In the first meeting of the Land Committee held on 22nd December, 2004 it was decided to hold public hearings with recognized political parties, civil society organizations and peoples? unions working on land issues of the poor to understand the various issues on land reforms. The Committee held public hearings in Hydrated, Wrangle, Vigilant and Atrophic. The visits to the districts and public meetings were followed by field visits to districts and villages to get a firsthand knowledge of the land issues affecting the poor.
In an overwhelming response, political parties and civil society organizations attended all the public hearings and cutting across party lines, have demanded that land issues affecting the poor required immediate attention by the Government. Commissioning of Studies In order to understand the land issues in greater detail and also the relevance and use of the existing Revenue Acts, the committee has commissioned studies on various aspects of land issues by specialists and experts.
Studies have been conducted on Board Standing Orders and Revenue Acts, Tribal land issues, issues of Tenancy, the phenomenon of absentee landlord’s and that of plain paper transactions (Sad bambina transactions), functioning of the legal system and state of the endowment lands (Terms of References of the studies and consultants/consulting organizations conducting the study enclosed).
Recommendations immediately operational in nature While commissioning the studies the Land Committee was very clear that recommendations evolving from the studies would not be theoretical in nature and focus shall be on operational issues. The Committee has tried its best to cover the important and pressing land issues. The recommendations of the committee while not exhaustive nevertheless cover substantial ground. Page 3 of 101 Land still the single most emotive issue in rural areas It has been the Committee?s experience that the issue of land continues to be the single most emotive issue in the rural areas.