Dehradun, May 31 (PTI) The Uttarakhand government today issued an order giving ownership rights to all those people who were leased out agriculture land at least 30 years ago. The order came after the announcement of Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna in this regard apparently made in context of the resignation of BJP MLA Kiran Mandal from Sitarganj. Settlers belonging to Bengali community had been demanding ownership rights on the leased agriculture in Sitarganj. Speculation is rife that Bahuguna would now contest from Sitarganj. An official statement said the government order will benefit thousands of leaseholders in the state. According to the government order issued by Principal Secretary, Agriculture, Om Prakash, the ownership of agricultural land to leaseholders had been given under provision of Government Grant Act, 1895. This would facilitate the land owners to sell the land and mortgage it to obtain loans from the banks, the statement said. The right to ownership has been given by making various amendments in conditions laid for lease holding in Government Grant Act, 1895. According to the order, the ownership right had been given to those lease holders who had been given land for agricultural purpose that will complete its 30th year on June 1, 2012, or more and the land is being used for agricultural purpose. However, the order will not be applicable for lands given for purposes other than agriculture. The lease holders will have to pay the premium as per the circle rate of November 9, 2000 within six months of the issuance of the government order. It may be noted that Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, after listening to the problems of land leaseholders, had announced plans to give land ownership right to them.
Src: IBN Live