GUWAHATI, May 10: A task force will be set up for land governance in the North-Eastern states. The decision was taken at the recently concluded National Conference on “Land Governance in North Eastern States” held in Guwahati on May 3-4, an official statement said on Wednesday.
The territorial and autonomous district councils in the states of Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya held that digitisation and modernisation of land records is essential for development in the region.
Deliberations in the first-ever such national conference included sessions on current state practices and modernisation of land records, land governance assessment framework and a session on customary and indigenous laws, current practices and new initiatives and role of survey of India in land records modernisation.
While the initiatives of computerisation and digitisation of land records and maps have shown good progress in the rest part of Assam, it was seen that there are serious gaps in the areas under Bodoland Territorial Council, Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council and Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council, a PIB statement said.
The Bodoland Land Policy is being framed and is expected to be finalised shortly.
Survey and settlement in the Karbi Anglong areas has not been done. While the Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council has adopted the Assam Land Regulation Act, large tracts of land have non-cadastral areas and a need was felt that these areas be surveyed, the ministry said.
The Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous Council has eight districts and approximately 10,000 sq km under the Sixth Schedule and 10 customary laws. In the Lai Autonomous District Council areas of Sixth Schedule, a need was felt for survey/resurvey of the areas, it said.
In the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council areas of Meghalaya, land is largely owned by the community. The Garo Hills Autonomous District Council has a system of issuance of Annual Pattas by the District Council. While the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council, Meghalaya follows the Meghalaya Land Survey and Records Preparation Act 1980, the statement said.
Ajay Tirkey, secretary, Department of Land Resources, said while they felt the need of various Autonomous District Councils in the North-Eastern states to digitise and modernise their land records was a way forward, all efforts would be undertaken to support the Councils within the constitutional framework and established laws.
As a step forward in this direction, the Bodoland Territorial Council had raised a proposal for digitisation and modernisation of land records and the Department of Land Resources had duly approved it, the statement said.
“Secretary, Department of Land Resources, further looking into the magnitude of work required across the North-Eastern states, informed that a Task Force for Land Governance in North-Eastern states will be constituted after a due process with the approval of Competent Authority after consultation with the various Autonomous District Councils,” it said.
Sonmoni Borah, joint secretary, Department of Land Resources, requested the various Autonomous District Councils to send their proposals for digitisation and modernisation of land records under Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme (DILRMP) and thanked Anandhi, deputy director, LBSNAA, and principal secretary, Revenue, government of Assam, for organising the National Conference.
Representatives of Bodoland Territorial Council, Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council, Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council (all in Assam); Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous Council (Tripura); Lai Autonomous District Council (Mizoram); Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (all in Meghalaya) participated in the conference organised by Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, and Department of Land Resources, with the support of the Revenue Department, government of Assam.