The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday created history in land distribution to the poor.
It undertook the distribution of 1.15 lakh acres of land worth Rs 5,000 crore to the poor and the under-privileged the biggest-ever effort in a single day in the country on the occasion of Republic Day.
Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy launched the scheme at Kodangal in Mahbubnagar district. The distribution was also taken up simultaneously in all the other 21 rural districts in the state.
Land pattas, along with pattadar passbooks, title deeds and sanction letters of bank/financial assistance for the development of land, were handed over to the beneficiaries, 50 cent of them belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The CM said the innovative programme was part of the government’s effort to accorded top priority to the welfare of the poorer and weaker sections.
In the last 50 years, as much as 1.49-crore acres of land had been distributed in the entire country and the state accounted for 42 lakh acres, or one-third of the total, he noted.
As against the target of one-lakh acres, the district collectors identified 1.15 lakh acres of land for distribution all over the state.
Assembly-level committees were constituted under the chairmanship of local legislators to select the beneficiaries. All political parties were given representation in these committees. For the first time, the authorities had put the list of beneficiaries with complete particulars — names, addresses, extent and type of land allotted — on the website of the chief commissioner of land administration, he said.
Reddy said the government would review the progress of the distribution under the first phase and work out the details for the second round. He reiterated his government’s commitment to distribute maximum possible land to the weaker sections in the next five years.
The government has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Municipal Administration Minister Koneru Ranga Rao to go into land-related problems of the poor, he said.
The committee would assess the implementation of the policy on distribution of government lands and review the existing policy, rules and statutes.
The panel would also prepare an action plan with specific timeframe for the implementation of land distribution measures and land-related legislations to ensure that the poor possessed land.
District collectors have been directed to launch a drive to make an inventory of different types of lands — government, assigned, ceilings, endowment and tribal lands — which are still available for distribution.
A scientific survey has also been taken up to assess surplus lands. A comprehensive land survey pilot project is being implemented in Nizamabad district with an outlay of Rs 21 crore. Similar surveys would be conducted in the entire state to determine the exact extent of surplus lands available for distribution, he said.
By Syed Amin Jafri