Kerala: Land filling circular filled with holes'

There is also a virtual ban on conversion of land even for public purposes due to the limit on area.

Kochi: The revenue department and local self government departments issued separate circulars on the same day on utilising the paddy land and wet land for other purposes.

While the revenue department insists on following Kerala Land Utilisation Order, 1967 the one issued by LSGD contradicts it. Experts point out that the circulars are confusing and will result in largescale corruption.

The circular issued by the CPI-led revenue department instructs the Revenue District Collectors and Revenue Divisional Officers to confine permission for residential construction for a land owner that too only up to 10 cents in Panchayats and 5 cents in Municipalities and Corporations.

However, the LSGD order is not area specific as it refuses to mention the area that can be converted. Both the circulars were issued on December 22, 2016.

Experts point out that the Circular is issued without any authority and in total violation of Supreme Court orders. Legal experts point out that the same is in contravention of the specific provisions of the Kerala Land Utilisation Order, 1967.

The revenue department circular virtually prohibited conversion of land for commercial purposes even though there is no prohibition on such conversions. There is also a virtual ban on conversion of land even for public purposes due to the limit on area.

Experts point that the the LSGD issued guidelines setting up a committee without any provisions. As per the new circular, a team comprising secretary of the concerned Local Civic bodies, Agricultural Officer and Village Officer should visit and consider applications for converting paddy land and wet.

At present, there are more than 90,000 applications pending before the government. The Circular issued by LSGD is also in contradiction to the governemnt order issued in April 2016 which was passed based on a high court order.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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