Thiruvananthapuram

Confusion over building permits for wetland plots

More than two months after the city Corporation organised an adalat to clear pending building permit applications, close to hundred such files related to construction in paddy and wetlands are yet to be disposed of.

On Monday, the Corporation authorities decided to forward these pending files for the District Collector’s approval, as per the directives in a Revenue Department order issued in March this year.

The confusion over the approval of building permit applications in paddy and wetlands began with two conflicting orders issued by the Local Self Government and the Revenue Departments last year. According to the LSGD order, applications for construction on lands which were reclaimed before the Conservation of Wetland and Paddy Land Act 2008 came into effect, can be approved.

After the act came into force, a data bank was prepared and all wetland and paddy land were marked out in this. The LSGD order made it clear that land which was not part of this data bank can be approved for construction, after scrutiny by the village officer and the agricultural officer.

The Revenue Department order, however, said that even though the land for which building permit application was submitted is not part of the wetland/paddy land data bank, it can be cleared only by the District Collector if it is marked as paddy land in the tax register. The Town Planning wing officials, caught in a confusion due to these conflicting orders, kept aside these files, unsure of who would be the issuing authority.

The Corporation authorities brought this issue to the notice of the government. The then Chief Secretary asked the Revenue Department to clarify its land. The clarification from the department came as another order on March 1 this year.

As per this new Revenue order, the LSGD order will be applicable for non-paddy/wetland which are still marked as paddy land in the tax register, if a house already exists in the land. Those land without houses will be considered only as paddy fields and these require the clearance of the District Collector, when a building permit application is submitted.

Bound by this order, the Town Planning officials of the Corporation have now decided to forward all such applications to the District Collector.

“The LSGD order was pretty clear about the steps to be taken regarding such building permit applications. Most of these land were reclaimed much before 2008, but only few have houses already existing on them. Some applications similar to these have come after the adalat too,” said a Corporation source.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 12:45:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/confusion-over-building-permits-for-wetland-plots/article18110558.ece

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