NOC is no assent for land conversion in Kodagu district: HC

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday said that the no objection certificates (NOCs) given by the Deputy Commissioner-led Technical Committee in Kodagu for conversion of agricultural lands should not be construed as permission for conversion of lands as per the provision of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum passed the interim order on a PIL petition filed by C.P. Muthanna, a coffee planter from Gonikoppa in Kodagu district. The petitioner had questioned the legality of the government’s June 4, 2020 notification setting up a five-member technical committee for granting NOC for conversion of agricultural lands in Kodagu district.

The Bench also directed the State government to communicate this interim order to all the authorities concerned.

The petitioner has contended that some of the owners of coffee plantations in Kodagu district, without knowing the feasibility and contour of their land, are filing series of applications before the Deputy Commissioner, Kodagu for getting their agricultural lands converted for non-agricultural purposes. Some of the constructions in the ongoing projects on converted lands in future may be very devastating to the hilly areas of several villages and taluks of the district.

“Lakhs of fully grown trees shall be chopped off and all coffee plantations shall be converted to layouts and commercial buildings which fetch huge revenue to the owners at the cost of the fragile ecology of Kodagu, which will again suffer another natural disaster which occurred in the district in the year 2018,” the petitioner has said.

The NOCs issued by the technical committee will create a lot of adverse effect on the eco-sensitive zones of the district and it should be mandatory to obtain necessary clearance and permissions from the authorities concerned before issuing NOCs to the applicants seeking conversion of lands, the petitioner has argued.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 4:36:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/noc-is-no-assent-for-land-conversion-in-kodagu-district-hc/article33679187.ece

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