Char Biswas Union Land Office of Galachipa Upazila of Patuakhali, the government land service activities are carried out according to the self-proclaimed law of the Tehsildar. The settled land is allowed to be occupied by others through illegal transactions. Such is the complaint of service takers who come to land office and land owners who have taken government settlement. Watermelon farmers said that in 2004-5 according to the government rules, 55 people in South Char Biswas and Char Maya Mauza were given 1.5 acres each to a total of 84.5 acres of land through Galachipa Upazila Land Officer. Farmers have been cultivating watermelons regularly since settlement, but the rules changed after Tehsildar Milon Mia Char Biswas Bhumi joined the office in May 2023. The exchange of money allows the other party to encroach on the pasture without notifying the settled landowners.
When local poor watermelon farmers came to know about the encroachment and went to the land office with the settlement documents, Tehsildar Milan Mia said, “You have no land here.” It is government private land. If you still want to do farming, I will arrange for you to do farming for one year if you pay 15000 rupees per person per card, otherwise you give up hope of land. It can be seen by visiting the land, that the work of building a barn with two vekus is going on at the same time. Member of Veku Malik Neshar said, I started the dam work with the permission of Tehsildar Milon Mia, but now he has asked me to stop the work.
Alamin Hossain, the other owner of the veku, said that a person named Mohsin, a resident of Ward No. 4, rents the veku from him, so I am working here. According to the settlement, the farmers said that the Milon Tahsildar has asked for Rs 15,000 for one year. “Those who can afford to pay should get the land”. We are poor people and our family runs by cultivating watermelons, we can’t afford to pay so much. Next to Char Bangla land, grass land has been settled for 1500 rupees per year. I heard Kawsar Howladar of Ward No. 4, Roni Dak, Alil Howladar (cousin of VP Noor), Mahatab Howladar of Ward No. 3 and many others are occupying the land by managing Milan Tehsildar.
Apart from this, complaints have been raised that Milan Tehsildar collects 20-30 thousand rupees instead of government fee of 1170 rupees for land registration, which is known to all. Tehsildar Milan Mia said, I have not allowed anyone to work at that place. Today at 11 o’clock, I stopped work and called the land owners with verbal instructions, but no one came. I don’t know who or why they are working on the land now.
Besides, there is no money except online fee for land registration. Chairman of Char Biswas Union Parishad, Md Babul Munsi said that in 2004-5, the land office gave 1.5 acres of land to about 50 farmers, but now if they do not want to give land to the farmers, they should first be given land by the upezela land office. The settlement should be removed, but Tahsildar Milon Miah is refusing to do so and is obstructing their farming activities which is irregular.
Galachipa Upazila Assistant Commissioner Lands Md. Nashim Reza said that they will be allowed to cultivate Char Maya’s land on the raised land on the riverbed according to the rules, but all previous settlements will be removed. At this time, he also said that Honorable MP SM Shahzada said a certain amount of money and we want to meet it. In this regard, Galachipa Upazila Nirbahi Officer said, I have instructed the Tehsildar to check the necessary documents and measure their land by depositing a certain amount of money.