In pri­vate in­ter­est

New state poli­cies for­malise the trans­fer of com­mu­nity re­sources to pri­vate play­ers

Down to Earth - - COVER STORY -

EX­IST­ING con­trol

Owned by com­mu­ni­ties, clans or in­di­vid­ual tribal fam­i­lies

In most ar­eas land sur­veys are yet to be done, so own­er­ship is recog­nised as per the nat­u­ral bound­aries

Most states have laws to pre­vent non­na­tives from buy­ing land in th­ese ar­eas

CON­TROL shifts

NA­GA­LAND: Ham­mer­ing out a pol­icy to "re­struc­ture" land­hold­ing sys­tems in oil-rich foothill ar­eas. This will pave way for pos­ses­sion of land by non­na­tive in­vestors.

ARUNACHAL PRADESH: Dis­cussing a law that gives state the power to take over any kind of for­est, in­clud­ing those owned by com­mu­ni­ties. It in­tends to curb jhum and re­strict peo­ple's ac­cess to for­est pro­duce.

MI­ZO­RAM: In­tro­duced New Land Use Pol­icy, 2011, which al­lows the gov­ern­ment to al­lot pat­tas over com­mu­nity for­est land to those who quit jhum and grow per­ma­nent plan­ta­tions like oil palm. Com­mu­nity in­sti­tu­tions have lit­tle say.

MA­NIPUR: Ig­nor­ing the own­er­ship of forests, the pro­posed New Land Use Pol­icy (NLUP), 2014, aims to bring 78 per cent of the area of the state un­der "undis­turbed" for­est cover and Joint For­est Man­age­ment. It al­lows Vil­lage De­vel­op­ment Coun­cils (state­con­trolled elected vil­lage bod­ies) to make changes in the land ten­ure sys­tem in con­so­nance with NLUP.

MEGHA­LAYA: Its In­dus­trial and In­vest­ment Pol­icy, 2012, pro­motes leas­ing of tribal land to in­dus­tries or in­vestors. The Megha­laya Trans­fer of Land (Reg­u­la­tion) Act, 1971, that pro­hib­ited trans­fer of tribal land to non-na­tives, was re­laxed in 2001 to en­able French company La­farge to ac­quire land for lime­stone min­ing.

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