STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: A Division Bench of State High Court Jammu Wing comprising First Puisne Judge Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Sanjeev Kumar on Saturday directed Collector, Land Acquisition to consider the option of providing the villagers (whose lands are to be acquired) alternate land in lieu of the land notified for conserving Gharana Wetland to settle aforesaid cases amicably.
The court further directed Collector, Land Acquisition and SDM, R.S. Pura to get inputs from the Naib Tehsildar, who has been directed to identify suitable land, which can be given in lieu of the land, sought to be acquired.
The court direction came in a much publicized Public Interest Litigation (PIL) regarding preserving the Gharana Wetland.
Earlier, DB observed that on December 30, 2017, court had issued an order after the counsel appearing on behalf of the Forest and Wildlife Department submitted that the area which is immediately required has been marked on the spot through poles after taking the GPS readings of each such pole and exact points shall be marked on a map based on the GPS readings.
The court had directed the revenue authority to identify the ownership/occupation in respect of the area so marked out and submit the report within four days.
“The land falling within the perimeter of these poles may be utilized for the purpose of preserving the Gharana Wetland, however, that shall be subject to final orders of this Court. In case the respondents need to acquire any land for the purpose of preserving the wetland at Gharana, they may make appropriate steps under the J&K Land Acquisition Act, 1990 (1934 AD) in accordance with the provisions thereof”, the court had observed.
This order has been passed with the consent of the petitioners because they have fairly stated that they are also interested in the preservation of the Wetland, provided their rights are also protected. Some of them were represented by P.N. Raina, Sr. Advocate.
The DB observed that in compliance to the aforesaid order, Ehsan Mirza Dy. AG has filed a status report dated January 29, 2018 on behalf of Tehsildar Suchetgarh comprising details relating to various Khasra numbers and the extent of Private land, Shamlat Land, State Land and Custodian Land.
DB after going through the status report said that it does not contain full particulars. However, the specific direction of this Court is that the Revenue Authority shall identify the names of persons who are owners/occupiers in respect of the area so marked in the GPS readings.
DB further observed that AAG Rohit Kapoor appearing on behalf of all the official respondents on instructions from the following officers, who are present in this Court, namely, Javaid Iqbal Parihar (Tehsildar, Suchetgarh), Harjeet Singh (Naib Tehsildar, R.S. Pura), Naresh Kumar (Sub-Divisional Magistrate, R.S. Pura), Bal Krishan (Girdawar), and, Asif Iqbal (Patwari), has assured that this exercise will be done immediately and the report will be filed. They will submit the details of ownership/occupation of the area marked as per the GPS readings.
DB also sought report on identification of land as per the GPS readings on or before March 19, 2018. DB further observed that the proposal for Sewage Treatment Plan (STP) is a must.
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