The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh has ordered that ‘shamilat land’ meant for cattle grazing known as Kacharia and State land under illegal occupancy of people in one or another form shall be retrieved. This land is meant for common purposes and can be used for constructing schools and other government departments and playgrounds, etc.
About one hundred years ago, such land was recorded as Sri Sarkar Dulatmandar, meaning our government is wealthy and rich as it has enough land and can utilize it for the common purposes of its citizens. It was and is the responsibility of the government of the time to look after it properly and if at any time finds that this treasure is illegally occupied by anyone may have and can take action against them. A few decades ago, people were having a kind of fear that if such kind of land will be occupied, the government will take action against them. But over the last three decades, people first encroached on these patches either by fencing or planting fruit-bearing trees, and after a few years, started constructing residential houses; later on, commercial constructions on such patches.
The revenue department is the caretaker of these lands. Many poor people have constructed residential houses on these patches. Even rich people have illegally occupied these patches for one or another purpose. It should be mentioned here that there is a provision that if anybody has a requirement of this kind of land it can be interchanged with the propriety land by a mutation after completion of formalities but it is for selective cases and this time it can be utilized for the benefit of those people who may have constructed residential houses on these patches.
The revenue department is on its toes as the deadline is approaching nearer. Each day statements are issued that such lands were retrieved today and the remaining will be retrieved on a war footing basis and the graph will reach zero before the deadline. Some revenue officers have started issuing notices to the encroachers.
It is a good step as such lands are used for different public purposes. This author sees that tehsil authorities are issuing statements daily in this regard and when one examines these statements and if they are based on facts then it looks like the goal is near. But if the statements are like the preparation of Goshwara Jiniswar then the situation will be like the previous one after the deadline. This author appreciates revenue authorities for this hardworking but statements should be based on facts, not ‘Kagzi Goray’, and the authorities should think about residential houses constructed on these lands by the poor people as it is a matter of concern and only serving a notice to these downtrodden people is not a proper way out. Think before acting.