SHOPIAN: Demolition of private buildings and retrieval of land given under Roshni Act has started in district Shopian. Besides retrieving land granted under this scheme, anti-encroachment drive against occupants of state land has also been intensified by the revenue authorities in the south Kashmir district.
An official said that the first drive against Roshni beneficiaries was carried out on Sunday in the main town area where some structures were razed down with the use of heavy machines.
He said that some patches of state land were also retrieved during the drive.
During last week over 60 kanals of state land was retrieved from the occupants in Tehsil Shopian besides carrying out the demolition of shops and other structures. “Land worth crores was retrieved from the encroachers,” the official said.
According to officials, a village-wise list of encroached land has been made and the eviction process will be carried out in phases. Deputy Commissioner, Shopian Choudhary Mohammad Yasin in a statement said that the High Court directions would be implemented in letter and spirit to get the encroached land along with the state land allotted under Roshni Act, 2007 evicted fully.
The Roshni Act was enacted in 2001 with the twin objective of generating resources for financing power projects and conferment of proprietary rights to the occupants of state land. It initially envisaged conferment of proprietary rights of around 20.55 lakh kanals (102750 hectares) to the occupants of which only 15.85 per cent land was approved for vesting of ownership rights.
But the High Court recently declared the Act “unconstitutional” and asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to take up the case. It also asked the government to release names of beneficiaries under the Act.
A total of 6,04,602 kanals of state land had been regularised and transferred to the occupants which include 5,71,210 kanals in Jammu and 33,392 kanals in the Kashmir province.
Earlier, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India had unearthed the Rs 25,000 crore Roshni land scam in its annual audit report of 2013-14.
An official handout said that Tehsildar Shopian Bilal Ahmed along with his team including Naib Tehsildar Shopian, GQs, Patwaries and municipal committee officers held an anti-encroachment drive against the encroachers of state land and the Roshni Beneficiaries in whose favour the allotments were made under Roshni Act 2007 in Shopian.
“In the past week, sixty kanals of state land has been retrieved from the encroachers in the Tehsil. During the drive, a number of shops and other illegal constructions were demolished,” it said.
The Deputy Commissioner appreciated the efforts of the team and maintained that such drives would continue in the district.