SRINAGAR, June 18: In a case of forest encroachment, a senior Minister in the PDP-BJP coalition Government and two former Ministers along with two Government officials and hotels have been charged.
The information was given by the Minister for Forest, Ch. Lal Singh, in reply to a question asked by Shakti Raj Parihar in the Legislative Asssembly.
In the reply, the Forest Minister said that an approximate forest area of 26.20 kanals belonging to compartment V-4C Sedev of Shopian forest division in South Kashmir was found to be encroached by the Former Congress Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din.
Under Section 48 (a) of Jammu and Kashmir Forest Act, eviction notices have been served upon Mohi-ud-Din to undo the encroachment. However, the former minister in turn has filed an appeal with Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal Srinagar, where the matter is under trial.
Almost fifteen years ago, the current Minister in the Coalition Government Abdul Gani Kohli, had constructed an educational institution in Khasra number 356.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the High Court regarding the same.
Recently, the Vigilance Organisation (VO), sought information regarding status of the land where it was revealed after the demarcation that about 2 kanals of forest land was under encroachment of the minister Kohli.
As per the Nishandehi carried out in 2007 by the Revenue Authority out of which 23 kanals were encroached upon.
As per the reports, former Minister’s Bashir Ahmad and Farida Begum have encroached 4 kanals and 10 marlas of land respectively. Presently Tavneer Ahmad, Yasir Bashir, Naseer Ahmad, Sajjad Ahmad, sons of Bashir Ahmad, own 4 kanals of land.
In 2008 High Court was approached and case is under trial in the court of law.
The Minister further added that there was a forest land under Khasra number 371 along with a plot of 22 kanals that was allotted by the Government to R P Sharma under a Government order on July 3, 2006. However, he sold the plot in parts to many influential people and some of them have constructed houses on the land.
Allotment of forest land was challenged in a PIL in the High Court which quashed the Government’s order of the allotment. RP Sharm filed a review petition in the Supreme Court, where the case is pending.
However, in order to cancel the illegal Girdawari and illegal entry in Revenue records, Court of Deputy Commissioner, Jammu was approached by the Forest Department and subsequently in May this year DC issued an order on May 27,2016 cancelling the illegal entry in the name of Majid and has set aside the illegal entry of Girdawari done by the revenue Department.
Also, the Hotel Khyber Resort in Gulmarg was reported to have encroached approximately one kanal of forest land in compartment 39/Gul for which legal eviction notice has been issued to hotel. The land will be evicted in due course of time after completing all legal formalities.
Besides this six other hotels have also encroached forest land in Jammu region, that include Hotel Pine View(2 marlas), Hotel Mount Shivalik(1.9 kanal), Hotel Subash Palace construction of road leading to Hotel Green Top 2268 square feet in road and 1415 square feet floral bed and shopping complex and Hotel Forest View (1-2 marlas) under road leading to hotel.
Proceedings under J & K Public Premises (Eviction of unauthorized occupants) Act 1959 were initiated and cases are under litigation in different courts.