Dotted Lands in Andhra Pradesh

In Andhra Pradesh, a significant issue regarding land ownership has emerged with the existence of “dotted lands.” These lands, named as such due to surveys conducted during the British era, have faced ownership disputes that have persisted over the years. The Andhra Pradesh government has taken up the task of addressing these disputes to provide clarity and benefits to the landowners, particularly farmers.

Understanding Dotted Lands

Dotted lands refer to disputed lands that lack ownership documents. These disputes arise when multiple individuals, including the government’s Revenue Department, assert their claims over the land. During the British era, land surveys were conducted to identify government-owned and privately-owned lands. When disputes arose or clear ownership could not be established, dots were placed in the ownership column, signifying the disputed status of the land.

Ownership Disputes and Inheritance

Ownership disputes for dotted lands primarily stem from issues related to inheritance. When landowners fail to leave clear wills to pass on their land to their heirs or children, conflicts can arise when multiple heirs claim ownership. Furthermore, land may be considered state-owned by the government but occupied by private parties, leading to further disputes. Land records associated with these disputes, some of which date back over a century, have been locked up in the prohibited list and registers, leaving the ownership column blank to indicate their disputed status.

Identification and Scale of Dotted Lands

The Andhra Pradesh government has identified approximately 2,06,171 acres of land as dotted lands, a significant area subject to ownership disputes. Notably, Nellore district stands out with the largest number of dotted land parcels, accounting for 43,000 acres, followed by Prakasam district with 37,000 acres. This scale highlights the urgency and importance of resolving these disputes.

Granting Titles and Financial Assistance

To address the ownership disputes, the government introduced a Bill to amend the Revenue Act during an Assembly session. According to the new legislation, farmers who have been cultivating dotted lands for more than 12 years will be granted titles. The dots and entries in land registers will be removed, providing them with clear land ownership documents. Consequently, farmers will have full rights over the land, enabling them to apply for financial assistance, including crop support, the purchase of seeds and fertilizers, and procurement of farm equipment. Additionally, they will have the freedom to sell or gift the land to their kin or relatives.

Motivations behind the Government’s Actions

The state government’s decision to address the dotted land disputes is driven by multiple factors. Firstly, over 1 lakh applications have been received by the Chief Commissioner of Land Ceiling (CCLA) to resolve these disputes, emphasizing the need for resolution. Secondly, in urban areas, the illegal sale of dotted lands and unauthorized construction of houses lead to unassessed taxation. Furthermore, the government incurs losses in terms of stamp duty revenue due to the large-scale ownership disputes. Addressing these issues is part of the government’s comprehensive resurvey of lands under the YSR Jagananna Saswatha Bhu Hakku and Bhu Raksha scheme, aimed at providing permanent title deeds to farmers.



Leave a Reply