Govt to retrieve land illegally possessed by religious-cultural institutions
Thiruvananthapuram: The government is planning to retrieve the government-owned land illegally possessed by religious institutions, libraries, cultural centres and cemeteries. A limited area of land required for the functioning of the institutions will be granted to them and the rest of the land will be retrieved. While giving the land, an amount will be levied according to its age.
The area of land required for the functioning of the institution will be decided by the government. A committee headed by the collector will examine how much land is required for the functioning of each institution. A condition will be put up stating that this land should not be used for other purposes. A file in this regard will soon be tabled for the approval of the cabinet.
There are many institutions including worship centres which illegally posses huge area of government-owned land in remote areas. Even in cities, there are cases of illegal possession of land though in limited area.
It is considered that the eviction of institutions including religious centres from illegally possessed land will be an extremely difficult task. Following this, the authorities decided to grant them the land required for their functioning. With this, the institutions will be benefitted as the illegally owned land will be regularised.
However, those institutions which are situated in their own land but encroached the government-owned land close to it will not get this advantage. Also, the government land given for lease will not be regularised.
The new suggestion was put forward by the revenue department with the permission of the chief minister. As there is a condition in the land rules regarding this, no new law legislation is required in this regard, but only a government order is sufficient.
In the meantime, criticism arose that regularizing the illegally possessed land is not an ethical action. Also regularising land possessed by libraries will let some political parties to own the land which they encroached using influence.
If the land has been under possession before 1947, it will be regularised for free. If the possession was between 1947 and 1950, 25 percent of the fair price will be levied. If it was possessed between 1950-1990, 50 percent of the fair price should be paid. The land possessed after 2000 will be regularised levying market price. The time period and price may change when the suggestion is considered by the cabinet.