Anantnag: Despite High Court directions , huge chunk of Khacharai land continues to be under the illegal occupation of locals in this south Kashmirdistrict.
As per reports, over a thousand kanals of Khacharai land in several areas of Bijbehara and Srigufwara tehsils ave been encroached upon by the locals.
“The villages where Khacharai remains under the illegal occupation of locals include Srigufwara, Hatigam, Darigund, Mahind, Nowshehra, Kandipora and Hayar,” offiacil sources told Kashmir Reader.
They said that in Nowshehra, Hatigam and Mahind villages, people have converted the encroached land into orchards while as in Darigund a big pasture of around 250 kanals of Khacharai is under the illegal occupation of the locals. The land, they said, has been encroached upon during past 10 years.
They said that from Kandipora to Hayar area, several residential houses have and are coming up on a stretch of about two kilometers Khacharai land.
The residents of the area said that they many a time approached revenue officials informing them about the encroachment of Khacharai land in the area but no action has been taken so far.
A resident said that the villagers after a consensus equally distributed the land among each other few years ago.
“Many houses and shops have come up on the encroached land during last five years in tehsil headquarter Srigufwara and the encroachment still goes on,” said a group of residents.
Official sources said that the authorities, despite the high court orders, have miserably failed to free the encroached land. “In many villages of the district government schools are without buildings due to non- availability of land for the construction, forcing the authorities to go for merger of two or more schools. Had the revenue authorities retrieved the encroached land in these villages, all schools would have had their own buildings,” they said.
They said that the authorities after being directed by the high court only served notices to the encroachers but did not retrieve the land from them.
Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Bashir Ahmad Khan said that he was following the orders of the court strictly. “Encroaching Khacharai land is an offence. I have directed all the tehsildars to identify the encroached Khacharai land in their respective areas. We will be going tough against the encroachers,” DC said.