Telangana Govt. to Exclude 15 Lakh Acres of Land from Rythu Bandhu Scheme
The Telangana state government is planning to exclude 15 lakh acres of land from its Rythu Bandhu scheme to reduce uneconomical expenditure on barren & uncultivable land. The state government wants to reduce its expenses as it believes spending on barren/uncultivable land is causing excess burden. Currently, the Rythu Bandhu scheme support is provided to all farmers, who receive ₹10,000 per acre per year irrespective of the land being cultivable or uncultivable.
Over the last 4 years, around 61 lakh farmers are receiving benefits of the Rythu Bandhu scheme every year. The state government has set aside ₹14,000 crores for the Rythu Bandhu scheme this year. District Collectors were asked to identify barren/uncultivable land across the state by the revenue department and submitted a report of the same to the state government. The outcome of the proposal depends on the decision taken by the state cabinet of ministers.
According to the official sources, only 60% of the 2,76 crore acres of land available in Telangana is cultivable land and remaining land constitutes of forests, barren land, uncultivable land and other land categories. State govt. officials have said that according to their estimates, 15 lakh acres of land can be classified as barren & uncultivable while another 20+ lakh acres are used for non-agriculture purposes in Telangana. A senior official of the revenue department said that there are many pattadars who continue to receive Rythu Bandhu benefits despite not taking up any agricultural benefit as there is no restriction & no assessment was carried out till now.
In the districts of Rangareddy, Medchal-Malkhajgiri, Sangareddy, Medak, Vikarabad & Yadadri, thousands of acres are being used for non-agricultural purpose but are not recorded as non-agricultural or barren land. In Yadadri district alone, there are thousands of real-estate projects which have come up illegally on non-agricultural land but are registered as agricultural land and continue to receive benefits from schemes like Rythu Bandhu, a senior govt. official said.
District Collectors have identified ‘pot kharab’ land (uncultivable land) & have recorded the same in Dharani land web portal. Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar has asked the officials as ‘pot kharab’ land in revenue records if the land is being used for cattle sheds, manure pits, buildings & appurtenant areas, hayricks, covered by rocks, submerged area, irrigation channels, bunds, private channels, private forest, allied activity like tractor sheds & if land is uncultivable due to floods, soil erosion, excavation damage etc.
According to the state government, 15 lakh acres maybe eliminated and 4-5 acres of land might be added if Recognition of Forest Rights (ROFR) land where tribal groups cultivate in forests of Mahbubabad, Kothagudem & Asifabad, which will be included for input subsidy as per assurances given by the state government.