In a major encroachment removal drive in district Ludhiana, the forests & wildlife preservation department has been successful in lifting the encroachments over 225 acre forest land besides a plan for the removal of another encroached 560 acre land has been prepared. This was disclosed by Mr. Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Hon’ble Minister of Forests & Wildlife Preservation, Punjab, during press conference held at Forest Bhawan, Mohali.The Minister said that the elements of land mafia, who have encroached the forest land would be dealt with severely. He said that as per the record, in Punjab 30,000 acres have been illegally encroached upon. Divulging the detail, he said that 7,500 acres in Amritsar, 5,000 acres in Ludhiana, 3,000 acres in Jalandhar, 2,500 acres in Firozepur, 150 acres in Patiala and 11 acres land in Hoshairpur district has been encroached by the land mafia. He further said that 21,000 cases of land encroachment are under trial in various courts of the state. He said that the encroachment drive is being carried out over the land for which no trial is pending in any court. Replying to a query, the minister said that he has ordered inquiry to find out forest land encroachment cases in district Mohali.
Mr. Dharamsot said that officers have been directed to remove the encroachments on forests land in the state, under which major encroachment removal drive was undertaken in the divisional forest area of Ludhiana and total government forest area of 225 acres out of a total encroached area of 392 acres falling under the two villages Kot Umra and Gaursian Khan Mohammad falling in Sub-Division of Jagraon (Rural) was reclaimed from illegal possession. He said that these areas are along the banks of river Satluj and the state forest department and district administration were planning the operation since last two months. The forest headquarter at S.A.S. Nagar led by Mr. Jitendra Sharmam, Principal Chief Conservator of forests had kept a close and constant eye on the entire operation. He further said that there are nearly 72 cases in litigation under PP Act with the concern SDMs for the possession of 167 acres of remaining land.The Minister further said that prior the operation, a few days back Mr. D.P. Reddy, Former ACS, Forests had also chaired a detailed meeting of all officers at Ludhiana to finalize the contours of the operation.
The operation was executed with precision by the district authorities of Ludhiana. Mr Pradeep Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana along with SDM Mr. Ram Singh, Jagraon, Mr. Joginder Singh, Tehsildar, Jagraon, Mr. Rupinder Bhardwaj, SDO, Jagraon, initialed the demarcation of the said illegally occupied land. He was assisted by Mr. Surjit Singh Gill, Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr. Gurdip Singh, SP, Headquarter, Jagraon, Mr. Sarabjit Singh DSP (Rural), Mr. Jaswinder Singh, DSP Dakha, Mr. Surjit Singh DSP (Raikot), Mr. Paramjit Singh, SHO Sidhwan Bet, Mr. Manjinder Singh, SDO, Nawanshar and Mr. Sukhwinder Singh. The Department of Forest was led by PCCF Mr. Jitendra Sharma, CCF (Plains) Mr. Dharmindra Sharma and Conservator South Circle Mrs. Shailender Kaur. Mr. Charanjit Singh Kooner, Divisional Forest Officer, Ludhiana led the ground operation.Mr. Dharamsot said that nearly 1500 police force was engaged to tackle any law and order situation. There were nearly 600 daily wage worker of the department of forests along with 200 field staff from various divisions of forests in the plains area who assisted in demarcation, fixing of boundary pillars, putting of barbed wire & plantation.
There were nearly 50 tractors Trolleys, 25 Mahindra Utility Vehicles, 15 water Tankers which assisted in plantation of 50,000 plants in the vacated area. Only a few days back in anti-encroachment drive, the State Forest Department had regained possession of 85 acres of prime forest land in Mattewara in Ludhiana. Based on the experiences of the past there is a need to establish a police post in the area to prevent any set back and consolidate the gains as in the past.He said that the Government of Punjab has resolved that no government property will be allowed to remain under illegal occupation and in the coming days, the government will take strict action against the culprits.Mr. Satish Chandra, Additional Chief Secretary (Forest), Mr. Jatinder Sharma, Principal Chief Conservator Forests, Mr. Kuldeep Kumar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Mr. Ratna Kumar, Chief Conservator, Mr. Dhirendra Singh, Managing Director Forest Corporation, Mr. Dharminder Sharma, Chief Conservator and Mrs. Shailendra Kaur, Conservator (South) were also present.''''