Auction of Dalit quota panchayati land meant for agriculture purpose was postponed for the ninth time in Sangrur’s Tolewal village as Dalits and the Panchayat Department failed to reach an agreement. This while the paddy sowing season is almost over, and sowing of basmati is also at last stage. Gram Sabha of this village had passed resolution that land meant for Dalits should be given on 33-year lease and at rate of only Rs 500 an acre.
This decision was taken in the first week of June and since then auctions are being postponed. The administration has been urging Dalits to take land for on lease for a year. Director, Panchayat Department, had rejected the 33 years lease demand last month. There has been stiff opposition to this move from Zamin Prapati Sangrash Committee (ZPSC).
While a resolution like the one passed by Tolewal was also passed in Thandiwal and Mulowal gram sabhas, these villages later compromised and agreed to take land on three-year lease instead of 33 years at the rate of Rs 20,000 an acre (as that of last year) instead of Rs 500 per acre.
Narbhinder Singh Grewal, District Development Panchayat Officer (DDPO), said: “The resolution of gram sabha for getting land reserved for Dalits to be given for 33 years was rejected by director office of Panchayat Department and hence it stands nowhere. In Tolewal village, two groups of dalits are ready to take it for one year, but they had differences over the size of land, we will talk to them again.”