Assembly passes Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land Bill

Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan replying to debate on Paddy Bill on Nov. 8Thiruvananthapuram: The Assembly passed the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland (Amendment) Bill on Tuesday.

The Bill seeks to omit amendment brought to parent Act by UDF government in 2015 for regularisation of conversion or reclamation of paddy land, done before 2008, on payment of 25 per cent of the fair value of the land.

The Subject Committee reported the Bill with dissent notes by P. B. Abdul Razak (Muslim League), Adoor Prakash (Congress) and M. Ummer (Muslim League).

Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan who replied to the debate on the Bill, said that Bill was brought for fear that even post-2008 conversions and reclamation would get regularised as the data bank of paddy fields proposed in the parent Act was still not ready.

He said that the Amendment would not affect use of ten cents or land in villages or five cents in urban areas for constructing houses. Instructions had been issued to reconstitute committee specified for granting such exemptions.

He noted that the government had received about 9388 applications for regularisation following the Amendment brought by the UDF. Of that, only 56 had been granted so far. If all the applications had been granted, conversion of 38000 hectares would have been regularised which included conversions made after 2008.

He said that the State had two lakh hectares of paddy land in 2008. Now, this was 1.85 lakh hectares which indicated that 15000 hectares had been converted after 2008.