Eight lakh acres stuck on Dharani: Farmer to HC

HC seeks Forest, Revenue response within 4 weeks

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court took cognisance of the plight of landowners in Mahbubabad district where officials placed 8 lakh acres of land, including those which had pattas, on the 'Prohibited list' in the Dharani portal.

This prevented the owners from selling or transferring their properties, and officials were demanding bribes to exclude the properties from the list.

The High Court had received a letter on the matter, which it converted to a public interest litigation (PIL). The letter emphasised the state of the farmers in Kesamudram mandal of Mahbubabad district who were making the rounds of offices to get their properties delisted.

The letter stated that revenue authorities, public representatives and middlemen were demanding lakhs of rupees to delist the properties.

The letter stated that 8 lakh acres of land, which had been mentioned as patta lands till the Dharani portal was brought in, were illegally marked as government land by revenue authorities. Giving an example, the letter mentioned that all the land in Narayanapuram village, Kesamudram mandal, Mahbubabad district, was placed in the name of the forest department after the introduction of the Dharani portal.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice C.V. Bhaskar Reddy heard the PIL on Tuesday and issued notice to the Chief Secretary, principal secretaries of revenue and forest departments, CCLA, collector and district forest officer of Mahbubabad and revenue of Kesamudram mandal. The court directed them to respond on the issue within four weeks.

The letter requested the court to direct the officials to rectify the entries of patta lands of innocent farmers pursuant to the introduction of Dharani portal. When the aggrieved farmers approached the revenue authorities by filing online applications, the letter said, the were demanding lakhs of rupees from each farmer for correction and to issue their respective e-passbooks.

The revenue authorities in collusion with the public representatives and real estate developers were turning such lands taken over from farmers into plots by fraudulent means and were selling them.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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