Repealing of Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001, commonly known as Roshni Act, has generated a huge debate with people, by and large, hailing the decision of Governor Satya Pal Malik, describing it as yet another landmark move to contain corruption.
Here is how people reacted to the Governor’s decision.
Madan Lal Sharma, retired police official from Kathua has urged the Governor to probe all the allotments made under the Roshni Act. He alleged that this scheme was introduced with a pre-planned strategy to change the demography of Jammu region. “Under this Act, members of particular community were settled in various areas of Jammu, Samba and Kathua Districts”, he said and requested the Governor to check all the cases in which ownership rights of State land were given to influential people under the Roshni Act.
He said after the former Governor Jagmohan, Malik is the first Governor who has taken various steps for the welfare of people of Jammu region and also initiated effective drive against corruption. He said Governor Malik is the need of hour, as he has the courage to do justice with the people of Jammu region. We request him to cancel all Roshni deals so that those who had taken undue benefits can be exposed. This repeal has only hit the genuine poor applicants whereas the influential have already taken undue benefits of this scheme.
Vineet Dubey, Assistant Professor in Sociology, Trikuta Degree College, raised serious concern over the scrapping of Roshni Act without taking care of the interests of deserving applicants who were relying on this Act’s benevolence. He said the government has failed to generate the targeted revenue of Rs 25,000 crore by selling State land by virtue of aforesaid Act due to the rampant corruption in J&K.
Claiming that those who had filed genuine applications for getting the ownership rights of land are still lurching for justice in the government offices, he appealed to the Governor to probe against the officials involved in this massive scam due to which the State Government has suffered a major loss.
He urged upon the Governor to give directions to the Revenue Department to immediately cancel all the allotments made under the Roshni Scheme to influential persons and do justice.
Jaseel Singh Salathia, President Mandli JK Surya Gram Vikas Samiti pointed out that while big fish have taken advantage of the Roshni Act to get lands transferred in their names because of their administrative-political influence; genuine cases are still lurching for justice. “The rightful move in the matter would have been that all the unauthorised cases should have been annulled and the deserving ones who had been tilling the land for the last five to six decades must be given a green signal”, he said.
Salathia appreciated Governor Satya Pal Malik for delivering bold governance to the people of Jammu and Kashmir by taking in hand the toughest task of eradicating corruption from the highly corrupt State. He said that the corruption has gone into the roots of politics and bureaucracy and the common man continues to suffer. He said that every elected dispensation had been nourishing the plant of corruption for the past 70 years which has now become a big and deep rooted tree.
Rajni Bala, Corporator Ward No 60 lauded Governor Satya Pal Malik for his bold decision on the Roshni Scheme but said that due care must have been taken with regard to the cases of poor deserving applicants, who have nothing to warm the pockets of revenue officials. “Their cases are still pending in the concerned offices and those having contacts had already taken benefits of Roshni scheme,” she said and appealed to the Governor to cancel all the unauthorised allotments, mostly to influential people, made under the Roshni Act and deliver justice to the genuine applicants.
She said due to the rampant corruption in the State, the poor and weaker sections of society are suffering a lot as no work is carried out in government offices without giving bribes. She believes that the repeal of Roshni scheme is merely an eye wash as in many cases influential got transferred the land in their names by using even fraudulent papers and are still holding the land whereas the genuine persons whose genuine papers were still under process are at loss as the scheme has been repealed. She appealed all the deals under Roshni must be cancelled.
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