Monday, April 27, 2015

A first: UT comes out with data on panchayat land

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 26

Now, it will not be easy to encroach upon panchayat land in the UT villages.

In a first of its kind initiative, the Chandigarh Administration has consolidated the data on total panchayat land and its existing land use at the site. Officials on conducting a detailed field survey of the panchayat land measuring around 560 kanals found that 33 kanals of land was under encroachments and spread across nine villages.

Following the survey of all specific land details, the UT had started the process of getting land freed from encroachments, said Danish Ashraf, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), East, who along with two trainee IAS officers, Parth Gupta and Kriti Garg, have carried out the detailed exercise.

Efforts are being made to digitally scan the revenue record to check if the Rural Department is keeping an eye on the encroachments being made. In the past, during demolition drives it was found that the panchayat land and other vacant land of different governnmemt departments were encroached upon in nine villages — Dhanas, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Alisher, Kaimbwala, Behlana, Daria, and Maulai Jagran.

The total land under use such as government buildings, area under ponds, religious places, cremation ground and roads has also been given in the details. The Khuda Jassu and Khuda Lahora have the largest chunk of panchayat land, measuring 150 kanals and 130 kanals, respectively.

Following a presentation of the consolidation report to the UT Adviser, the officials have been asked to also come out with booklet on the information and work further on the subject so that the information remains in the public domain.

Already faced with meagre resources, gram panchayats of different villages in the UT had been in the past finding it difficult to free their prime land from encroachers. Running in several crores, the panchayats can generate their own resources by leasing out the land for commercial activity.

Sources in the Chandigarh Administration said that a number of encroachments were inside the ‘lal dora’ of respective village.

Few years ago, a study conducted by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) had revealed that prime chunks of land were under encroachments.

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