Jammu and Kashmir
The illegal encroachment of Kahcharie land across the state has now evoked a very stern warning from the State High Court which has directed the Deputy Commissioners to get this land vacated, and if this does not happen then law of the land will take it’s course. Repeated warnings to the authorities have failed to ensure any action in restoring the land which is controlled by vested interests with strong political connections, and clout in the government.
Often the bureaucrats, and the revenue officials are helpless as immense political pressure is put on them. In reality, majority of this land has been encroached by political activists who use it commercially, and many have developed structures on the land earning lot of money. However, the instant high court decision has empowered the Deputy Commissioners to act in accordance with law, and given them the mandate to dismantle the illegal regime. A two-member committee has also been formed to monitor the implementation of this order, and restoration of Kahcharie land. The DCs have also been asked to submit report on the action taken report.
The High Court also assessed the Srinagar Master plan, and sought the revised master plan for the summer capital which has extended the coverage from 416 Sq Km to 757 Sq Km. There have been several instances of unauthorized structures being built in violation of the master plan, and the court wants to effectively stop these violations across the state. The need of the hour is to check the political interference in the revenue matters, and to put honest officers on the job if letter of the law is to be implemented in letter, and spirit. But will this happen is the big question.