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Haryana withdraws order on land consolidation in Kot village

A view of Kot village.  

More than two years after the Haryana government ordered the consolidation of 3,184 acres of land in Kot village in Faridabad amid strong opposition from the locals and the environmentalists, the controversial orders have now been withdrawn.

Those opposed to the consolidation then had argued that it was illegal and aimed at benefiting an influential yoga guru owning large chunks of “Gair Mumkin Pahaar” (non-cultivable land) in the village.

It is for the fourth time over the past nine years that the government ordered the consolidation of the Kot village land, but then withdrew the orders.

Withdrawing the latest orders for consolidation issued on February 1, 2019, the Director, Consolidation of Holdings, Haryana, said that “in case the consolidation exercise... is carried out, it would wrongly benefit certain influential outsider purchasers.

‘Non-cultivable land’

Of the total 3,184 acres notified for consolidation in village, an area of 2,565 acres is “Gair Mumkin Pahaar”.

“The aim of the Consolidation Act is to consolidate the agricultural holdings for the betterment of agriculture, for prevention of the fragmentation of agricultural holdings and for the reservation of land for common purposes of the village. The object of the Consolidation Act would be defeated in case “Gair Mumkin Pahaar” is included,” said the order issued on July 23.

‘Usurping forest land’

Welcoming the withdrawal, Kot Sarpanch Mundresh Devi’s husband Kesar, in the forefront of the fight against the consolidation process, said the villagers had written to the Prime Minister’s Office, Union Home Minister and Chief Justice of India, among others, over the past two years seeking to stop the consolidation and were “happy” that they were heard. “The consolidation was aimed at benefiting the yoga guru to usurp the forest land. Most of the villagers rear cattle and need forest land for the grazing of the animals. The consolidation would have hit us hard. Now we demand that the illegal structures and boundaries constructed in the forest land be demolished to free it from encroachment,” said Mr. Kesar.

Chetan Agarwal, a forest analyst, said this was for the fourth time the consolidation process was stopped on grounds of misuse to create plots in the Aravalis and forests. He expressed hope that it was also for the “final time” that the orders were withdrawn.

Lt. Colonel (retd,) Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi, an environmentalist, said the consolidation process had been misused in Aravali villages like Mangar, Bandhwari, Ankhir, Mewla and Maharajpur etc. to create private plots and must be rolled back.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 7:41:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/haryana-withdraws-order-on-land-consolidation-in-kot-village/article35530708.ece

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