Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu (centre) | Photo: ANI
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New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor G.C. Murmu has issued an order, stating that only government land will be used for all new development projects in the union territory.

The move aims to reassure the people of J&K that their land will not be acquired by the government unless they wish to sell it.

“The L-G has emphasised upon utilisation of government land as the first resort for all new government projects,” the order states.

ThePrint has learnt that the decision was taken while reviewing the execution of infrastructure projects, and is expected to ensure that most developmental projects, such as the construction of hospitals, schools and colleges, are completed faster and more cost-effectively.

The order adds that the J&K administration will explore alternate options once a deputy commissioner has certified that land is not available in a particular district.

“Non-compliance to the above instructions shall be viewed seriously and shall entail severe disciplinary action,” the order reads.

Also read: Jammu & Kashmir L-G says internet will be restored phase-wise but gives no timeline

Significance of the order

According to an official privy to the development, the decision was taken to ensure “speedy development” in the Kashmir valley.

“This is to ensure that long-pending projects should be completed soon, and locals are able to see development happening on the ground,” the official said.

According to the official, the government of the erstwhile state would earlier acquire private land for such projects, which would be more expensive and would sometimes get stuck in litigation if a dispute arose.

“There will be many advantages to using government land. One, it will be cheaper. Two, there will be no litigation involved. Three, there will be no vested interests involved. And four, projects will be built faster,” the official said.

Another government official explained that this will also address the concerns of locals who, until now, feel that the government will acquire their land to set up industries.

“We have been reiterating that any fresh private land that will be acquired will be with the consent of the locals. It is not that the government can forcefully acquire private land of an individual who does not wish to sell it,” the second official said.

“If a person wishes to sell it, he or she will be given full payment for the same and that will happen with their consent. This move will at least help win the trust of the people. When they see good infrastructure projects coming up on government land, they will be convinced of the government’s intentions. To see is to believe,” the official added.

Also read: Kashmir’s new UT administration falters in first snow test

Edited by Shreyas Sharma.

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