Monday, July 13, 2015

Local bodies seek database on land

July 11, 2015

Owing to a rise in encroachments of ponds, irrigation tanks and panchayat properties on the outskirts of Chennai and other rapidly urbansing areas, representatives of panchayats have demanded a comprehensive database for all such lands.

Representatives of panchayats and other stakehoders on Friday demanded changes in public policy at a seminar on "Encroachment and eviction in panchayat vested porombokes".

In a bid to control encroachments of such lands, representatives stressed the need for entry of poromboke lands in the Register of Assets maintained by the panchayat, audited every month by Local Fund and other auditors.

"Public property shall not be alienated by way of transferring or converting it for other purposes except according to a laid down procedure prescribed by law," said K. Vallinayagam, who presented a research paper on the subject.

Representatives demanded the State government prepare a scheme for eviction based on the direction of the Supreme Court.

Pointing to Section 252 of the Kerala Panchayat Act that casts a duty on police officers to help the panchayats, the representatives wanted a similar section in the Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act 1994.

According to Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act 1994, unreserved forests, public roads other than State highways and pathways, communal property, minor irrigation works, grazing grounds, burial grounds, cattle stands, cart stands and porombokes in ex-zamin areas are entrusted to the panchayats.

According to the data compiled by the Rural Development Department, the State has 21,609 tanks amd 48,759 ponds.

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