IEP Chandigarh, October 13
The Punjab government has taken a lead in creating history of identifying such Shamlat lands, which were not even known to the Panchayats. Sharing this information during a press conference at the Punjab Bhavan here today, the Rural development Panchayat Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said that under the able leadership of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, a special campaign was launched by the Rural Development and Panchayat Department to get rid of illegal possessions and identify the Shamlat lands of the villages. He said that a special shamlat cell was established by the Rural Development and Panchayats Department to run this campaign effectively. Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said that the department is thoroughly examining all the records of the revenue department related to shamlat lands across the state, so far the work of comparing the records with the revenue department record out of 153 blocks has been completed in 86 blocks to identify such shamlat land which is not under the possession or in the record of Panchayats. During this investigation, the department has identified 26300 acres of cultivable panchayat land, which was not owned by the panchayats, the estimated market value of which is approximately Rs 9200 crore. Terming it a great achievement of the Bhagwant Mann led Punjab government, the Rural Development Minister lashed out at the previous governments and said that none of the previous governments did not bother to identify or take care of Shamlat lands. Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said that the officials of the department have been directed to complete the identification of such shamlat land in the remaining blocks by December 2023. Besides this, he said that the records of the shamlat lands were being uploaded on the website of the department. The Rural Development Minister taking forward the campaign to get rid of illegal occupation from panchayat lands, has issued a WhatsApp number and has appealed to all the citizens of Punjab to send complaints or information regarding illegal occupation of shamlat land on WhatsApp number 9115116262. He also said that the identity of the informer will be kept confidential. Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal further disclosed that during the first phase of the government’s campaign to get rid of illegal encroachment on land, a total of 9126 acres of land has been vacated from the illegal occupants. Following the appeal of the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, people have come forward willingly and handed over about 3435 acres of shamlat to the village panchayats. Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal announced the vacated shamlat lands would be handed over to the panchayats which would be used for development works by the panchayats. The land which is cultivable would be given on annual lease and non cultivable land would be used for plantation to preserve our environment.