Land Governance in North Eastern States
Land Governance in North Eastern States

INVC NEWS
Guwahati,
In the recently concluded National Conference on “Land Governance in North Eastern States” held on 3rd- 4th May 2023 in Guwahati, the Territorial and Autonomous District Councils in the States of Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya held that digitization and modernization of land records is essential for development. The National Conference was organized by Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie and Department of Land Resources with the support of Revenue Department, Government of Assam. Shri Ajay Tirkey, Secretary, Department of Land Resources presided over the National Conference. Shri Sonmoni Borah, Joint Secretary, Department of Land Resources; Shri Gyanendra Dev Tripathi, Principal Secretary, Revenue, Government of Assam; Ms. Anandhi, Deputy Director, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie; Shri P.V. Rajasekhar, Additional Surveyor General, Survey of India; Ms. Mridula Singh, Sr. Social Development Specialist, World Bank, and other senior officers were present. Representatives of Bodoland Territorial Council, Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council, Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council (all in Assam); Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous Council, Tripura; Lai Autonomous District Council, Mizoram; Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (all in Meghalaya) participated in the National Conference.

The deliberations in the first ever such National Conference included sessions on Current State Practices & Modernization of land Records, Land Governance Assessment Framework and a session on Customary and Indigenous Laws, Current Practices and New Initiatives and Role of Survey of India in Land Records Modernization. While the initiatives of computerization and digitization of land records and maps have shown good progress in the rest part of Assam, it was seen that there are serious gaps in the areas under Bodoland Territorial Council, Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council and Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council. The Bodoland Land Policy is being framed and is expected to be finalized shortly. Survey and Settlement in the Karbi Anglong areas has not been done. While the Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council has adopted the Assam Land Regulation Act, large tracts of land have non-cadastral area and a need was felt that these areas be surveyed. The Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous Council has eight Districts and approx. 10,000 sq.km. under Sixth Schedule and 10 customary laws. In the Lai Autonomous District Council areas of Sixth Schedule, a need was felt for survey/resurvey of the areas. In the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council areas of Meghalaya, land is largely owned by the community. The Garo Hills Autonomous District Council have a system of issuance of Annual Pattas by District Council. While the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council, Meghalaya follow the Maghalaya Land Survey and Records Preparation Act 1980.

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Shri Ajay Tirkey, Secretary, Department of Land Resources complimented the efforts of Ms. Anandhi, Deputy Director, LBSNAA in organizing the Conference and clarified at the outset that while the felt need of the various Autonomous District Councils in the North-Eastern States to digitize and modernize their land records was a way forward, all efforts would be undertaken to support the Councils within the Constitutional framework and established laws. As a step forward in this direction, the Bodoland Territorial Council had raised a proposal for digitization and modernization of land records and the Department of Land Resources had duly approved the same. Secretary, Department of land Resources further looking into the magnitude of work required across the North-Eastern States, informed that a Task Force for Land Governance in North-Eastern States will be constituted after a due process with the approval of Competent Authority after consultation with the various Autonomous District Councils. Shri Sonmoni Borah, Joint Secretary requested the various Autonomous District Councils to send their proposals for digitization and modernization of land records under Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme(DILRMP) and thanked Ms. Anandhi, Deputy Director, LBSNAA and Principal Secretary, Revenue, Government of Assam for organizing the National Conference.

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