastoral land, the number of cases has increased in the state. Pastoral land is the common property of a village and owned by the government. 

According to official figures given by state panchayat department minister in a response to an unstarred question asked by a Congress MLA, a total of 10,814 complaints were received in four years and 6,968 of those complaints were addressed during the period. Bharuch, Junagadh, Gandhinagar, Patan and Ahmedabad districts reported a high number of complaints. Chief minister Anandiben Patel responded to several questions regarding allotment of pastoral land for various purposes, including industrial and residential.The Supreme Court's January 2011 order had put strict restriction on sale of gauchar (pastoral) land and wanted removal of the encroachment on gauchar land. The SC order said: "Pastoral land and other community resources belonging to a village shall not be given for industrial or commercial use and should strictly be used for communities."The SC had directed all state governments to formulate schemes for eviction of illegal/unauthorised occupants of land meant for gram sabha, gram panchayat and other community uses.

Copyright © 2014 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

Ram Singh & Ors. v. Union of India, Ors, Original Application No 16/2014(CZ).

Original Application No. 16/2014(CZ) (THC)

Coram: Hon'ble Mr. Justice Dalip Singh (Judicial Member), Hon'ble Mr. P.S. Rao (Expert Member)

Status: Application Disposed Of
Dated: 20 May 2014 

This case was originally filed as a Public Interest Litigation/Writ Petition bearing No. 7988/2005 before the High Court of Rajasthan at Jaipur Bench by the four Applicants with the prayer that the record pertaining to allotment and grant of mining leases to the Respondent Nos. 7 & 8 in Khasra Nos. 155, 157 and 207/1 situated at village Hasampur, Tehsil Neem-Ka-Thana, District Sikar, Rajasthan be re-examined on the ground that the land in the aforesaid Khasra Nos. comprises pasture land and is a part of the Aravali Range and therefore the mining leases granted to them be revoked.

The Hon'ble Tribunal held that since the Government has also taken note of the Supreme Court judgement in Jagpal Singh & Ors vs. State of Punjab & Ors, specific instances of any violation of the direction issued by the Supreme Court may be brought to the notice of this Tribunal or the concerned authority and it is expected that the concerned authorities shall take note of the same and initiate action after following the procedure prescribed. 

As far as the three mining leases are concerned since all of them are at present remained closed as and when application or information is submitted by the mining lease holders to the SPCB (State Pollution Control Board), the SPCB shall issue necessary orders in accordance with law. Having said so, it is directed that as and when such applications are submitted by the lessees and the orders passed by the SPCB on such application, the same shall be filed before the Tribunal for examination of the same. 

This Application stands disposed of in the above terms.