Land settlement to be completed in 5 years: Govt

JAMMU: MoS Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Ajaz Ahmed Khan Thursday said that settlement operations in the state would be completed within five years and all land records would be updated in the given time.
He also said compensation has been paid in more than 80 percent land acquisition cases in the state.
Winding up the discussion on the demand of grants for the departments under his charge, the minister said the Settlement Organization of the Revenue Department has been reorganized and at a time when there used to be one settlement officer each for Jammu and Kashmir provinces, the government has created 7 posts of Regional Directors of Settlement and Land Records Management in the State on which officers have been posted.
Khan said the department has drawn up a road map for the completion of settlement operations and updating Land Records and in this connection the Land Records Management Agency created by the Government has been registered. He said the aim is to update the Land Records and simultaneously computerize them to induce transparency and accountability in the department. He said when he took over last year, there were 1400 vacancies of Patwaries and 30 vacancies of Tehsildars in the department and today of them 1339 Patwaries and all Tehsildars have been appointed. He said this has greatly improved the Land Management process in the State for which he thanked the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah for backing these initiatives.
On the issue of land compensation cases raised by several members during the discussion, the minister said more than 31000 kanals of land has been acquired in Jammu and Kashmir for various vital projects like Railways, National Highway widening and PMGSY and so far Rs 381 crore have been paid as compensation to the concerned land owners. He said similarly, in the National Highway expansion 19759 kanals of land have been acquired for which Rs 615.23 crore have been paid as compensation adding that so far compensation has been paid in case of 91 percent Rail projects, 88 percent National Highway expansion projects and 86 percent PMGSY cases.
Khan also said that 3.40 lakh kanals of land were given to farmers for agricultural practices free of cost under the scheme. Similarly, 990 kanals of land were given to people for commercial purposes and 6900 kanals for residential purposes. He said the government received 2.54 lakh applications under the scheme of which 1.77 lakh application were disposed and rest 76,000 are under process. He said the Government expects to receive Rs. 317 crore from the beneficiaries under the scheme.
Terming Pandits as an inseparable component of Kashmir society, the Minister said Government has executed various schemes including Prime Minister’s package for their return back to Kashmir. He said Government has also taken many steps including enhancement in the migrant relief, rehabilitation and employment avenues to the Pandit youth to facilitate their rehabilitation back in their homes and hearths.
Mr. Ajaz said Government is sensitive to the problems of refugees and other border migrants and many incentives like one time settlement and special employment package are being considered.