Election code hits resolution of pending Dharani grievances  

Different interpretations of MCC provisions said to be a factor to postpone the works   

April 11, 2024 05:22 pm | Updated 06:04 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Screenshot of Telangana Government’s Dharani portal (Integrated land records management system) website https://dharani.telangana.gov.in/homePage?lang=en

Screenshot of Telangana Government’s Dharani portal (Integrated land records management system) website https://dharani.telangana.gov.in/homePage?lang=en | Photo Credit: By Arrangement

Enforcement of Model Code of Conduct in view of the ensuing elections to the Lok Sabha has reportedly hit the ongoing process to resolve pending applications pertaining to Dharani.

The special drive launched for receipt of grievances from landowners was stopped on March 16, the day when the schedule for the elections was announced. In a memo issued on the same day, Chief Commissioner of Land Administration (CCLA) Navin Mittal directed the district collectors to continue the regular Dharani related works as usual and as per the prescribed timelines.

The process however is said to have come to a grinding halt as the CCLA has not addressed a formal communication to the State Election authorities seeking permission to continue the ongoing drive to resolve the pending issues. Election code will not be an obstacle as the special drive for receiving and clearing applications from land owners is an ongoing process. But, officials at different levels are said to be giving their own interpretations to the election code related provisions to postpone the work.

Members of the committee headed by senior Congress leader M. Kodanda Reddy for recommending measures to rectify lapses relating to Dharani portal are upset over the manner in which the process has been put on hold. They cite the circular issued on February 28 decentralising powers and assigning responsibilities to officials at various levels from Tahsildars to the CCLA to clear the pending applications.

File photo of Dharani Committee members M. Kodanda Reddy and land laws expert M. Sunil Kumar interacting with farmers facing problems due to Dharani, as part of their field visit to understand the situation at grass root level.

File photo of Dharani Committee members M. Kodanda Reddy and land laws expert M. Sunil Kumar interacting with farmers facing problems due to Dharani, as part of their field visit to understand the situation at grass root level. | Photo Credit: By Arrangement

The circular mentions 16 modules like issue of passbook on court order, grievances relating to prohibited properties, K&L forms and grievances relating to acquired lands, among others, assigning specific responsibilities to officials at different levels. This was in contrast to the process in the previous Government when the District Collector was the only authority to make changes in the land related documents.

“The circular is still applicable for disposal of pending applications. Officials concerned can continue the process, but they have put it on hold citing reasons convenient to them,” a committee member said.

The committee received over one lakh representations during the special drive between March 1 and 9. The special drive was subsequently extended till March 17, but was stopped after the announcement of election schedule on March 16. “They should have completed uploading the data by now. But the process has been postponed citing election code,” he said.

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