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Campaign to remove illegal encroachments from Panchayat lands in the state to continue:Kuldeep

Notice will be ensured 15 days prior to removal of illegal occupation of Panchayat lands

Consensus between government and farmers on various issues during the meeting with 23 farmers' organizations

People can voluntarily give up possession of Panchayat land till June 30, after that action will be initiated

Interests of small and poor farmers to be protected, houses built on Shamlat lands will not be demolished

Joint 9-member committee of government officials and representatives of farmer organizations will be formed to identify the lands made fertile for agriculture by ‘Abadkars’

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) : The Punjab Government will continue its drive to remove illegal occupants from Panchayat lands. Sharing information after a meeting with 23 farmers' organizations at Punjab Bhawan here today, Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal said that the interests of poor and small farmers would be fully protected by the government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. At the same time he said that the Punjab government was removing illegal occupants from the Panchayat lands only after completing the legal process. At the same time, he made it clear that no one's house would be demolished.

On the request of the farmer leaders, the Rural Development Minister issued directions to the officers of the department to ensure that 15 days notice be served before the removing illegal encroachments from panchayat lands. He further said that if any illegal occupier wants to present any document in his favor, he can give it to the District Development& Panchayat Officer, which will be thoroughly examined.

Kuldeep Dhaliwal said that an appeal by the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to relinquish illegal possession of Panchayat lands was getting good response. After consensus with the farmer leaders, he announced that people could voluntarily relinquish possession of the Panchayat land by June 30, after which action would be initiated. Minister also clarified that the agriculture panchayat land from which illegal occupation is being removed, the department is giving present occupier priority to get that land on lease.

Rural Development and Panchayat Minister said that so far paperwork has been completed to remove illegal occupants from 8000 acres of Panchayat lands. These are the lands whose cases have been lost by the squatters in all the courts. He further said that so far illegal occupation of 2600 acres of Panchayat land has been released.

Rural Development and Panchayats Minister also assured that the interests of small and poor farmers would be protected. He said that a joint 9-member committee of government officials and representatives of farmer organizations would be formed to identify the farmers who turned baron land to cultivation. He also said to provide relief in such cases if required the matter would be taken up in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

In another important announcement, the Panchayat Minister said that after June 10, a campaign would be launched to remove illegal occupants from the commercial Panchayat lands. He said that the paperwork was being completed to carry out this task. He said that this campaign would be launched in the adjoining villages of big cities like Mohali, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar to remove illegal occupation of Panchayat lands.

Seema Jain, Financial Commissioner, Rural Development & Panchayts Department, Director Rural Development & Panchayts Department Gurpreet Singh Khaira, Senior Officers of Rural Development Department besides representatives of 23 Farmers Associations were present in the meeting.

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