Revenue Minister V Srinivasa Prasad said he would visit Kodagu district to assess the misuse of sections 79(a) and (b) of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act.
The sale of plantation land to non-agriculturists to set up resorts and cottages would also be looked into, he said.
Replying to a calling attention motion from Janata Dal(S) floor leader M C Nanaiah in the Legislative Council on Thursday, the Minister said the government was committed to the protection of plantation land in Kodagu.
Nanaiah said plantations where coffee, cardamom and rubber are grown had been exempted from the purview of the Act.
“Revenue officials, deeming these plantations to be non-agricultural land, have been allowing its sale. According to the rules, such lands cannot be sold to non-agriculturists. The buyers plant saplings of coffee, banana and cardamom to show that they are using the land for agriculture and construct resorts,” Nanaiah said.
6,000 Acres Sold
The floor leader said the going price of an acre of plantation land was `40 lakh. Already, over 6,000 acres has been sold to non-agriculturists in Kodagu district and 3,000 applications to register properties were pending before the Revenue Department, Nanaiah alleged.
“The Kodavas are becoming aliens in their own homeland. Forest cover is being eroded due to mushrooming of resorts. There is danger in store if plantation land in catchment areas of the Cauvery is sold to non-agriculturists,” Nanaiah warned.
Promise of Action
Responding to Nanaiah’s statements, the Minister declared that those revenue officials who were allegedly hand-in-glove with land sharks and fixing land deals would be dealt with an iron hand.