Tribune News Service
Jammu, February 10
Even after 25 years, the Jammu Development Authority (JDA) has failed to remove encroachments from the Majeen area near Sidhra on the outskirts of Jammu city, where a satellite township was to come up.
Proposed in 1993, the Majeen satellite township remains a distant dream as influential land grabbers are not allowing the executing agencies to start the project.
Even after acquiring 4,452.13 kanals from the state and from locals of Majeen, the JDA has failed to take possession of the land as influential land grabbers have encroached upon most of the land. In an RTI reply, the JDA had admitted that “it is difficult to determine the level of encroachment as the land is encroached upon by the land mafia and ex-owners”. The reply further reads that “it is also difficult to enter into the interior of Majeen village as there is always an apprehension of attacks on the revenue staff of the JDA”. The helpless government agencies have abandoned the prestigious project of the satellite township. Instead, the executing agency has identified 350 kanals to develop a colony. It will come near to the abandoned satellite township project.
“We have identified 350 kanals to develop a housing colony at Majeen in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board. A notification in this regard will be issued soon,” said Pawan Rathore, JDA vice-chairman. He accepted that a major portion of the land was still in the possession of the land mafia at Majeen.
RTI activist Balwinder Singh alleged that the government agencies concerned were themselves encouraging the land mafia on the directions of Kashmir-centric politicians. “It is not as simple as it seems. The revenue department and the JDA themselves facilitate the land mafia to encroach upon the state land,” alleged Balwinder.
“The Sidhra and Majeen area are predominated by a particular community. If the JDA develops a satellite township there, people of all communities will buy plots and a mixed colony will come up. This is not acceptable to Kashmiri people, who have bought land there or have encroached upon the land in the area,” the RTI activist said. He questioned the state administration for not being able to retrieve the land encroached upon in the area.
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