Resentment against the laws permitting outsiders to purchase limitless land in Uttrakhand gains momentum

BD Kasniyal
GG News Bureau

Pithoragarh,16th July . Resentment against the land law, permitting any person to purchase limitless land in the state in the name of industrial use that was passed by the BJP government led by former chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat in the year 2018 is growing among the people and various political parties in Uttarakhand and if not addressed could become a major issue in the forthcoming assembly elections.
The Trivendra Singh Rawat government in the year 2018, had amended UP Zamindari abolition and land reform act 1950, Uttarakhand land reform act 2003, to facilitate industrialists to purchase limitless land in rural Uttarakhand in the name of establishing industries.
“Not only the purchasing could be limitless, but the stamp duty of purchased was exempted to 100 percent,” said RS Chilwal, a land deed chronicler in Nainital.
“We have decided to make it issue of every household in rural Uttarakhand as the law if amened will bereft the villagers from their traditional land in the state,“ said Mathura Datt Joshi, chief spokesperson of congress party.
According to Joshi, the state is losing over 4500 hectare of agriculture cultivation land every year after formation of state and this law will only speed up the process.
“It was ND Tiwari Government of congress in the year 2002, that had made 500 square meters land limit for purchase for any outsiders, but BJP government in 2018 diluted all safety measures against purchase of land in rural areas of the state. “said Joshi.
Ajay Rawat, a retired professor of History in Kumaon university said that it was the British, who realised the separate nature of land use in Uttarakhand and formed special laws of land for Uttarakhand society.” Despite the state came into formation, the nature of lands in the hill region was not unchanged .”said Rawat.
According to experts, despite 70 percent population of state depends on agriculture, the cultivable land is dwindling away every year.” The hill agricultural being a non-issue for respective state government of the state, the agricultural land in the state has remained at only 9 percent of total land of the state, “said Indresh Maikhuri, a CPI (ML) leader based on Pauri.
Former IAS officer SS Pangti has said that the main concern of the present m land mafias owning the agriculture land in the name of industries.
“Even the land plots leased or purchased so far have not seen establishment of the industries but on the contrary poor farmers have become landless, “said Pangti.
Former state chief minister and congress general secretary Harish Rawat has said that to promote cultivation in rural areas of the state the congress government under its leadership started Chakbandi or land consolidation process and regularised all small plots of land under in possession of SC community members.
“We want the intellectuals to involve in this process to finalise the political course of action before 2022 elections. “said Rawat.
Besides the congress party The UKD, Uttarakhand Parivartan party, Samajwadi Party, and AAP, are also on warpath on the issue. “This law is open invitation to mafias, and rich industrialists of the country, to capture all natural resources of the state in the pretext of this law, that will make local people bereft from natural resources, land holding etc and result in permanent migration from his ancestral land. “said PC Tiwari, president of Uttarakhand Parivartan party.

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