Mamata hands over more than 2K freehold title deeds

Mamata hands over more than 2K freehold title deeds

Kolkata: In what can be called a historic day for the refugees of Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday handed over more than 2,000 freehold title deeds to eligible refugee families and assured regularisation of land on which they had been residing.

"No refugee, including the Matuas, will be left out when it comes to getting freehold deeds for his or her land and not a single refugee family possessing land deed will be evicted," Banerjee assured at the deed distribution programme held at Netaji Indoor Stadium.

She declared that in Bengal 261 refugee colonies have been regularised and in the last three years 27,000 pattas have been distributed that has benefitted over 52,000 people.

"I would like to congratulate you (refugee families). This is your right to your land. You have finally achieved an address after a long struggle. All the refugee colonies belonging to the state government have been legally regularised and nobody will be evicted from those places. The freehold title deeds for the lands will be distributed from time to time," Banerjee said. She added that Bengal has formulated a law so that no refugee can be evicted from lands belonging to the Railways or other Central government organisations in the state. "We have also directed that refugees who are staying on private lands for quite some time will never be evicted," she reiterated. Banerjee assured that not a single refugee will be left out and will get an unconditional deed for their land.

"There are several people who have done politics with them. We will not allow anybody to evict them. The Matuas will also get pattas (deed)," she said in a clear reference to the BJP that has been hoping to cash in on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to woo the refugees, including the Matuas.

She added that three permanent housing projects have been constructed for refugees at Chitmahal in Mekhliganj, in Haldibari and Cooch Behar's Dinhata district.

"They (the BJP) are bent upon snatching people's rights in the name of NRC, CAA. We are all citizens and so we deserve to have land rights," Banerjee said. She had announced in November 2020 that 1.25 lakh freehold title deeds would be given.

Banerjee claimed that the majority of the residents of most of the refugee colonies in Bengal have already received their freehold title deeds. However, there are some areas in the districts where the distribution is yet to be completed and steps are being taken to do the needful.

Banerjee claimed that over 3.5 lakh families in Bengal have received "griha" (house) pattas, besides land pattas and agriculture pattas from the government.

She directed the concerned officials of the Land and Land Reforms department to be humane and not to force people to do rounds at the BLRO office for work related to their lands.

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