Andhra Pradesh removes “dotted lands”
Polity & Governance
26th May, 2023
The Andhra Pradesh government has started removing “dotted lands” in the state from the prohibited list, restoring full rights of selling or pledging these lands to the farmers who own them.
What are dotted lands?
- Dotted lands are disputed lands for which there are no clear ownership documents. Typically, one or more individuals as well as the government’s Revenue Department lay claim over the land.
- During the British era, land ownership surveys and resettlement of land records were taken up, local revenue officials who were tasked with identifying government-owned and privately-owned lands put dots in the ownership column if more than one person claimed ownership, or if ownership could not be clearly established.
- The dots on the land documents indicated their disputed status.
Land Disputes in India:
- An estimated 7.7 million people in India are affected by conflict over 2.5 million hectares of land, threatening investments worth more than Rs 14 lakh crore.
- Land disputes account for the largest set of cases in Indian courts - 25 per cent of all cases decided by the Supreme Court involved land disputes, of which 30 per cent were related to acquisition.
What are the reasons behind high incidence of disputes over land?
- Legislative factors: existence of numerous, conflicting laws arising from historical narratives and current policies governing property rights
- Administrative factors:administration’s failure to comply with these laws.
- Judicial factors: There are legal and evidentiary barriers in bringing land dispute cases to court, and then lack of judicial capacity prevents quick resolution.