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Activists want stringent rules to save village land from real estate agents

The activists urged chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to introduce rules on the lines of Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act.

dehradun Updated: Jan 17, 2018 22:11 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Himachal Pradesh,land
Activists stage a protest near Clock Tower in Dehradun to demand measures to save village land.(Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT )

With urban local bodies undergoing expansion with the addition of adjoining rural areas in their limits, activists have called for stringent rules to save the village land which will now fall in city areas.

They have urged chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to introduce rules on the lines of Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, to check exploitation of land by ‘outsiders’. Staging a protest near the Clock Tower on Wednesday, the members of Hamara Uttarakhandjan Manch (HUM), a social outfit, said the BJP-led government was carrying out expansion of over 35 urban local bodies, which was bound to attract land sharks.

In a letter to Rawat, HUM underlined how the government had enacted an adapted and amended version of the Uttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act in 2003 to stop exploitation of agricultural land in rural areas. People from outside the state could buy only 500 sq meter of land, and the cap was later reduced to 250 sq meters in 2007.

“An outsider needed special permission from the government if he wanted to buy more than 250 sq meter land and that too only for setting up a society or trust. The rule is still there but it will not be applicable on village land which will now fall under urban (local body) areas,” HUM president Ranbir Singh Chaudhari said.

Fearing how agriculture land in rural areas may now witness a steep surge in transactions, Chaudhari demanded that the government brings in rules similar to those under Section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh (HP) Act, which allows only agriculturists based in Himachal to purchase land there.

“In Himachal, outsiders cannot buy land more than 500 sq meters, except under special permission from the government and that too only in urban areas. Even then, agricultural land cannot be bought,” HUM general secretary Sameer Mundepi said. “Uttarakhand has similar geographical conditions like HP so the government should bring in similar rules here.”

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 22:11 IST