Srinagar: Authorities in Kashmir launched a massive anti-encroachment drive here on Tuesday, bulldozing illegal structures to recover over 500 'kanals' of land from influential people including former ministers and kin of an ex-chief minister.
One acre is equal to eight 'kanals'.
The recovered land includes 40 kanals allegedly occupied by the owners of Hotel Nedou's at MA Road here, officials said after the drive conducted by revenue department in Srinagar and Anantnag districts.
Nedou's owners are related to the Abdullahs of the National Conference, they said. The officials said the hotel is built on 153 kanals of land of which 40 kanals belong to the government and the rest is leased. They said a boundary wall and a shed were demolished as part of the drive.
In Anantnag, ex-minister and former state Congress chief Peerzada Mohammad Syeed, the family of former minister Syed Farooq Andrabi, and heirs of former chief minister Syed Mir Qasim faced the administrative action, the officials said.
They said that at Ara Khoshipora, one kanal of Kahcharie (state) land under Congress leader Sayeed's occupation was retrieved. The outer wall of his premises has been demolished.
Notices for voluntarily removing the encroachments had been issued to him but he had failed to act on them, they added.
Andrabi's family had encroached upon two kanals and seven marlas of land by way of orchards at Shistergam, they said, adding it has been retrieved and notice board indicating its changed status has been installed on the site.
Another 15 Kanals of land occupied by the heirs of Syed Mir Qasim have also been retrieved. The encroachers had established an orchard at the site which was being used to earn income, the officials said.
They said encroachments by influential encroachers are being identified and anybody found occupying State/Shamilat land will be taken to task.
The revenue department also demolished the outer wall of an orchard land belonging to the family to a deputy inspector general of police-rank official at Mattan area of Anantnag, the officials said.
They said the land measuring about half a kanal was "illegally" occupied by the family.
In Srinagar' Karan Nagar, the outer fencing on the state land allegedly encroached upon was demolished and 12.5 kanals of land were retrieved, the officials said.
They said three buildings having some shops built on the land were also sealed.
An official spokesman said the Srinagar administration also launched massive anti-encroachment operations across the city, during which over 490 kanals of prime land worth Rs 509 crore was retrieved from illegal possession.
He said special anti-encroachment squads constituted by the Srinagar District Administration were headed by Tehsildars who took assistance of police and other departments.
Apparently referring to the Hotel Nedou’s, the spokesman said over 40 kanals of state land in Maisuma Patwari halqa were retrieved from the encroachers.
In Khanyar Tehsil, two hotels constructed illegally over one Kanal and 11 marlas of land in Brari Nambal were sealed and taken in possession, he said.
On Monday, the authorities had demolished the boundary wall of a SSP-rank officer at Humhama in the outskirts of the city here.
Earlier, the authorities demolished the boundary wall and guard house at the residence of NC general secretary and former minister Ali Mohammad Sagar at Humhama near airport here.
The spokesman said the LG administration has stated that common masses and poor people would not be touched during the ongoing anti-encroachment drive launched to retrieve state land.
It has been also said in the statement that the government is concerned to safeguard the interests of poor people and only those who have illegally occupied the government land by using their positions will be dealt with strictly, the spokesman said.