Friday, March 30, 2012

News Article: HC summons chief secretary in Ramgarh case


TNN Mar 13, 2012, 01.47AM IST

Tags:  Ramgarh Dam| Rajasthan High Court|  Jaipur Development Authority

JAIPUR: The state government received yet another rap from the Rajasthan High Court for its apparent 'casual approach' in reviving the city's lifeline for drinking water, the Ramgarh Dam, on Monday.

So displeased the court was with the government's attitude in following its directions regarding removal of encroachments from the dam's catchment area that it directed the chief secretary and nearly half-a-dozen principal secretaries to be present before it on Tuesday for hearing of the matter again.

When the case came up before Justice M N Bhandari on Monday, the state government submitted a sealed envelope on what action it took so far in pursuance of the Supreme Court directions in the case of Abdul Rehman with regard to restoring the country's water bodies.

In the Rehman case in 2004, the apex court had directed the Rajasthan government to restore all its natural water bodies to their statuses as existed on August 15, 1947 when the country gained Independence. From the initial hearings of the Ramgarh Dam's matter, the high court had been asking it to restore the dam to its 1947 status and also tell what action it had taken in compliance of the Supreme Court judgment.

As the state government earlier expressed its inability in restoring the dam to its pre-1947 status, Justice Bhandari allowed the officials to decide a cut off year to which the water body could be restored. Subsequently, the government informed court that it can restore the dam to its 1961 status. As such, all land allotments made after 1961 in violation of Section 16 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955, which prohibits allotment of land in the bed of water bodies to private parties, were to be cancelled.

However, the state government changed its stand on Monday and informed it that restoring the dam to 1961 status was not feasible and that it could bring back the water body to its 2004 status only. Justice Bhandari took a serious view of the government's approach and verbally commented that the officials appeared causal in reviving the dam situated near Jamwaramgarh village.

The court was informed on Monday that the decision to reschedule the cut off year from 1961 to 2004 was taken at a meeting held on February 16 which was presided over by the chief secretary. The court, therefore, decided to summon the chief secretary and all the senior government officials who were present in the meeting. Principal secretaries of the forests, mines, irrigation, revenue and law departments as well as the Jaipur collector and the Jaipur Development Authority's commissioner were also present in this meeting.


© 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved

See the related articles-
2. News Article: HC tells govt to name officials who allotted land near Ramgarh dam
3.News Article: Rajasthan: No construction, lease in Ramgarh area-HC
(http://claim-for-commons.blogspot.com/2011/08/news-article-rajasthan-no-construction.html )

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

News Article : You decide the fate of your region – Dr. Joshi

(This is a free hand translation of the article attached below)

News Service

Bhilwara 24 March . Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Dr. C.P. Joshi has said that we ourselves decide the fate of the region we live in.

Rajiv Gandhi's dreamt of developed villages, more rights for residents of villages and decentralization of the governance system but for this, the villagers also need to have awareness, along with the officials. Only then the development of villages is possible and Rajiv Gandhi's dream can be realized.” Union Minister Dr. C.P. Joshi was addressing a Shamlat Land workshop organized by Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department at City Council townhall. He criticized officials and public representatives by saying that judiciary and government has banned the allocation of grazing land but the allotment is still taking place due to collusion of government employees. If this keeps on happening, action has to be taken against defaulters. As per NREGA, Panchayat can now take decision on its own on the development of grazing land; whether to plant trees, hold water or make walls around the land. He also said that Panchayat can also increase its income by getting these tasks done. Joshi said that Rajiv Gandhi dreamt of development and rights for Panchayats years ago, now we have to accomplish it. Any concessions taken regarding this will not be tolerated. Everyone has to contribute towards development of Panchayats, only then will it be possible to have the development of villages and people. Joshi advised district head and members of district council to understand their rights and make plans to aid the development of villages. Right now they are unaware of development and Shamlat related work. He also advised officials of district collector level that they have been alloting grazing lands till now but it should not be continued further. If this continues, then action can be taken against them as well. He called for joint efforts by people's representatives and district collector to make Bhilwara an ideal district. Joshi mentioned about scarcity of water in Bhilwara and questioned the work done till now under the drought relief program.

He said that every Panchayat can now spend crores of rupees and repeated that plans can be sent to the government through the District Collector. Along with the Chief Guest Dr. C.P. Joshi, District Incharge Naseem Akhtar and District Collector Omkar Singh also addressed the people.

