The land mafia in Jammu is having a field day despite a change in the government, and if sources are to be believed then land grabbers have started to encroach land starting from Sidhra to Birpur in the Kandi area which is soon turning into a commercial and residential hub. Large tracts of government and forest land in this areas, and some also belonging to panchayats have been usurped by the land grabbers with the connivance of the state officials.
Sources revealed that a big chunk of land near Sidhra golf course which was snatched back from the land sharks has been encroached again. This land was retrieved with great difficulty by authorities despite stiff resistance from the land grabbers. This forest land was protected for few months as well after the high profile operation. However, sources tell that encroachment has once again started in this forest area, and even officials of government departments hand in glove with the land sharks are acting in connivance to ensure that prized land is once again controlled by encroachers.
Recently, a government team which had gone to this area to carry out a survey of the land, and demarcation had to flee from the area after land grabbers confronted them. Sensing trouble the officials had to take help from police but it was revealed that land mafia is actively engaged in putting up pucca structures, and settling nomads and outsiders including Bangladeshis in this area to keep the authorities at bay.
Not only this area but forest land in Sunjwan, Bhatindi, Chuadhi, Ratnu Chak upto Birpur, and along the Balaul Nullah has been encroached. Land belonging to irrigation and flood control department has also been sold out by the sharks in connivance with revenue, irrigation, and forest officials. Sources said that unless and until government takes systematic action against land grabbers there is no way illegal encroachments of forest, irrigation and other land could be stopped in Jammu. They opine that the new government should take immediate action to stem the rot else there would be nothing left to save.
Image Courtesy – The Tribune