Punjab Rural Development Department has taken an important decision regarding the shamlat lands which are auctioned annually through open bidding that in case if any shamlat land is not auctioned then the department will itself do farming on that land.
In a meeting with the District Development and Panchayat Officers here today, the Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said that this decision has been taken to put an end malpractices such as some people deliberately try to get Shamlat lands on lease at lower rate than the fixed rate.
Rural Development and Panchayats Ministers said that it has also come to his knowledge that in some cases open bidding of Shamlat lands was not allowed due to the conspiracy by the people and later they started farming by illegally occupying the vacant Shamlat lands but now such practices will not be allowed.
He said that clear instructions have been issued to the officers to complete the annual lease process of panchayat lands through open bidding within a week. He also admonished the authorities not to give shamlat land on lease to anyone below the minimum rate fixed by the government.
Earlier, the officers informed that 1.50 lakh acres of Panchayat land is annually given on lease to the people and about 50 percent of this land has been leased for this year. Taking a serious note of the slow process of leasing of Shamlat land, the Minister directed the officials to complete this within seven days and also warned that departmental action would be initiated against the officers who fail to complete this process by June 10.
Kuldeep Dhaliwal also released the program of Gram Sabha session which is a historic initiative of the state government to hold Gram Sabhas in all the villages of the state. He said that before the Garm Sabha session three state level seminars on 'Role of Gram Sabha in Rural Development' would be held on 11th, 12th and 13th June.
In these seminars eminent experts would make the people aware about the importance of Gram Sabha for the development of villages so that development works could be carried out in a more planned manner.
The Minister further said that after this Gram Sabha sessions would be held in all the villages of the state from June 15 to 26. ‘It’s mandatory for the sarpanche of the village to attend the Gram Sabha session otherwise action would be taken against the non-participants, the minister added.
Reviewing the report of the removal of illegal occupants from the Shamlat lands, the Minister issued instructions to expedite the disposal of the cases related to illegal occupants of shamlat lands and said that unnecessary delay will not be tolerated.
He also issued instructions to the authorities to get the shamlat lands released from the private colonizers which they have illegally occupied. He also said that a preliminary investigation had revealed cases of 85 private colonies where panchayat lands had been occupied by private colonizers.
Prominent amongst others present in the meeting included Seema Jain Financial Commissioner Rural Development Department, Gurpreet Singh Khaira Director Rural Development Department besides senior officers of Head Office and District Development and Panchayat Officers.