An allotment process of Schedule A and Schedule B lands by the I Taukei Land Trust Board’s (TLTB) Reserves Department is due to be completed by next year.
According to the TLTB, which administers all indigenous-owned land in the country, the allotment work is to determine the rightful owners or claimants of land and returning it to them.
Schedule A lands are lands belonging to clans noted to be extinct during the first formal land inquiry, in the 1950s while Schedule B lands are unclaimed land at the time of the same inquiry.
The allotment work is a process of determining the rightful owner or claimants of the land and returning it to them.
Reserves Commissioner, Mosese Ratubalavu said the TTLB was trying to complete the return of all Schedule A and Schedule B lands from the State to landowners by 2018.
He said the allotment work began in 2000 when it was handed over to the TLTB by the Lands’ Department and formalized through gazette notice 1/12/2000, while reservation of land had been ongoing under Section 15 of the iTaukei Land Trust Act Cap 134.
“This is important as this serves to secure the welfare of the iTaukei landowners by facilitating its purpose to ensure that reverted Schedule A and B lands are judiciously and effectively allocated to iTaukei landowners.
“This is bonded under the iTaukei Land Trust Act Cap 134 (Section 19) and the iTaukei Land Trust (Amendment) Act No 12 of 2002,” he said.
Ratubalavu noted his department’s work under the law to ensure that land was reverted to rightful, parent communal units, as well as ensuring that landless units and communal units with insufficient land were also catered for.
According to Ratubalavu there are about 157 parcels are yet to be allotted with an area of approximately 52,437.50 acres.
The TLTB said that like any other positive initiative, they were always challenges, which has included communication breakdowns between landowners and the Provincial Office. This, they said, resulted in the absence of claimants which only delayed meetings.
There has also been the issue of multiple claimants to a particular lot, and field inspections that are often merged with reserve sittings which limited the inspections carried out.
Challenges include a backlog of allotment cases attributed unforeseen circumstances and confused communal units challenging allotment findings which have been either holdings or reserved.
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