GUWAHATI, June 3 - Though the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government headed by Narendra Modi , in its first Cabinet meeting of the second term, announced a host of schemes for the benefit of the farmers of the country, majority of the farmers of Assam will be deprived of the benefits announced under the scheme because they do not have land patta. This was pointed out by former Chief Election Commissioner HS Brahma, who headed the Committee for Protection of Land Rights of Indigenous people of Assam.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Brahma said that while serving as the chairman of the committee, he had the opportunity to visit most of the districts of the State and spoke to cross sections of people. During the visits, the committee found that majority of the farmers of the State do not have land patta and such people would be deprived of the benefits of the schemes announced by the Government of India. He said that as per an estimate, Assam has around 26 lakh farmers and it would be unfortunate if they are deprived of the benefits of the Central government schemes because of the failure of the State Government to carry out a proper land survey and provide land pattas.
Brahma said that the last land survey in the entire State was carried out way back in 1964 and there is need for carrying out a proper survey immediately and distribute land patta to the indigenous people. He said that the committee had also strongly recommended the same in its report to the State government. He said that most of the State governments of the country carry out land surveys in every 30 years and some states have also computerized all the land records. He said that in states like Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh etc, all the land records were properly computerized and anyone can check the same with the click of a button. It will be much easier for the farmers of such states to get the benefits announced by the Government of India.
But unfortunately, this is not the case in Assam because of the failure of successive State governments to carry out land surveys regularly. He said that though some officers have been trying to computerize the land records in their respective areas, the same has not been put on public domain. �The most common problem in Assam is that the land pattas were not divided among the farmers after the land holdings were divided after deaths of parents and in most cases, the land holdings are still in the names of the persons who died long back and the people owning the land could not get the land registered in their names. In such circumstances, it will be difficult for the farmers to get the benefits as they do not have land in their own name. Moreover, a large number of people had to shift to other places because of flood and erosion and they do not have land patta. Such people will also be deprived of the benefits of the Central schemes,� he added.
Brahma pointed out that because of lack of land patta, the indigenous people of Assam also face other problems while applying for loans and many students also face serious hardship because some prominent educational institutions of the country demand land records before granting admissions.
Under the circumstances, the State Government should immediately carry out a proper land survey all over the State and distribute pattas to the land owners. This should be taken as a priority project immediately, he added.