Construction on patta land: Kerala Govt looks to amend laws

The new amendment applies mainly to Idukki. Other grievances regarding leases in the hilly district would also be redressed. Photo: Shutterstock

Thiruvananthapuram: A new amendment will be brought in the Kerala Land Survey Act to regularise constructions on patta land, or land for which the government has given the title deeds. The decision was taken by the meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The new amendment applies mainly to Idukki. Other grievances regarding leases in the hilly district would also be redressed. The decision is expected to benefit thousands of people including farmers.

It has been decided to bring an amendment to the Land Assignment Act, of 1960, to address various issues related to land use in Idukki district. The meeting also decided to present the amendment bill in this regard in the assembly session which will begin on January 23.

The amendment would add a new section to the Act, empowering the government to make rules to regulate diversionary use. As a continuation of this, relevant land rules would also be amended.

The amendment would regulate small constructions (up to 1,500 square feet) for subsistence purposes and diversion of land allotted for agricultural purposes. For this, rules will include provisions regarding the levy of application fees and special fees for regularisation.

Higher fees would be considered to regularise structures with areas over 1,500 sq. ft.

Public buildings would be excluded while regularising as per the new amendment. (Buildings defined as public buildings under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, including educational institutions, workplaces, commercial centres, religious, cultural or recreational institutions, constructions for public use, government institutions, clinics/health centres, judicial forums, bus stands, roads and private institutions widely used by the public.)

A special list of land approved by the Central Government for allotment in the Cardamom Hill Reserve would be made available immediately and the title deeds would be granted to those land holdings that meet the conditions under rule 2(f) in the Land Register. For now, 20,384.59 hectares of land have been sanctioned for distribution. The revenue and forest departments, the district collector and the KSEB would decide on the rest of the land that could be given pattas. The meeting assessed that around 10,000 hectares of land can be given title in this way.

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