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Over 5 lakh acres of government land in Punjab under illegal occupation

Chandigarh, May 6: Five to six lakh acres of government land in Punjab is under illegal occupation, a cabinet sub-committee of of the state has pointed out. Faced with this alarming situation, the cabinet sub-committee formed to ensure maintenance of Government Assets and Lands has sought a record of all government-owned lands from all the government boards, departments, corporations and other government institutions.
Committee chairman and state Local Government Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who held a meeting of the committee here on Saturday, said that as per the disclosures made in the meeting the total value of the government land under illegal occupation in Mohali district (adjoining Chandigarh) alone exceeds the debt of Punjab which is over Rs 210,000 crore. “If the lands of such nature are identified in the whole state then it can lead to the rejuvenation of the Punjab from economic point of view,” he said.
Former Director General of Police Chander Shekhar, who attended the meeting, disclosed that a total of 5 to 6 lakh acres of government lands are under illegal occupation throughout Punjab. Presenting the facts and figures pertaining to Mohali district alone, he said that official records stated that out of a total land of 2,585 acres in Mohali district, 2,435 acres was under illegal occupation. Sidhu said that it has been decided to constitute a committee of experts headed by retired Justice S.S. Saron and Chander Shekhar to free these government lands from the illegal occupation. “In order to know the status of the government owned lands in the state, the cabinet sub committee has sought the record from all the departments/boards/corporations and other government institutions regarding the lands related to them and has also sought the details with regard to the aspect that how much land is under illegal occupation, how much land is under litigation and how much is laying unutilized,” he said. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita