Friday, July 03, 2009

Maldharis sold 279 plots in Gir illegally: Govt

Maldharis sold 279 plots in Gir illegally: Govt
Times of India

State government has stated on record that 279 Maldharis had illegally sold land in the protected Gir forest, meant to relocate their families. Replying to a question of Gyasuddin Shaikh Congress MLA from Shahpur, the government said 588 Maldhari families were given land as part of relocation programme, of which 279 have sold their land.

State forest department said in Nazapur Chataria village, a case of land sale had come to the knowledge of the government and it had registered a case under Indian Forest Act 1972. The department had also taken action against the person who had purchased land. The department also stated that this move by the authorities was challenged in HC. Gujarat HC had reserved its order and asked the forest department and the petitioner to maintain status quo on the land whose ownership had exposed a racket of illegal sale of land meant to relocate Maldharis.

A petition was filed by Anil Chudasama, who had bought this land from a Maldhari, in the HC after he was prevented from constructing on the land. The government had also suggested that Junagadh collector, the chief conservator of forest, could jointly examine all 588 cases of land allotment and find out how many plots fall within the forest area. They could also factually ascertain whether the plots were transferred by the original Maldharis who were allotted plots.

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