‘Tea garden workers to get land right docus in GTA area soon’
SILIGURI: In a welcome move, land right documents (Pattas) will be handed over to tea garden workers residing in gardens under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) area soon. Survey work will commence from Friday in different tea gardens in the GTA area.
The day after his meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata, GTA Chief Anit Thapa stated that the issue of handing over land documents to the tea garden workers has been resolved.
GTA Chief Anit Thapa stated that political leaders of the Hills have been assuring of handing over Pattas to tea garden workers since several years. It becomes an important issue before every election. “Even we had committed that we would hand over Pattas to workers, if elected to power. We have lived up to our commitments. Earlier we required permission to bury our dead in the tea garden land tilled by our ancestors with their blood and sweat. Now with the Pattas, the land is ours,” stated Thapa.
Incidentally, tea garden land is under the state government and is leased out to the companies running the gardens. During her recent visit to North Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had stated that while houses are being handed over to tea garden workers under the Chaa Sundari scheme in the plains, land will also be given to tea garden workers in the Hills.
“During my meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Wednesday she had assured us that land documents would be distributed to the workers. On Thursday morning, I received a confirmatory call from her in which she stated that land documents would be handed over to tea garden workers and survey work will be initiated in the tea gardens in the GTA area from Friday. To the best of my knowledge, the state government is keen on handing over the documents at the earliest. It could be given after 10 days from the completion of survey,” stated Thapa.
He stated that it has been possible only because of cordial relations with the state government. “Cooperating with the government, keeping good relations and not going into unwarranted confrontations, help achieve a lot. The tea garden Patta issue is one such example. We thank the Bengal government for this,” added the GTA Chief.
Thapa raised concern that other political parties could dub this as an eyewash and create obstacles. “I request all political parties to rise above petty politics and cooperate. We should all unite for such good work. Survey will commence from Friday in the tea gardens and within 10 days of the completion of survey, the state government is likely to start distribution of Pattas,” remarked Thapa.
The GTA Chief exuded confidence that in the near future many such complicated issues including the DI Fund land issue will also get resolved through dialogue. Incidentally there are many mouzas in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong district along with markets under the Darjeeling Improvement (DI) Fund – a system that has its origin in pre-independence days. There have been demands for abolishing the DI Fund system and bringing the land under the Land Reforms system of Bengal.