According to Kuldeep Dhaliwal, 26,300 acres of illegally occupied shamlat land will be vacated by the end of next year.

Punjab government officials have identified 26,300 acres of illegally occupied cultivable panchayat land, which will be freed and given to panchayats, Rural Development Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal announced on Thursday.

A special drive has been launched by the department in order to identify such shamlat (common) village lands. The government identified 26,300 acres of cultivable panchayat lands worth approximately Rs 92,000, adding that the land would be recovered and distributed to the panchayats.

As a result of the minister’s comments, a special cell has been established by the department to manage the campaign effectively, and all revenue records are being thoroughly examined. As of yet, they have compared records of 86 of 153 blocks to identify such lands, Dhaliwal said, adding officials have been instructed to identify such lands in the remaining blocks by December 2023.

As part of the process of uploading the records of the shamlat land on the department’s website, the minister stressed that 9,126 acres had earlier been freed from illegal occupancy.

The chief minister appealed to the people, and they voluntarily handed over 3,435 acres of land to the village panchayats.

According to Dhaliwal, Panchayats will be responsible for developing the recovered land. He stated that cultivable lands would be leased on an annual basis, while non-cultivable lands would be used to increase green cover.

He described it as a great achievement of the Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government, pointing out that previous governments neglected to identify or maintain common village lands.

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