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Will land for those who deserve it ever happen?

Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, June 18: Stuck in a trap which is of its own making, Dispur has now decided to streamline the issuance of miyaadi patta land to individual stakeholders instead of clubbing landed property together under one family head – alive or dead. The sole aim behind this exercise is to check revenue loss that is taking place in the existing system.

The reality of the situation is that landed property of most of the individuals in Assam are in the names of their parents even after their expiry and the separation of their sons and daughters into nuclear families. An official in the Revenue Department says that this leads to poor revenue collection as the stakeholders (inheritors) of the joint property, as often as not, are reluctant to pay land revenue with the hope that his/her sibling/siblings may make the payment. According to him, there are vast areas of land in the names of some families that have been separated into nuclear families.

“Sometimes, even as the lands are in the name of a single family, and incidents like encroachment by others also lead to non-recovery of land revenue. This is one of the reasons why Dispur has decided to issue land pattas individually, and the process is to start soon,” he said.
At present, the public face problem as slips of revenue payment and other land documents are necessary for permission of all government related works. However, since lands are in the names of their family heads, alive or dead, they cannot produce them even after their separation from their siblings.

Citing an example, they say three siblings in Kamrup (M) have a parental plot of land and other property in Guwahati. Before his death their father made a will distributing his property among his three sons. Now the three sons have their individual separate nuclear families but their landed property is still in the name of their expired father – not for lack of trying on their part. Each of the three siblings has been running after the local circle office for the past two years without getting anything tangible done. If this is the condition in the capital district, one may surmise what could be the situation in remote and far-flung areas of the State.

Surprisingly, this is not the case in the issuance of land pattas to industrialists and the rich in the State. They get land pattas very fast. The same officials in the circle office, who hold files in their tables for mere issues, let the flies of industrialists and rich move on a fast track, if need be, by bending set rules. This is what money might do among babus.