DIBRUGARH, April 10 - The Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha on Saturday said it wants the new land records system, Dharitree, to be thoroughly overhauled and called for continuing with the older system of maintaining land records by restoring land records authority to the office of the deputy commissioners and revenue kanungos in the district headquarters.
Addressing a news conference at the Sangha�s office, Jogendra Nath Borah, president of the Sangha, said the Dharitree system has severe shortcomings in keeping land records secure and free from forgery. Under Dharitree, land records were vested with the Circle Officers at the revenue circles. Unfortunately, the common allegation by citizens is that these offices are dens of corruption and nepotism in the State today, and hence cannot be vested with a serious matter like maintenance and custody of land records.
On March 25, the Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha and the Dibrugarh Bar Association jointly organised a seminar in the city, on land laws and reforms in the State. The event was held here with Dr Nagen Saikia in the chair, and was also attended by lawyers from Jorhat, Margherita and Tinsukia. On that occasion, the seminar ended with several recommendations in the interest of land rights of the native population of the State. These recommendations are being submitted to the State Government for consideration.
Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha secretary Ron Duarah said the recommendations of the March 25 seminar would also be submitted to the HS Brahma Committee. This committee was constituted by the Assam Government earlier this year to look into the land laws and prescribe suggestions to make the laws serve the interests of the people.
While land laws and regulations would be dealing with land-related matters in ownership and record maintenance, the Sangha has also urged the Government to ensure that the reformed laws are in the best interests of the indigenous population of Assam. At a time when thousands of native landless families are still having to take shelter on riverside embankments and sundry high ground, the Government will have to ensure that the natives get first preference in land allotments.
The Sangha is of the view that land allocation to outsiders should happen only after the locals� needs have been met. �Assamese natives can never expect to get lands in West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana etc., so our people will have to be housed in Assam on top priority,� said Borah.
The news conference was also attended by the secretary of the Dibrugarh Bar Association, Satyabrata Sarma. He called for plugging of loopholes in the land laws so that the indigenous land owners are sure of the continuity of their land ownership rights due to fallacies in the governance system.