Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: The State government has come to the rescue of persons who have been denied permission by panchayats to construct houses on plots which were once paddy fields.

The local bodies deny permission on the ground that land records describe the land as ‘nilam nikathu purayidam’ (land converted by filling paddy field) or ‘padam’ (paddy field).

Minister for Local Self-government Paloli Mohammed Kutty said here on Wednesday that a circular had been issued in this regard.

The circular provides for the setting up of committees consisting of the Panchayat Secretary, Agricultural Officer and Village Officer to dispose of such applications. If the land in question was converted at least ten years ago and had trees and on it, the committee could accord sanction for constructing buildings for domestic occupation, the Minister said.

The land in question should not get waterlogged during the monsoon and the applicant should also not have land fit for house construction elsewhere, he said.

Decision in a month

The committee should take a decision in a month of the submission of the application. The details of the permits issued by the committee should also be published on a monthly basis, the Minister said.