Government may ban sale of farmland under 5,445 square feet
If the government is successful, then no farmland measuring less than five guntas, or 5,445 square feet, can obtain a survey number without which it cannot be bought or sold.
Authorities say this will help regulate the rampant sale of very small tracts of farmland around urban areas that end up becoming residential plots or “income sites”.
This is a serious problem in Bengaluru and other towns where small residential developments have arisen on small farmland without the required land use conversion – from agricultural to non-agricultural use. .
The government is seized with a proposal to set a minimum extent for a survey number of an agricultural land, which the authorities have suggested at five guntas across the state except Kodagu, Dakshina districts Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada where it can be three guntas.
This was first proposed in January 2018 and has been on hold ever since, allegedly due to pressure from the real estate mafia. Example: A residential development located on agricultural land converted to non-agricultural uses will require space for public amenities and other infrastructure. This can be circumvented if transactions take place on smaller plots of land under the guise of farming.
“There are numerous complaints on the ground and by almost all Deputy Commissioners that farmland is being sold in very small tracts (usually 1-5 guntas) where the real purpose is residential and it is not being used. or even the sale is not really for farming purposes but practically house sites. These are called revenue sites and the main cause of unplanned and haphazard growth around towns and even villages (sic),” Director (Bhoomi and Urban Property Ownership Records) Munish Moudgil said in his proposal. to the government, a copy of which is with DH.
Moudgil pointed out that while the Rural Development Department and Panchayat Raj’s e-Swathu database tries to regulate rural properties, the sale of farmland in guntas is not controlled. “Land is inherently unsuitable for agriculture below a certain extent.”
In fact, Section 108 of Karnataka Land Revenue Act 1964 states that no survey number shall be created below a minimum limit which shall be fixed from time to time. “What we have come up with is in the public interest,” Moudgil, who is also commissioner for surveying, settlement and land records, told DH.
Principal Secretary (Revenue) N Manjunath Prasad said the file was with him and he still had not gone through it.