Concerned over the growing trend of private colonisers buying agricultural land for building housing colonies, authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have asked revenue officials not to allow sale of such land any longer.
This decision supersedes an earlier decision, which permitted farmers to sell up to four kanals or half an acre of agricultural land.
"The agricultural land is shrinking and the housing colonies are coming up on it, which is having an adverse effect on the environment and also decreasing the agricultural produce," Divisional Commissioner (Jammu) Pawan Kotwal told officials on Monday, while informing them of the decision.
He said that any official found guilty of allowing such sale or purchase will be punished.
The decision is intended to save agricultural land for implementing the centrally sponsored schemes and also to boost the agricultural production in the state. "For improving quality and quantity of our produce, the land is must," Kotwal said.
Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, who also holds the housing portfolio, told IANS that the government was selecting barren land for housing projects so that the status of agricultural land could stay unchanged.