Record independent opinion if indenting department insists on proprietary land
By: Ibni Maqbool
Srinagar: The Jammu & Kashmir Government has directed district collectors that state land/ common land should be given preference and first priority while acquiring land for any public purpose.
In an order, a copy of which is in possession of The Precious Kashmir, the Financial Commissioner Revenue has directed district collectors that before initiating the process for acquisition of proprietary land, they shall ensure that state land/ common land available in the district which may be suitable for the public purpose be given preference and first priority.
“The district collector shall furnish a certificate that there is no state land/ government land/ common land available which would serve the public purpose,” reads the order.
The district collectors have also been asked to undertake consultation with the indenting department, ensure field visit at appropriate level and if the indenting department insists upon acquisition of proprietary land, the district collector shall record his independent opinion while submitting the case.
According to the FCR’s order, these directive shall be applicable to all land acquisition cases in Jammu & Kashmir.
The directive has been issued after government observed that district collectors are processing cases of acquisition of proprietary land for different departments as per their indents.
“This entailed financial implication for the government, delay in execution of the project serving the avowed public purpose due to lengthy process involved, rate determination and related disputes and sometimes litigation, apart from depriving the landowner his / her land,” the order states.
It is worthwhile to mention that “The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (Fair Compensation Act) became applicable in Jammu & Kashmir from October 31, 2019. Before its application, the land acquisition was being carried out under J&K’s own land acquisition law.