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Rentals for land hired by forces in J&K hiked
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 4
Just months before the elections to the Jammu and Kashmir assembly, the union government today effected a big hike in rentals for the land hired or requisitioned by the armed forces in the state. The rentals are revised every five years and were last revised in February, 2003.

The hike is in the range of two-five times for various categories of land. The revised rate structure will come into effect retrospectively from February 16, 2008, and will remain in force for five years. The decision, taken at the initiative of defence minister A.K. Antony, is aimed at providing succour to the people of the state who would now get a realistic payment for their land”.

The decision comes close on the heels of Antony’s visit to the valley last Saturday. For the Class-1 category of irrigated land, the rate per kanal per annum has been increased from Rs 1,125 to Rs 3,381 while for the ‘irrigated-double cropped’ category, the hike is still higher — from the existing Rs 1,688 to Rs 4,087 per kanal per annum.

For the Class-II category of irrigated land, the rate has been increased from Rs 1,125 to Rs 3200 and for the unirrigated category, the new rate is Rs 1390 against the previous figure of Rs.563 per kanal per annum.

For the Class-III ‘uncultivable’ category, the increase is from the existing Rs 413 to the new figure of Rs 895.

For the fruit bearing orchards, the hike has been substantial — from the existing rate of Rs 1,575 to Rs 10,000 per kanal per annum. For the land falling under the Jammu Municipal Corporation, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Poonch Municipal Council and Srinagar/Jammu Cantonment areas, the rate has been raised from Rs 6,750 to Rs 33,750 per kanal per annum.

Still, the rate for lands falling under Municipal Councils has been increased from Rs 3375 to Rs 16, 875 while that of lands falling under municipal committees, from Rs 2,700 to Rs 13, 500 per kanal per annum.

An expert panel was constituted by the government to determine whether there was a need to re-locate and re-configure the existing security forces, keeping in mind the security requirements of the state and also to review the application of the Armed Forces (J&K) Special Powers Act, 1990.

The panel held several meetings and visited the state to have a first hand assessment of the ground level situation in the state. One of the key recommendations of the panel, which submitted its report in July, 2007, was that the revision of rents compensation paid for lands should be done in a more realistic manner.



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