"Though the laws were repealed after 650 farmers were martyred in the Kisan Andolan, now the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government is set to implement the centre’s agenda by unilaterally recommending phasing out of paddy cultivation in Punjab,” she added.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday issued an ultimatum to the encroachers of government land to vacate the encroachments by 31 May or face the action.
In a statement on Friday, Bhagwant Mann said the state government is committed to freeing the land from illegal encroachments. He said during the tenure of the successive governments in the state, the affluent people had illegally encroached upon precious government land by violating the norms, which is unwarranted and undesirable.
He, however, said from day one, after assuming the charge of office, his government had adopted a zero tolerance policy towards illegal encroachments.
The chief minister informed that the state government has so far freed more than 9,000 acres of government land from the illegal encroachers. He said this momentum will be continued further and every inch of government land under illegal encroachment will be vacated by all means.
The CM said a massive anti-encroachment drive by the state government will be started from 1 June to remove these encroachments. He said no one, howsoever affluent he might be, will be spared during this drive to be started in larger public interest.
Mann said people residing on such land, if any, should not worry as they will not be dislocated during the drive.
Later, Punjab Rural Development And Panchayat Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said the state government’s target is to vacate 6,000 acres of land by 10 June this year. Dhaliwal said that last year 9030 acres of land was freed from encroachment, the average market value of this land is around Rs 2709 Crore.
He said many people have been encroaching on government lands for 30 years and if such people still have not vacated the land after the appeal of the chief minister, then the state government will take strict legal action against them.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said during the previous SAD-BJP and Congress governments, influential people violated the rules and encroached on expensive government lands, causing huge economic losses to the state.
AAP’s chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang said no one will be spared in this campaign of the government, no matter how influential they may be. He also made it clear that no action will be taken against the poor and needy people who have built houses on panchayat or government lands and the land will not be taken back from them.