Revenue Dept Seeks Proof Of OwnershipAmbika.Pandit@timesgroup.com
The revenue department has put out public notices in Bhatti village, calling upon land-owners to check if they are on the list of encroachers, and if they do, prove it otherwise through valid papers.
For decades, vast tracts of forest and gram sabha land have been grabbed quietly, and the department estimates this to be around 377 acres. So the government is planning a crackdown that might begin sometime next month. Public announcements will start from Tuesday in the area where farmhouses account for nearly 80% of the encroachments.
Like in the case of Asola, where demolitions were carried out in March, at Bhatti, too, it appears a well-oiled nexus between the land mafia and revenue staff exists on the ground. To stop further abuse, the Saket sub-division has decided to put up verified maps of the village with khasra numbers on its website so that land owners or future buyers could check the land status. The maps will show encroached land in red. This map is the first to make it to the public domain and more details would follow, officials say.
District magistrate (south) Amjad Tak told TOI that adequate notice is being given to the people to prove their claims. The individual notices,too, are being given to people whose names are mentioned against khasra numbers in the land records.
The action follows the direction of the Supreme Court’s monitoring committee to the district task force to remove all encroachments and unauthorised constructions in Bhatti. South district is verifying land records of all revenue villages in different sub-divisions.
Tak said that last month the department freed 75 bighas (18 acres) of government land in Dera village. A telecommunication tower was also found installed there. “The space has been cleared and soon the tower will also be removed. The land will now be used to set up a girls’ school, a veterinary dispensary, a health centre, and a park. The area does not have a septic treatment plant so a portion of this land may be given to Delhi Jal Board to create that facility,” Tak added.
South district officials said that there are already stringent directions from National Green Tribunal to demarcate the entire forest and Ridge land falling under the Southern Ridge and hand it over to forest department. In that backdrop, this process of demarcation and identification of forest, gram sabha and Ridge land was initiated in July 2017 by south district.