Minister orders probe, removal of squatters from panchayat land


State Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal Monday ordered a probe into encroachments on panchayat land and launched a special drive across the state to remove encroachments from such land.

Chairing a high-level meeting with additional deputy commissioners and district development and panchayat officers at Vikas Bhawan, the minister set a target of removing encroachments from 5,000 acres of panchayat land by May 31 in first phase of this drive.

The minister also issued an order for videography to ensure transparent annual auction of agriculture panchayat land from this year. He said that strict action will be initiated against erring officials if anyone was found involved in giving favours to a person during the auction process.

The minister ordered an investigation to ascertain the drastic fall of annual auction rates of some panchayat lands and said that action will be taken against the officials found responsible for it.

Dhaliwal directed officials to take action to install tubewells on panchayat land and district/block officials shall personally ensure completion of the process.

Taking another decision, Dhaliwal said, “All ongoing cases in District Development and Panchayat Officer courts shall be disposed of within three months and no case should remain pending afterwards,” the minister said. In order to make the state green, the minister also asked panchayat officials to plant 500 saplings in each village.