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Eyes On Gochar Land

Concerned over non availability of Government land to take up developmental and infrastructural projects, the State Government has constituted a high-level committee to recommend the maximum extent of government land to be kept reserved as Gochar and for purposes of other community use in a revenue village.

The Committee will be headed by Member Board of Revenue, CJ Venugopal  as Chairman.

And all Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC)s will be Members, while District Collectors of Angul, Khurda, and Ganjam have been roped in as Members also, said officials.

The Director Land Records and Settlement will be the Member Convener of the committee as notified by the Department of Revenue and Disaster Management.

According to officials, Rule 4 (2) of the OGLS Rules, 1983 provides that while de-reserving any Government land recorded as Gochar, the authorized officer shall assess the reasonable requirement for the purpose of Gochar for use by the community.

They said that in every surveyed village which is not included within the limits of an urban area, 5% of the effective area of the village shall be set apart for pasturage (Gochar) subject to availability of suitable Government land.
In every un- surveyed village, land for pasturage shall be set apart at the rate of 1 acre for every 14 inhabitants of the village and if the village is non- inhabited, reservation for pasturage shall be made at the rate of 1 acre for every 3 persons having land in the village, subject to availability of suitable Government land.

Similarly, as per earlier orders, erstwhile Revenue Department containing instructions for reservation of government land for specific purposes in rural areas , it specifies that double the area reserved for pasturage shall be reserved for purposes of village forest and for communal and developmental purposes including homestead for future.

In the meantime, Government land has become scarce and demand for such land for various developmental and infrastructure purposes is increasing.

Hence, keeping reserved the aforesaid specific extent of government land for Gochar and for purposes of village forest and for communal purposes has become difficult.

Further, keeping reserved the aforesaid specific extent of government land for Gochar and for purposes of village forest and for communal purposes has become an impediment for creation of new revenue villages.

In several proposals relating to boundary change proceedings, the original village does not have the required land—5 per cent of the effective area which should be reserved for Gochar and 10 per cent of the effective area which should be reserved for village forest and communal purposes in both main village and hamlet.

As a result, many proposals are not recommended by Collectors or if recommended, not approved by the Director Land Records and Settlement (DLR&S), Odisha.

Keeping these in view, the high powered committee will revisit the statutory provisions of law and other existing policies of Revenue & DM Department and make its recommendation regarding the maximum extent of government land to be reserved as Gochar and for purposes of village forest and other communal use in a revenue village.

In addition, the Chairman may co- opt any Tahasildar or any other officer working under the administrative control of Revenue & DM Department, the total number of whom shall not be more than three, as the members of the Committee.

The Committee shall submit its recommendation to Revenue & Disaster Management Department within a month of its constitution, officials said.
 


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