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97 PC Land As Billed Upto March 2013 Under  Roshni Act Were Agri Lands At ZERO Price

97 PC Land As Billed Upto March 2013 Under Roshni Act Were Agri Lands At ZERO Price

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Daya Sagar    Act

As per a CAG report of over 20 Lac Kanals of the estimated target land area of State land under authorised private possession and unauthorised private possession (encroachments) was  to be focused under the THE JAMMU AND KASHMIR STATE LANDS (VESTING OF OWNERSHIP TO THE OCCUPANTS) ACT, 2001 Act No. XII of 2001 amended by Act III of 2007  and out which  only 348160 Kanals of land applied for was cleared by revenue authorities till March 2013  that included  3,40,090 kanal ( 97.68%)  of land that was billed at zero price as Agriculture land ; the demand notes were sent to applicants for land of valueRs, 317.54 Cr  but only  Rs. 76.24 Cr was realised (24 per cent) inview of the concessions given to different categories as per Rules 2007 and some of the applicants not making payments.

At occasions the data quoted in the reports / media  with the reference of government sources  may  have some contradictions.

Like it was  said in one of the  Audit report of CAG that upto March, 2013 demand notes were raised on the applicants   for  transfer of 3,48,160 kanals of land  where as during  the year 2011  budget session of J&K  legislature the government revealed that it had approved ownership rights over 6,75, 230 kanals of land in the state under various categories at an approved cost of Rs 303 crore with recovery of only Rs 72 crore.

The government  had further disclosed that for  32, 238 kanals of land in 10 districts of Kashmir  valley  Rs 52.20 crore  have realised  against approved cost of Rs 114.53 crore where as in Jammu region  against 6.42.992 kanals  government  had got just Rs 20.70 crore  against the approved cost of Rs 189.46 crore.

The overall target areas was mentioned as  20, 25,083 kanals ( 16, 02,148 kanals in Jammu region and only 4, 22,935 kanals in Kashmir valley ) against which by cutoff date over 2.60 lakh applications for proprietary rights over 17, 57,581 kanals of state land had been received).

Anyhow let us not go into the controversies of data conflicts and go by the indicators that still could be taken for a study i.e maximum area  of lands ( nearly 80%)  to be covered under  the Act   No: XII of 2001 as amended by act No III of 2007 ( commonly referred as Roshni Scheme even after 2007) the fell in Jammu region and nearly  20 % in Kashmir Valley ( Ladakh region was not in the scope of the Act).

The shortfall  in realised revenue over the  estimated and billed revenue could be  due to  three reasons (i) Mainly due to  80% of lands targeted and  those 97.68% of those cleared till 2013 being  Agricultural land at zero/ no price  (ii) Some urban beneficiaries / applicants having  not made payment against the demands notes raised by revenue departments  either under protest or due to resource limitations (iii) some cases are still pending for evaluation due to delayed submission or other incompleteness.

To quote as per some data published in the media quoting official sources in Poonch Districts till 2011 land approved for transfer to occupants was 119154 Kanal where as total cost of land approved was just 0.14 crore ( 0.14 Cr  i.e average Rs.11 per Kanal only since bulk of land was given free) and the amount realised  was just Rs  0.06 Cr. Similarly in Rajouri district land approved for transfer to occupants  was 272148 Kanal  where as total cost of land approved was just Rs.2.02 crore (  Rs.74 per Kanal only  since here too almost all land was given free like Poonch and same was case with Doda district) and the amount realised  was just Rs  0.39 Cr,  ; for Doda land approved for transfer to occupants  was  35865 Kanal  where as total cost of land approved was just 0.63 crore (  Rs.175 per Kanal) and the amount realised  was just Rs  0.39 Cr ;

In Ramban District land approved for transfer to occupants  was 18651 Kanal  where as total cost of land approved was just 0.26 crore ( 26 Lac i.e  average Rs.139 per Kanal bulk of land was free land ) and the amount realised  was just Rs  0.19 Cr. Udhampur land approved for transfer to occupants  was 90607  Kanal where as total cost of land approved was just 2.71 crore (  average Rs.299 per Kanal here too bulk was free agri land ) and the amount realised  was just Rs  1.17 Cr.

In Ganderbal district land approved for transfer to occupants was 809 Kanal where as total cost of land approved was just 0.0081 crore ( 0.81 lac  i.e Rs.100 per Kanal) and the amount realised  was just Rs  0.06 Cr.

The average per kanal in these districts has been so low because almost all / large quantity was under agriculture category and   the AG’s audit should have taken audit in these districts for violation and codes and rules.So, first need for the Audit was as regards FREE Agri. lands and that was not done.

 As regards Jammu district the land approved for transfer to occupants  was 42917 kanal  where as total cost of land approved was 174.19 Cr (  average Rs.40587 per Kanal) and the amount realised  was just Rs  15.77 Cr ; in Samba land approved for transfer to occupants  was 8454 Kanal  where as total cost of land approved was just 6.08 crore (  average Rs.7191 per Kanal) and the amount realised  was just Rs  1.92 Cr; in Kathua District land approved for transfer to occupants  was 25894 Kanal  where as total cost of land approved was just 2.69 crore ( average Rs.1038 per Kanal) and the amount realised  was just Rs  0.34 Cr.

So, it appears that the statutory audit needed to work more and start review by taking the cases of land, particularly in districts like Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Ramban Gandarbal,  Kathua etc where there is more of free Agriculture Land transfer and very very less residential land quantity cases.

Ofcourse where the beneficiaries had not responded in time, the Revenue authorities should have taken action against the defaulter occupant as per rules. And if not why?

(Daya Sagar –  Sr Journalist and social activist dayasagr45@yahoo.com 9419796096)

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