4 lakh beneficiaries await promised land

4 lakh beneficiaries await promised land
Highlights

The distribution of three acres of land as promised by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to Dalits is going on at a snail’s pace. The Land Purchase and Land Distribution Scheme (LPLDS) has apparently slowed down from thousands of acres of land to a few hundred due to non-availability of government land. This delay is said to have left many beneficiaries and public representatives unhappy with the

The distribution of three acres of land as promised by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to Dalits is going on at a snail’s pace. The Land Purchase and Land Distribution Scheme (LPLDS) has apparently slowed down from thousands of acres of land to a few hundred due to non-availability of government land. This delay is said to have left many beneficiaries and public representatives unhappy with the government.

The scheme was launched by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on August 15 amid much fanfare while addressing the I-Day speech at the historic Golconda Fort. As per the land scheme, only 621 Dalits got the benefit in this financial year, as against 4,495 acres in 2016. So far 2,631 have been allotted 6,913 acres. While in the first year 1,795 acres were distributed to 674 beneficiaries, in the second year 1,716 got the benefit of 4,495 acres.

According to the Telangana SC Cooperative Development Corporation, none from the erstwhile Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar and Medak districts got the benefits so far. With only one more month remaining in this financial year, only 241 beneficiaries got the land. In Mahbubnagar and Karimnagar districts, which have the second and third largest SC population in the State, the scheme is yet to take off, although land is available for this purpose.

Because of this, the public representatives in the districts are said to be unhappy with the government. Official spokesman of the Congress, Mallu Ravi criticised the government alleging that it lacked commitment towards land distribution for Dalits. Hence, he told The Hans India, that the scheme had been put on the back burner. Ravi claims that even the meagre funds allocated to the scheme are not being spent.

The Opposition is finding fault with the government due to the falling number of Dalit beneficiaries, as during the last three years only 2,631 got the benefit. CPI (M) leader of Medak district Rajaiah said that the government had failed to allot land to even half of the eligible persons. If the same trend continues land allotment to all eligible Dalits would only remain a dream, he said while expressing anguish.

According to the government estimates, there are four lakh Dalit families in Telangana who have no land. Officials claim that scarcity of government lands is delaying effective implementation of the scheme. They claim that the government is purchasing private lands to overcome this problem. The price is being hiked in areas where there is demand for land. Hence the government is making purchases on yearly basis.

The government spent Rs 4.15 lakh per acre on an average in the financial year 2014-15. In the current year the rate has gone up to Rs 4.8 lakh. Thus there is an increase of Rs 63,000 per acre, on an average of 15 per cent. Dalit leaders Jairaj and Shankar, while expressing anguish over the slow pace of the scheme’s implementation, wanted the government to speed it up as to ensure that all eligible get land.

By Naresh Sankepally

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