Himachal Government is contemplating to bring a scheme for giving proprietary rights to small and marginal farmers of the State on Government land to provide them one-time relief.
This came out in a meeting of High Powered Committee, constituted by the State Government to assess and review the encroachment cases in the State held on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Health, Revenue and Law Minister Kaul Singh Thakur.
Thakur said that the State Government was committed towards welfare of the small and marginal farmers. He said that the Government has drafted a scheme to protect the livelihood rights of the small and marginal farmers. However, the Government was also committed to take strict action against the big encroachers as per the law, he added.
The Revenue Minister said a scheme to confer proprietary rights to a maximum of five bighas of land in rural areas had been prepared in such a manner that own land of the person and the land conferred did not exceed a total of 10 bighas, provided that the remaining land in possession was vacated. He said that the proprietary rights were proposed to be conferred at nominal rates. For conferment of Proprietary Rights, the person would have to apply in writing to the concerned SDO (Civil) or Assistant Settlement Officers where settlement operations were in process.
The Minister said that land being used for common village purposes such as roads, forest, fair grounds and other common purposes would not be conferred. He said that in those cases where the possessor stands already evicted within two years of the cut-off date would also be considered for conferment subject to the condition that the cases had been recorded before August, 2015.
Thakur said that the State government would also consider the exchange of private land in lieu of encroached government land by the farmers. He said that the Scheme would be placed before the Cabinet for approval.
The Revenue Minister said that in cases where clearance under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 was mandatory would be taken with the Government of India for exemption on humanitarian grounds and for determination of the Rights of possessors.