WB govt to provide land deeds to residents of 119 refugee colonies by August
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to provide unconditional land deeds to the occupants of 119 refugee colonies in the state by August.
Although Banerjee made the announcement before the coronavirus lockdown, sources in the state administration revealed that work related to land measurements slowed down due to the lockdown restrictions.
Now with the restrictions being eased the state government has decided to fast forward the process upon completion of which more than 1 lakh refugees in the state will get unconditional land deeds.
The Chief Minister announced from a public rally at Kaliaganj in Uttar Dinajpur district that her government will provide unconditional land deeds to residents of 119 refugee colonies. Soon after the Law Department and Land and Land Reforms and Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Department set up teams for the task.
According to sources the measurement works have restarted with Unlock I and the government is keen on completing it by August.
'Upon completion the residents of 213 refugee colonies in the state will get a government recognized address and all citizenship rights,' said a senior official of the Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Department. These refugee colonies are located mostly on land belonging to several Central government organizations.
The same will be done for 24 other refugee colonies. However, it will take some time as in some cases there are legal complications. Sources said that the government aims to provide unconditional land deeds to about 3 lakh refugee families in Kolkata, the districts of South and North 24 Paraganas, North and South Dinajpur, Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri.
Earlier unconditional land deeds were provided to residents of 94 refugee colonies located on state government's land.
The development comes at a time when BJP after a hiatus has again started to raise the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Recently Union Home Minister Amit Shah accused the Chief Minister of obstructing the process of refugees being granted citizenship under the CAA. Despite the pandemic the state BJP has resumed political activities with eye on the 2021 Assembly elections in Bengal where CAA is expected to become a major poll plank for the saffron party.