The workshop was inaugurated by guests by lighting earthen lamp in front of a tree and putting a traditional veil on it. Many people's representatives including Former Minister Ramlal Jat, Former Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Devendra Singh, Chairman of the Trust Rampal Sharma, District Head Sushila Salvi, Anil Dangi and Chairman of Land Development Bank Chetan Didvania. The guests were welcomed by Mr. B.K. Sharma, Team Leader of Non Governmental Organization FES.


Below are the scanned copies of news articles covering the same news. Translation for the first one is provided above.


















Tuesday, March 27, 2012

News Article: Government to amend Act for easy eviction


BHUBANESWAR: The State Government is preparing draft amendment to bring in changes to the Orissa Prevention of Land Encroachment (OPLE) Act, 1972, for eviction of people who have illegally occupied Government land.

The draft amendment is done on the lines of laws framed by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh governments. The proposed amendment suggests collection of land rent from the unauthorised occupants till their eviction, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister SN Patro told the Assembly on Saturday.

Replying to the annual demand discussions for the Department, the Minister said the special cell, set up in the Revenue Department, has identified over 12,137 acres of Government land under illegal occupation.

Meanwhile, the Department has recovered over 2,658 acres from the encroachers. While 3,109 acres of Government land was under encroachment in Puri district, the Revenue administration has recovered 1,507 acres. Similarly, 390 acres have been restored to Government records in Khurda district.

The Minister said the Government had provided ` 3.06 crore in the 2011-12 Budget for protection of Government land by fencing or erecting boundary walls.

Admitting that the Revenue laws, regulating land administration, have become obsolete, the Minister said there was an urgent need to bring in changes to the Orissa Land Reforms Act.

The Government has undertaken modernisation of land records under the National Land Records Modernisation Programme (NLRMP) for conducting a fresh survey of revenue land. Meanwhile, seven districts have been covered under the programme in two phases. The Government has submitted a proposal to the Centre to grant financial assistance to extend the programme to 15 districts coming under the Integrated Action Plan.

The Minister said there was a huge pendency of mutation cases in the State. While over 1.95 lakh cases were pending at the beginning of the current financial year, another 3.85 lakh cases were registered till November last year. After disposal of over 3.43 lakh cases, another 2.37 lakh cases are pending for disposal. The Department has developed a software for online disposal of mutation cases. Steps have been taken to dispose of the remaining cases within three months, he said.


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Monday, March 26, 2012

News Article: Forest, mining depts differ over demarcation in Aravali

Dhananjay Jha, Hindustan Times
Gurgaon, March 16, 2012

The battle to save the Aravali hills from encroachment has taken a new turn. Although, a developer was perceived to be at fault initially, unclear demarcation of the notified areas has now pitted the forest department against the mining department. On March 12, HT had reported that Uddar Gagan Properties Private Limited (UGPPL), which developed Sun City colony in Sector 54, had extended its development activities to the notified forest area.

After nearly 72 hours, the Gurgaon forest department confirmed the reports and, on Wednesday, issued a challan to the builder to file a reply within 15 days.

However, the builder has maintained that they were levelling land adjoining an acquired plot after getting permission from the mining department for removal of stones and clay. The mining department refused to comment whether the builder's activity exceeded the demarcated area, as alleged by the forest department.

"We have challenged the builder's activity after taking measurements. The mining department doesn't accept it and has demanded fresh demarcation," said Pankaj Goyal, conservator forest, who had sent his staff three times to the site on Monday and Tuesday.

Residents of the area feared the builder's activity was damaging the forest area in the name of development. They had complained to the mining department, forest officials, the vigilance bureau, the deputy commissioner and the police. However, no action was taken assuming the rock cutting was in line with the law since it had the mining department's approval.

The encroached portion is notified as gair mumkin pahari, a portion of the hills where no activity other than forestry can take place as per SC orders.


Copyright © 2012 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 23, 2012

News Article: Century-old lake to get new life

TNN | Mar 22, 2012, 11.43AM IST

SALEM: If everything goes well, the century-old Panaimaratupatti Lake in Salem will spot a new look. The city corporation has set aside Rs 25 crore in the forthcoming budget to reclaim and develop the lake into a tourist spot. Panaimaratupatti, about 15 km away from Salem city, is the largest water body in the district, spread across 2,400 acres.

"As part of the renovation, various works including lake de-silting, bank strengthening, construction of approach roads and building of centenary arch will be taken up. A Delhi-based private company has been entrusted to prepare a project for the renovation," said mayor S Soundappan.

