To stop land sharks, J&K Govt directs revenue staff to take land records seriously


Jammu Kashmir | The land sharks, and their cohorts have put strong opposition to the process of demarcationThe massive encroachment of state land that includes land owned by forest department, shamlat land in villages, Panchayat land, and other such real estate has been made possible because of the laxity of the revenue department in maintaining proper records. Those in the know in fact say that all the activities of land encroachment are carried out in connivance with revenue officials as otherwise it is not possible to do any hanky panky.

Another problem is revenue department gives scant regard to creation, preservation and maintenance of land revenue records, which is facilitating the land sharks. Farmers, poor peasants and many land owners have been deprived of their land by criminal elements by getting the records manipulated, and changed.

Land owners who have suffered because of lacunae in land records allege that girdawri which is carried out to information about possession of land, rents, rights, and kind of crops is not taken seriously. While the revenue officials are expected to carry out Girdawri very seriously but this is not happening on the ground. Due to poor keeping of records, and failure to treat them as sacrosanct the land sharks are using this as an opportunity to misuse the same by tampering with records.

A top revenue official said that girdawris are being conducted by Patwaris sitting in their own offices instead of going to the field. This has led to lot of shortcomings in the records as wrong information is being fed into the revenue system, which leads to lengthy litigation among the owners.

To stop all this from happening, state government has now directed the Deputy Commissioners to personally supervise the Girdawri and submit report timely to the revenue department head. In fact the government has made it clear that revenue officials which include the patwaris will have to carry out girdawri in the presence of village numberdar and chowkidar. As per latest directives, changes in record will have to be verified by 100 per cent by Girdwari qanoongos, 50 per cent by Naib Tehsildar, 25 per cent by the Tehsildars, 10 per cent by the Assistant Commissioners/Sub-Divisional Magistrates and 5 per cent by the Deputy Commissioners.

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