Conversion of agricultural land’s use for non-agricultural purposes shall be permitted only after assessing the impact upon environment especially on water bodies, and impact on ayacut, agriculture, rural employment, etc., justice L Narasimha Reddy of the High Court has ruled.
The far-reaching order was passed on a writ petition filed by N Satyanarayana Raju of Vizianagaram. The petitioner complained that local revenue officers were indiscriminately permitting conversion of land in spite of objections raised by him. He said his agriculture was vitally affected by the conversion. The judge asked the advocate-general to assist the court. After hearing the arguments of the petitioner and the advocate-general,he said that before the agricultural land was permitted for any other use the authority concerned, i.e. the revenue divisional officer, must be satisfied about the necessity for such conversion.
In the name of industry vast extents of land, say 20 to 50 acres, cannot be permitted to be put to industrial use though one or two acres would suffice. Since the cessation of the land from agriculture would have an impact on the food security and rural employment, those aspects are also required to be taken into account. The impact of change of land use upon the immediate neighbours is another important aspect. Till specific permission is issued for conversion of agricultural land the non-agricultural activity shall be stopped.
The judge issued guidelines to the RDOs to consider: impact on the ayacut on immediate neighbouring agricultural lands, potential or necessity for any further expansion of inhabited areas, impact on resources like electricity, water, environment and water bodies. Local bodies, assistant director of agriculture, district industries centre manager and officer of APPCB shall be consulted before granting permission. The principal secretary (revenue) has been directed to communicate the same to all RDOs in the state.
Exam for newly-enrolled advocates upheld
A division bench of the High Court comprising justices V Eswaraiah and Naushad Ali on Thursday dismissed a writ petition filed by two advocates challenging the examinations being conducted for newly- enrolled advocates. The petitioners contended that the examination being conducted for the advocates on record were not in tune with the Advocates Act.