Curbs on land use in Idukki: Kerala govt to amend Land Assignment Act

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Thiruvananthapuram: A high-level meeting chaired by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has decided to bring a bill amending the Land Assignment Act, 1960. The move is aimed at resolving issues related to the curbs on land use in Idukki.

The amendment will give the government the powers to regulate the use of land allotted as per the Act for purposes other than those stipulated in it. A new section will be added to the Act and allied rules will be tweaked as a follow-up measure.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed the revenue and law department to ready the rules such that the rationale can be applied for the state in common. He pointed out that the objective is to regulate the use of the land allotted as per the act for purposes other than those stipulated items like agriculture and construction of small buildings (up to 1,500 sqft) that cater to livelihood needs.

Similarly, if the construction of more than 1,500 sqft has to be regularised, then charging a high regularisation fee will be considered.

The specifics related to application fees and regularisation fees need to be part of the mandate.

According to the high-level meeting, 10,000 hectares of land can be given title deeds if the bill passes. The meeting also discussed the proposed changes in detail and how to go about them.

Furthermore, the high-level committee has decided to bring an amendment allowing the conversion of land allocated for agricultural purposes that has not yet been utilised.

It is learnt that the bill will be brought in the upcoming Assembly Session slated for January 23, 2023.

The state government last year told the Supreme Court that it plans to bring amendments to the Kerala Government Land Assignment Act of 1960. The remarks came while considering the appeal of quarry owners challenging a Kerala High Court order. As per the high court verdict that was being challenged, land distributed under the act cannot be used for other purposes.

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