1 चकबंदी दिवस, देहरादून 2012

Land Consolidation

A multidimensional step with special context to the hills

On the 1st of March 2012 , a movement of people called 'Garib Kranti' was observed by me. As I got its concept, meaning and advantages , I took part in this movement, and had a sense of pride in being a part of it. I think it is a practical aspect which could be panacea for dangerous problems prevailing in hilly areas such as unemployment, migration, land being barren and many others.

What was the reason for this 'Garib Kranti' to be observed on 1st of March 2012 ? It is on this day that the birthday of a person falls- a person who has contributed 35 years of his life for the welfare of the state but has remained an “Unsung Hero” and that person at the age of 76 is still contributing to the betterment of the people living in rural areas. He is regularly trying to convince the people for their own welfare through their own means. He wants to make the people self-dependent, self employed, and self governed. His name is Ganesh Singh more popularly known as “ Garib Ji”.

The chapter 'Garib Kranti' focuses on the wide range of rural development objectives ranging from agricultural improvement to village renewal and landscape development and protection which can be achieved through land consolidation project only. 'Garib Kranti' regards land consolidation as a means or entrance for rural development. As 'Garib Kranti' includes provisions such as irrigation infrastructure to improve water management, construction of roads for rural connectivity, land leveling ,soil improvement measures and changes to land use such as conversion of inferior land to forest land and wetlands.

'Garib Kranti' is not only focusing on reconstructing agriculture but also on achieving more efficient multiple use of rural space by balancing the interest of agriculture, landscape, nature conservation, recreation and transportation etc. Preference is being given to environment conditions. Land consolidation will also be used for protection of wetlands and to change land use patterns especially in areas endangered by frequent floods or soil erosion.

'Garib Kranti' is focusing on the way to provide workplace to improve living and working conditions along with changing rural economy. It suggests that a number of conditions should be in place before a land consolidation project can be undertaken. Stakeholders should be willing to participate actively in the decision making process of this project. The process should be demand- driven and a project site must be identified where local citizens and community authorities are interested in land consolidation. For the 'Garib Kranti' to be most effective ,reallocation of land parcels will need to be consistent with rural development and agricultural sector strategy and the protection of natural resources.