CHANDIGARH: Anticipating that the Supreme Court decision due on November 21 might go against it, the Punjab government has returned back the acquired land meant for Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal to the farmers within 24-hours.
Haryana government had alleged that Punjab government is violating the apex court’s earlier interim order on the status quo on land meant for SYL canal.
According to sources, the state irrigation department issued a notification de-notifying the 5,376 acres of land acquired for the SYL project at a cost of Rs 35 crore more than three decades back on Thursday. The copies of the notices are said to have reached the offices of deputy commissioners of Ropar, Mohali, Patiala and Fategarh Sahib, at around 7 PM as the land acquired for the SYL canal is proposed to run though these areas.
The officials of the revenue department worked overnight to place on record that the original owners have already taken possession of the land as per the revenue documents. The restoration reports have been recorded in the official books of every patwari and also the mutation record has been completed in all the official documents, thus showing that the land is now with original owners, said sources.
“We worked overnight and today gave mutation record copies to the original owners. We have restored the land in the name of the person from whom it was acquired, in case one has died his or her legal heirs can get the mutation changed later on,’’ said a patwari. The farmers have been told by local Akali leaders to take physical possession after taking copies of land records, as land to some 4900 famers has been returned.
“The farmers had taken over land and started levelling it after the Punjab assembly passed a bill for the acquired land’s de-notification, but had to stop after status quo orders from the apex court, ’’ said an official.
A senior State government functionary on condition of anonymity said,” The orders were clear- return back the land to the original land owners and complete all the legal paper work in the revenue records within twenty hours.’’