The district administration on Monday said that around 110 acres of panchayat land, which was under illegal occupation, had been vacated to date.
Around 32 acres of land, the administration stated, was still under illegal occupation and by the end of this month, they will be vacated from encroachments in its entirety.
According to the Panchayat department officials, a total of 143 acres of agricultural land was under illegal occupation in the district. The officers added that the maximum encroachment, of around 90 acres, was in Majri block.
The District Development and Panchayat Officer (DDPO), Baljinder Singh Grewal, said that the drive to clear encroachments was in progress under directions from Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann and almost 80 per cent of such encroached land had been vacated. He added that out of 143 acre agricultural land under illegal occupation, around nine acre could take time to get freed as they were under litigation.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on May 11 had asked people illegally occupying government or panchayat land to immediately vacate and hand the same over to the government by May 31 or face action.
The government, as per the CM, has set a target of freeing 5,000 acres illegally occupied by May 31. As per government data, about 18,000 acres of public land had been illegally occupied by ‘influential people’ — which include bureaucrats, politicians and police officers.
Speaking further, Grewal added that by the end of this month all parcels of land, which are at present under illegal occupation, will be vacated.
Prodded on if the land being freed was agricultural or residential, the DDPO said that the vacated land was deemed to be used for agricultural purpose.
The administration had also issued notices to more than 2000 residents of some villages in Majri block and asked them to file their replies by May 24.
The Punjab government had initiated a drive earlier this month to vacate land under illegal occupation.
The government said it wanted to vacate around 5000 acre of land in the state by May 31.
The Chief Minister had further warned that in case these lands are not voluntarily surrendered, then the government will be forced to register fresh FIRs against violators, besides making them pay previous liabilities accrued on the illegally possessed land.
The Department of Rural Development and Panchayat of Mohali had earlier reclaimed 126 acres of land by removing illegal encroachments.