Srinagar,May 21 (Scoop News) – The Government has constituted a High Power Committee comprising Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Revenue to formulate a draft legislation for appropriate land use policy for conservation of land, water bodies and ecosystem. The step has been taken to check unplanned urbanization due to population growth and industrialization which has adversely affected agriculture land in a big way leading to its shrinkage. The ongoing process of over-exploitation and conversion of agriculture land has exposed the entire agriculture sector to most serious threats in the whole State.
Though various laws are in place in the state which prohibit and restrict conversion of agriculture land for non-agriculture purposes, still need has been felt for a comprehensive review of existing law on land use and making a strict law to make land use implementation agencies effective and accountable.
In this connection, the law department, before finalizing the draft legislation on the subject, has sought public opinion on various related issues to work out a comprehensive, well-meaning, broad-based and practicable land use policy. These issues include prohibition on conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, total ban on conversion of water bodies, canals, rivers, rivulets, ponds, springs etc for purposes other than their natural use, the mode and mechanism of meeting the genuine needs of group housing, industrial and commercial requirements and infrastructure development, prohibition on transfer of agricultural land to non-agriculture use except in favour of landless labourers, village artisans and limited transfer for construction of dwelling houses, shops and business establishments, proper utilization of land and making it mandatory for land owner to cultivate the land, mechanism for effectively monitoring the implementation of the proposed land use policy, establishment of a State land Use Board for formulating policies and laying down guidelines to protect agricultural land from degradation and any other suggestion that may be useful for conservation of land, water bodies and ecosystem and arresting the trend of indiscriminate change of land use.
The interested persons, institutions have been asked to send suggestions, view to Shri Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Additional Secretary to Government, Law Department, Room No.222, Civil Secretariat or e-mail on ashraf662gmail.com by or before 30th May, 2010.