Saffron Mission under threat from land mafia
Srinagar, May 27: National Saffron Mission in Pampore and adjoining areas is under threat from land mafia.
Recently Agriculture Extension Officer (AEO) Zone Pampore Chuni Lal wrote a letter to Tehsildar Pampore, Zaffar Ahmed Shawl asking him to stop the illegal excavation of saffron land in the area. “The field agency of Agriculture Department Lethpora has reported that the earth excavation by some persons from Chandhara is posing threat to saffron land. The district officers of our department are desirous to know the revenue details of land being excavated with name/particulars and other deaths of excavators involved,” states the letter, a copy of which is lying with Greater Kashmir.
The Agriculture Officer also expressed apprehension over the impact of excavation on National Saffron Mission.
Karewas are being leveled to smuggle the excavated soil to different places for filling up marsh land in the outskirts of Srinagar city where new colonies are coming up.
“Actually Revenue officials are hand in glove with the land mafia. They (land mafia) are leveling these Karewas for various reasons. One factor is that they save transportation charges which they would have had to pay if they would have to get the soil from 6, 7 kms away. Every day hundreds of tippers ferry soil from, Chandhara, Dusoo, Pampore and Lethpora,” said Muhammad Yousuf Malik, a member of Falahii Behbood committee Pampore which is one of the organizations spearheading the campaign to stop illegal extraction of land.
Fed up with the inaction of the local Revenue officials, locals had approached Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Asgar Samoon on May 2. “He gave a patient hearing to us and promised to take necessary action against land mafia of Pampore who have leveled miles of Karewas by their huge earthmovers. Next day the Additional Divisional Commissioner (ADC) Kashmir, Abdul Majeed Mir came to the town to have on spot assessment of the sites where illegal excavation of saffron soil was being done,” Ghulam Nabi Sheikh said.
But locals complained that ADC “was not taken to the major sites like Samboora and actual sites at Chandhara where, where from saffron soil is supplied for different projects, particularly for the four-lane highway project.”
Chairman of the Legal Cell Pampore, Bashir Ahmed said that they have been fighting for the status quo of the saffron land from long time, “actually it is nexuses between administration and contractors. We have been fighting for a long time to save the land. There are clear directions from court and various laws are also there to save the land. But ultimately these need to be implemented.”
When contacted Deputy Commissioner, Pulwama, Shafaat Ahmed, he said, “This has not come in my knowledge. I will look into the matter.”
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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