In a clear violation of environmental laws, the Indian bureaucracy-led Jammu and Kashmir administration is usurping a swathe of grazing land for setting up industries, residents of Khonmoh in summer capital Srinagar have alleged.
The locals say the plans to grab the pastures – measuring nearly 250 kanals—which is being handed over to the Small Industries Development Corporations.
Reports said that on Tuesday the officials in the revenue department reached the spot to handover the swathe to the SIDCO following which the locals raised hue and cry and opposed the move tooth and nail.
Public Welfare Trust President, Zahoor Ahmad Shah said land is being used for grazing purposes and the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha during the recent public meeting with the locals of Khonmoh has assured that the land won’t be given to any of the departments.
General Secretary of the Trust, Parvez Ahmad said that the authorities have already ‘grabbed’ 1100 kanals of land in the area where factories and other buildings were set up, “but this time they won’t be allowed to grab this land.”
“In case the land will be grabbed, there will be no place available for the cattle,” he said.
Sources within the revenue department said that a year ago, they were asked to share details of vacant land. “We shared the details of the land as per the directions received. After elapsing nearly four months, the cabinet order was issued in which it was stated that the patch of land will be given to the SIDCO for coming up with industries and other related purposes,” they said.
A top official said that the decision to handover the land is against the government rules and also against the court verdict. “After locals expressed resentment, the administration has decided to hold a meeting tomorrow with the locals to come up with a solution in this regard,” he said.