‘600 families to get land compensation soon’

Old Airfield landowners get assurance from DGDE New Delhi
DG Defence Estates Office in New Delhi
DG Defence Estates Office in New DelhiX/ @ddg_it

New Delhi: After a gap of around 10 years, the 600 plus aggrieved families in central Kashmir’s Budgam district are supposed to get the compensation for their 4000 kanal land acquired by the Defence Estates Department at Srinagar Old Airfield area (Estate Karewa Damodar) in 2013.

The aggrieved landowners and farmers were waiting for the payment since then. Part of the payment Rs 4.80 lakh per kanal was already paid to each family but the rates were enhanced to Rs 18 to 20 lakh per kanal and the payment was not disbursed to the families.

A delegation of aggrieved landowners of estate Karewa Damodar Srinagar led by social activist Raja Muzaffar Bhat had a detailed meeting with senior officers in DG Defence Estates Office in New Delhi on Monday.

In a statement, the Zamidaran Committee Karewa Damodar said that the meeting was fruitful as the senior officers of DG Defence Estates Office in New Delhi said that the payment to the tune of more than Rs 600 crore had been sanctioned by the Government of India and would be disbursed to the land owners through Defence Estates Officer Srinagar and Deputy Commissioner Budgam.

The land owners of Karewa Damodar (Old Airport) along with some prominent social activists had met with GOC 15 Corps Lt Gen ADC Aujla in Srinagar last year and apprised him about the problems faced by affected families whose land has been acquired by Defence Estates Department at old airfield but payment was not being released.

“The previous GOC 15 Corps Lt Gen ADS Aujla had taken our issue seriously and since then he had been making communication with the Defence Estates Department. Even after this transfer from Srinagar he facilitated the meeting with the top officers in DG Defence Estates Department and we are fully hopeful that payment would be made to the aggrieved landowners. I am personally thankful to Lt Gen Aujla and DG Defence Estates G S Rajeshwaran for their support. Now, I request DC Budgam and Defence Estates Officer Srinagar to expedite our case,” Bhat said.

The 3879 kanal land located around belongs to 600 plus families of Wathoora, Kralpora, Buchroo, Rangreth, and many other adjoining areas of Budgam district. The affected families have been waiting for compensation for the last 10 years as their land was acquired by the Defence Estates Department in 2012.

Prior to 2013, the Army through the Defence Estates Department paid the landowners annual rent from 1957.

In 2012, the government decided to acquire the land, which is already in possession of the Army.

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