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Land Administration in Protected Belts and Blocks in Assam

  • Land Administration in Protected Belts and Blocks in Assam


    The Assam Land and Revenue Regulation, 1886 was a great landmark in the history of Land Revenue Administration. It was amended in 1947 adding a new chapter known as Chapter X which brought about a significant change regulating the revenue administrative system in the Protected Belts & Blocks.

    However in Karbi Anglong and Dima hasao Districts, the District Councils regulate the Land Revenue Administration in these districts. The Mikir Hills (Land & Revenue) Act, 1953, the Karbi Anglong District (Land & Revenue) Act, 1979, the Karbi Anglong District (Land & Revenue) Rules, 1981 were enacted and framed.

    The Bodoland Autonomous Council Act, 1993, the Lalung (Tiwa) Autonomous Council Act, 1995, the Mishing Autonomous Council Act, 1995, the Rava Hasong Autonomous Council Act, 1995 were enacted for providing for establishment of administrative authority in those areas and certain matters incidental thereto.

    Line System:-(Circumstances leading to the creation of protected belts and blocks in Assam)

    Provision has been made for creation of Tribal Belts and Blocks (i.e. protected belts & blocks) under Chapter X of ALRR, 1886. But it is necessary to know the circumstances leading to the creation of protected belts & blocks. Large scale immigrants predominantly from erstwhile East Bengal started migrating to Assam and settled in Goalpara, Kamrup, Barpeta, Darrang and Nagaon etc..The influx became rampant during 1911-21, though migration to the Char areas and sparsely populated parts pof Assam were continuing from decades.

    To protect the tribal people from the immigrants and non-tribal people certain areas were closed to the immigrants which was popularly known as 'Line System'. The Line System had to be effective since 1920-21 but the system did not work satisfactorily.However,in 1939, as per the suggestion of the 'Line System Committee (constituted in 1936 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Hocken Hull), Govt. decided to constitute protected areas in the compact parts of Mouzas predominantly inhabited by backward communities. In the year, 1945, Govt. adopted a resolution for protection of Tribal People and laid down guideline that all the villages in which the percentage of Trial Classes of people exceeds 50 % be earmarked for constitution of belt and block for safeguarding the interest of the Tribal and Other Backward Classes of people living there.

    The Govt. may adopt protective measures under ALRR, 1886 only for those people who are incapable of looking after their welfare due to primitive condition and lack of education and such welfare depends upon their having sufficient land for their maintenance.

    Principal Features of Protective Measures:-

    Protective measures include the following:

    1. Specification of Class of people entitled to protection (U/S 160)
    2. Constitution of compact areas commonly called tribal belts and blocks and more precisely called protected belts and blocks in the areas predominantly inhabited by the class of people notified under the relevant provisions of Chapter X (U/S 61).
    3. Disposal of Settlement of Govt. land by way of lease for ordinary cultivation and ancillary purposes thereto (U/S 163).
    4. (a) Making provisions for acquisition of rights, termination and forfeiture of rights.
      (b) Restriction on transfer of land by way of sale, mortgage, lease, agreement etc.(U/S 164)
    5. Eviction of unauthorised occupants either in unsettled land, annual patta or periodic patta. (U/S 165)
    6. Bar on jurisdiction of Civil Court (U/S 167), Section 168 deals with investment of powers of Revenue Officers, Section 169 deals with appeal, Section 170 deals with revision of proceeding.
    7. The State Govt. may by notification in the Official Gazette make rules for purpose of carrying out the protection of this Chapter (U/S 171).