Telangana Assembly passes bills for landmark land reforms

 Telangana | Written by : IANS Updated: Sat, Sep 12, 2020, 12:17 PM

Hyderabad, Sep (IANS) The Telangana Assembly on Friday passed various Bills to bring major reforms in the state's Revenue Department by reducing human interface for land transactions.

The government has scrapped the posts of Village Revenue Officers (VROs) and Village Revenue Assistants (VRAs).

With the new enactments, record of rights relating to lands will be maintained in electronic form in the Telangana Land Records Management System for ensuring hassle-free revenue administration.

Following a debate, the Assembly passed The Telangana Abolition of the Posts of VROs Bill, 2020, The Telangana Rights in Land and Pattadar Passbooks Bill, 2020 and other Bills.

Stating that it is the first step towards a new revenue system, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao said it would address almost all land-related issues.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, said the new legislation will eliminate the problems faced by the people, farmers and poorer sections in particular, in registering their land.

The new Revenue Act will remove discretionary powers vested with the officials at different levels and ensure transparent and corruption-free land dealings.

Under the new Revenue Act, land mutation or change of land title ownership will be done online via the Dharani portal. This will also allow people to access records of agricultural and non-agricultural land online.

The Chief Minister said the new Act was necessary to replace several redundant and irrelevant revenue and land legislations and rules.

KCR said a land survey will be undertaken across the state soon covering every inch of available land.

The survey has been contemplated to prepare a digitised map of the state covering every nook and corner.

The government has decided to conduct the exercise using the latest technologies so that latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates are given to all the survey numbers and the lands located in them.

The Chief Minister said the government is bringing an IT-based alternative to the existing system to make it corruption-free and transparent.

Dharani portal will be the one-stop solution for land related issues of both agriculture and non-agriculture land. The Forest Department has been allotted a separate column on the portal.

The portal could be accessed from anywhere by those interested and they could get the entire information pertaining to a particular land, including the encumbrance certificates and the latest mutations. He said while copies of the land documents can be downloaded from anywhere, the data cannot be tinkered with.

The portal will have the details of the prohibited lands, including those of the state and Central governments, with auto-lock feature. Whenever any entry is made relating to registration of prohibited lands, the software will reject it, thus preventing encroachment of government lands.

The Chief Minister revealed that 87,000 acre endowment land and 55,000 acre Waqf land are under encroachment.

On a demand by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, he announced that registration of Waqf land will be stopped from Saturday.

He promised to protect both endowment and Waqf lands.

KCR said his government will not make a false promise of distributing lands as the government has no land to distribute.

He said under the new Revenue Act, no official will have discretionary power.

Tehsildars and Revenue Divisional Officers (RDOs) would continue to function but they would not have powers like in the past.

The revenue courts presided over by tehsildars, RDOs and joint collectors will be abolished and people will need to approach civil courts for resolution of disputes.

The government will constitute 16 fast track tribunals to dispose of 16,135 pending cases.

Accordingly, tehsildars would be made joint sub registrars and would be asked to deal with agricultural land. Registrations pertaining to the non-agricultural lands would be dealt with by sub-registrars in 141 offices spread across the state.