Jiaram Ramesh sees 'scam beyond parallel' in missing Bhoodan land
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Half of the total 5 million acres of Bhoodan land is "missing" and this is a "scam beyond parallel", Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh today said.
He also suggested that a survey should be done to find out the missing land donated under Bhoodan movement (land gift) launched by Acharya Vinoba Bhave 60 years ago.
"Where is Bhoodan land? Who is utilising the Bhoodan land? What is the use it is being put to? If 5 million acres in the last 60 years has been pledged under bhoodan, only 50 per cent has actually been distribted... This is a land scam beyond parallel," Ramesh told reporters after the state Revenue Ministers' Conference on Modernisation of Land Records here.
"Bhoodan land is not being used by Bhoodan beneficiaries. It is being used by somebody else. 50 per cent of land! Lot of land!" he said.
Officials in the Ministry had earlier said that "the worst culprits" in the case of distribution of Bhoodan land are Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.
Bhave, who launched the Bhoodan movement, walked all across the country asking people with land to consider him as one of their sons and give him one-seventh of their land which he then distributed to landless poor.
"My approach would be we must do a survey. The survey of bhoodan land. That is the first requirement. Where are these bhoodan land? What is the current state of their use? Then only we will know," Ramesh said. He also alleged that unproductive lands were distributed to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the name of
"We must also make sure that bhoodan land are productive land," he said.
Echoing his view, Rajagopal, leader of NGO Ekta Parishad, NGO said that "in many cases, even the land allotted to many landless people continue to remain in the hands of powerful people as the government authorities failed to give possession
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