Chettu Patta usufruct rights under Telanganaku Haritha Haaram


Telangana Chettu Patta As per Schedule I-section I (ii) of the MGNREG Act, the works related to drought proofing including afforestation and tree planting are permissible. Apart from promoting ecological balance, these works can provide sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor. Government is therefore promoting horticulture programmes on the lands of the SC/ST & small/marginal farmers as a part of MGNREGS. Although this programme has had substantial success, further progress is limited, since majority of rural poor are either landless or have small/marginal holdings.

2. “Telanganaku Haritha Haaram” is flagship programme of the Telangana State under which large extents of unutilized Government lands such as: road margins, irrigation tank foreshore areas, drain/canal bunds, are being utilized for afforestation with suitable species, thereby not only protecting and strengthening these public resources, but providing sustainable employment for the poorest of poor households. It has been proposed that each landless job card holder/household is allowed to raise plantation/horticulture plants on a piece of public land; and can be given ‘chettu patta’ or usufruct rights on these trees. The protection of the plantation/horticulture is supported under MGNREGS and the Department concerned will give chettu patta for the trees so raised.

3. Government of India issued certain guidelines on plantation works under MGNREGS, which includes giving Usufruct rights to vulnerable households to enjoy the benefits of the plantations done in Community lands and on Road side Avenue plantations, beyond Maintenance, preferably 200 trees to one household. Accordingly Commissioner, RD submitted a proposal to issue “Haritha Haaram Chettu Patta” to the vulnerable household on the usufructs received from the Trees planted on Community Lands and Roadside Avenues under MGNREGS.

4. Government, after careful examination of the matter hereby allow plantation / horticulture on the public lands under MGNREGS and issue Chettu Patta under Telanganaku Haritha Haaram providing heritable but inalienable usufruct rights to the vulnerable households like, land less SC/ST households, Disable, Single women, displaced, destitute families on such trees planted on the community lands and road side avenue plantations, in supersession of the orders issued in the references 1st & 2nd cited. This programme shall be implemented as a MGNREGS convergence project implemented along with other State Government Departments, as per the following guidelines:

a) Objectives:
i. To provide productive shelf of works for wage seekers under MGNREGS.

ii. To provide sustainable and green assets for livelihood of the rural poor.

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iii. To allow protection and productive use of public lands and to promote ecological balance by promoting soil/water conservation.

b) Scope:
i. All Government lands lying free of occupation like: road margins, canal/drain bunds, tank foreshore areas beyond the maximum level, other unutilised lands with irrigation department and unused lands of education institutions shall be used for plantation under the programme, subject to public safety and convenience.

ii. The landless SC/ST households and after exhausting all such households, SC/ST households who are marginal land holders without any borewell, and widow-headed SC/ST households shall be the beneficiaries under the programme.

iii. The beneficiary household should have worked for at least 20 days as unskilled worker in the preceding financial year or current financial year under MGNREGS programme.

c) Identification:
i. The beneficiaries for the programme shall be identified by staff of MGNREGS(APO) by end of May each year, along with the possible lands which can be allotted to each.

ii. The identified beneficiaries along with the proposed lands shall be placed in the Gram Sabha as per MGNREG guidelines for approval.

iii. The Village Revenue Officers will share with the MGNREGS staff the list of Government lands in each village for the purpose of this programme.

iv. On approval of Gram Sabha, MGNREGS staff, on or before 31st of May each year, an application shall be filed on behalf of the identified beneficiaries (Proforma in Annexure I) before the Tahsildar for seeking permission to plant under the programme duly specifying: the areas for plantation, name of the beneficiary, species proposed to be planted.

d) Permission:

i. Tahsildar is designed as Nodal Officer to allot usufruct rights to the beneficiaries on the plantations of all departments by obtaining no objections certificate. Beneficiaries shall be selected as per SKS survey duly approved by the Grama Sabha.

ii. The Tahsildar, on receipt of application in Format I, shall consider the same and decide within 15 days whether to give permission or not.

iii. If no order is passed within 15 days from the date of application in Format I, it shall be deemed as consent for plantation.

