Guwahati: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that the Assam government is working toward providing land rights to indigenous people based on self-certification.
A self-certification has to state that the claimant has been residing on the land for the last three generations, the chief minister said.
Lack of land ownership, he said, leads to insecurity in the minds of the people, which is exploited by anti-social elements.
The chief minister also urged the targeted beneficiaries to take benefit of ‘Mission Basundhara 2.0’, launched specifically for the purpose.
No hasty decision will be taken in ‘doubtful cases’ about claims made over any land through the self-certification process.
Data from the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which is yet to be notified, and other such sources will be considered for taking any decision in such cases, he said.
Speaking at the launch of Mission Basundhara 2.0 here, the chief minister said, “The Mission is for the indigenous people and is based on self-certification, which will state that the claimant has been residing on the land for the last three generations.
“Whenever there is any doubt, the Circle Officer will conduct an inquiry. They are not to be in any haste to settle doubtful cases. These can be settled later also based on NRC and other such documents.” .
The first phase of Mission Basundhara was launched last year to provide a time-bound solution to several services under the revenue department..
It had wound up in May this year, with six lakh people benefiting from it.
Sarma urged the Revenue department officials to ensure that no ‘systematic land encroachers’ take benefit under the Mission and that only genuine people are covered.
He said the central pillar for the second phase was to ensure that land right was given to indigenous people who have been residing on these lands for generations but was being deprived of ownership due to various reasons.
He said char areas (riverine areas) will not be covered under Mission Basundhara 2.0 due to ecological reasons.
“There is a huge debate whether people can be given settlement on the chars of Brahmaputra and such rivers. So, we are refraining from it now. There will be no eviction nor any settlement in the chars as of now,” Sarma added.
Due to lack of land ownership, such people are deprived of bank loans, benefits under government schemes, etc., and since these land are uncategorised, it also leads to encroachment, he added.
Sarma asked the Revenue department to settle the Ryot lands and those under the provision of annual renewal of ownership provision as soon as possible as there are no legal hurdles involved in these.
Ryot lands are held traditionally by farmers who cultivate the plot but do not have ownership rights.
He also asked the local administration and the Revenue department to work together in settling the land right claim of villages that have been in existence on government land for several generations.
“The government is working to ensure land rights for all indigenous people. It may take some time, but the process is on. I request them to take advantage of the Mission and present their claims,” he added.
Mission Basundhara is a transitional mission and the government was looking for sustainable reforms, particularly by cutting away the role of middlemen and digitalisation of all land-related services, the chief minister said.
“Online collection of land revenue, e-stamping for registration of property, and auto-mutation of land during registration are initiatives under this Mission which will continue,” he added.
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