In August last year, Md Ruhul Amin and Shaiful Islam applied for rights to the land on which they have lived for over two decades in their villages in Lower Assam’s Barpeta district.

They did so through the Assam government’s flagship scheme, Mission Basundhara, which allows the state to regularise land held by cultivators and other occupants without land titles. Under the scheme, the state allocates government land to citizens if they fulfil certain conditions – a process known as settlement of land.

Amin had applied for a title to 0.03875 acres of government land in Metuakuchi village, a plot on which his house stands. He was in possession of the plot since 1999 and has been paying taxes since then. Scroll has seen copies of the tax receipts.

The decision to grant land rights is taken by the district-level sub-divisional land advisory committee, headed by the district commissioner and with legislators of the area as members.

According to the rules of Mission Basundhara, the conversion of government khas land to myadi land – that is, land to which a person has ownership rights and which can be bought and sold – in rural areas shall be made only to those applicants who can prove that they are residents of Assam for three generations and who have been in continuous occupation of the land for a minimum of three years from the date of application.

This story was originally published in Read the full story here.