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Kerala govt to amend Land Reforms and Wetland Acts

Govt to facilitate the use of fallow land for industrial purpose and give ownership of right for purambokku.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: April 17, 2015 12:30:58 pm
Kerala, UDF, Congress Govt to facilitate the use of fallow land for industrial purpose and give ownership of right for purambokku. (Source: Express Archive)

The liaison panel of Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kerala has decided to amend the Land Reforms Act and the Conservation of Paddy and Wetland Act 2008. The amendments are suggested in a manner to facilitate the use of fallow land for industrial purpose and give ownership of right for purambokku (land without proper title deeds).

After a meeting of the co-ordination committee of the UDF, its convener P P Thankachan said on Friday that Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash was asked to prepare a draft in this regard.

He said the amendments to the wetland conservation act were planned to clear administrative hurdles. Due to the present clauses in the Act, title deeds could not be given for those living along the banks of rivers and canals. The amendments in land reforms act was aimed at utilizing the uncultivated land for industrial purpose, he said.

In 2008, the then LDF government had introduced strict measures to prevent filling of paddy fields for real estate purposes. However, the UDF has been mulling to water down the Conservation of Paddy and Wetland Act 2008 to allow filling of the paddy and wetlands. The UDF had found that Act stands in the way of implementing a green field airport project at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta, promoted by Chennai-based KGS Group. Vast tracts of paddy fields have been filled in that village for the construction of the airport.

The bid to give title deed for purambokku (land without proper ownership) would give legitimacy for encroachments in riversides and coastal areas in Kerala, where resorts and hotel projects had illegally taken possession of such land. Earlier, Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash had objected the move to bring amendments to give ratification for illegal occupation of purambokku land.

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