Kashmir Portal

A digital Kashmir Info Network

Land occupation…Kashmir farmers lost 1200cr in 20 years

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 16, 2009

Kashmir farmers lost Rs 1200 Cr in 20 yrs
Rashid Paul
Srinagar, June 14: Kashmiri farmers have lost over Rs 1200 crore due to forcible occupation of their cultivable land and orchards by troops during the past 20 years.
According to official figures, 1,28,331 kanal of cultivable land is under the forced occupation of troops and paramilitary troopers.
The forced occupation of 94,435 kanal of the fertile cultivable land is classified as authorized in the official records as undersized rent ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1390 per kanal by troops and paramilitary troopers every year.
The remaining 33,896 kanal are occupied even without providing nominal compensation to the farming community.
The occupation of land led to the loss of Rs 1,000 crore over the two decades as paddy, oilseeds, pulses and other crops could not be grown on this land.
The fruit growers also lost Rs 200 crore during this period due to occupation of their orchards.
Director Research at SK University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir, Dr A R Trag said the occupation has given a serious blow to the agricultural sector of Kashmir, which is already short of cultivable land area because of its geographical terrain.
“The sector suffered major losses owing to the occupation,” he said. “Hundreds of acres of the University’s research land is also occupied.”
Each hectare of the occupied cultivable land used to produce six tones of paddy every Kharif season.
Kashmiris are deprived of 3,84,660 quintal of paddy every year by the forced seizure of their land totalling an annual loss of Rs 38,47 crore.
Kashmiri farmers utilize the same land for cultivation of mustard oil seed during winters. Each hectare produces one metric tone of the mustard oilseed during rabi season.
The land capture by troops divests the region of approximately 6411 tones of oilseed every year amounting to Rs 9.62 crore.
The continued occupation for the past 20 years has stripped Kashmir of more than Rs 1000 crore in paddy, oilseeds, pulses and other crops.
Official figures say that the troopers have also forcibly occupied an orchard land of 5744 kanal from orchidists.
This land has been converted into military barracks and no compensation has been provided to the farmers.
A nominal rent of Rs 500 per kanal was paid until last year for another 2,816 kanal documented as authorized occupation in official records.
The rent has been revised up to Rs 10000 but farmers want eviction of troopers from their orchards.
“Since generations, my orchard and my land have been a means of sustenance for my family. The army has deprived us of our morsel,” said Abdul Ahad of Pattan, Baramulla.
Most of the orchard land gives us a harvest of 10 metric tones per hectare. Had the orchards not been occupied Kashmir would have earned at least more than Rs 226 crore over the past two decades.
President of Kashmir Fruit Growers and Dealers Association, G R Bhat said the land and orchards under the occupations of troopers is devastated.
“The adjacent land has also been damaged as they could not be attended to owing to fear of the troops. They are a persistent danger not only to our sustenance but also to our lives and honour,” he said.
• Industrial units occupation costs Kashmir inc Rs 1000 Cr, 2000 jobs

http://www.risingka shmir.com/ index.php? option=com_ content&task=view&id=13873&Itemid=1

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