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Cabinet may amend regularisation policy

The government can make some amendments to rules for regularising forest encroachments which will prohibit regularisation of encroachments along the roads and one family be allowed to retain five bighas under the policy.

Based on public objections and suggestions received on the policy notified for regularising forest encroachments, the issue is likely to be placed before the Cabinet at its next meeting. Though the policy for regularising forest encroachments has been approved by the Cabinet, some other relevant issues could be in incorporated into it. The policy will, however, be implemented subject to the court directives as the matter is still pending in the court.The government had notified the policy on which more than 100 suggestions and objections had been received. “The issue of not regularising any encroachment along the roads covered under the Road Side Control Act could be placed before the Cabinet.

It is being felt that regularising such encroachments will hamper their future expansion and mobility,” said sources.The other issue that could also be incorporated in the policy is that rather than each family member, like four brothers being allowed to retain five bighas each, the entire family comprising the parents and siblings be allowed to retain a total of five bighas.

Basically, the policy is meant for small and marginal farmers who either do not own land in their name or have very little land.The casual approach adopted by people in encroaching upon forest land to set up orchards can be gauged from the fact that there are 9,634 cases of encroachment of less than 10 bighas and the extent of land involved being 6.78 lakh bighas. These cases have been registered under the HP Public Premises (Eviction and Rent Recovery) Act, 1971. The department has freed 3,788 bighas.

Besides this, there are 4,123 encroachment cases of less than 10 bighas in revenue courts under Section 163 of the HP Land Revenue Act, 1954. As far as the bigger encroachments of more than 10 bighas are concerned, the number of such cases is 2,513 and the total area involved is 2,830.77 bighas. Shimla tops the list with 1,079 cases, Kullu is 1,004 cases, Kinnaur is 135 cases and Mandi is 109 cases.It was on April 6, 2015, that the High Court had directed the Forest Department to clear its land of all encroachments. In its order, the court had made it clear that water and electricity connections to structures on the encroached land must be disconnected and the land be fenced at the cost of encroachers.

Shimla tops list 

  • There are 9,634 cases of encroachment of less than 10 bighas and the extent of land involved being 6.78 lakh bighas
  • These cases have been registered under the HP Public Premises (Eviction and Rent Recovery) Act, 1971. The department has freed 3,788 bighas
  • There are 4,123 encroachment cases of less than 10 bighas in revenue courts
  • As far as the bigger encroachments are concerned, the number of such cases are 2,513 and the total area involved is 2,830.77 bighas
  • Shimla tops the list with 1,079 cases, Kullu 1,004 cases, Kinnaur 135 cases and Mandi 109 cases.
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