Unrecorded settlements to get 'revenue village' tag

ENSURING IDENTITY: The government plans to convert Lambani Tanda, Gollarahatti, Vaddarahatti, Kurubarahatti, Majare Grama, Nayakarahatti, Haadi, Doddi, Palya, Camp, Colony among others - inhabited by mostly nomadic people-into revenue villages. DH File PH

More than 2,700 human settlements outside the radar of development have been identified by the state government to be converted as revenue villages.  

With this, these unrecorded settlements, made up of marginalised and vulnerable communities, will be formally recognised to receive government services including drinking water, electricity, roads and, more importantly, ownership of land, benefitting approximately 25,000 people. 

With the Lok Sabha polls around the corner, the H D Kumaraswamy administration has expedited the process of recognising such settlements as revenue villages, which was a landmark decision of the previous Congress government. 

In all, deputy commissioners have identified 2,742 such habitations to be converted into revenue villages. These include Lambani Tanda, Gollarahatti, Vaddarahatti, Kurubarahatti, Majare Grama, Nayakarahatti, Haadi, Doddi, Palya, Camp, Colony among others - inhabited by mostly nomadic people. These are settlements the Congress considers as part of the Ahinda (a Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits), the party’s core support base.

“This is a priority for us and the process will be completed as early as possible,” Revenue Minister R V Deshpande told DH.

Of the 2,742 habitats, preliminary notification has been issued for 1,410 and final notification issued for 715. These notifications, Deshpande said, were issued over the past six months after the Congress-JD(S) coalition came to power.  

“It’s for the first time that so many habitations are being converted as revenue villages,” said Karnataka Nomadic Tribes Mahasabha president Balagurumurthy, who is currently the nodal officer for the government's Nomadic Tribes/Denotified Tribes Cell. “The government will take up development works in these settlements, including construction of houses.”

Conversion of unrecorded settlements as revenue villages is in line with the previous Congress government’s land-to-the-dweller policy, which is modelled after D Devaraj Urs’ land-to-the-tiller policy. In March 2017, the Karnataka legislature passed the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2016, to make agricultural labourers owners of the house in which they live in new revenue villages. The Bill, which was hailed as “historic” following its passage, received Presidential assent in October 2017.

“Technically, the government could use its funds to develop only those villages that found a place in revenue records. That’s why it’s important, because these people have been excluded for so long,” Bengaluru Central University Vice-Chancellor S Japhet, who earlier headed the National Law School of India’s Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, said.

Balagurumurthy, however, said thousands of such settlements were yet to be identified.

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Unrecorded settlements to get 'revenue village' tag

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