Categories: INDIA NEWS

Punjab approves mission to grant property rights to villagers in lal dora

The Punjab government Friday paved way for villagers living within the ‘Lal Lakir’ — part of the village ‘abaadi’ (habitation) mostly used for non-agriculture purposes only — to get their property registered with the revenue department to monetise it or for availing benefits provided by the banks.

For this, the state Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister capt Amarinder Singh, approved the implementation of ‘Mission Lal Lakir’. Earlier, these properties could only be sold through power of attorney (POA) and the sale deeds could not be registered. Following the Cabinet decision, it would become possible for the village residents to get their properties registered.

As no record of rights is available for such properties within the ‘Lal Lakir’, the same cannot currently be monetised as per real value and thus no mortgages can be created on them. There are households within the ‘Lal Lakir’, which do not own property other than the areas within the ‘Lal Lakir’, and are thus at a disadvantage when it comes to monetising or realising the real value of the property, according to a government statement.

Earlier, at the time settlement in the villages, the residents were handed over a piece of land to build their houses. But they did not get the property rights. They had to get an undertaking from the government that the land was under their possession.

Under the mission, the right of record of properties within ‘Lal Lakir’ in the villages of the state will be prepared with the cooperation of the government of India under the SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) scheme. This will enable mapping the land, households, habitation and all other areas falling within ‘Lal Lakir’.

The SVAMITVA scheme was handled by the Rural Development and Panchayats Department, but on the directives of the CM, it will now be transferred to Revenue & Rehabilitation Department.

The statement added that the implementation of Mission Lal Lakir would go a long way in improving living standard of villagers and boosting their self-esteem. Issues arising out of rights relating to these properties would now be dealt with through a litigation being drafted specially for these Lal Lakir properties. The common lands within ‘Lal Lakir’, such as ponds, common gathering areas and even passages and streets, which were facing encroachments due to non-availability/creation of record to maintain these assets, will now be protected under the mission, it said.

While the government has given its go ahead to the scheme, it faces a huge challenge in implementing it. Punjab has about 12,750 villages and the entire revenue record would have to be prepared for these villages.

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What is Lal Dora

The Lal Dora system is the remnant of the British rule in India. It was implemented by the British in 1908. At that time the agriculture land was demarcated from residential area by way of a red line in the map of land records. The area falling within the red line was called the Lal Dora.

Farmers to get possession

In another significant decision, the Cabinet also gave approval to ‘The Punjab (Welfare and Settlement of Landless, Marginal and Small Occupant Farmers) Allotment of State Government Land Rules, 2021’ in order to make allotment of encroached lands to unauthorized small and marginal farmers on the basis of a rational criteria by sale of land at a predetermined price.

This would ensure a fair balance for the occupants who have been in possession since long, and for the government to get its due revenue in respect of the unauthorised occupation of government lands and also settle unnecessary long pending litigation, it said.

The new rules would provide a mechanism for the receipt and process of the applications to be received under the Act. The eligible person would apply to the Allotment Commissioner, who would issue an allotment letter after seeking report from Patwari. The allotment letter would be issued on payment of 25% of the total allotment price and the rest of the 75% payment would have to be paid in lumpsum or in six equated instalments. In case of default in payment of 25% of the allotment price, allotment letter would not be issued and the allotment will be revoked. After the payment of the entire sum, the conveyance deed would be registered in the name of the farmer.

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