Says government has announced Zero Landless (Citizens) Scheme

Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash said on Monday that the agitation planned by the CPI(M) over land for the poor was unwarranted since the government had already announced Zero Landless (Citizens) Scheme.

Addressing a press conference here, the Minister said the CPI(M) had announced the agitation against the background of government decision to grant land to one lakh persons before August 15, 2013. Hence, it was aimed only at hoodwinking the public. “The people should not be misled by the agitation,” he said.

Urging the party to drop the agitation, Mr. Prakash recalled that the previous (LDF) government had not even been able to identify families eligible for land. The present government had done that and proposed to provide land to more than two lakh persons before the end of its term. No new development had happened since the LDF government demitted office warranting the agitation. The government would deal with the agitation firmly, he said.

He expressed confidence that the government would be able to find sufficient land for distribution to the landless. The cases relating to excess land, pending in various courts and land tribunals, were being expedited. Directives had been issued for immediate action on land board awards. The government was also taking steps to evict encroachers on government lands. The Collectors had been told to take steps in this regard. Joint Commissioner Ratheesh had been appointed as special officer to coordinate distribution of land to the landless.

The Minister said that about 70 per cent of the pending files in the districts could be cleared as part of the government’s special drive. As on December 31 last year, five lakh files were pending in the districts. Revenue adalats and meetings of officials up to the level of village officers had been held at the collectorates to ensure speedy clearance of the files.

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