Trimmu-Sidhnai Link Canal: Office of the Ombudsman Punjab Mediates to Initiate Payment of Compensation Award of 680 Million to Landowners

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LAHORE, June 11:

Owing to continuous mediation, monitoring, and facilitation by the Office of the Ombudsman Punjab, the process of payment of compensation award of Rs.680 million to land-owners whose lands were acquired in 2016 for the construction of a seepage drain along the Trimmu-Sidhnai Link Canal has started, resulting in resolving the long-awaited issue of the affectees.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the spokesman informed that the provincial irrigation department had formulated a plan in 2016 to construct a seepage drain along the Trimmu-Sidhnai Link Canal to control waterlogging in the adjoining areas. For acquiring lands from private owners, the Land Revenue Act (Section 4) of 1994 was invoked, and a gazette notification was issued for the payment of compensation amounting to the tune of 680 million rupees. The land acquisition collector of the canal and drainage division Faisalabad was entrusted with the responsibility of disbursing the compensation payments. However, despite the considerable amount of time elapsed, no payment was made to the affected landowners, the spokesman added.

The spokesman said that six affected individuals from the Qaim Bharwana locality of tehsil Shorkot filed separate complaints to the ombudsman office in 2019 for payment of their lands. While the ombudsman office took prompt notice of the complaints and issued instructions to the irrigation department, the matter of the aforementioned payments remained unresolved.

Taking into consideration the seriousness of the issue and the public interest, Ombudsman Punjab Maj (r) Azam Suleman Khan directed the initiation of the payment process and ensured continuous monitoring and facilitation of the relevant departments to accelerate the payment process. Consequently, the regional ombudsman office in Jhang completed all pending legal procedures, under the land revenue act, and executed the issuance of gazette notifications.

Following this crucial development, the land acquisition collector and revenue, as well as project staff, have visited all affected areas and announced the awards for the compensation payments. As a result, an amount of 67,27,501 rupees has already been disbursed to the affectees, while the payment process is in progress for other landowners, the spokesman stated.

The spokesman guided the landowners, whose lands were acquired along the Trimmu-Sidhnai Link Canal, that they should visit the land acquisition collector’s office in Faisalabad and present evidence of their ownership rights and get their Robkar issued. Based on the Robkar, they should transfer the ownership of their land to the irrigation department through their respective arazi record center. Afterwards, they should return to the land acquisition collector’s office with the proof of transfer of their land to collect their payment voucher, in accordance with the announced award. Following these steps would enable them to receive the payments they have been waiting for, concluded the spokesman.

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