J&K anti-encroachment drive, farmers & poor want verbal assurances to become official
J&K anti-encroachment drive, farmers & poor want verbal assurances to become official

Photo Credit: IANS


Srinagar, Feb 6 (IANS) Even when there are verbal assurances from the UT government that farmers and poor people having houses or shops on very small areas of state land and 'Kahcharie' (grazing land) would not be evicted, a general sense of fear has crept in the Kashmir's villages.

Official lists of illegal occupants of Kahcharie land in different districts of the Valley publicised include even those farmers and poor people whose illegal occupation is in 'Marlas' (One kanal comprises 20 Marlas of land).

For example, the lists of illegal occupants in Ganderbal district include even those in illegal possession of just 1, 2 or 5 Marlas.

"If everybody included in the list of illegal occupants of Kahcharie is evicted, it would be an all pervading chaos, both among the general public and also the administration", said Ghulam Ahmad Magray of Ganderbal district.

By looking at the following figures, one gets a feel of the magnitude of involvement of men, machinery and the common man if complete eviction till the last Marla of land is carried out.

There are 3,04,366 Kanals of Kahcharie land in 10 districts of the Valley.

Out of this, Anantnag district has 34,309 Kanals of Kahcharie land, Kulgam 22,616, Pulwama 50,537, Shopian 19,514, Srinagar 10,180, Budgam 36,244, Ganderbal 9,261, Baramulla 47,476, Kupwara 53,342 and Bandipora 20,887 Kanals.

The authorities claim that out of the total of Kahcharie land illegally occupied, 1,70,918 Kanals have been restored after eviction of illegal occupants till Sunday.

Government assurance that farmers and poor people would not be impacted by the anti-encroachment drive has still not been confirmed by some official order.

Small farmers and poor people are apprehensive that such orders might come after they have been uprooted from their dwellings. High time for the UT administration to make its verbal assurance official.



Update: 06-February-2023