June 22, 2018

Land woes land at CM’s table

Patna: A Bhagalpur resident on Monday informed chief minister Nitish Kumar how land acquired by the government was encroached upon or sold. This took place at his Lok Samvad (public interaction) on Monday.

The programme was revived after four months and there was enough evidence that it still attracted people with bright ideas on good governance and policy matters.

Rajesh Kumar of Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur pointed out to the chief minister that whenever the state government acquires land, it doesn’t pay attention to get it transferred in its name or that of the department concerned. “People from whom land has been acquired keep paying revenue and getting receipt. Later on, they also sell the land to other people who are ignorant of the fact that it was now government property,” Rajesh said at the Lok Samvad on Monday. “At times the land is even encroached upon by the same people who sold it.”

Talking further on the occasion, the Kahalgaon resident said people were evading mutation of their land done after division of family property to avoid paying the 5 per cent registration fee. The situation later leads to land disputes, especially when the next generation takes over assets and refuses to accept the earlier division of property.

Listening to the suggestions, Nitish told senior government officials that “land disputes are the biggest problem of Bihar. They lead to so many cases. Among all criminal cases and murders, the biggest share is of land disputes.”

He also reminded officials that though survey and settlement work going on in the state was expected to end by 2020, there were directions to put all land-related information online by April, and enquired about the progress in it.

Revenue and land reforms department principal secretary Brijesh Mehrotra said a notification had been issued to complete work in 186 circles in the state and all circles would be covered by September 1.

A visibly peeved chief Nitish directed the officials, saying “whatever has to be done needs to be completed quickly because there will be flood or drought till September and district administrations will be engaged in relief and rescue operations”.

“How did you fix the deadline of September 1,” Nitish asked. “Will the district administration leave flood relief work to do your work? You will not be able to venture out after August 15 due to floods. Finish this as soon as possible.”

Nitish also asked officials to bring an amendment to the registration Act if needed. It could be tabled in the forthcoming monsoon session. He also directed officials to either reduce fees in division of property or waive it off completely.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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