T. Ramavarman

14,000 acres recovered from illegal occupants, says Revenue Minister

Most of the land to be utilised for distribution among the landless

Proposal to redefine ‘poramboke’ and ‘tarissu’ land

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government was planning to register a company as part of the land bank to profitably utilise the revenue land in the urban areas.

Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran told The Hindu here that his department in consultation with the State Planning Board had decided to constitute a task force to work out the nature of the proposed company and the modalities of its functioning.

He said the entire government land, including those resumed from illegal occupants, would be deposited in the land bank. About 14,000 acres of land recovered from illegal occupants after this government came to power would form part of the land bank.

Much of the land in the land bank would be utilised for distribution among the landless sections like Adivasis, which would be completed by May 2008. Some portion of the land in the bank would be earmarked for common projects in different fields like education, research, cultural activities and health care.

The government was exploring means to generate some revenue from the remaining portion of the land in the land bank and it was for this purpose that a company was being constituted, the Minister said.

Government ownership

Mr. Rajendran said the government would continue to retain the ownership of such land, and commercially viable projects would be started there only under this condition. Hereafter no land would be alienated or assigned on registry, in urban areas. Only leasing of land would be permitted in the urban areas for any private groups, the Minister said.

According to Revenue Department sources, there was a proposal to deposit the entire government land, barring the forest lands, in the land bank. This, they said, would help the government evolve a holistic land management policy, and to avoid the confusion about the ownership of the land.

The confusion about the ownership of the government land among various departments was one of the main factors that create an atmosphere amenable for encroachments, the officials said.

The various departments, which deposit the land in the land bank, would have to pay a service charge to the Revenue Department for the protection and surveillance of the land.

There was also a proposal to redefine the various government lands including the ‘porambokku land’ and ‘tarissu land’ by amending the Kerala Land Assignment Act. In the absence of proper definition there had been widespread instances of assignment of ‘purambokku land’ to private individuals and groups even though the essence of the Act itself was against any form of alienation of such lands, the sources said.