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Regularize School Lands; State Asks DMs

Bhubaneswar: The State Government has asked all collectors to take steps for Regularisation of land in favour of Government and Government aided educational institutions under the School and Mass Education (S&ME) Department.

Principal Secretary, School and Mass Education Department, Satyabrata Sahu and Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Department, Bishnupada Sethi, jointly written a letter to all District Collectors on Saturday.  The Collectors asked to complete the process by 5 March, 2022. 

At present there are around 52,000 Elementary and Secondary Schools (Government and Government Aided) and around 1200 Higher Secondary Schools (Government and Government Aided) functioning under the S&ME Department. 

Out of these schools, in many cases, although the schools have been functioning over the years, land is yet to be recorded in the name of that particular Educational Institution, the Principal Secretaries said in the letter. 

Elaborating several reasons for non-recording of land, they said many donors might have donated land during the initial days but mutation could not have been done. Hence, basing on the available record, steps should be taken for mutation of the land in favour of the school. 

The concerned DEO and BEO have been asked to take the lead in filing Mutation cases in the court of the Tahasildar along with the Sale Deed / Donation Deed etc. The Ancillary expenditure like court fee and Amin fee will be deposited by the concerned DEO/BEO as per Government rule. 

“If the land schedule in the RSD pertains to Sabik records, then the concerned DEO/ BEO should be advised to file revision cases before the concerned Revisional Authority exercising the power of Member, Board of Revenue under relevant provisions of the Odisha Survey & Settlement Act, 1958,” read the letter. 

In many cases, the school buildings might have been constructed over unobjectionable Government land but steps might not have been taken by the officials of the Education Department for alienation of the same and the school must be functioning over the said land. 

In this type of cases, the Collectors advised to take steps for alienation of land in favour of the Education Department and the land should be recorded in the name of School & Mass Education Department with remark of existence of particular school. 

The DEOs are authorised to file Form No.1 in case of Nodal and Secondary Schools while the BEOs are authorised to file the requisition in Form No.1 in case of Primary and Upper Primary School. The cost of the Court Fee to be attached in the prescribed Form will be borne by DEO/BEO. 

For the Educational Institutions functioning over objectionable Government land like Gochar etc, the Principal Secretaries instructed the District Collectors to take urgent steps to de-reserve such lands, wherever possible as per law and thereafter the lands under occupation may be regularized as per the existing Government Circular issued by Revenue Department.

However, in no situation forest kisam lands should be regularized without prior approval of the Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change, Government of India, they clarified.

Similarly, for the schools that are functioning over Be-Bandobasta land, it should be regularised as per the provision of OEA Act and Circulars issued by Revenue & DM Department from time to time. 

If the recorded land has been encroached upon by land grabbers, the Tahasildar should act upon to make the land encroachment free as per the provisions of OPLE Act, 1972 and Orissa Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1972. 

“As you are aware, Government is laying emphasis for transformation of schools under Mo School Abhiyan and 5T High School Transformation Programme and all out efforts are being laid in the field to achieve the goal within very short time, so the above activities must be completed latest by 5 March, 2022”, the Government instructed the Collectors. 

The Collectors were directed to review the progress in the District Revenue Meeting regularly and allot a particular time slot for this purpose in the meeting so that the DEO can attend the meeting and interact with the Tahasildars and other senior revenue officials to facilitate the process. 

In case of any difficulties on any issues where Government intervention is required, the Collectors have been asked to submit concrete proposals to the Revenue Department to remove the bottle neck.