Since the state government promulgated an ordinance in December to give ownership rights of land falling under the Urban Land Ceiling (ULC) Act to the occupants, revenue officers in Rajkot have disposed of almost half of 3,407 applications seeking regularisation of unauthorised homes constructed on such land. However, there are disputes over payment of regularisation fee in some cases and they remain unresolved till day.
Revenue officers said that there are around 2,100 houses constructed on around 4 lakh square metres (sqm) of government land which had fallen surplus under Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976. The ULC Act put a cap on the amount of land an individual can own in six cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar. The land which fell surplus under the Act was vested in the government. But residential encroachment came up on it.
While residents had possession of houses, they had no ownership rights of land on which they were standing. With a view to giving ownership rights of such land to people of economically backward class, the state government had promulgated the Gujarat Validation of Occupancy and Allotment of Certain Lands of Excess Vacant Land Vested in the State Government (under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976) Ordinance, 2016.
The Rajkot district administration had started accepting applications for validation of occupancy of ULC land in January this year and the last date of submission was May 30. Before the deadline expired, the administration received 3,407 applications. The largest number of applications, 2,062 had come from the jurisdiction of Rajkot (South) mamlatdar followed by Rajkot (East) with 950 applications. The jurisdiction of Rajkot (West) got 307 and Rajkot (taluka) 88.
As of July 3, the administration had disposed of 1,515 applications and asked applicants to pay fee. Out of them, 918 had already paid the fee and formal order for validating occupancy been issued. Moreover, 638 out of the 918 had been handed over land tiles, as per the data available with the Rajkot collector office. However, 434 of the 2,052 applications have been rejected. “Applications have been rejected mostly in cases where residential encroachment is not on the ULC land but on other type of government land,” said resident additional collector Harshad Vora.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had handed over around 1,100 land titles and letters of in-principal approval to beneficiaries at a function held in the city on June 9. “There is no deadline as such to wind up the entire process. But our target is to dispose of all applications by the end of August,” Vora said.