January 21, 2021 12:25:10 am
The Surat district administration is set to demolish illegal shrimp ponds at Mandroi village in Olpad taluka from January 27. The authorities have warned illegal ponds owners of legal actions under the Gujarat Land Grabbing Act 2020 if they failed to comply with the order to destroy such ponds.
Earlier, acting on a National Green Tribunal notice, Surat District Collector Dr Dhaval Patel had conducted a survey, through the district inspector of land records, to identify illegal shrimp ponds on government land. So far, such ponds have been detected at 17 villages in Olpad taluka and 16 others in Choryasi taluka.
The district collector had formed a task force comprising prant officers and mamlatdars of Surat city, Olpad and Coryasi, besides officials from irrigation, fishery, and drainage departments to identify and initiate action against illegal shrimp pond owners. The teams had reached some of 17 villages in Olpad taluka where illegal encroachment had been noted but in absence of support from local residents, they could not identify the illegal shrimp pond owners. Later, Surat district collector sought help from the superintendent of police’s office.
“We have identified the villages and areas in hectors where the illegal shrimp ponds are located in Olpad taluka. There are 64 owners who had claimed ownership of land lease to the Olpad mamlatdar office. On the spot, our teams had found that the actual lease owners had extended their holdings and encroached on other areas. We have already given general notices to all the gram panchayats in the 17 villages which have been identified in Olpad taluka asking illegal shrimp pond owners to demolish their illegal ponds. But no active steps have come from their side. Now, we will start demolition of such illegal shrimp ponds, starting with Mandroi village from January 27,” the Surat district collector said.
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