Those who owned land prior to January 1, 1977 to get land documents

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that the distribution of title deeds under the amended land assignment rules will begin in the State on December 28. He was speaking at the Chief Minister’s mass contact programme here on Monday.

Mr. Chandy said that legal hurdles came in the way of distributing title deeds and rules needed to be amended to ensure that all eligible got legally valid title deeds. The Chief Minister said that the government had taken all steps to complete the distribution of title deeds within a time frame.

He said that all those who owned land prior to January 1, 1977 would be given title deeds. The rules were amended after consultations with people’s representatives and a Government Order would soon be issued, he said.

He said the State would not support any suggestion in the K. Kasturirangan report that would adversely affect the people. The committee which was appointed by the State government had completed its sitting and a report would be received in two days. The government aimed at protecting environment with people’s participation, he said adding that the State was far ahead of the national average in the area under forest. He said that 28 per cent of the State area was under forest, where as it was 21 per cent in the country. The State had moved ahead in agriculture production by protecting forests and natural wealth.

The Gadgil committee had included 653 grama panchayats in the ecologically sensitive category and the Kasturirangan committee was appointed by the Centre considering the State’s request. He said though the number of grama panchayats included in the eco-sensitive category was limited to 121 in the Kasturirangan report that too was not unacceptable to the State. He said that instead of implementing the panel suggestions on block or grama panchayat basis, it should be done after separating human inhabited areas from forests. The implementation of the suggestions should in no way affect the thickly populated areas, he said.

A special meeting would be convened on December 21 to review the implementation of the Idukki Package, Mr. Chandy said.

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