Uttarakhand: Land panel recommends stern action those encroaching on public land

  • | Monday | 5th September, 2022

Dehradun, Sep 5 (PTI) A committee constituted to examine Uttarakhand"s land laws on Monday submitted its report to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, recommending stringent action against those who encroach on public land to erect buildings or religious structures on them.The report comprises 23 recommendations that seek to strike a balance between boosting investments, increasing employment opportunities and stopping misuse of land by controlling their unrestricted sale and purchase in the hill state, an official release said.The committee is headed by former chief secretary Subhash Kumar. Its members include Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee president Ajendra Ajay and retired IAS officers Arun Dhaundiyal and D S Garbyal.Kumar and the three members met Dhami at his camp office here to submit the 80-page report, the release said.Dhami said the government will soon study the committee"s recommendations in detail and amend the land laws in the larger public interest.In its report, the committee recommended provisions for stringent punishment to those who encroach on public land along rivers and canals or in forests and pastures to erect buildings or religious structures on it.A statewide campaign should be launched to identify such illegal encroachments, it said.The committee, which was constituted in 2021, framed its recommendations after taking the views of all stakeholders.Among the committee"s recommendations is the adoption of many land laws of Himachal Pradesh as desired by the people of the state, according to the release.The main recommendations of the committee include taking away the power of district magistrates (DMs) to grant permission to buyers for buying agricultural land and land to set up micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).It has often been seen that permission granted by DMs for buying agricultural land is misused by buyers to build resorts and private bungalows that do not create jobs for locals and render people in the hills landless, the report said.The power of granting permission for buying land for setting up MSME projects should also be taken away from the DMs and vested in the state administration as in Himachal Pradesh, it said.The committee recommended putting an end both in hills and plains to the practice of the government allocating more than 12.05 acres of land to an institution/firm/company or individual for industrial purposes, Ayush, education, health, medical education, horticulture, processing units, tourism and agriculture.Instead, a system of allocating land for such purposes on the basis of an Essentiality Certificate should be adopted as is prevalent in Himachal Pradesh, it said.Apart from big industries, such allocations should be made to four and five-star hotels, resorts, multi-speciality hospitals, and vocational or professional institutes only, it added.According to the recommendations, an individual will not need any permission for buying up to 250 sqm of land for residential purposes.The committee also recommended linking Aadhaar numbers of all members of a land buyer"s family with revenue records to stop the practice of one person buying plots in the names of different family members.It recommended to the state government that "landless" be defined through an act.It also stated that a task force should be set up to check the practice of using a piece of land for purposes other than the one stated at the time of buying it.Government departments should put up signboards on vacant lands that belong to them, the committee recommended. PTI ALM DIV DIV

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