Khargone : The practice of encroaching on any unoccupied land has become very common in the villages and the encroachers used to grab the pastures (land traditionally left for cattle grazing) and government owned revenue lands. Hence, the areas of pastures and revenue lands are rapidly reducing in all villages. This trend needs to be taken seriously by the government and the panchayats of three levels, i.e. at village, Janpad and district levels.

In some villages, the encroachers even have encroached over the lands allotted for government offices or other establishments like godowns. For example, the land allotted for transport department’s office and for godown of seed corporation on Kasarawd Road and the land allotted for plantation on ‘Hariyali Mahotsav’ have been encroached. Regarding these encroachments, no gram-panchayat took any action. While, as per the expectation of the Panchayati-Raj system, in this connection the roles of panchayats are very important and they should have complained to the revenue department after passing a ‘Thahrav-Prastav’ in their meeting.

Extreme cases of daring of encroachers: There are some examples of elevated daring of the encroachers, like the land situated near Indra Tekri, on which the CM himself have initiated plantation along with wire fencing, in 2006, under the ‘Jalabhishek Abhiyan’, had been grabbed by the encroachers.

In another extreme case, the land of crematorium was encroached and plots for residential purpose, were sold on it, in Mengaon. This serious case was brought to the attention of the authorities by the gram-panchayat, too; but even then, no action was taken by the district and local administration. Hence, at present the villagers are devoid of any place for the last rituals.

This practice of encroachment is quite evident even in the villages, very near to the district head-office, like Darapur Bedia, Piparata, Mengaon, Bhadli, Indra Tekri, etc.

Inaction of officials raises doubts of their nexus with encroachers: As the encroachments are so rampant, hence, it is obvious that, the officers concerned are well aware about this practice. The villagers and especially the dairy-farmers have complained many times about the problem of decreasing area of pastures; but even then, the authorities and officers at different levels took no action. Therefore, the doubt about the nexus of encroachers with the officers has strengthened.

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