A Task Force will be set up for land governance in the North-Eastern states to promote development in the region, the government announced on Wednesday.
According to the Union Rural Development Ministry, the decision was taken at the May 3-4 conference on “Land Governance in North Eastern States” held in Guwahati.
The territorial and autonomous district councils in Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya decided that digitisation and modernisation of land records was a must for development in the region.
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The discussions covered the current state practices, modernisation of land records, land governance assessment framework, customary and indigenous laws, new initiatives and the role of Survey of India.
The initiatives taken for computerisation and digitisation of land records and maps have shown good progress in the rest of Assam, officials said.
But serious gaps have been seen in the areas under the Bodoland Territorial Council, Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council and Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council, the Ministry said in a statement.
A Bodoland Land Policy is expected to be finalised 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 should be surveyed, the ministry said.
The Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous Council has eight districts and approximately 10,000 sq km under the Sixth Schedule as well as 10 customary laws.
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In the Lai Autonomous District Council areas of Sixth Schedule, a need was felt for survey and resurvey.
In the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council areas of Meghalaya, land is largely owned by the community.
The Garo Hills Autonomous District Council has a system of issuance of Annual Pattas by District Council.
The Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council follows the Maghalaya Land Survey and Records Preparation Act 1980, the ministry said.
Ajay Tirkey, Secretary, Department of Land Resources, said all efforts would be undertaken to support the Councils within the constitutional framework and established laws.
Sonmoni Borah, Joint Secretary, Department of Land Resources, urged the various Autonomous District Councils to send their proposals for digitisation and modernisation of land records.
(With agency inputs)