Karnataka to amend law allowing land conversion within 3 days

The Karnataka government on Saturday said it will amend the existing law to allow farmlands to be converted for non-agricultural use within three days based on a self-declaration, in what promises to be a major reform aimed at agricultural landholders.

Section 95 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act will be changed to make conversion of land easier, Revenue Minister R Ashoka said.

“There are major hurdles in converting agricultural land for non-agricultural use. One application has to go to several departments before reaching the deputy commissioner. It takes 6-8 months in Bengaluru and more than a year in other places,” Ashoka said, explaining the current system.

“We are now bringing in affidavit-based conversion. An agricultural land owner will be able to put the land to any non-agricultural use by giving a self-declaration, which should be as per the approved master plan of an area,” Ashoka said, adding that conversion orders will be given within three days.

“If a particular area is marked as a green zone in the master plan, then the conversion can’t be done,” Ashoka pointed out.

Conversion of agricultural lands for non-agricultural purposes – residential, industrial, commercial and so on – requires an order issued by the deputy commissioner. However, bureaucracy has led to allegations of corru.

In case the master plan has not yet been published for an area, then the conversion order will be issued based on the self-declaration subject to the condition that the non-agricultural use should be approved from the relevant authorities as per the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act.

“If it is a granted land, then the applicant should declare that the conversion sought is not in violation of the Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prohibition of Transfer of Certain Lands) Act, other terms and conditions of the grant,” Ashoka said.

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