Published On : Mon, Feb 8th, 2016

7/12 imbroglio continues to haunt in bits & pieces, warrants total reforms

Nagpur: The 7/12 (also known as 7/12 Utara or 7/12 Extract) imbroglio continues to grab headlines, of course, in patches. The State and Central Governments go on acquisition of irrigated and rain-fed agricultural lands for the various projects. Compensations are also paid to those whose lands are acquisitioned. However, in many of the cases, with no change (“ferfar” made to the ownership records of the land) in 7/12 status, lots of beneficiaries are being deprived of benefits of Government schemes or compensation or the beneficiaries usurping the benefits of both, slyly. In such scenario, the 7/12 warrants total reforms.

The Governments, through their schemes, undertake an array of construction works such as farm tanks, canals, dams, wells, etc regularly for boosting agriculture production in rural areas. These schemes invariable benefit small land-holders as well as other category of land owners. Similarly, compensation at Government rate is paid to those whose lands are acquisitioned for the schemes. Other benefits of the schemes are also extended to those beneficiaries, informed the sources.

However, a disturbing aspect has come to the fore in this regard. The Government, after paying compensation to the project-affected, never bother make a change (“ferfar”) the 7/12 status. There are hundreds of such cases in Nagpur district alone where the status of 7/12 is as it is. The outcome is that those beneficiaries who have now turned small land-holders are still the landlords on records. These small land-holders are eligible for benefits of the schemes but with no change in 7/12 status they are being deprived of government schemes since years.

Water body areas under possession of big guns:
The District Administration, Irrigation Department and others, it is learnt, have distributed water bodies to big businessmen in the name of tourism development. That too for 5-10 years and at penury rates. The rightful owners of these water bodies, in fact, should be either farmers or fishermen associations.

Not easy to become farmers:
According to rules, it is mandatory to have names of purchasers in 7/12 if one wishes to buy farm land either for investment or just to become landlord. But when a family that has never done farming nor owned farm land in the district, and when such family purchases the land, the Patwari and other concerned Tehsil officials do not bother to put their names on 7/12 record. However, greasing of palms does the trick. But the rules say that those who do not possess 7/12 then the registry of the land could not be done in their names.

The Satbara (7/12) Extract:
Satbara (7/12) Extract is official document maintained by the Revenue Department of Maharashtra for agricultural land and for land that was converted into non-agricultural land (NA). Satbara contains key information such as location, area, name of the legal owners of the land, survey number, hissa number. Satbara also contains other useful information such as who is the cultivator (can be different than the owner), what crops were grown, how much quantity was produced, how much tax (shetsara) was paid and due. It also includes if there is any outstanding loan on the land or if there is any pending litigations. It also includes (by way of a separate register, sort of a log book), changes , i.e. “ferfar” made to the ownership records of the land. In case land is acquired by government for civil projects, owner as per Satbara is given compensation. It is purchaser’s responsibility to have his/her name recorded on Satbara as new owner of the land. All these convey legal significance and importance of this document.

– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( )