Buying land in Uttarakhand? Get ready for the background check | News from India

THE government of Uttarakhand has decided to introduce a law with strict provisions for purchases Earth in the state, reports Kautilya Singh. The move comes amid concerns recently raised by CM PS Dhami on “land jihad” – encroachments on state-owned lands through the construction of religious structures such as “mazars” on such lands, especially in forests. The law will aim to prevent “people with dubious backgrounds” from buying land, officials said. Prior to any land deal, the prospective buyer’s background and reason will be reviewed.
I cannot allow a person with bad intentions to buy land: Dhami
The Uttarakhand government will make the necessary changes to the existing land laws and bring an ordinance to address the problem of land grabbers encroaching on the land by building religious structures, the officials said.
CM Dhami told TOI, “Till now anyone can buy land in Uttarakhand without asking any questions. However, now we have decided to look into the reason for buying the land and the background of the person before the purchase is made.” .
During Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, Dhami ordered officials to develop a mechanism to prevent the return of the invaders once they are removed from government territory.
The CM said, “We cannot allow a person with bad intentions to buy land in our state. We will strictly act on it.”
State officials have also been tasked with compiling and updating details of land owned by various government departments.
Chief Secretary SS Sandhu said, “The heads of departments would deliberate an officer for a particular area and lay accountability on them to ensure that the invasion is not reported in that particular area. Satellite images would be taken every month to confirm that government land hasn’t been encroached on, which would help keep track of remote areas.”
Similar limits were introduced during the 2002-2007 Congress government in the state when it passed a law restricting non-Uttarakhand residents from purchasing more than 500 square meters (2.5 naali in local measurement) of land for residential purposes.
Subsequently, the BJP government, during its rule in 2007-2012, reduced the maximum ceiling to 250 sq m (1.25 naali). Since then this limit has been set for the purchase of land in the hills by outsiders. If more land in hillsides and rural pockets is to be purchased, permission from state and district authorities would be required. However, such a restriction does not exist within the purview of the municipal bodies.
Sources argued that the new provisions, which the government intends to implement, will have no impact on the size of land purchased from an outsider. They claimed the changes would be made “to only prevent dubious people from buying property in the Himalayan state”.


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