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20 lakh acres of patta lands marked ‘prohibited’ in Dharani

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Hyderabad: About 20 lakh acres of patta land have been placed under ‘prohibited’ category in the Dharani portal causing severe hardships to lakhs of landowners who cannot sell or transfer it to third parties by way of registration.

Normally, the government-owned barren, poramboke, Wakf and endowments are placed in the prohibited list, under section 22-A of the Indian Registration Act.

Now, revenue officials have placed land parcels where Mission Bhagiratha pipelines, roads and canals pass in the prohibited category, as well as land pieces adjacent to tanks.

In some cases, land parcels allotted to freedom fighters and ex-servicemen were also placed under the prohibited list exposing how revenue land records are still plagued with errors even after a massive cleansing drive of revenue records in 2017 and 2018.

Despite holding pattadar passbooks, these landowners are forced to obtain NOC (no objection certificate) from the revenue department to exclude these lands from the prohibited list either to sell these lands or transfer them to their family members. They are forced to bribe revenue staff to get NOCs.

The sensational case of corruption in getting NOCs was exposed by ACB in August 2020 when then Medak additional collector G. Nagesh was caught when he demanded `1.1 crore to issue an NOC for releasing a piece of land from the prohibited list.

Following this incident, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on December 31 last had directed district collectors to resolve prohibited land issues in two months but nothing has happened even after seven months.

Official sources said the Chief Minister is expected to hold a review meeting on the functioning of the Dharani Portal in August to take measures to resolve grievances of landowners who are facing hardships despite having pattadar passbooks. The government acquired land for irrigation projects, canals, Mission Bhagiratha, roads etc. For instance, if there are three acres in a particular survey number and the government acquired only a small portion of it for roads, canals etc, the entire survey number was placed under the prohibited list.

The Dharani portal has received over 60,000 grievances from land owners so far seeking removal of their lands from the prohibited list. These applications have been pending for many months.

The MROs and RDOs at mandal and revenue-division level are sending back applicants saying that the government has not accorded ‘edit option’ to them to rectify errors in Dharani portal and only district collector has powers to edit records.

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