Chandigarh/SAS Nagar, May 12: Taking stringent action against unauthorized occupation of public land, the Rural Development Department has removed encroachments from 1008 acres of panchayat land in the last 12 days and handed it over to the government.
Divulging the details, Punjab Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said that under this special drive against encroachment, launched on the direction of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, encroachments have been removed from the land minimum worth Rs.302 crore so far by the department.
Dhaliwal said that following appeal by CM Mann many people have come forward to relinquish encroachment from panchayat land. The Department is rewarding those persons.
Minister informed that today, people of village Chhaleri Kalan, Fatehgarh Sahib district has voluntarily given up illegal occupation at 417 acres of panchayat land and rewarding the village for this initiative, the state government will set up a government veterinary hospital in the village.
Similarly, in Doaba, a potato grower has voluntarily handed over 35 acres of land, which he illegally occupied for years.
The rural development and panchayat minister also pointed out that the pace of the drive to remove encroachments from panchayat lands had slowed down recently amid strike by revenue department officials. But now the strike is over and the department will again get momentum by removing 200 acres of encroachments per day in the coming days.
The Cabinet Minister said that a special number will be issued by the CM Mann on which information about encroachments on government lands would be shared . The panchayat department has also set up a special cell to get rid of encroachments from panchayat lands. The cell will compile data on encroachments, examine legal aspects and other aspects and submit a report on removal of encroachments on panchayat lands.
The Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats made it clear that the encroachments from panchayat lands are being removed without any discrimination, even if an ordinary person, whether it is a well-to-do or a government official, will be removed in a phased manner after completing the entire legal process.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister also lauded the significant contribution of NRI in removing encroachments from panchayat lands through information.
He also appealed to the people to give up encroachments from panchayat lands on their own for the betterment of Punjab.
Earlier, CM Mann on Wednesday urged people to immediately hand over the land the government or panchayat land in illegal possession to state government by May 31 this otherwise a legal action shall be initiated against them.
Financial Commissioner Rural Development Seema Jain, Director Rural Development Gurpreet Singh Khera besides senior officials of the department were also present on the occasion.