Satyasundar Barik

State Government asked to draw up rehabilitation scheme

BHUBANESWAR: At a time when land prices are going through the roof, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has asked the Orissa government to devise a scheme of rehabilitation and allotment of homestead land to green-card holders.

The SHRC's direction would cover about 175 petitioners who had approached the Commission at different points of time.

Observing that green-card holders sacrificed for development of the country and were treated as a distinctive group, the three-member bench of SHRC recommended that the government should issue necessary direction to settle petitioners close to their residing area.

"If beneficiaries are earning living in urban area, they can be settled with homestead land in close proximity to urban centre. The government should draw up a scheme for the purpose," SHRC said in a recent order.

The SHRC is now headed by Justice D. P. Mohapatra while other two members of the commission are former chief secretary Sudhanshu Mohan Patnaik and former law secretary Himadri Mohapatra.

Petitioner's contention

One of the petitioners Laxmipriya Lenka from Bhubaneswar stated that after two children were born to her, officials of health and family welfare department had met her and persuaded her to accept termination method, which would entitle her to be issued with a green-card that would confer several benefits including eight decimals of land free of premium.

She had applied for a piece of homestead land to Bhubaneswar tehesildar, who declined to entertain the request and again she approached General Administration (GA) department that clarified that there was no government provision for leasing residential plots in favour of green-card holders within the corporation limit of the city, Ms. Lenka said.

"Since MLAs and persons, who encroached upon government land within the municipal area and were granted lease of homestead land, there should be no legal bar for green-card holders to be provided with such facilities, particularly when commitment is made by the government," she contended.

Notification

The Revenue Secretary had stated that in the year 1884, the revenue department had issued a notification in which it was clarified that homestead landless person holding a green-card would be eligible to get eight decimal land in rural area.

The health and family welfare department also concurred with the former. But the GA department said there was no provision at present for allotment of leasehold residential plot in Bhubaneswar to green-card holders.