‘Bhoodan’ board to take on encroachers

Staff Reporter

The ‘bhoodan’ movement launched by Acharya Vinoba Bhave received 1.95 lakh acres

Bhoodan Yagna Board is fighting about 90 cases against encroachers

HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Bhoodan Yagna Board has admitted that some of the lands distributed by it among landless poor have changed hands and are in possession of others. Legal battles are on to resume such lands and redistribute them among the poor.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, chairman of the board C.V. Chary stated that the body is not in a position to keep track of the lands distributed due to its skeleton staff. It is taking up only the cases where specific information about transaction or encroachment of land comes to its notice. Some anti-social elements had also ganged up and fabricated documents to encroach upon ‘bhoodan’ lands, he noted.

The initial Act made by the then Hyderabad State had only specified that the beneficiaries should keep the land in their possession at least for 10 years and there was no mention of later period.

As it gave scope for transaction of lands, the Andhra Pradesh Government had enacted another law in 1965 banning any transaction of ‘bhoodan’ lands. However, the beneficiaries or their legal heirs were allowed to mortgage the lands to take loans from banks.

The ‘bhoodan’ movement launched by Acharya Vinoba Bhave in April 1951 at Pochampally in Nalgonda district had received 1.95 lakh acres of land.

But, it could distribute only 1.10 lakh acres to 48,996 landless poor, including 25,355 SCs and 12,986 STs.

The remaining land was not realised as the donors had given ‘daana patram’ (promise document), but failed to give ‘rajinama’ (relinquishing rights over the land).

The board still has about 8,000 acres to be distributed, a majority of which are either under encroachment or not regularised in the names of beneficiaries.

High-profile case

It is fighting about 90 cases against encroachers including the one with a property developer over 600 acre land at Rayapuram near Bibinagar.

Board members Vedire Rajender Reddy, grandson of first donor to ‘bhoodan’ movement V. Ramachandra Reddy of Pochampally, G.V. Subba Rao and Aravind Reddy were also present.

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