Issue of land conversion echoes in Assembly

“Agriculture land is being used for construction purpose which is alarming and government should act strictly against the people involved in it,” he said.

SYED RIZWAN GEELANI
Jammu, Publish Date: Jan 20 2018 12:27AM | Updated Date: Jan 20 2018 12:27AM
Issue of land conversion echoes in AssemblyFile Photo

Conversion of agriculture land into housing colonies and other commercial establishments echoed in the state’s Legislative Assembly on Friday, while members accused government of acting as a mute spectator . 

The legislators were speaking during the discussion on grants for the Agriculture Department in the Legislative Assembly.

Chairman of People’s Democratic Front (PDF) Hakeem Muhammad Yasin expressed concern over shrinking of agriculture land and said the government should implement land use policy on war footing basis to safeguard the agriculture land from conversion.

“Agriculture land is being used for construction purpose which is alarming and government should act strictly against the people involved in it,” he said. 

He also castigated the government for its negligence to close around 500 brick kilns set on agriculture land in Budgam district. “The agriculture land is shrinking due to mushrooming growth of brick kilns in the district,” he said.

The lawmakers cornered the agriculture minister for his failure to stop conversion of agriculture land into housing colonies saying that the move will prove detrimental for the society in the coming times. 

Congress leader and MLA Banihal Vikar  Rasool said the government should introduce a policy wherein it should notify the areas for construction of housing colonies.

“If in any case people are bound to construct their houses on agriculture land then government should notify particular areas for this purpose,” he said.

Senior National Conferenceleader and MLA, Sonawari, Muhammad Akbar Lone accused the government of its inaction to act against the people converting agriculture land into housing colonies. “If you travel from Baramulla to Srinagar, a huge colony has been set up near Narbal but the government has not taken any action against the culprits,” he said. He expressed concern over government’s non serious approach towards the agriculture department and said, “This sector would have yielded good revenue if the government will put in serious efforts towards this sector.” 

MLA Karnah Raja Manzoor said the people use agriculture land for construction of houses to enjoy lavish life. “People have four houses and construct fifth one with more luxurious facilities,” he said and added that though from some people conversion of agriculture land was a compulsion.

“People in my area have started shifting to plains post 2005 earth quake and construct their houses on agricultural land, but it is rarest of the rare cases where it should be allowed  otherwise should be banned completely,” he said.

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