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‘8,000 acres of common land in and around Chandigarh illegally occupied’

Various individuals have illegally occupied nearly 8,000 acres of common land in and around Chandigarh...

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh |
March 3, 2009 3:47:05 am

Various individuals have illegally occupied nearly 8,000 acres of common land in and around Chandigarh,Punjab Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Chander Shekhar has stated in a report submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

This is only an approximate figure,the ADGP said. His observation was based on the information provided to him by the Mohali Deputy Commissioner (DC). However,Chander Shekhar said there were “a lot of discrepancies/variations” in this information. “The DC has been requested to depute officers to clarify and remove all discrepancies immediately,” the report reads.

Before November 28,1999,the total common land in Kansal and Nayagaon was 570 and 22,965 kanals respectively. The District Development Panchayat Officer told the Mohali Revenue Authority that nearly 2,435 acres of common land is in the illegal possession of various individuals.

Based on this information,the report states that panchayat land of over 6,500 acres had also been grabbed. Forest land too has been encroached upon,the report adds.

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The background
On December 14,2007,Justice Ranjit Singh had directed ADGP (Law and Order) to submit a list of individuals who have acquired assets in and around Chandigarh. The direction was passed,suo motu,arising out of a petition filed by Kuldip Singh,a resident of Mohali. Singh had accused a senior Punjab Police officer of grabbing land.

Under the radar?
Till now,82 IPS officers and 266 Punjab Police Services (PPS) officers have supplied their property details,while 288 officers,including 77 IAS,29 Punjab Civil Services (PCS),30 IPS,58 PPS,60 MLAs and ex-MLAs,are yet to submit the required information to the investigating officer.

Property details have also been sought from the Registrar Cooperative Societies of Punjab (Chandigarh). There are 22 cooperative house building societies in the UT,of which only eight have furnished the information.

Too late?
According to the report,several purchasers have further sold the land to other individuals. The report states that some MLAs,under a society named Punjabi Co-op Housing Building Society Mohali,purchased 146 kanals in Karoran and Kansal villages. Later,the society sold four acres of land,including a few kanals of common land,to M/s THDC Ltd,Mumbai.

Also on Monday
During another hearing of a PIL demanding CBI inquiry into the alleged land grabbing by several police officers and bureaucrats,counsel for the petitioner,advocate Navkiran Singh,said the Punjab government had been regularising illegal constructions in Nayagaon for the last ten years. In answer,Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur observed: “Why is the Punjab government granting amnesty to such illegal constructions? Why can’t it wait three or four months till the time the master plan is finalised?”

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