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Dispur to free land grabbed by TEs

DCs instructed to conduct surveys of usurped land, proposed land bank to be used to help landless people and set up industrial units, mauzadar system and online platform to be instituted for land revenue collection, says minister Pallav Lochon Das  

BY OUR STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Feb 27: With an aim to free government lands grabbed by several tea estates across Assam for their own benefit, the State government will soon take steps and use the freed land for other purposes. The deputy commissioners of districts concerned have been directed by the government to conduct a detailed survey to find out the extent of such lands being illegally possessed by tea estates.

This was informed by State Revenue Minister Pallav Lochon Das while taking part in a land revenue related discussion during Question Hour in the ongoing Assembly session on Monday. The question about some tea estates usurping government land was specifically raised in the House by AGP MLA Phanibhusan Chowdhury.

“It is a real cause of concern that some tea estates have grabbed additiol plots of government land for their use, and what is more, they don’t pay land revenue to the government for using those plots,” said Das, adding, “The government has also decided to establish a land bank and the deputy commissioners have been instructed to prepare a detailed report for the purpose.”  The Revenue Minister informed the House that the land bank would help the government give land to landless people and for setting up industrial units in the State.

In his reply to a question raised by the AGP MLA that some oil companies in the State are not paying land revenue to the government and what the government is doing in this regard, Das said, “We have instructed the deputy commissioners to collect the due land revenue from such oil companies.”

Das informed the House that Rs 150 crore land revenue is yet to be received by the government from 26 districts. “The main reasons for land revenue remaining outstanding are patta related problems, lack of public awareness and weak law enforcement mechanism.”

According to the Revenue Minister, land revenue in the State is being collected through 315 mauzadars, and the government is planning to introduce the mauzdari system in 7 more districts where it doesn’t exist. Das also informed that the government has decided to collect land revenue online.