In a major move to reduce land alienation of Assam’s indigenous communities, the state government has decided to give one lakh land deeds to such families within this year, ahead of the assembly polls in 2021. The process will start with distribution of land deeds to 60,000 indigenous families of the state on October 5.
In doing so, the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government would fulfill one of its key poll promises made in 2016, when the BJP created history by ending 15 years of Congress rule in the state and established the first BJP-led government in Assam.
Ahead of the 2016 assmebly polls, the BJP had campaigned claiming that it will protect land, community, culture and rights of the indigenous people of Assam.
So far, the state government has given land deeds to 46,000 indigenous families. According to government estimates, Assam has 3.6 lakh landless families.
Mr Sonowal has directed the Revenue Department to involve ministers and MPs in charge of respective districts in the land deed distribution programmes to be held across districts.
He also said the state government has formulated the Land Policy 2019 based on the recommendations of Hari Shankar Brahma Committee on Protection of Land Rights of Indigenous People while taking steps to remove encroachments from lands held by Satras (religious institutions).
“Ensuring the land rights of indigenous people of the state is a prime objective of the government,” Mr Sonowal said.
The decision, among many others, was taken by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal during a review meeting of the Revenue Department at the Assam Administrative Staff College on Monday.
The Chief Minister would also formally launch the Arundhati Gold Scheme on September 24 by providing the price of 10 grams of gold, Rs 40,000, to each eligible beneficiary, and stressed on the need to create awareness about the scheme.
A policy would soon be finalised to rehabilitate the people rendered homeless by the recent floods and erosion, and the foundation stone laying ceremony of three flood centers – Majuli, Tezpur and Barpeta – would also be laid at the earliest, Mr Sonowal said.