Punjab to use vacant land to generate revenues

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Chandigarh, Feb 19 (UNI) Punjab Government has initiated a major drive to enlist vacant and under-utilised government lands and to put them to better use and generate revenues for the government.

As part of the drive, it has obtained information from Deputy Commissioners regarding lands owned by different government departments as well as other bodies.

The information is being compiled and inventoried by the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board, which has been designated as the Nodal Agency for the Optimal Utilisation of Vacant Government Lands (OUVGL) Scheme. Earlier, PUDA had been assigned the responsibility and the government for proper commercial utilisation had transferred large number of properties to it.

Giving details, Managing Director, PIDB Dr SS Sandhu stated that the real purpose was not to sell these lands, as was being generally perceived. The exercise was aimed at first identifying and enlisting all lands owned by the government and its bodies, as no ready record was available at either the district or government level.

The present physical status of the land would be known and in the event of any encroachment, the Government would take suitable legal action for restoration of Government's possession.

Lands prone to encroachment would be identified and protected.

Also, land records pertaining to these properties would be checked, updated and compliled into computerised inventories to facilitate the management of these lands.

Elaborating further, MD PIDB said that the government would also be utilising some of the vacant government lands for establishing new infrastructure like new grid stations or tube wells, in new or old localities for improving the power and water supply network, new bus stands, new parks, and offices, with proper planning. The remaining lands would be disposed of under the OUVGL Scheme in a phased manner. The revenue generated from the disposal of some of these properties would be spent to improve infrastructure like roads, street lights, water supply distribution and sewer network, where priority will be given to the area/ department to which such properties belong.

Thus, the revenue generated from the sale of properties would not be deposited in the consolidated fund. The coming year would see PIDB engaging itself more actively in both large and medium-level development projects where some of the funds so generated would be gainfully utilised, he added.

UNI JN MMS SP BD1640

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