Nepal | January 18, 2021

New rules for providing land to landless Dalits, squatters

Himalayan News Service
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KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 22

The Government of Nepal has issued the 18th amendment to the Land Rules, paving the way to provide land to landless Dalit families and squatters.

As per the new provision stated in the rules, Landless Squatters’ Problem Resolution Commission shall provide land to landless Dalit families and squatters for residential or agricultural purpose. In the case of residential purpose in urban areas of Kathmandu valley, metropolitan city, sub-metropolitan city and municipality, the beneficiaries shall be entitled to land up to 130 square metres. However, land not exceeding 340 square metres shall be provided in other areas.

For agricultural purpose, the beneficiaries shall get up to 2,000 square metres of land in the Tarai and Inner Madhes, and 3,000 square metres in the mountain and hilly regions. “Land shall not be provided to landless Dalit families and squatters in urban areas of Kathmandu valley, metropolitan and sub-metropolitan cities and municipality for agricultural purpose,” Rule 41 reads.

According to the new provisions, landless Dalit families and squatters shall be provided with land in the area they have been residing.

“If it is not possible to provide land in their indigenous local level, the commission shall provide them with land for residential or agricultural purpose in other places selected by it in coordination with the local level,” it says. The new provisions have also set the criteria for providing land to Dalits. The commission shall not provide land located in religious, cultural sites and risk-prone areas.

The amendment has also made a provision of an eight-member recommendation committee at concerned local level to conduct inquiry for identification of land and to recommend it to the government to provide land to landless Dalit families and squatters.

The committee is led by mayor or chair of the concerned local level and includes chief of district land revenue office, survey office and Chief Administrative Officer of the concerned local level.

The commission has to publish a 35-day public notice in a national daily, inviting application from landless Dalit families and squatters. The application should be accompanied by a recommendation letter from the concerned local level and a self-declaration that the concerned Dalit family and squatter doesn’t have land elsewhere in the country and can’t afford to buy land from its income or resource.

As per the rules, the commission shall coordinate with the concerned provincial and local governments while providing land to landless Dalit families and squatters. The land shall be transferred to the beneficiaries in a manner to issue land ownership certificate in the joint name of husband and wife if they are living together.

 


A version of this article appears in print on December 23, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


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