Concerned over an excessive delay in deciding cases of land law violation, the rural development and panchayat department has issued directions to the officials concerned to decide such cases within three months.
The department has issued directions, particularly on delay in vacating five-marla plots which were allotted to landless Dalits under the Housing Sites for Houseless Scheme by the government.These plots were allotted from shamlat (common) land of gram panchayats but landless people ended up selling these plots.
In Jalandhar district, the department has identified 600 five-marla residential plots, which had been encroached upon for eviction. The survey had found such houses in 71 villages of district. As per rules, the beneficiaries could neither sell nor transfer these plots. As per section 13A of the Punjab Village Common Land Regulation Act, the beneficiary cannot sell, mortgage or dispose of the land in any manner. The beneficiary could only avail loans on the basis of construction of a house on the allotted plot.
Earlier, the rural development department had started investigation into the transfer of these plots after Jagga Singh, a resident of Sangrur, filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court demanding an inquiry into such allotments.
Singh had alleged that a large number of beneficiaries had sold off their plots.
Following a survey of such properties, the department had started summoning illegal occupants to the district headquarters. They were asked to give their representation for vacating the properties by July this year.
A department official on condition of anonymity said strict directions were given to dispose of such cases within three months.
“We have reviewed the entire process of dealing with such cases which is too lengthy. A policy has been framed under which a case will be decided within a week.”
The official further said they had issued summons to all the occupants of 600 five-marla residential plots that were encroached upon.
Rural development and panchayat department director C Siben was unavailable for comments.
In Jalandhar, panchayat officials had conducted a survey of such violation and found that 71 villages comprising Mahal, Dhaliwal, Chitti, Kurali, Rupewali, Dusanjh Kalan, Mandi, Raipur Sagnewal, Jand, Rurki, Nangal, Cheema Khurd, Mander, Chuheki, Jamsher panchayats among others a number of beneficiaries had sold off their plots.