Saturday, 13 July, 2024

Protecting Public Land

With the government completing two years in office, the country has seen remarkable progress and development in various sectors of life. Stability, policy certainty and effectiveness characterise the new governance system under Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli-led administration that came to power following the three-tier elections in 2017. Desired outcomes have been achieved in the fields of enactment and execution of key laws and regulations, infrastructure development, foreign investment, trade and foreign policy. This is not just the repetition of platitude. Statistics and progress reports of the concerned ministries speak volumes in this regard.

Sometime back Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had informed the House of Representatives, highlighting the gains, goals and vision of his government determined to steer the nation towards the path of peace, stability and prosperity. The other day Minister for Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Padma Kumari Aryal presented the progress of her office, rekindling the hope for brighter future of the nation and people. Her ministry covers the vital socio-economic aspects of Nepali society. Nepal is an agrarian nation but in the absence of scientific land reforms, the agriculture sector has been confined merely to the means of subsistence. A large number of people lack sufficient land. As a result, the nation has been unable to bring about green revolution essential for surplus of agro products.

In order to address this problem, the ministry has issued National Land Policy, 2075 for the systematic and scientific use of land and protection of agriculture land. Land Use Act, 2076 will be milestone as it classifies land into 10 groups and identifies land for the purpose of residence, agriculture and other activities. The Land Act (Eighth Amendment) seeks to protect Guthi land and ensure social justice to the poor by enhancing their access to land and resolve the problems of landless squatters once and for all. Enabling laws and regulations have envisioned the establishment of land bank and land market and distribution of the land to the landless Dalits.

In yet another big achievement, the Ministry has recovered 284 bighas of public land registered in the name of individuals in different parts of the country, to the government's ownership. According to news report of the online version of this daily, the government has restored its ownership of lands in Bara, Kalaiya, Rasuwa, Makawanpur, Bhojpur, Banke and Siraha districts. This step will discourage the tendency to capture the public land for the use of the personal benefit. Minister Aryal informed the media persons that her office has collected feedback to prepare a new map of country. The technical team of the Survey Department has reached the final stage to issue the new map, which has become necessary to assert the national sovereignty and territorial integrity in the wake of the Indian encroachment of Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura in Darchula district of far-west Nepal.

Similarly, a total of 193 border pillars were constructed along the Nepal-India border and 890 pillars have been repaired. The ministry will make public the real measurement of Mt Everest as 90 per cent of works related to it have been completed. Based on the notion of digital Nepal, the ministry has started online services at 108 land revenue and survey offices for easy and smooth service delivery and check financial irregularities. The ministry deserves the appreciation for its initial achievements. Let’s hope that it will be able to sustain this momentum in the days to come.