The state government on Friday finally announced its long-awaited land allotment policy to bring about a semblance of order to the vesting of land to industry, educational, religious and charitable institutions, NGOs, and private persons.
By GO No.571, the government has decreed that an empowered committee headed by the chief commissioner of land administration (CCLA) will scrutinise proposals for alienation of government land.
The committee will have as members principal secretaries of the Revenue, Forest, Municipal Administration, Housing, Public Enterprises, Industries and Commerce and General Administration departments. The member convener will be the secretary to CCLA.
The policy lays down that land will be allotted only for public purposes, within the ambit of which will be:
1. Armed forces and national security agencies;
2. infrastructure and industry projects where benefits largely accrue to the general public;
3. land for rehabilitation and resettlement packages;
4. village or urban sites for planned development with a residential purpose for the poor and for educational and health schemes;
5. land for private companies for a public purpose;
6. needs arising from natural calamities including a) railways, b) electricity, c) communication, d) water supply, e) roads, f) bus stands, g) education h) health and such other categories as many be notified by the government.
The policy makes it clear that only wasteland or dryland should be proposed for alienation and not wet and irrigated lands.
Further, environmentally sensitive and fragile areas such as tank beds, river beds, hillocks with afforestation cannot be alienated or allotted.
Another important feature of the policy is that government lands cannot be auctioned for resource mobilisation.
It has also been made mandatory for lands assigned to the poor for agriculture purposes not to be resumed; in case resumption is inevitable, alternative lands should be given to the assignees apart from a rehabilitation package.
However, if the assignee uses the land for purposes other than for which it was assigned or he transfers it to other persons unathorisedly, then the government will have powers to resume the land.
As regards fixing the cost of the land to be alienated, the general principles already laid down would be followed.
These principles will apply to all land allotments along with the conditions stipulated by the alienating agencies and departments. The allotment or alienation is to be at market value as recommended by the collector or the APLMA. The market value would be ascertained by conducting a local inquiry.