Title deeds hurdle to farmers' claims

Devanahalli ryots asked to furnish original documents

 
Revenue authorities has sent a notice (Form 136) to nearly 600 people from the villages of B K Palya, Arebinnamangala, Shingehalli, Gollahalli, Bagalur, Mahadevakodigehalli and Hoovinayakanahalli, asking them to produce proof of ownership of their lands located on ‘gomala’ lands. The lands originally belonged to the government, but over the years had been legitimately given to farmers who had cultivated the lands.

After notifying the lands of each of these farmers for acquisition, the Department of Revenue on recommendation from the Bangalore Urban DC’s Enforcement Cell, has asked nearly 600 people to produce original documents such as allotment letter, possession certificate and certified extracts dating back from the time the government gave the lands to individual people. This new procedure, farmers complain has created another avenue for middlemen and officials to make more money.

Gomala land

Farmers like Shamanna who is losing two acres of ‘gomala’ land in Hoovinayankanahalli, says that the land was purchased by his father in 1986. While he had the mutation documents, he has no idea about the allotment letter and challan from the original government transaction, which dated back to 1960s.
“When I went to the taluk office, I was asked to pay nearly Rs 60,000 for the records,” he said.  Srinivas of Gollahalli questions, why they have to produce additional documents, when the government themselves have records of each and every piece of land.

“Can’t they cross check with their own records when they have a problem? Why do we have to run around spending money to obtain more records?” he asked. A joint survey had been conducted by Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) with Revenue Department a few months ago measuring all the notified land.

Single window sought

“Why are they not going by those records?” another farmer from Arebinnamangala asked. Most farmers now want a single window clearance with officers from both Revenue and Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) dealing with one village at a time, regardless of the time it takes. Adding to their woes is the refusal of the authorities to concede their long standing demand for a single window clearance and issuing payments.

Team constituted

Meanwhile, caught between bogus record holders and farmers who have lost their documents, the Revenue Department has set up a team comprising the Assistant Commissioner, Tahsildar and Revenue Inspector of the taluk to go the taluk office and verify the documents.

The Department’s Special DC Ramanjaneya said that the farmers would be given several opportunities to produce documents and no hasty decisions would be taken.
“There is no such thing as a last date to produce these documents. If they tell us that they have been unable to obtain documents within the specified time, then we will give them more time,” he promised.

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