Hyderabad: The Telangana government has started a survey to verify and update land records before the start of a farm subsidy scheme. The scheme proposes to give farmers input subsidy of Rs4,000 per acre to buy fertilizers, among others.

B.R. Meena, special chief secretary, revenue department, said the name of the person legally owning agricultural lands should be reflected in government records. He added that over 4,500 officials from the revenue and agriculture departments have been deployed to complete the task of verifying land records.

The survey, which started on 15 September, will verify details and update land ownership data in 10,733 revenue villages in the state, said a revenue department official, who did not want to be identified. The drive is expected to be completed by 31 December and all the pattidars (land owners) will be issued new passbooks after verification, he added.

Through the programme, the state government will also create profiles of all revenue villages by identifying private/public lands, schools, government buildings/property, hospitals, etc and upload it online. “We will get to know what kind of properties and what their area is with each profile," the official said.

“There are irregularities in land records now. For example, the main issue is that agricultural properties are not registered in the names of present owners, who may have got it from their father or forefathers," the official stated. The comprehensive land survey and rectification programme is being carried out in 10,733 revenue villages out of the total 10,875, as there is no agricultural land in rest.

The official also said there are 8.3 million farm records with the state government, and that the last time they were prepared was in 1950s. “The data was not updated (regularly). Now there are irrigation projects taken up by the state (for which land has been acquired) and these things have to be updated as well," he added.

In response to the Telangana government’s programme, the opposition Congress in Telangana launched a 100-day Indiramma Rythu Bata (Indramma farmer roadmap) programme on Monday, aimed at training the party’s booth-level cadre about the drive. At the meeting held at Karimnagar and Sangareddy districts, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy also announced that the Congress party would establish Rythu Samrakshana Samithis (farmer protection committees) in all the villages across Telangana. He said these committees would have representatives of all opposition parties, farmers’ associations and the ‘genuine’ farmers, to protect their rights, said a press release from his office.

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