GTA to allot land right papers to forest villagers
Darjeeling: The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has initiated the process for allotting land right documents (patta) to forest villagers residing in the GTA area.
"In the first phase, we will hand over land documents to 168 forest villagers in Darjeeling and Kalimpong district" stated Binay Tamang, Chairman, Board of Administrators, GTA.Tamang was addressing media persons after a meeting between the GTA and state government officials at Lal Kothi, the GTA Secretariat in Darjeeling on Friday.
The meeting was attended by district administration including the District Magistrates of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, Land and land Reforms officials; Forest Department and GTA officials. "The meeting discussed in depth the process of handing over land right documents to forest villagers," stated Tamang.
Incidentally, Forest Rights Act came into force in the country in 2006. Despite being implemented in different districts of the State, it is yet to be implemented in the GTA area.
"This is owing to the fact that the Panchayat system has been nearly defunct since 2005 owing to some constitutional complications. However, the GTA will be implementing the Forest Rights Act and handing over land right documents to forest villagers, which is the first step in this direction," added Tamang.
The district administration will soon hold meetings with forest villagers. "The forest villagers will be sensitised on how to apply for the land documents along with the documents they need to submit with their applications. They have to apply within three months," stated Tamang.