Govt sets deadline of 6 months for completion of exercise

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Taking serious note of inordinate delay in demarcation of over 66,000 kanals of State land transferred to the Jammu Development Authority and non-adherence to the directives of the State High Court in this regard, the Government has set a deadline of six months for completion of this vital exercise with the direction to the administration to engage even retired officials of the Revenue Department for expeditious completion of this task.
The issue of failure of the Revenue Department to demarcate such a whopping land transferred to Jammu Development Authority in Jammu and Samba districts and danger of encroachment by the mafia was exclusively highlighted by  in its edition dated April 13, 2014.
As per the official record, a total of 77124 kanals and 5 marlas of State and Nazool land was transferred to JDA by virtue of Government Order dated January 28, 1973 followed by subsequent Government orders issued by the Revenue Department and under provisions of J&K State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 read along with SRO-263 dated August 9, 2004 respectively.
Out of 77124 kanals and 5 marlas of transferred land, only 7653 kanals and 17 marlas was procedurally handed over after authentic demarcation by the Revenue Department while as the remaining 66436 kanals and one marla of land was transferred only on papers without any mandatory demarcation. Due to this, in several areas the JDA land was encroached upon by the land mafia and many other patches continued to remain vulnerable to encroachment.
On the basis of this exclusive news-item a Public Interest Litigation came to be filed in the State High Court seeking direction for prompt demarcation and in this PIL, the then Chief Justice of State High Court, Justice M M Kumar, while pulling up Revenue authorities, issued directions for time-bound demarcation of such a huge land. Accordingly, the Revenue Department issued schedule for demarcation of land. However, not much headway could be made mainly on the ground that Revenue officials were finding it difficult to spare time for this exercise from their routine activities.
The issue of demarcation of land transferred to JDA also came up for discussion during the 76th meeting of Board of Directors of Jammu Development Authority two days back. Keeping in view the danger of encroachment of un-demarcated JDA land by the land mafia, the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, who is also Minister Incharge Housing and Urban Development Department, set a deadline of six months for completion of exercise, official sources said.
Keeping in view practical difficulties on account of sparing of time by the in-service Revenue Department officials for demarcation of land, which is a very lengthy and time-consuming exercise, the Deputy Chief Minister has authorized the Deputy Commissioner Jammu for engagement of retired Revenue Department officials like Patwaries, Girdawars and Naib Tehsildars for carrying out this special exercise.
These retired Revenue Department officials along with the team of JDA would start demarcation, which will be finally authenticated by the serving Revenue Department officials of the concerned areas, sources informed, adding the retired officials would be given some sort of honorarium for assisting the Government in this vital task.
“The demarcation of land would go long way in protecting the JDA land from encroachments and Authority would be able to prepare different projects keeping in view the availability of land”, sources further said.
It is pertinent to mention here that on December 10, 2014 the Division Bench of the State High Court while issuing directions for expeditious completion of demarcation exercise, had directed the Director General of Police to ensure that the demarcation teams don’t face any resistance from encroachers of the JDA land. The High Court had also directed that the demarcation shall be video-graphed and the Regional Director, Surveys and Land Records, who is also known as Director Land Records, Jammu, shall be associated in the demarcation process.

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