Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Wednesday announced rehabilitation of landless persons who had migrated from Pakistan during partition and were allocated land for a period of 20 years for cultivation.
"They are now being given further lease of the land for a period of up to 99 years," Hooda said in the state Assembly in Chandigarh.
With a view to rehabilitate such original allottees or their legal heirs who remained in continuous cultivating possession of the land up to September 24, 1986, the Haryana Assembly on Wednesday passed the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Haryana Amendment Bill, 2013.
The provision in the new Bill seeks to give the old lessees, land in shamlat deh (village common land) on further lease for a period up to 99 years by way of allotment after recovering use and occupation charges for the period for which they remained in cultivating possession even after the expiry of the lease period.
Nearly 3,500 Sikh families in the two Haryana districts have been cultivating about 15,000 acres of land.
After partition in 1947, migrated landless persons of erstwhile Karnal district which was later bifurcated into Kaithal and Kurukshetra districts in 1966, had been allocated uncultivable land for a period of 20 years under the East Punjab Utilisation of Lands Act, 1949 and the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1953.
Hooda said, he had earlier promised to rehabilitate these landless labourers who have no other means of livelihood.
Thanking the Chief Minister for providing the extended lease, state finance minister Harmohinder Singh Chatha said, it was the responsibility of the government to rehabilitate such persons due to displacement from their land which they have been cultivating for generations.
The Assembly also took note of several Sikh farmers in Gujarat who have raised hue and cry over displacement from their land, which they had been tilling for several decades and a resolution was also passed to this effect urging the state government there to ensure they do not get displaced.
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