With an aim to help women and tribals, the state government has initiated a drive to update maximum records of Varsai (inheritance rights) — revenue entries recording the succession of lands in the state.
The move is aimed at easing out red-tapism in the revenue department’s functioning as far as issues relating to Varsai are concerned. So far, 17,667 claims have been cleared, while 41,965 such cases have been suo motu discovered for adjudication from 13 districts having significant tribal presence by the revenue department officials in the past two months. Varsai entries are important for legal heirs of a farmer in case they want to indulge in any deal related to the land in question. It is also necessary to enter the heirs’ names in the Records of Rights as land owners.
Sources say there is a prescribed method by the department for registering Varsai for any land survey number in Gujarat. However, they add, due to a number of cumbersome procedure associated with it, farmers avoid getting the same done unless it is very urgent. They also said that as part of its 100-day agenda for Gatisheel Gujarat, the revenue department has initiated the drive in which they identify Varsai claims and adjudicate them on priority basis. The procedure includes adjudication of Varsai claims as there can be more than one claimant and in such cases it has to be decided as to whose name(s) will be entered as owner. These Varsai claims may include disputes among the legal heirs of a farmer for succession of land that revenue officers have to adjudicate. In such cases, the government has issued a circular to all district revenue officials to give priority to disputes in which women are involved as heirs. The circular is part of the government’s emphasis on Women Empowerment. Besides, the government has also given special focus on tribals by asking revenue authorities in 13 tribal districts —Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Mahisagar, Dahod, the Panchmahals, Chhota Udepur, Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, the Dangs, Navsari and Valsad.