Prayagraj, Jan 16 (IANS) The Allahabad High Court has directed the District Magistrates of Bijnor and Haridwar districts in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, respectively, to erect pillars to demarcate the state territories by January 23.
A bench of Justices S.D. Singh and Manjive Shukla passed the order while hearing a petition filed by a farmer Gurpreet Singh, who stated that he owned worth Rs 10 crore agricultural land in Bijnor, close to Uttarakhand’s border.
He was issued a notice by the Uttarakhand government that claimed the land belonged to the state and he was illegally occupying it.
He was asked to remove the “encroachment” following which he filed a plea in the high court.
There has been a longstanding dispute over the land between Bijnor and Haridwar districts since the state of Uttarakhand was carved out in 2000.
Several such cases involving farmers have come to light earlier as well. He urged the court to issue directions for demarcation of the border of the two states by the geographical department of the Survey of India along with revenue officials from Bijnor and Haridwar districts.
The farmer’s counsel argued that the decision to mark the boundary cannot be made solely by the Haridwar district magistrate or the SDM of Laksar tehsil in the Haridwar district.
Hearing both the parties, the court said the “dispute is that some part of the land owned by Gurpreet falls exclusively within UP’s boundary and he neither owns, nor is in possession of any land in Uttarakhand”.
“Yet, due to doubts over boundaries of the two states, the petitioner claims, there has been illegal interference of the Uttarakhand government over his land.”
The court said that no useful purpose would be served by involving the agencies of the Union of India as Uttar Pradesh’s standing counsel and Uttarakhand’s deputy advocate general are in agreement that the issue can be resolved by the revenue authorities of the two states.
The District Magistrates of Haridwar and Bijnor may designate a sub-divisional magistrate and a revenue team to visit Himmatpur Bela village under Bijnor tehsil and Bijnor district for marking the order, it said.
The court said the “exercise will be carried out in the presence of the petitioner and after its completion, if required, pillars may be set up to demarcate any portion of the disputed land”.