Saturday, January 30, 2010

Land use change procedure to be made more responsive

JAIPUR: People can now take the matter related to land use change to the next senior official if the competent authority is unable to take a
decision within a prescribed time limit. The urban development department has included the provision in the proposed amendments to the land use change rules, popularly known as Section 90-B of Rajasthan Land Revenue Act.
The amendments will soon be discussed with the revenue and law departments before being placed for cabinet's formal approval. The decision was taken at a meeting the senior urban development officials had with the chief secretary on Friday.
"The land use change will be made more transparent and responsive towards the applicant and it has been decided that all the three concerned departments should jointly finalise the changes," said principal secretary (urban development) G S Sandhu.
"It has been decided that the provisions should be made strict to ensure proper implementation of the master plan and maintain restrain over usage of land against its proposed use," Sandhu added.
Along with Section 90-B, changes have also been proposed in Section 90-A to ease the regularisation process for unauthorised use of agricultural land in urban areas.
Under the current norms the agriculture land in urban area is considered acquired by the urban development department if it is put to use for commercial or residential purpose.
As the property ownership is considered transferred to the state department, a land use change thereafter is not possible generating difficulty in approval of dozens of such illegally developed residential colonies across the state.
"It is proposed that such land should be considered a property of the local development body and it should be provided rights for facilitating the land use change after application of appropriate fees and penalty," said a senior urban development officer.
Through a notification released in February 2009, the department had made changes in the land use change procedure. The step was taken to ensure transparency and accountability in the procedure in view of allegations of widespread corruption.
According to the notification a period of 60 days was fixed to decide on proposals that do not require land use change and the proposals requiring land use change will have to be decided upon in 120 days.
Also, the local bodies were authorised to convert land only in areas covered under sector plan, the issue of access road will not be faced by upcoming residential projects.
The notification also had provisions of strict legal action against the land mafia and a new format for land deeds was also proposed for the private developers.

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