Ganesh Gareeb was born to Chandan Singh Negi and Kanthi Devi on 1st March.1937 in a small village called Soola Patti.,Pauri Garhwal in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
He studied at DAV Inter College, Dehradun. He got married to Saraswati Devi in 1960. He went to Delhi in 1961 where he started the repairing work of radio from 1961 to 1981. But all along he kept thinking about the development of his native place in the hills. This brought him back to his village in 1981.
Realizing that only land reforms could better the misery of the hilly people. In order to stress upon the importance of land consolidation he changed the face of 18 Naali barren lands by transforming it into a fertile agricultural zone.
To spread more awareness he walked from one place to another pasting poster and distributing pamphlets and organizing meetings. He brought together the land consolidation workers at block, district and state levels.
He toured extensively. In 1992 he went to the districts of Shimla and Mandi in the neighbouring hill state of Himachal Pradesh to study the Land Consolidation Project. He published some journals like Pustika Ujjwal Bhavishya and Hamara Daiytwa (1978), Gagar Mein Sagar Smarika (1987), Parvatiya Vikas aur Chakbandi (1990).
This programme was carried forward under his supervision under the banners of other land reform agencies too.
These were – Akhil Bhartiya Pragatisheel Garhwali Sangathan , Delhi (1977), Pravatiya Vikas Sangathan, Kaljikhal Pauri Gharwal (1984), Mazdoor Krishant Sangathan, Kaljikhal , Pauri Garhwal (1986), Chakbandi Pramarsh Samiti, Pauri (1988), Chakbandi Paramarsh Samiti Kotdwara, Pauri Gharhwal (2000), Mool Nagrik Kishan Manch, Kaljikhal Pauri Gharwal (2001) to till date.
He also participated in 40 radio- talk shows on Land Consolidation at the All India Radio studios at Najibabad and Pauri. He published a tremendous amount of literature on the subject.
General Surveys were conducted for five years from 2000 to 2005. He demonstrated the use of a land consolidation project at Chandan Vatika , village Soola in 1981,Kirtibagh,Village Hulakikhal,Khirsu, 1987, Premvihar,Village Tachvad Akeshvar,1988, and his other efforts included contact and correspondence with the state ministers, MLAs and parliamentarians.
He also met the higher officials in the planning Commission and the media.MP B C Khanduri and Rajya Sabha member Manoharkant Dhyani raised chakbandi related questions in Lok Sabha 1993 and Rajya Sabha 1997 respectively.
On 27 September 1989 the UP government took the decision of land consolidation in the hilly regions .
In 1990 a Land Consolidation Survey team was sent as a result of which Chakbandi offices were established at Pauri and Almora. When Uttarakhand became a state a Land Consolidation Advisory Committee was formed by the initiative of minister Harak Singh Rawat in 2003.
Ganesh Gareeb was a nominated member of this committee. He was also a nominated member in the state government established Land Reforms Parishad in 2004,and also a member of a high level committee on land consolidation in Uttarakhand in 2009. Gareeb Ganesh has been honoured and fecilitated by several organizations.
What is Chakbandi of Land?
Chakbandi of land is a land consolidation process that involves the reorganization and redistribution of fragmented land holdings. Its primary objective is to consolidate small and scattered land parcels into larger and more contiguous units. This practice has been prevalent in India for several decades and is primarily carried out in rural areas.
The term chakbandi is derived from the Hindi words chak meaning plot and bandi meaning division. Therefore, chakbandi refers to the division and reallocation of land plots. The process involves surveying, demarcating boundaries, and rearranging the land parcels to improve their efficiency and productivity.
Importance of Chakbandi of Land
1. Enhances Agricultural Productivity
Chakbandi of land plays a crucial role in enhancing agricultural productivity. By consolidating fragmented land holdings, farmers can cultivate larger areas more efficiently. The consolidation eliminates the need for frequent boundary disputes, thereby reducing conflicts among farmers. Moreover, larger and contiguous plots facilitate the use of modern farming techniques, machinery, and irrigation systems, leading to increased crop yield and improved agricultural practices.
- With larger and consolidated land parcels, farmers have the advantage of economies of scale in farming operations. They can adopt advanced technologies such as precision farming, which involves the use of sensors, GPS, and data analytics to optimize resource utilization and increase productivity.
- Consolidated land holdings enable farmers to implement crop rotation effectively. By rotating crops, farmers can reduce soil erosion, control pests and diseases, and improve soil fertility, resulting in better crop yields and long-term sustainability.
- The availability of larger land areas allows farmers to adopt mechanized farming practices, such as using tractors, harvesters, and other farm machinery. Mechanization improves efficiency, reduces labor requirements, and enables farmers to achieve higher productivity levels.
2. Efficient Use of Resources
Chakbandi optimizes the use of resources such as water, fertilizers, and labor. When land parcels are consolidated, it becomes easier to implement irrigation systems and effectively manage water resources. Farmers can plan and execute crop rotations, implement better pest and disease management practices, and utilize fertilizers more efficiently. Additionally, the consolidation of land reduces the labor required for managing multiple small plots, enabling farmers to focus on other productive activities.