The lake was annexed to the Salem municipality in 1905 to meet the irrigation and drinking water requirements of the civic body. Till the late 1980s it was a major source of water for 10 neighbouring villages. It was maintained well until it started being replenished by the Cauvery River, when it fell into the hands of encroachers.

Former chairman and present vice-chairman of Panaimaratupatti town panchayat K Balachandran said, "About 90% of the land belonging to the lake has been encroached upon by local landowners and farmers". These encroachers have dug nearly 450 wells in the area and started farming activities. The lake bed, which is completely lost to the encroachers, now has 2,500 coconut trees and 200 tamarind trees.

Before 1970, parents refuse to marry their daughter to Rasipuram municipal area, 27 km from Salem, due to the water scarcity in the area. Later an agreement was signed between Rasipuram and Salem municipalities to share water from the Panamarutupatti lake.

"It was done in 1970s, when my mother Maragatham Thiyagarajan was the councilor and Ramakrishnan was chairman of Salem municipality," said Baby Geethanjali, a resident of Gugai in Salem. During those days Panaimaratupatti was so fertile. Various products, including flowers like oleander, rose, crossandra, and grains like blackgram, turmeric, banana were grown and was exported to Bombay, she said.

When the encroachments went unabated, a few activists started to protest. D Kaliyaperumal, a resident from Panaimaratupatti filed a PIL in Madras high court in 2004 against the encroachment. "Even the high court ordered for eviction, but the encroachments continued. Eviction orders were executed only after the contempt petition was filed before the high court," he said. Encroachments were removed with the help of then MLA Vijayalakhsmi Palanisamy and then SP Pon Manickavel and the boundary was fenced in 2005.

Though during the previous AIADMK government initiated some works, it was put on cold storage after the change of government.

The residents have welcomed the corporation move. B Devaki, former chairman of Panaimaratupatti town panchayat, who had voiced her concerns about the lake during her tenure said, "It has a catchment area of nearly 700 acres. Tree saplings will be planted in the remaining part of the land and it will be developed into a tourist spot like that of Yercaud or Kodaikanal".

D Kaliyaperumal, who filed the PIL said, "The Corporation's move is welcomed. However, almost all streams from which the lake received water, are been encroached upon. Only if encroachments are removed, the lake will get adequate water."

Salem: The century old lake, 'Panaimaratupatti Lake' 15 the Salem city is going to be the best tourism spot in Salem very soon. For which, the Salem corporation will make a proposal worth Rs.25 crore. 'Panaimaratupatti lake' is one and only lake in the Salem district, having a vast area which has the surface of nearly 2,400 acre.

To cater the water requirement for the purposes of irrigation, drinking, etc of the then Salem Municipality (now Salem corporation), it was alienated to the Salem municipality in 1905 by the Chennai presidency. The lake which gave fertility to the lands in nearly ten villages, spread around 10 k.m from Panaimaratupatti, since its function from 1911 to 1980s. After which it noticed degradation over the years.

The local resident, the former chairman and the present vice-chairman of the Panaimaratupatti town panchayat K. Balachandran said, "the lake was properly maintained till the arrival of Cauvery water. After that the lake was not maintained properly. Meanwhile, the lake went into the hands of encroachers gradually. 90 percent of the land, belong to the lake, was encroached by the local land lords and the remaining by the farmers".

"They trespassed into the land and dug nearly 450 wells in the land by which they actively involved in farming activities", he said. The lake has now got nearly 2,500 coconut trees, 200 tamarind trees which are grown over the years. Bfore that, the lake has extended its great help to the bridegrooms in Rasipuram municipality which is 27 kilometer away from Salem. Baby Geethanjali of Gugai in Salem said that the parents will not give their daughters to the bridegrooms in Rasipuram because of Rasipuram's water scarcity.

"In order to find solution to that social problem, an agreement was made between the municipalities of Salem and Rasipuram. It was done in 1970s, when my mother Maragatham Thiyagarajan was councilor and Ramakrishnan was chairman in Salem municipality". Geethanjali said.She remembered that the lands in and around Panaimaratupatti were so fertile earlier. Various products including flowers like oleander, rose, crossandra, and grains like blackgram, turmeric, banana, which were grown in that lands, were supplied to Bombay via Bangalore.

