Pardeep Singh Bali
Speaker of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly Kavindar Gupta directed the state government to enquire into the alleged bungling in the Roshni Scheme.
The Speaker put the government on notice into alleged “Roshni scam” after the lawmakers accused that some politicians and bureaucrats have been holding “unauthorized” land under the Roshni Act. The issue was raised by the NC legislator Mubarak Gul during the Question Hour, who had sought details about total area of land transferred in state under Roshni Act along with particulars of beneficiaries.
Replying to the question, Minister for Revenue Basharat Bukhari said 229691 kanals and 2 marlas of state land have transferred to 50157 beneficiaries in J&K of which 19293 kanals of land have been transferred to 10328 beneficiaries in Kashmir and 210398 kanals to 39829 people in Jammu region under the Roshni Act.
The minister said Rs 54,21,95,760 revenue has been generated in Kashmir on account of regularization of un-authorized land under the Act and Rs 24,25,81,922 in Jammu region. BJP MLA Rajiv Jasrotia accused that there was a huge bungling in allotting land under the Roshni Act to beneficiaries.
“When the Roshni Scheme was launched, the then government had claimed that it will generate a revenue of Rs 25,000 crore and the money will be spent on construction of new power projects. But only Rs 74 crore revenue has been generated so far,” he said. “It seems a big fraud. The land has transferred to influential politicians and bureaucrats. The basic purpose of generating revenue of Rs 25,000 crore has been defeated. Government should unveil the names of politicians and bureaucrats who have benefitted under the Scheme. But the government is hiding their names,” he accused.
Jasrotia was supported by BJP legislators and PDP’s Mohammad Ashraf Mir asking government why it had not unveil the names of beneficiaries under the Scheme. “When will be land retrieved from the illegal beneficiaries and enquiry commission should be set to probe the matter,” they demanded.
Basharat Bukhari admitted that Scheme was started to generate revenue of Rs 25,000 crore. “I was then working in Radio Kashmir when it was appreciated that it will generate revenue of Rs 25,000 crore and help the state to start new power projects in J&K.” “It has generated revenue of only Rs 78 crore. There is already a PIL pending at the High Court. Further House should also give its suggestion for the corrective measures of the Roshni Scheme.”
He assured the House that an enquiry will be done to unveil the facts. “But I am yet to get any information about the Scheme since I have not held any meeting so far the day I assumed the charge of the department.” Minister said the empowered committee has approved conferment of ownership rights for state land measuring 487 kanals of which 327 kanals have been transferred under the Roshni Scheme with the SMC limits in Srinagar. Similarly in Jammu district he said 16825 kanals have been transferred to 4040 beneficiaries under the Scheme.
He further said that Jammu and Kashmir Land Records Management Agency, a nodal agency of revenue department has outsourced the activities of the project, modernization of land records in the state including digitization of revenue records in a phased manner.