Punjab’s Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu Saturday announced setting up of a committee of experts headed by Justice S S Saron(retd.) to free government lands from illegal occupation after a fresh investigation report said nearly seven lakh acres of government land was under illegal occupation in the state.
The report, prepared by ex-DGP Chander Shekhar, said government land worth Rs 210 crore was occupied in Mohali in the vicinity of Chandigarh alone. The report was presented in a meeting of a Cabinet sub-committee headed by Sidhu on the issue. Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, Punjab, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister, Punjab, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria participated in the meeting.
Sidhu told mediapersons that the the Justice Saron led committee would advise the cabinet sub committee on how to free the government land. He said the others members of the committee would be: ex-DGP Chander Shekhar, President Govansh Sewa Sadan Joginder Pal, Mayors of all the 10 Municipal Corporations, besides a representative each from the Revenue, Water Resources Management, Local Government, Rural Development & Panchayat, Forest, PWD (B&R) and Waqf Board.
Giving details of the occupied government land, ex-DGP Shekhar said as per the records officially made available by the District Administration Mohali, a total of 15 villages of the district have 2435 acres of government land under illegal occupation out of 2585 acres. Giving village wise data, he said that in village Majri 90 acres out of 128 acres, in Palampur 20 out of 20 acres, in Kansala all 95 acres, in Paraul 299 acres out of 318 acres, in Sialba all 16 acres, in Dulban Khadri all 945 cacres, in Hoshiarpur all 177 acres, in Dhakora khurd all 15 acres, in Chandpur all 86 acres, in Mullanpur Garibdas all 5 acres, in Ferozepur all 23 acres, in Nada all 307 acres, in Mehmoodpur all 14 acres and in Bhankharpur 259 acres out of 352 acres are under illegal occupation.
Similarly, the report of Justice Kuldip Singh was also discussed which seconded the disclosures made in the ex-DGP’s report.
Sidhu detailed that in order to know the status of the government owned lands in the state the cabinet sub committee has sought the record from all the departments/boards/corporations and other government institutions regarding the lands related to them and has also sought the details with regard to the aspect that how much land is under illegal occupation, how much land is under litigation and how much is laying unutilized.
The minister also said that it has come to the notice of the cabinet sub committee that the record of these departments doesn’t match with that of the revenue department and instructed that the same be rectified.