- With consolidated land parcels, farmers can implement efficient irrigation systems like drip irrigation or sprinkler irrigation. These systems ensure precise water delivery, reducing water wastage and preventing waterlogging.
- The consolidation of land also enables farmers to implement precision nutrient management. This involves the precise application of fertilizers based on soil testing and crop requirements, minimizing nutrient loss and environmental pollution.
- By reducing the number of small plots, chakbandi reduces the time and effort required for managing boundaries and maintaining separate field operations. Farmers can redirect their labor and resources towards more productive activities like crop diversification, value addition, or adopting new technologies.
3. Infrastructure Development
Another significant benefit of chakbandi of land is the development of infrastructure in rural areas. Consolidating land holdings allows for the creation of better transportation networks, irrigation channels, and access to markets. These infrastructural improvements contribute to the overall development of the region and enhance the livelihoods of the rural population. Additionally, the improved connectivity and accessibility attract investment in the region, leading to economic growth and development.
- The consolidation of land enables the construction of efficient road networks, providing better connectivity between farms and markets. This reduces transportation costs, facilitates timely transportation of agricultural produce, and opens up opportunities for farmers to access larger markets.
- Chakbandi also allows for the development of irrigation channels and water management infrastructure. Proper irrigation infrastructure ensures a reliable water supply for farming activities, reducing dependency on erratic rainfall patterns and mitigating the risk of crop failure.
- Improved infrastructure attracts investment in rural areas, such as agro-processing units, cold storage facilities, and other value-added industries. This creates employment opportunities, stimulates economic growth, and improves the overall living standards of the rural population.
4. Land Tenure Security
Chakbandi of land provides farmers with greater land tenure security. Fragmented land holdings often result in disputes over boundaries and ownership, which can lead to legal complexities and uncertainty. Through the consolidation process, land boundaries are clearly demarcated, reducing the likelihood of disputes. This ensures that farmers have a clear legal title to their land, enabling them to access credit, insurance, and government support programs easily.
- Chakbandi ensures that land boundaries are accurately surveyed and recorded, providing farmers with legal documentation of their land holdings. This documentation serves as proof of ownership and helps farmers establish stronger claims in case of disputes.
- With clearly defined land boundaries, farmers can confidently invest in their land, knowing that their property rights are protected. This encourages them to make long-term investments in improving soil fertility, adopting sustainable practices, and implementing conservation measures.
- The provision of clear land titles also facilitates access to credit and financial services. Farmers can use their land as collateral for loans, enabling them to invest in farm machinery, irrigation systems, and other productivity-enhancing measures.
5. Social Cohesion and Community Development
Chakbandi promotes social cohesion and community development in rural areas. As land holdings are consolidated, it fosters a sense of collective responsibility among farmers. They can work together to address common challenges, share resources, and collaborate on various farming activities. This leads to the formation of strong community networks, cooperative farming practices, and the sharing of knowledge and expertise.
- Consolidation of land holdings creates opportunities for farmers to engage in collective farming practices, such as cooperative farming or contract farming. By pooling resources and expertise, farmers can jointly invest in agricultural infrastructure, machinery, and marketing initiatives, maximizing their profits and minimizing risks.
- Chakbandi encourages the formation of farmers’ groups or cooperatives, where farmers can collectively negotiate better prices for their produce, purchase inputs at lower costs, and access training and extension services.
- The consolidation process also facilitates the sharing of knowledge and best practices among farmers. They can learn from each other’s experiences, adopt innovative techniques, and collectively address challenges such as climate change adaptation, water conservation, or pest management.
6. Environmental Benefits
The consolidation of land through chakbandi also has positive environmental implications. It allows for better land management practices, including the adoption of sustainable agriculture techniques. Farmers can implement soil conservation measures, adopt agroforestry practices, and allocate land for the protection of natural resources. Moreover, the reduction in boundary disputes minimizes land encroachments and illegal activities that may harm the environment.
- Chakbandi provides an opportunity for farmers to adopt sustainable land management practices like contour farming, terracing, or agroforestry. These practices help prevent soil erosion, improve water infiltration, and enhance biodiversity conservation.
- By allocating land for the protection of natural resources, such as forests, wetlands, or wildlife habitats, chakbandi contributes to the conservation of ecological diversity and promotes environmental sustainability.
- The reduction in boundary disputes and land encroachments minimizes land degradation and ensures the preservation of productive agricultural land. This leads to the conservation of natural resources, preservation of soil fertility, and protection of water quality.
In conclusion, chakbandi of land is an essential process that helps improve agricultural productivity, promotes resource efficiency, facilitates infrastructure development, ensures land tenure security, fosters social cohesion, and provides environmental benefits. Its implementation requires collaboration between various stakeholders, including government agencies, farmers, and local communities. By recognizing the importance of chakbandi and implementing it effectively, we can contribute to the overall development and sustainability of rural areas.