The Newz Radar
MANDI: Fortyfour-year-old Gulab Singh, a landless man, has been running from pillar to post for the past 10 years seeking the allotment of a mere two biswas of land under a government scheme.
Despite repeated visits to government offices, all he has got is hollow promises. Gulab says his pursuit for a small piece of land appears never-ending and he continues to knock on the doors of revenue officers, but with little success.
The assurances came from none other than three former Chief Ministers — Prem Kumar Dhumal, Virbhadra Singh and Jai Ram Thakur. Incumbent Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu is the latest to direct the revenue officers concerned to search a suitable piece of land measuring two or three biswas for Gulab. He had applied for the plot under the Himachal Pradesh government’s ‘Grant of Nautor Land to Landless Persons, Other Eligible Persons Scheme, 1975’ under which two or three biswas of land is given to eligible persons.
A landless person is one who owns no land, earns livelihood through manual labour, intends to take up the profession of agriculture and is capable of cultivating the land personally.
A native of Devdhar village near Mandi, Gulab is still a bachelor and lives with his mother in a one-room dilapidated house. He is unemployed and does menial jobs in Mandi to eke out a living. He can be seen visiting revenue offices with his applications marked by Chief Ministers and Deputy Commissioners.
Talking to TNR, Gulab disclosed that his quest for a piece of land started way back in 2009 when he submitted an application before the revenue department. “In 2014, the then Deputy Commissioner directed the District Revenue Officer to verify the facts of the case and allot the piece of land as per law. Ten years have passed but no action has been taken on the application even when it has been found to be a genuine case for allotment of land after complete verification of records and facts,” he alleged.
Gulab submitted an application before former Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in 2021, who directed the Deputy Commissioner for allotment of land. “But as expected, the application moved from one officer to another, without any action being initiated,” narrated a helpless Gulab, his voice choking with emotion.