Agricultural labourers to become owners of houses they live in

Agricultural labourers to become owners of houses they live in

'Historic' Bill provides for carving out new revenue villages

Agricultural labourers to become owners of houses they live in

 On the lines of ‘Land to the Tiller’ law, the Karnataka legislature on Friday passed a Bill which gives tenants ownership of the house in which they live in new revenue villages. The occupants should be agriculture labourers living in groups or colonies.

The Legislative Assembly unanimously passed the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The ruling Congress, in particular Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, hailed the Bill as ‘revolutionary’ and ‘historic’.

Karnataka has created history by bringing in such a law. The party has fulfilled one of the promises made in the election manifesto in 2013, Siddaramaiah said. Congress members welcomed the passage of the Bill by thumping the desks.

The Bill, piloted by Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa, has made a provision for creating new revenue villages by altering the boundaries so that agriculture labourers get possession certificates of the houses they have occupied. But they should be living in new revenue villages to be created by deputy commissioners.

Only those living in these villages prior to January 1, 1979 are eligible for ownership. Lambani tandas, gollara hattis, vaddara hattis among others will get the new revenue village tag. And houses on all types of land would be covered. It is estimated that nearly 240 tribal hamlets would come under the revenue village classification.

Siddaramaiah said, “Those living in colonies or habitations which lack land records too would become eligible for certificates. The move can be equated to getting freedom. The passage of the Bill should be mentioned in letters of gold in the Assembly.”

BJP leaders, led by Jagadish Shettar, complimented Kagodu as well as Siddaramaiah for amending the Act, an exercise which began long ago. They said it would go a long way in protecting the rights of the poor and oppressed.