Assam farmers pay revenue for land that does not exist
Makhanlal Das (72), a farmer in Tengabari village under Chabua revenue circle, has been paying Rs 198 annually for his land holdings of 33 bighas (1 bigha is equal to 14,400 square feet). Five years ago, he could only watch helplessly along with his family as the mighty river Dibru ravaged every single inch of land that he owned. What once used to be his assets are now completely under water, but Makhanlal has continued paying revenue for the last five years.
"In 2012, during the great flood, I lost my entire 33 bighas of agricultural land. It was myadi patta land (permanent land settlement) and was my only possession. Although the land does not exist anymore, I have been paying khajana every year. I have to pay Rs 198 at the rate of Rs 5 per bigha. Recently we heard that the revenue has now doubled but I will continue to pay as the receipts are the only valid document I possess. These documents are required for compensation and other purposes, so I don't mind paying it," said Makhanlal Das, pointing to the river where his land once existed.
According to Makhanlal, an amount of Rs 32,00 was provided as flood compensation to the villagers in 2016, but surprisingly many flood victims, including himself, did not receive the amount. "For unknown reasons many of us were deprived of the compensation. We urge the government to release the amount at the earliest," he said.