Bangladesh is basically a land scarce country. Day by day our cultivable land has been decreasing at an alarming rate causing pressure on food production for the rising population. With a view to arrest the declining rate of arable land and for maximum and optimum utilization of useable agricultural land of the country for food production to meet the demand of the incrementally rising population a national land use plan has been introduced in the year 2001. The timely implementation of the land use plan is the need of time. Our economy is broadly depends on the growth of agricultural production. But due to inefficiencies, backwardness and poor technological advancement land utilization plan could not be successful in fullest extend.
We have to take urgent measure to save our valuable land and ensure the maximum utilization of land both for agricultural and other productive purpose for augmenting our economic growth. An appropriate land management system should be implemented to save our agriculture and to take proper care of our environment for sake of sustainable development.
With this end in view we, the group members of 73rd ACAD course had analyzed and studied the Land Use Policy, 2001 and also studied the various options of problems and prospects of Land Management of Bangladesh. In this report we tried to mention some of the recommendations to improve the land use plan and for improving the total land management system of the country.
Bangladesh is basically an agriculture based country. Agriculture is the only source of one third national income of Bangladesh and a means of livelihood for two third population of the country. But cultivable land is decreasing day by day due to urbanization, industrialization and construction of roads, hospital, educational institutions etc. The total cultivable land in Bangladesh was 20.2 million acres in the year of 1983-84 and it was reduced to 17.5 million acres in the year of 1997.According to the data given in land use policy 2001, the per capita land is 27 decimal of which cultivable land is only 17 decimal. On the other hand land is the source of basic natural resource from where the nation gets food, industrial product, daily use essential commodities, fashion goods, health security inputs, etc. Although in the context of Bangladesh, land is considered essential in life but unfortunately cultivable land is decreasing at increased rate due to over population, unplanned use, river erosion and use of homestead purpose.
So far crime is concerned most of the civil and criminal litigations have been arising due to crisis in land ownership. It goes without saying that we are in a dire need of proper land policy and its proper implementation by which we can ensure optimum, maximum and end use of land. On the other hand it would be wise and prudent to reduce complexity of land applying the proper land use policy. It is the high time to pay proper attention to the prudent use of land use policy of the country to save the scarce resource from the brink of destruction.
To ensuring food production for the burgeoning population, utilizing land at optimum level considering the different natural phenomena of land varies from one part of the country to another part of the country, equitable distribution of land among poor and landless peasants for boosting food production and using government land for sustainable developmental projects proper and detailed planning of land is the urgent need of the time. As the quantum of land is limited so management might be automated and well suited with the change of time and commensurate to need of the country.
2.1 The Problems/Prospects of land use policy regarding land with reasons
|The cultivable land is being decreased day by day. Food deficit is more than 2, 00,000 metric ton a year|
|Over population creates pressure on land for agricultural product.Industrialization requires agricultural landFragmentation of holdings|
|A total of 20,383 hector land is used a year for new home stead due to increase of population.|
|Unplanned housing and its horizontal expansionconstruction of buildings and roads over agricultural landsAgricultural land has been grasped by real estate owners,|
|There is a scope of increasing cultivable unused land. Use of char land also can bring good result.|
|Rehabilitation can be done for landless peopleSettlement of char land reduce poverty Increase of agricultural land can help to boast agricultural production|
|Govt. Khas land is now under the control of powerful quarter. There are loopholes in the existing laws to recover this land. For this short coming govt. fails to take necessary support from the courts.|
|Corruption happened in land management such as survey, settlement and preparation of RORFit for settlement lands are not properly distributed to the landless people.Policy regarding settlement of land not properly exercisedWomen empowerment|
|The number of landless family in the country is about 10 million. It indicates the weakness of country’s land distribution system|
|Improper settlement policyLand ceiling not determined for the urban people.Agricultural khas land not distributed to the cultivators rather to the touts/mastan.|
|Agriculture land is being used unabatedly|
|Lower production due to improper use of landDecrease fertility for imbalanced use of fertilizerMonoculture of crops reduce land fertility|
|The amount of additional food production a year is only 3.68 metric ton. But it will be negative in relation to population growth soon.|
|Pressure on agricultural Land due to homestead useNegative correlation between population growth and productionFood import dependency increased|
|Environment policy, 1992 and National Forest Policy are not used properly. For this reasons environmental balance is disrupted.|
|Natural disasterEcological imbalanceTurn off biodiversity|
|BCSIC industrial city did not bring expected result. But land were acquired unplanned way for that purpose.|
|Unused acquired landIllegal occupancy (growth of slum)Decrease cultivable land results lower production|
|There was no fish scarcity if water bodies would be used properly.|
|End use of water bodiesIncrease fish production by modern cultureMarshland land policy for fishing|
|There is sprouting private housing company in all big cities including Dhaka.|
|Unplanned development occupying agricultural landLand grabbing by the big gunsIllegal occupancy of urban plots|