"Meantime, the environment around the lake was not seen, as it was in its earlier period", Geethanjali said. The local social-enthusiasts, struggled for the protection of the lake. The resident of the Panaimaratupatti D. Kaliyaperumal filed the public interest litigation before Madras High court in 2004. When asked he said, "even the High court ordered for eviction, the encroachment were not evicted. It was done only after the contempt petition, filed before the Highcourt".

Finally, the encroachments in the lake were removed with the help of then local MLA Vijayalakhsmi Palanisamy and then SP Pon. Manickavel. and put wire-fencing there in 2005. However, there was no improvement in developing the lake. When asked Balachandran, he said "then the admk government had taken steps to develop the lake. However, due to change in government in 2005, the lake developing activity was put in cold storage. Because, the former minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam wanted to release the under ground water into the lake, as it was not used then. But it was opposed".

Now, the Salem corporation has taken steps to make the Panaimarathupatti lake as a tourism spot. Mayor S. Soundappan said, "the lake is going to be renovated at the cost of Rs.25 crore. Under the renovation works, various activities like lake silting, bank strengthening, approaching roads to the lake and establish the centenary arch will be taken".

"Regarding renovation work, the delhi based private company DHI is being entrusted to make a proposal", according to mayor. It is welcomed by the residents of Panaimaratupatti. B. Devaki, the former chairman of Panaimaratupatti town panchayat, voiced for the protection of the lake in her period. She said, "by this lake the agricultural activities in ten villages, around Panaimaratupatti, got fertile. It has the water catchment of nearly 700 acre out of 2,400 acre. Tree saplings will be planted in the remaining parts of the land and make it tourism spot as Yercaud and Kodaikanal".

D. Kaliyaperumal, the public interest litigator said, "the corporation's move is welcomed. However, now, almost all the streams from which the lake received water, are under encroachments. If such encroachments will be removed, then the lake will get enough water and will serve its real purpose".

Copyright © 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Govt. Responds : Task Force for Recovery of Public land and its Protection

The below text  includes only  the recommendations part of the text. To see the complete document, please visit http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/docs/2011/GoKVBalaTaskForceReport.pdf
CHAPTER 13

RECOMMENDATIONS

In the Chapters above many recommendations have been made to effectively control encroachments. Out of them the following are high-lighted in addition to the recommendation of forming a Permanent Legislature Committee as Government-appointed Committee or Task Forces are ineffective.

1. PERMANENT LEGISLATURE COMMITTEE ON PROTECTION OF PUBLIC LANDS.

The problem of encroachment of public lands - Gomal, Lakes and Tanks, Gunduthopes, Smashana, etc. - is extremely serious. The Supreme Court in a Haryana case was constrained to observe that these Commons are precious lands for public use and therefore should be protected by all means and directed the Chief Secretaries of all States to file quarterly reports regarding action taken by them to remove the encroachments in them. In Karnataka this problem is especially alarming as at least 12 lakhs acres already indentified including 104,000 acres deciduous forests in Western Ghat districts are under encroachment and absolutely no action has been taken to recover these lands from big encroachers. The Task Force being an informal Committee without any legal powers or authority over the officers has been able to persuade the Deputy Commissioners to recover only less than 50,000 acres of gomal and tank bed encroachments. This is less than 5% of the total government lands under encroachment.
HENCE, IF THESE PRECIOUS COMMON LANDS HAVE TO BE PROTECTED, THERE SHOULD BE A PERMANENT JOINT COMMITTEE OF THE LEGISLATURE LIKE THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE, PUBLIC UNDERTAKINGS COMMITTEE, SC/ST WELFARE COMMITTEE, TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC LANDS. THE JLC FOR PROTECTION OF PUBLIC LANDS SHOULD HAVE JURISDICTION TO DEAL WITH COMPLAINTS REGARDNG ALL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC LANDS. THE KPLC HEADED BY THE REVENUE SECRETARY AND MANAGING DIRECTOR SHOULD BE THE PERMANENT SECRETARIAT TO THIS LEGISLATURE COMMITTEE. UNDER THE JLC, THE KPLC SHOULD HAVE POWERS TO REMOVE ENCROACHMENTS AND ALSO TO PROTECT SUCH LANDS AFTER RECOVERY. TO GIVE SUFFICIENT AUTHORITY TO THE KPLC, IT SHOULD BE HEADED BY THE UPGRADED POST OF PRINCIPAL SECRETARY WHO SHOULD ALSO BE THE CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR.
2. REGULAR REVIEW OF PROTECTION OF PUBLC LANDS BY SECRETARIES TO GOVERNMENT.
At present the Deputy Commissioners and Heads of Departments and Chief Executive Officers of Statutory Bodies and Local Municipal Bodies have no priority of attention to public lands in their custody. After the giving up of the traditional Jamabandi the Revenue Department does not keep watch of government lands and the encroachments on them. The Municipal Corporations, City Municipal Councils, Town Municipal Councils, Town Panchayats and other statutory bodies do not even have updated Property Registers and do not know the extent of encroachment of their lands and property. The Forest Department has been strangely shy of protecting forest lands apart from making periodical, ritual recitation of the landmark Godavarman Tirumalpad verdict by the Supreme Court. The Muzrai Department has lost most of the lands belonging to the institutions under it to encroachers and the Department does not have any staff to protect its property.

