SCs, others to own houses on shamalat land in Punjab

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Chandigarh, Aug 22 (UNI) Punjab Government has decided to allot the ownership of pre-occupied part of Shamlat land to Scheduled Castes and Vimakut Jatis including Bajigars, who had constructed their houses before August 15,2008.

Punjab's Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Ranjit Singh Brahampura said that the poor families, who have already constructed their dwelling houses on Shamlat land in the villages, were at present facing eviction threats under the Punjab Panchayats Raj Act 1994 and were also debarred from contesting panchayt polls.

The Minister added that at present the process of village panchayats passing a resolution in Gram Sabha to provide a portion of Shamlat (common) land for houses for poor families was very complex.

In order to bring more transparency and simplify the process of sanctions, it had been decided to empower the Deputy Commissioners to take such decisions at their own, he said.

Mr Brahampura added that the Block Development and Panchayat Officers (BDPOs) after examining the unanimous resolution of a Gram Panchayat in this regard, would send the recommendations to the DDPOs who in turn would submit the cases to the Deputy Commissioners for final approval.

Under this plan only those, Scheduled Castes and Vimukat Jatis, including Bajigars, could avail the benefits who were residing in the same Gram Sabha area as a landless worker and were registered as a voter in the village voter list having age more than 45 years.

The beneficiaries must have constructed the house before August 15,2008 and the allotted land/house could not be transferred, sold or mortgazed. But in case of securing a housing loan, the land/house could be mortgazed to the landing institution.

The Minister added that Deputy Commissioners would ensure the eligibility and genuinity of the beneficiary while disposing of the cases and would report back to the Rural Development and Panchayats Department.

He clarified that the land reserved for religious places, cremation or burial grounds, toilets etc could not be allotted to anyone.

UNI XC JN BK1831

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