In a major anti-encroachment drive, authorities in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir has retrieved 34.25 acres of land from illegal occupation and demolished over 30 unauthorised structures including shops and houses.
The day-long drive was conducted under the supervision of Rajouris District Development Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary and Senior Superintendent of Police Yougal Manhas, an official spokesperson said.
He said assisted by a 500-strong contingent of police force, the workforce of 120 men and more than 20 JCB machines retrieved prime land at five different locations in Rajouri town.
The teams demolished more than 30 structures which included 14 shops, 11 concrete residential houses, two workshops, one service station and three sheds apart from a vast network of concrete plinths and foundations.
No injury or damage was reported during the drive, the spokesperson said.
According to the spokesperson, in view of the winter, the district administration provided temporary accommodation for one week for evicted families and necessary arrangements were put in place.
"Although all the displaced families were living on state land in violation of norms, still on humanitarian grounds, the administration is taking steps to provide all kind of assistance to them," he said.
The spokesperson said a separate enquiry is being conducted into the role of some locals in sale and purchase of state land and involvement of officials in wrongful vesting of titles or allowing illegal constructions.
"Eviction and demolition drive will continue during the month and similar patches of land will be retrieved shortly," the district development commissioner said.
He said parking lot for 1,000 vehicles and a recreation park have been approved and would be constructed on retrieved land.
The administration is also starting construction of circular road from new bridge to district court complex via Anandpur Ashram using the retrieved land, the spokesperson said.