Pathanamthitta: The Kerala government is to grant title deed (pattayam) to more than 50,000 occupants of lands. Most of the identified lands are in the ecologically sensitive areas of the Western Ghats. The titles are being granted considering the owners as small-scale farmers.
Occupants of lands measuring up to four acres will be considered as eligible for title..
Permission of Union Forest Ministry is required to grant title deeds for lands in forest land. The government is aiming to grant 50,000 titles before 31 December. Title deeds will be granted to all those who were in possession of the lands before 1st January 1977.
It will be granted under four categories: Under the Act of 1993 permitting endowment of lands for those who encroached the lands before 1977, Regularisation Act of 1964 granting government lands and excess lands, Law of 1995 permitting endowment of lands of municipalities and corporations and lands that can be distributed via tribunals.
About 40,000 occupants who were found eligible for the title had encroached the lands before 1977. According to the regularization act of 1964, only an agricultural land of an acre and 15 cents of land to build house can be granted.
Revenue department is moving to grant land following the nod from the Left Front.
Private Secretary to Revenue Minister Chandrasekharan Nair told Madhyamam that all steps except obtaining permission from the Central government have been completed.