THEREFORE, IN ADDITION TO THE FORMATION OF A PERMANENT LEGISLATURE COMMITTEE, THE GOVERNMENT HAVE TO INSTRUCT THE REIGIONAL COMMISSIONERS, DEPUY COMMISSIONERS AND THE REVENUE OFFICERS, HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND CEOs OF STATUTORY AND LOCAL BODIES TO IDENTIFY, PROSECUTE THE ENCROACHERS IN EXERCISE OF THE LEGAL POWERS VESTED IN THEM AND PROTECT THE RECOVERED LANDS BY FENCING THEM. THE SECRETARIES TO GOVERNMENT SHOULD REVIEW THE POSITION EVERY MONTH. THE WORK DONE BY THEM IN THIS REGARD SHOULD FIND A PLACE WHILE THEIR ANNUAL CONFIDENTIAL REPORTS ARE WRITTEN.

3. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LAND GRABBING (PROHIBITION) ACT, 2007 AFTER OBTAINING PRESIDEN’S ASSENT

This Bill, passed by both Houses of the Karnataka Legislature in 2007 unanimously, is languishing for four years without any action being taken by the nodal Revenue Department to pursue with the Home Ministry and obtain President’s assent. In contrast, Andhra Pradesh has passed the Andhra Pradesh Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act in 1984 itself (after which the Karnataka Bill has been prepared) and has established Special Court to try all land encroachment cases which has prevented multiple litigations by encroachers tying up government in various courts.

THEREFORE, THE CHIEF SECRETARY SHOULD DIRECT THE CONCERNED SECRETARIES TO GOVERNMENT TO MEET THE OFFICERS IN THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND OBTAIN THE PRESIDENT’S ASSENT AND TAKE STEPS TO ESTABLISH THE SPECIAL COURT IN KARNATAKA.

4. CREATING A LEGAL SECTION IN REVENUE, FOREST AND MUZRAI, WAKF DEPARTMENTS ON THE MODEL OF THE COMMERCIAL TAXES DEPARTMENT TO DEFEND GOVERNMENT LAND CASES.

The existing one-person (shared) Legal Cells in the Secretariat Departments have not been able to effectively defend land cases in the civil courts and higher courts. Important Departments such as theRevenue, Forest, Muzrai and Wakf Departments which have in their custody large extent of land should constitute Legal Sections at their Heads of Department level (in the case of Revenue Department at the Regional Commissioners level) on the model of the Commercial Taxes Department. It does not require any new staff for this purpose. Within the staff of every Department such Legal Sections can be established. Most of government’s cases fail because the Government Advocates do not get the draft replies of para-wise remarks, factual position, appearance of the concerned officers to file affidavits, etc. which is entirely administrative work.

HENCE, LEGAL SECTIONS SHOULD BE ORGANIZED IN IMPORTANT DEPARTMENTS OWNING LANDS AND BENCHES SHOULD BE EXCLUSIVELY CREATED IN THE KAT AND HIGH COURT FOR LAND MATTERS AS IN THE CASE OF COMMERCIAL TAXES DEPARTMENT.

5. POSTING OF YOUNGER OFFICERS OF INDIAN ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE AS SPECIAL DEPUTY COMMISSIONERS IN BANGALORE URBAN DISTRICT UNDER THE REVENUE DEPARTMENT.

As mentioned in para 11 of Chapter 10-D above, officers with little competency and less integrity are getting posted to Bangalore Urban district on extraneous consideration. With the land value being very high in Bangalore Urban areas the harm done by these officers is immense and difficult to be undone. A Special Deputy Commissioner and a Special Tahsildar have been arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act by the Lok Ayukat and are under prosecution. In para 20 in section on ILLEGL ORDERS PASSED u/s 136(3) OF KLR ACT of Chapter 5 no less than 428 orders passed by the Special Deputy Commissioner involving 1,400 acres and valued at Rs.1,500 crores, had to be scrutinized and having been found illegal, had to be appealed against in the High Court.

