Andaman ready with proposal for settlement of post-78 encroachers

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Port Blair, Jan 11 (UNI) The Andaman and Nicobar administration has finalised and approved the proposal of settlement plan for the post-78 encroachers in the islands.

Outgoing District Commissioner of South Andaman district K S Singh told UNI here today, ''The proposal has been finalised and approved by the Lt Governor and we are waiting for the approval of the Ministry.'' Mr Singh said the islands had four categories of encroachers, namely the post-78 forest encroachers (about 3,991 in number), post-78 revenue encroachers (11,500), extended families of pre-42 settlers (7,339) and extended families of settlers under colonisation scheme (12,689), a total population of 35,519 encroachers.

As per rough assessment upto 2002, 11,500 revenue encroachers occupied 5,500 hectares area of revenue land.

After 1949, the Centre approved settlement schemes for settling the displaced population from the erstwhile East Pakistan and other parts of the country. The settlers were allotted land in different parts of the islands and the process of clearing the forests continued. Many persons, treated as encroachers, occupied the cleared land without lawful authority on revenue and forest area.

The Centre attended to this problem in 1987 by issuing a proclamation for regularising the unauthorised occupation of the land upto 1978.

A maximum of one hectare of agricultural land and 200 square metres of homestead land in urban areas or 340 square metres in rural areas were decided for regularisation for each family, Mr Singh added.

UNI SKR DPM KLC1736

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