CHANDIGAR: The Department of Rural Development of Punjab has made an important decision regarding shamlat land which is auctioned every year through open bidding. In case a shamlat land is not auctioned, the department will cultivate this land itself.
In a meeting with district and Panchayat development officials here today, Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said the move was made to end abusive practices such as some people are deliberately trying to get Shamlat land on lease at less than the fixed rate.
Ministers of Rural Development and Panchayats said it also came to his knowledge that in some cases open bidding of Shamlat lands was not allowed due to conspiracy of people and later , they started farming by illegally occupying the vacant lands of Shamlat, but now such practices are not going to be allowed. He said clear instructions have been given to officers to complete the annual panchayat land leasing process through an open tender within a week. He also warned the authorities not to lease shamlat land to anyone below the minimum rate set by the government. Earlier, the officers informed that 1.50 lakh acres of Panchayat land is annually leased to the people and about 50% of this land has been leased for this year. Taking serious note of the slow process of renting Shamlat land, the minister ordered officials to complete this within seven days and also warned that departmental action would be taken against agents who failed to complete this process. by June 10.
Kuldeep Dhaliwal has also released the Gram Sabha session schedule which is a landmark initiative by the state government to hold Gram Sabhas in all villages in the state. He said that ahead of the Garm Sabha session, three state-level seminars on the “role of Gram Sabha in rural development” would be held on June 11, 12 and 13. In these seminars, eminent experts would sensitize people on the importance of Gram Sabha for village development so that development works can be done in a more planned manner. The minister further said that after that, Gram Sabha sessions will be held in all villages in the state from June 15 to 26. participants, added the minister.
Reviewing the report on the removal of illegal occupants from Shamlat land, the minister gave instructions to expedite the processing of cases related to illegal occupants from Shamlat land and said that no unnecessary delays will be tolerated. He also gave instructions to the authorities for the lands of the shamlats to be freed from the private colonizers whom they had illegally occupied. He also said that a preliminary investigation revealed cases of 85 private settlements where panchayat lands had been occupied by private settlers.
Others present at the meeting included Seema Jain, Finance Commissioner of the Rural Development Department, Gurpreet Singh Khaira, Director of the Rural Development Department, as well as senior headquarters and district development officers and Panchayat officers. .