iv. Permission for plantation shall not be refused unless such plantation (a) could threaten the public safety or (b) land is unavailable or under dispute or (c) land is required for departmental use in near future.

v. All cases of rejection for plantation can be appealed to the District Collector, who shall have the power to over-rule the rejection made and could grant permission.

vi. Permission granted shall be in Format II (Annexure II) which shall contain granting of usufruct rights on the trees planted which shall be heritable but not alienable.

vii. Each beneficiary shall be allotted not more than 200 plants for the purpose of usufruct rights and this allotment does not give any rights on the land. The specified ownership of land shall remain with the Government at all times.

viii. Permission granted can be revoked by the District Collector based on the report of the Programme Officer of MGNREGS and the designated authority for protection of the land if the beneficiary has: (a) not performed his obligations as per the scheme (b) damaged and attempts to damage the land (c) encroached lands of nearby farmers or (d) has done or attempts to do any illegal act on the land.

e) Components of work:

i. The specifications and estimate for the programme covering unskilled wage work/skilled wage/material for covering the pitting, planting and protection for the maintenance period shall be finalised by Commissioner Rural Development immediately.

ii. The following shall be included in the estimate:
a) Cost of pitting, planting, plant cost, fencing, fertilizers, preferably organic.

b) Cost of watering, weeding and soil working tools.

c) Unskilled/ Semi-skilled wages to the beneficiary for maintenance period, based on number of live plants.

d) Capacity building for the beneficiary.

e) Supervisory and Technical support.
iii. The wages for watering and protection shall be paid monthly only for the live plants throughout the maintenance period.

f) Implementation:
i. The work shall be executed as per MGNREGS guidelines and implemented as MCC work.

ii. For effective implementation and monitoring of scheme, a District Level Committee is constituted in every District under Chairperson of district Collector with the following District officials as its members

a) Joint Collector
b) DRDO, DRDA- convener
c) District Forest Officer
d) Superintendent Engineer- Roads& Buildings
e) Superintendent Engineer- Panchayat Raj
f) Superintendent Engineer- Irrigation &CAD
g) Joint Director- Agriculture

iii. The estimates for the work under MGNREGS shall be generated by the Programme Officer at MCC before 15th June and sent for administrative sanction of the District Programme Coordinator so that all administrative sanctions are available before 15th June each year.

iv. The beneficiary shall be issued musters for unskilled work till they complete their entitlement days in a year; and thereafter, they shall be provided work under the skilled wage category under the programme.

v. The cost of wages/material under the scheme shall be transferred directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

vi. A sign board should be erected in every plantation showing the details of area, plants, land owning Dept., and beneficiaries provided usufruct rights.

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g) Species to be planted:
i. Plant species should be selected as per agro-climatic conditions, market opportunities, forward linkages, income generation etc. Economically beneficial plants species should be listed with due consultation of experts from Horticulture department. Forest department/ICAP/ICFRE/Agriculture Universities/KVKs etc. before the start of the planning process.

ii. Drought resistant grafted fruit trees with shorter gestation period, and which have the approval of the beneficiary shall be selected.

iii. Plant material shall be mature: i.e. two year or older.

h) Obligations of the beneficiaries:
i. Shall perform all operations for raising, protecting, watering the trees as per the estimate, either with the members of his household or with the other members of the Srama Sakti Sangham.

ii. Shall reap the usufruct of the trees after they are mature without damaging the trees or the public assets; and if removal of the plant is essential, shall do replantation at his cost.
iii. Shall not encroach on other lands, not allotted to him as per Format-II.

iv. Shall not do or attempt to do any activity that would damage the land allotted.

v. Shall not use the land for doing any act prohibited under Law.

5. The Commissioner, Rural Development shall finalise the modalities under the scheme in consultation with the other Heads of Department immediately so that implementation can begin from 2017 onwards. All District Collectors shall oversee implementation of the scheme personally.


About Pavan

Advocate, Journalist and Founder of Telangana Navanirmana Sena From Mahabubnagar,Telangana State, India Email Me -- pavan@tgnns.com

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