Monday, June 5, 2017

80 encroachments on pond land razed

During rains, adjoining areas were getting flooded

Our Correspondent I Abohar, March 7

A demolition drive in progress at Khuyiansarwer village
near Abohar on Tuesday. Tribune Photo
As many as 80 houses and shops which had allegedly been constructed by encroaching upon land for village ponds were demolished in a major drive in Khuyiansarwer village today.

Naib Tehsildar Jatinderpal Singh, BDPO Dharam Pal Sharma, panchayat officer Darshan Singh and Khuyiansarwer SHO Gurveer Singh supervised the operation during which JCB machines were used. Although a heavy posse of police was deployed, there was little resistance to the drive.

Official sources said 170 families had raised illegal structures over the dry ponds resulting in flooding of adjoining areas during monsoons. The area earmarked for ponds was 68 kanal as per panchayat record but hardly 10 per cent of the same was free of encroachments.

The authorities were to submit a compliance report on this count to the High Court by April 25 but the drive had been postponed due to elections.

Notably, the HC had in February 2014 directed the state government to submit the report against encroachers of government/ panchayat land as ordered by the Supreme Court in 2011.

The SC had directed all states and UT’s to evict illegal/unauthorised occupants of gram sabha/gram panchayat/ shamlat land and restore the land to the panchayats for the common use of villagers.

Regularisation should only be permitted in exceptional cases where lease has been granted under some government notification to landless labourers or SC/ST’s or where there is already a school, dispensary or public utility on the land, the court observed. Information reveals that 125 acres of pond land in Abohar sub division had been encroached, mostly by political activists during the past decade.

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