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Himachal allows allotment of 'nautor' land

Posted on Jul 26 2014 | IANS

Shimla, July 26 : The Himachal Pradesh government has agreed to allotment of "nautor land" to those settled in tribal areas, a legislator said Saturday.

The allotment has been opened after a period of 16 years.

"Nautor Land" means the right to utilize, with the sanction of authorities, wasteland owned by the government outside towns, reserved and demarcated protected forests and such areas as may be notified by the state government.

Official sources said the decision would benefit thousands of people settled in Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts and parts of Chamba district.

Jagat Singh Negi, who represents the assembly segment of Kinnaur, told reporters here that in view of the Supreme Court directive in 2007, the process of allotment of 'nautor' land was stopped due to which 20,000 such cases were pending with the state.

"The tribal people of Lahaul Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi-Bharmour area of Chamba district were facing difficulties as the state was required to take the permission of the central government before allotting 'nautor' land to them," Negi, who is also deputy speaker in the state assembly, added.

Negi said that tribals who possessed less than 20 bighas of land were being allotted 'nautor' land under the Nautor Land Act, 1971 and thousands of people were allotted land till 1996-97.

"But due to the implementation of the Forest Conservation Act and the Supreme Court order, the allotment was stopped in 1998," he said.

"On July 17, the governor under schedule five of the constitution (which gives the power to modify or formulate new rules) has set aside the forest act for two years," he added.

Revenue officials said the system of allotting the government-owned 'nautor' land to people was initially introduced in the state in 1968, but subsequently a ban was imposed that was lifted time and again.

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