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.

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