Morcha to demand tea garden land rights

Morcha president and GTA chief Binay Tamang
Darjeeling: The pressure of local politics has prompted the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to demand that tea garden workers should be given rights to the entire land under their possession.
The trigger behind the demand is a rethink in the Morcha camp, which had earlier announced that Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) would revive the Nijo Griha Nijo Bhumi Pralkapo in the hills. Under this state government scheme, homeless and landless people are given five decimal of land.
Even though this scheme has not yet covered tea garden areas - tea workers in the plains have not got land under this plan yet - Morcha president and GTA chief Binay Tamang announced that garden workers could also apply for the scheme and the GTA accordingly started distributing forms, even in tea gardens, for land claims.
As the move gave Morcha an edge in the hill politics, Opposition parties - like the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and the Jana Andolan Party (JAP) - demanded that the workers be given not just 5 decimals of land but the entire plot under their possession.
Although tea garden land is leased out to the tea companies by the government, many areas not under tea cultivation are under the possession of the workers for generations now. The situation is similar in the gardens of the Dooars and the Terai.
With the Opposition parties demanding that the entire land under the possession of garden workers be given to them, it struck a chord among the hill population.

The Morcha, too, changed its stand and joined the chorus.
Jyoti Kumar Rai, assistant secretary of the Morcha said: "We demand before the government that the entire land under the workers' possession be granted to them. We have formed a 20-member committee to pursue this demand."
Rai has been nominated the convener of this committee.
The Morcha leader added: "There are provisions within the land and land reforms act through which the state government can acquire land from tea gardens and distribute the same to the workers."
Rai claimed that 81.2 per cent of the hill people do not have land registered in their names. The figure, however, could not be independently verified. "We request other political parties not to politicise this issue," said Rai.
The Opposition parties have been stating that they have no problems if the state government grants the entire land under the possession of the workers to them.
The state government, however, has not made any commitments on this issue.
The tea garden management is also mum on the issue. "We are tenants of the state government and unless we receive something from the state government in writing, we cannot comment on an hearsay issue. Even if the political parties place a demand to us, we cannot do anything as the land is with the state government," said an official of the tea industry.

 The Telegraph
loading...

The pressure of local politics has prompted the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to demand that tea garden workers should be given rights to the entire land under their possession.

Read latest post filed under political news

Post a Comment

We love to hear from you! What's on your mind?

[blogger][facebook]

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.