The High Court has in many cases in recent times have passed strictures. In one case the Hon’ble Judge was constrained to observe that the very post of Special Deputy Commissioner should be abolished and officers from the Indian Administrative Service should be posted in dealing with quasi-judicial matters, as shown in Annexure 14.

IT IS THEREFORE NECESSARY THAT GOVERNMENT TREAT THE OBSERVATIONS OF THE HIGH COURT SERIOUSLY AND POST OFFICERS OF PROVEN COMPETENCY AND INTEGRITY AS SPECIAL DEPUTY COMMISSIONERS OR ABOLISH THE DISREPUTED POST OF SPECIAL DEPUTY COMMISSIONER AND, INSTEAD, POST YOUNGER COMPETENET OF THE CADRE OF INDIAN ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE AS ADDITIONAL DEPUTY COMMISSIONERS TO DEAL WITH REVENUE LAW MATTERS. THEY CAN ALSO BE DESIGNATED AS ADDITIONAL DISTRICT MAGISTRATES SO THAT THEY CAN ALSO TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC LAND UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE IN ADDITION TO THE VARIOUS PROVISIONS OF THE LAND REVENUE ACT. THIS ALONE CAN PREVENT ILLEGAL DISPOSAL OF VALUABLE GOVERNMENT LAND BY ABUSE OF PUBLIC OFFICE FOR PRIVATE GAIN.

6. URGENT NEED FOR TAKING UP CITY SURVEY IN BANGALORE METROPOLITAN REGION DEVELOPMENT AREA

Government have not realized the extent of rot and corruption that has set in the system of Revenue Department, BBMP, BDA, KIADB and the Muzrai Department in making entries in favour of encroachers and land-sharks in the form of Pahanis, Khathas, Illegal Layouts, Building Plans and Real Estate Proposals masquerading as Industrial Projects. In the BMRDA area of Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural and Ramanagaram districts, still about 5 lakhs acres of public land is available. In Bangalore Urban district, most of this land has been encroached or claimed by unauthorized and ineligible persons. It is necessary to survey and protect these lands and prepare a Master Plan for future public purposes.

HENCE, IT IS OVER DUE THAT THE GOVERNMENT TAKES UP CITY SURVEY OF BANGALORE METROPOLITAN AREA UNDER THE URBAN PROPERTY OWNERSHIP RECORDS (UPOR) PROJECT, WHICH IS ALREADY UNDER WAY IN FIVE CITIES OF KARNATAKA. TO START WITH GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC LANDS SHOULD BE SURVEYED IN THE BMRDA AREA.

7. RESTORATION OF LAKES NOT JUST FOR ECOLOGICAL REASONS BUT FOR SUPPLY OF DRINKING WATER ITSELF TO BANGALORE CITY
The impending water famine of Bangalore before 2020 is not realized by the Government, BWSSB or the citizens yet. With the 19 tmc feet of allocation of Cauvery Tribunal having been exhausted and the huge Conractors’ dream plans of bringing water from Almatti, from West-flowing rivers digging more borewells not being practical or cost-effective, the obvious solution of restoring lakes in the district requires immediate execution. The Action Plan prepared under the direction of the High Court does not address the problem and cost of removing encroachments in the 840 km length of Storm Water Drains which act as Sewage Drains taking sewage to the lakes and making the lakes Sewage Tanks. This is a mammoth problem and involves removal of encroachments, diverting sewage, constructing STPs, Tertiary Plants, installing Reverse Osmosis system, etc. and cannot be done in three years time as the hasty Action Plan stipulates and certainly not within the budgets of the participating bodies such as BBMP, BWSSB, BDA, Minor Irrigation Dept etc. The Bill to create an effective Lake Development Authority with legal powers has to passed and the LDA should be formed to implement Restoration of Lakes as
the multifarious agencies are incapable of acting in a unified manner and their efforts will be fissiparous.

THEREFORE, AN APEX BODY IN THE FORM OF LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SHOULD BE FORMED AND A COMPREHENSIVE ACTION PLAN SHOULD BE PREPARED WITH EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE WHICH WILL BE IN THE RANGE OF Rs.10,000 CRORES IN TEN YEARS OF EXECUTION.

