Hyderabad : Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today felt that Revenue officials have neglected their primary duty of maintaining the revenue records, as they were busy with several welfare and developmental programs of the government. “Since the revenue land records were not being maintained properly, it led to litigation and disputes. Therefore, it was decided to rectify and cleanse land records all over the State in the next three months”, he said and asked the District Collectors, Joint Collectors, Revenue Divisional Officers, Mandal Revenue Officers to take up the program on a top priority.
The Chief Minister held a review meeting with the Collectors, Joint Collectors, and RDOs on the Land records rectification, cleansing and updation here on Thursday at Pragati Bhavan.
Addressing the officials, the Chief Minister said, “We have decided to put Rs 8,000 per acre for two crops per year in the bank accounts of farmers as an Input finance assistance. When we found out the details about farmers and their lands, the reports made by the Agriculture department and the Revenue department did not match. This problem is due to non-maintenance of land records properly. Now we have to find out the actual details on who owns how much land? There should be clarity on the land ownership rights”, he said.
“The State government has taken several lakh acres of agriculture land from the farmers for projects, laying of railway lines, schools, hospitals, and such public utility activities but these were not recorded. The records show that these lands are still in the hands of farmers. And this is leading to several problems. There is a need to have clarity on the land ownership rights. In every village there are 80 to 95 lands, which have no dispute or litigation. Get clarity on these lands with the help of people and farmers in the village”, the Chief Minister said.
“In the second phase, identify the lands that are under litigation. We will clarity on these land records based on the verdicts given by the courts. Identify the government lands, Wakf lands, Endowment Lands, lands under the government offices and so on. The entire responsibility of selecting the team that work in the village as part of the program should be with the district Collectors concerned. If need be, appoint some persons on a temporary basis. We are keeping Rs 50 lakh per Collector for the land records rectification, cleansing and updation program. With the village as a unit, identify and record the government lands, assigned lands, lands acquired by the government and other categories of the land,” the CM suggested.
“A farmer requires three things, water for cultivation, finance for investment and a Minimum Support Price for his crops. If these factors are met with then agriculture will become a profitable activity. This is precisely the reason why in Telangana state we are fulfilling these three factors. We are taking steps to provide water for agriculture by constructing various irrigation projects. We are constructing projects like Kaleswaram, Palamuru, Sri Rama Sagar etc., The government is going ahead with these projects with commitment despite some vested interested trying to create obstacles by going to courts. We are reviving tanks under Mission Kakatiya program.
Since we are giving uninterrupted and quality power to the farm sector, underground water came into use. On an experimental basis, we are giving 24-hour power supply to 45 percent of the pump sets. Efforts are made to supply 24-hour power supply from the next Rabi season. We are getting into use both underground and surface water. We are providing Rs 8000 per acre as investment assistance to the farmers from the next year.
We are forming farmers’ Associations, Coordination Committees to get Minimum Support Price for the produce. Farmers are in dire straits for not getting the MSP to their produce. International TV Channels like the BBC has broadcast new features on how Tomato growers have thrown their produce on the main roads due to the poor prices. Such problems will crop up if there is no unity and coordination among the farmers. In Telangana State, the government has taken the initiative to organise farmers and establishing the farmers associations. We are forming village, mandal, District and state level farmers councils. In these Councils there will have representatives of SC/ST/BC/Minority communities. The Mandal level Farmers Councils will be in touch with those in the markets on a regular basis. Farmers should not bring the entire produce to the market at once.
The farmers Councils, in consultation with the Market leaders, fix the MSP. Only then the farmer’s village wise should bring in their produce to the market and get the MSP. Incase there is no MSP; the State farmers Council will buy the produce at a fixed price. For this purpose, the state government besides allocating Rs 500 Crore, it will also give bank guarantee to raise another Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 crore. The government will give the right to process the produce to the State Level Farmers Coordination Council. This helps the farmers to get the MSP,” the CM explained.
Ranga Reddy District Collector Raghunandan Rao, Siddipet Collector Venkatram Reddy, Miryalguda RDO Kishan Rao, Khammam Collector Lokesh Kumar, Bhongir RDO Bhoopal Reddy and others have shared their experiences when they on an experimental basis conducted the land records rectification cleansing and updation. According to them, about 95 percent of lands in the villages are without any litigation or disputes.
CM’s suggestions to officials
In the first phase, get clarity on the land records, which have no litigation or disputes. Finalize whose land it is and get the signatures of farmers of the village on the document. Farmers should be given documents pertaining to their land. Display the list of names, ownership of the land either at the Panchayat Office notice Board or at a school. Give every farmer a new passbook. Give incentives to the Collectors, Joint Collectors, RDOs and MROs who have done an exemplary work during the program.
Regularize Sada Bainama lands above five acres with the permission of the Collector. Collect the registration fee as per the rate at the date of entering the Sada Bainama. Collect the details of the land assigned and give clarity to the farmers on their rights. Take up the disputed land in the second phase of the programme. Any program, if it is done with commitment it will be successful. The Land records rectification, cleansing and updation program should be done with a fatherly affection but not as a program imposed with officialdom or superior power. People and farmers should be taken into confidence and explain the salient benefits of the program and how it will benefit them.
Use simple Telugu in the Pahanis and the passbooks. Remove terms like Pahani, Setwari etc. Since the land Cess is removed, there is no need to categories types of the land. Continue with the details of Categorization of lands done as per the Urban Ceiling Act. As far as the assigned lands issue, clear the records at the highest level. Create land ownership rights. Give managements rights to those cultivating the land. Land records should be maintained like the Core Banking System. Whenever money is drawn from an ATM anywhere in the world, the update message will be communicated within minutes. Follow this system, which used for transactions worth Crores to maintain and update 55 lakh farmers’ land records and transactions.
Deputy CM Mohammed Ali, State Planning Commission Vice Chairman Niranjan Reddy, Mission Bhagiratha Vice Chairman Vemula Prashant Reddy, Chief Advisor to Government Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary SP Singh, Special Chief Secretary (Revenue) BR Meena, Mission Director (Land records Updation) Vakati Karuna, Principal Secretary (Finance) Ramakrishna Rao, PCCF PK Jha, CMO officials, select MROs, some retired revenue officials were present.