|There is huge scope to reduce food deficit to a great extent by converting one crop land to two crop land two crop land to three crop lands by using scientific method|
|Increase Production due to increase cropping intensityMultiple use of landIncrease the income of farmers.|
|There is lack of initiative to formulate and implement land laws and policies. Its consequences will be apparent very soon|
|Land litigationOutdated laws & policiesLack of integrated laws regarding land management|
|Disposing industrial waste into the river is creating hazarded environment|
|Lack of safe waterDestruction of bio-diversitiesNavigation problem/river siltation|
|Computerized database for land records system can reduce the sufferings of the people. One umbrella administration should be introduced|
|Easy ownership developmentOptimum use of landReduce land litigation|
|People will be benefited if modern technique is introduced in assessing and realizing land tax. Single slab LD tax should be introduced.|
|Increase tax recoveryDecrease corruptionDecrease land litigation.|
|17||Mutation system should be changed. People will be benefited if records are revised at the time of the registration|
|Avoid duplication of recordingReduce record correction costAvailable updated RORMinimize land litigation|
|18||Boundary dispute resolution should be a continuous process.|
|Solution of many land related caseEnsure proper ownershipDecrease criminal offence|
|19||Ceiling of non agriculture land can ensure rational land distribution|
|Optimum use of landPoverty reductionReduce poverty gap|
|20||Existing land laws should be reformed immediately. There should single land law comprising all land related issues|
|Reduce harassment/litigationQuick service delivery to door stepEnsure good governance|
|21||Measures can be taken to implement national land use policy by associating local govt. institutions.|
|Strengthening local government institutionParticipatory policy formulationIncrease revenuePolicy application to be more easier|
|22||Land crisis can be reduced substantially by ensuring optimum use of land through use of modern technology|
|Reduce land use complexityProper planning for optimum land useLand zoningHelps in record preparation and management|
3.1 Recommendation for Improvement of Land Use Policy 2001
In the year 2001 “National Land Use Policy” was introduced and came into force on June 21, 2001 through a gazette notification. Most of the land related problem and prospects are existed and taken into consideration although all polices are not implemented. It requires updated problems, issues, information to address regarding problem of land matter of the country to bring expected result. On the other hand it would provide polices related to “National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction” for FY 2009-2011.
Following are the recommendations could be considered for a land use policy formulation and its implementation:
|1||Local government institutions should be strengthened to implement land zoning.|
|2||Exchange cases must be settled with in a very short period.|
|3||Land ceiling of rural areas must be minimized and policy required for ceiling determination of the urban areas considering land limitation|
|4||Review of Both Land Limitation Order and Land Reform Ordinance 1984 required|
|5||Khas, Char, Haor, and Mursh land kept reserve for future distribution among the poor to ensure their maximum utilization|
|6||Land ceiling for homestead of both urban and rural areas must be determined as minimum as possible|
|7||Town Improvement Act, 1953 for plan city should be implemented as far and as soon as possible. On the other hand a new act for the village improvement is required|
|8||Growth centre based development activities to the rural areas should be included to the land use policy for maximum utilization of land|
|9||Growth centre based development activities to the rural areas should be included to the land use policy for maximum utilization of land|
|10||Strategy of women empowerment and child rights required to include to the land use policy|
|11||Provision of data base included to land use policy for proper planning and development of land management issue|
|12||Issue regarding alluvium and diluvium of land should be included in land use policy|
|13||Agriculture sector should be given priority for land settlement|
|14||Fertile land should not be settled for development activities|
|15||Policy regarding awareness building should be included to land use policy to ensure optimum use of land|
|16||Committees TOR could be taken as a policy so that they would be more activated|
|17||There should be a policy decision regarding waste management to keep the land inhabitable and pollution free|
|18||Society based cultivation should be given priority to ensure maximum utilization of land avoiding the tendency of land division into pieces|
|19||Specific indenture should be imposed to the agreement of tea garden land leasing so that the lessee ensure maximum utilization of land that leased out for specific reason|
|20||Policy should include a provision to ensure environmental protection and protection from the adverse effects of global warming climate change|
|21||Policy will focus on development and management of protected areas such as eco parks, botanical garden and safari park under a reformed legal framework|
|22||Land use policy will ensure proper management of jalmahal, balumahal and other mahals for poverty reduction. On the other hand it will ensure protection and conservation of wet lands, hilly areas, tea gardens, and rubber gardens including coastal land|
|23||Land use policy will ensure delivery of land related services to the people through modernized and efficient land administration|
|24||Vested Property Act should be reviewed immediately|
There are many laws existed in Bangladesh regarding land management and Survey operation. It creates problems in the management process due to contradiction of laws application. Most of the cases people involved in administration process are not aware and in some cases, they are ignorant. Utmost care required to accommodate all the laws and ordinance regarding land management under a single code. Therefore, whatever we want to change first we need to change our mindset. What policies related with land use will not create any benefit if not applied properly. But it shows urgency to review the present land use policy to some extent and updated considering the existing situation that prevails in the area of land administration.
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