8. PROSECUTION OF ENCROACHERS AND PUBLIC OFFICIALS ABETTING
THE OFFENCE AS PROVIDED UNDER THE LAW.

Even though the Forest Act, Land Revenue Act, the BDA, and Corporations Act (for BBMP), besides the Indian Penal Code provide for prosecution of encroachers and their abettors (both government officials and the public officials such as the elected representatives), practically no prosecution of government and public officials has been done inspite of the Task Force insisting on the Departments and Deputy Commissioners to initiate action.

The JLC had strongly recommended this in 2007, as shown below:
The duty of the Administration is to uphold rule of law. The purpose of the Fence is to protect the Crops; to act as the Guardian, Trustee and a Sentinel. But the few examples in the above paragraphs show that the Fence itself is eating the Crops, the Guardian himself is molesting the Ward, the Trustee is robbing the Beneficiary and the Sentinel is looting the Citizens. If these Illegal, anti-social and Unethical acts go unpunished, honest citizens will lose all faith in Government and the very Social Contract on which the State is founded will crumble as castles built on foundations of sand.

It is therefore necessary to proscribe and prosecute public servants -both officials and non-officials - wherever they are involved in land grabbing, under the Indian Penal Code. Recently, on the recommendations of this Committee, the Karnataka Land-Grabbing (Prohibition) Act has been passed. It contains provisions to prosecute 80 public servants committing or abetting land-grabbing. These must be vigorously implemented. Till the Rules and administrative machinery under this Act come into force, the existing provisions in the Indian Penal Code for creation of false documents, false evidence and abetting such violations should be invoked.” (p12 of the JLC Report II)

IT IS THEREFORE ESSENTIAL THAT GOVERNMENT TAKES THIS MATTER SERIOUSLY AND INSTRUCTS THE OFFICERS EMPOWERED TO LAUNCH PROSECUTIONS AGAINST BOTH OFFENDERS AND THE ABETTORS UNDER THE VARIOUS PROVISIONS OF LAW.

Oorvani Media Pvt Ltd © 2007-2012
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

News Article: Govt asks DCs to submit reports


Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, March 15 – The Government has directed the Deputy Commissioners to submit detailed reports on encroachment of Government land by big tea gardens and the process of settlement of land to the small tea growers will start soon, said Revenue Minister Prithibi Majhi.

Replying to a Zero Hour motion in the State Assembly, Majhi said that the small tea growers are not getting land the benefits offered by the Tea Board because of the fact that most of them do not have land pattas.

Industries and Commerce Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said that though the prices are controlled by the market needs, the Government is planning to introduce Tea Marketing Control Order on experimental basis in four districts of the state-Tinsukia, Sonitpur, Dibrugarh and Golaghat so that the small tea growers get their dues.

Bordoloi said that for the first time a survey of the small tea growers was carried out in 14 districts of the State and as per the survey, there are 76000 such small growers. But around 90 per cent of the small gardens are located on Government land and there are instances where some capitalists occupied huge plots of land in names of others to set up tea gardens.

The Minister also stressed the need for maintaining quality by the small growers and in some cases, the small tea growers used pesticides which are harmful for human consumption. Earlier, Etowa Munda and Anjan Dutta, both of Congress, referred to the problems faced by the small tea growers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Claim For Commons: Claim for Repossession of Village Land in Bulandshahr District - RTI (III)


                                                                                                  
                                                                                    REGISTERED

                                                                                         A/G-398,Shalimar Bagh,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Delhi-110088.

                                                                                                       June 17, 2011.



Public Information Officer,

Office of Upper Zila Adhikari (Administration),

Collectorate, Kutchery Road,

Bulandshahr-203001, Uttar Pradesh.


Sir,


APPLICATION UNDER RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT 2005


Please refer to your letter No.Rajya Sahayak-Public Information-2010-150 dated 31 May, 2011 (in response to my RTI application dated May 12, 2011), which is addressed to Tehsildar, Syana and a copy endorsed to me.

Though your above letter is dated May 31, 2011 but it was received by me on June 11, 2011 i.e. after 11 days. I do not think the Postal Department is so incompetent as to take 11 days to deliver to me atDelhia letter originating from Bulandshahr which is less than 100 KMs fromDelhi. They usually deliver the letters within two to three days. Apparently there is something wrong with the system of dispatch of dak in your office.

