Friday, November 10, 2017
Land Records purification and updating : Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao
Land Records purification and updating
Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao
The state government has embarked upon purification of the land records to relieve farmers from the suffering caused by the faulty land recrods and free them from the decades old problems of litigation and disputes as well as to give permanent clarity on the records. The government had launched this major initiative with a commitment to make the land recrods simple, transparent and clear. The main intention of the government through this program of purifying the records, is to ensure a transparent process in future for the sale and purchase of lands, registrations, hereditary rights, mutation and other land related issues in a comprehensive manner.
In the Telangana state, the extent of land is 2.76 Crore acres spread over 10, 885 revenue villages besides the urban area. For the first time the survey, settlement and bandobast process was conducted during the Nizam’s rule in 1932-34. After that in 1954 in the then Hyderabad state Khasra Pahanis were finalised. Khata numbers (Accounts) were given to farmers based on the extent of land in possession along with Survey Numbers. Since then, neither the land survey was done, nor the land records were updated from time to time. Though there were changes on the ownership rights, land rights, the same was not reflected in the records. This has resulted in countless land litigations, disputes with improper land records. These improper land recrods have led to litigations, land disputes, land mafia, grabbing of the land, murders, fake registrations, fake documents and fraudulent Pahanis.
The erstwhile governments were mere silent spectators and were never bothered to rectify the mistakes in the land records by taking up the survey even though the improper records have led to the law and order problems and acted detrimental to the peace in the State. The negligence of the issue by the earlier governments have further complicated the land records and the problems connected to it.
The farming community in the Telangana region under the united AP rule was neglected and pushed towards the economic crisis. The Telangana State government has initiated several measures to help the farming community in the state. As part of this, the government is completing all the pending irrigation projects, constructing new irrigation projects, designing them in accordance with the share of the State in the river waters, supplying 24-hour quality and uninterrupted power to the farming community, waved the farmers’ loans to the extent of Rs 17,000 Crore, waved the tax on tractors, supplying seeds and fertilisers on time and ensuring the Minimum Support Price are all aimed at the farmer’s welfare. When the Telangana state was formed there were only 4 lakh tonnes capacity Godowns in the State, while 22.5 Lakh Tones of storage capacity Godowns are in place now.
Since the farmers in the State are not an organized sector as of now, they are facing problems like not getting the MSP, being cheated by the middlemen, growing the same crop by majority of the farmers leading to fall in the prices in the open market. To get over these problems and to organise the farmers, for the first time in the country, the state government has decided to form the Farmers’ Coordination Committees (Rythu Samanvaya Samithis). Through these Associations, the farmers can go in for the crops which will get high yields and good price in the markets based on the weather conditions, strength of the soil, environment. Crop colonies are being organized and the farmers would get proper MSP for their produce.
Against his backdrop, the state government has decided to give Rs 8,000 per acre for two crops in a year to the farmers as an input financial assistance from the next year. This assistance will be given to all farmers irrespective of the major, medium or smallholdings. But the improper land records have become a hindrance to implement this scheme. Hence there is a need to set the farmers records straight and proper and standardise them. The government has decided to make the records proper so that the real beneficiary will get the financial assistance extended by the State. The government is of the view that the pending issues should be settled and based on the current information the situation should become better. The research institutions have showed that the countries and states where the land records are clear, there is a 2 percent increase in the GDP.
The state government held series of meetings with the higher officials on the land records purification and it also held meetings with the district Collectors. It had consultations with the farmers and those having experience in the maintenance of the land records. The state cabinet also had an in-depth discussion on the matter and decided to purify/update the land records one and for all in the state on a permanent basis. Accordingly, the state government has launched purification of the land records on massive scale all over the State.
· All over the State in 10,806 revenue villages, 1418 Officials’ teams are working day and night and organising the programme. The programme started on September 17, 2017 and would be concluded on December end this year.
· Purification/updation of the land records is being done with revenue village as Unit.
· Agriculture and revenue officials are staying in the village for ten days, organising Gram Sabhas and in the presence of farmers and others the records are examined.
· The existing Pahanis, Rythu Vari records (1B records) are given to the farmers for their suggestions, objections.
· Pahanis and 1B records are prepared based on the documents pertaining into sale and purchase deeds, hereditary records, official records and documents with the farmers. On these rectified Pahanis and 1B records farmers’ signatures are taken. With the consent of the farmers clarity on the land ownership rights is given.
· The officials are also identifying the hereditary rights (fautis). Names are changed based on the sale and purchase documents of the lands. Mistakes in the entries such as mistakes in names, words, other such inaccuracies in Pahanis, Passbooks are also rectified. Details of the unification of the lands, mutual exchange of lands is obtained. Farmer’s khatas-accounts are recorded. If the lands of the farmers under differnet accounts, they are all brought under one head now. The lands of the deceased are transferred in the name of their legal heir. Clarity is given on the Inam lands and disputes are settled. Details of the agricultural lands used for non-agricultural purposes are also recorded.
· The officials are also obtaining the details of the government lands, endowments lands, Wakf lands, assigned lands, lands acquired by the government, lands belonging o the government offices, schools, hospitals, land used for other public services and deciding that which lands belongs to whom in the village. The officials are also fixing the Gram Kantam.
· The officials are finding out who is cultivating in the assigned lands, if the beneficiary is cultivating it, then the ownership rights are given to him/her. If the beneficiaries are not cultivating the lands, then the government has decided to take back the land and distribute it among the landless poor. However, if the eligible poor are cultivating the land, then it is decided to give them the ownership rights.
· The rectified and revised Pahanis, 1B records are displayed at the Gram Panchayat Office/government school at the centre of the village on a notice Board. Copies are also given to the farmers.
· The details on the land and ownership rights will be digitalized. All the details will be put online. The government has decided to utilise the latest technology and to maintain the lands like the Core Banking system. 1000 Information technology Officers are appointed all over the state in the revenue offices.
· After the purification of the records, farmers will be given Electronic Tittle Deed cum Passbook. This book will be water and tamper proof.
· Once the purification of the lands records is completed in the villages, then it will be done in the urban areas.
· Mission for Land records Updation which is formed at the state level is monitoring the land records purification programme continuously.
The revenue officers and other staff who are working relentless under the vagaries of nature and conducting the programme successfully deserve appreciation. The official machinery is working efficiently under the supervision of the young and dynamic Collectors. This is a revolutionary step aimed at strengthening the farming community in the State and to become role model for others.
After placing the information as detailed above in the Assembly as part of a short discussion on rectification and updating of land records, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has shed new light on the subject while participating in the discussion. CM said reiterated that the Land records Purification Programme is not taken on spur of the movement but after having a detailed meeting with all the concerned number of times. He said the entire exercise is being done with utmost transparency and dedication.
CM mentioned that the improper land records created several problems and if the griefs of the Telangana farmer in that context must be written, it would become another Ramayana and Mahabharata if it is told. The fake and improper land records have led to land grabbing’s, fake documents and registration, Land mafia, Criminal acts and a host of other related issues.
CM told the House that the new passbooks after the completion of the Land records Purification programmes will be issued from January 26, 2018. The New passbooks have 26 safety standards and they can neither be destroyed by water nor can be tampered with. The Passbooks will be sent to farmers by courier. CM also said that efforts are on to have one single Survey number to the farmer irrespective of having lands at different places. The CM said after the completion of the Land records Purification in the rural areas, Urban Land Verification programme would begin.
(Source: CM KCR brief in Assembly on 06-11-2017)