As per provisions of the RTI Act the Public Information Officer is required to provide the information within 30 days. The stipulated period has already expired. Not providing the information within the prescribed period is as good as denying the information and it attracts penalty. Whatever may be the procedure in your office for obtaining information from the subordinate offices, the responsibility of providing information on time to the RTI applicant is entirely of the Public Information Officer.

Please provide the following information :-

1. My above mentioned RTI application has been forwarded by you to the Tehsildar, Syana, The information sought pertains to Tehsildar, Bulandshahr. Is it that Tehsildar, Syana is also looking after the work of Tehsil, Bulandshahr ? If not, please state for what good reasons it has been sent to him.

1. At point no.5 of my RTI application dated May 12, 2011, the information sought pertains to other Tehsils of district Bulandshahr. Please state how Tehsildar, Syana would be able to provide information related to areas beyond his jurisdiction. Has he been also designated as Public Information Officer or Assistant Public Information Officer ?

1. The RTI applications are being forwarded by you to the subordinate offices who directly send replies to the applicants. This is different from the procedure laid down in the RTI Act wherein the Public Information Officer, after obtaining information from the concerned Branch/Section, sends a reply to the applicant. Please state if it is your own innovation or the procedure has been laid down by a higher authority. If so, please provide me a copy of the relevant order.

1. Please state if there are any other officers in Collectorate/District Administration, Bulandshahr who have been designated as Public Information Officers or Assistant Public Information Officers. If so, give details so that in future I may directly address my applications to the concerned Public Information Officers/Assistant Public Information Officers.

1. My RTI application of May 12, 2011 was forwarded by you to Tehsildar, Syana on May 31, 2011 (factually on around June 9, 2011) i.e. after about 28 days whereas according to RTI Act it should have been forwarded within 3 days. RTI applications require time bound action, as a reply has to be sent by the PIO within 30 days. As such 28 days’ delay cannot be treated as a routine matter. The stipulated 30 days time is already over. Please state the reasons for holding up the application in your office for such a long time.


A Postal Order for Rs.10/- is enclosed towards application fee.


                                                                                                Yours faithfully,

                                                                                                ( H.C. Sharma )

  Encl : Postal Order.

_________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                 REGISTERED

                                                                                     A/G-398, Shalimar Bagh,

                                                                                                      Delhi-110088.

                                                                                                      July 21, 2011.



The District Magistrate/

Appellate Authority,

Collectorate, Kutchery Road,

Bulandshahr-203001, Uttar Pradesh.



Sir,

APPEAL UNDER RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT 2005

I had sought some information from the Public Information Officer, Collectorate, Bulandshahr vide my applications dated May 12, 2011 and June 17, 2011 (copies enclosed).

The application dated May 12, 2011 was forwarded by the Public Information Officer to the Tehsildar, Syana (even though the matter relates to Tehsil, Bulandshahr) and the latter has chosen not to reply. The application dated June 17, 2011 has been held up by the Public Information Officer himself who has not provided the desired information till date. This shows the lackadaisical attitude of these officers even towards time-bound matters. Since the stipulated period of 30 days has already expired and there has been no response either from the Tehsildar, Syna or the Public Information Officer, Bulandshahr, I am preferring this Appeal to you with the prayer that the Public Information Officer may be directed to provide the desired information to me within a time-frame as may be specified by you.

                                                                                                       Thanking you,

                                                                                                     Yours faithfully,

                                                                                                    ( H.C. Sharma )

Encls : As above


________________________________________________________________________
                                                                                  
                                                                                   REGISTERED

                                                                                      A/G-398, Shalimar Bagh,

                                                                                                       Delhi-110088.

                                                                                                   24 August, 2011

The Public Information Officer,

Office of the Chief Secretary,

Government of Uttar Pradesh,

U.P. Secretariat Complex,

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh



Sir,

APPLICATION UNDER RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT 2005


Kindly refer to my Petition dated 15 April, 2011 (copy enclosed) and provide the following information :-

1. Whether my above Petition was seen by the Chief Secretary or not.
2. If yes, what orders/instructions/directions he recorded on it. Any order/circular issued thereon by his junior officer. A copy thereof may be provided to me.
3. What action was taken thereafter.
4. If no action was taken, the reasons thereof.
5. What is the policy/practice/procedure laid down to deal with petitions received from the public. A copy thereof may be provided to me.


A Postal Order for Rs.10/- is enclosed towards application fee.




                                                                                                  Yours faithfully,

                                                                                                  ( H.C. Sharma )
Encls : As above

_______________________________________________________________________


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