Centre asks states to legislate on diversion of agricultral land
New Delhi, Mar 6: Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today made a reference in the Lok Sabha to the growing problem of diversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, namely urban usage, and said it was for the state governments to bring about suitable legislation regarding regulation of the conversion of cultivable land for any other purpose.
Replying to supplemenataries in the Lok Sabha, Mr Pawar said there had been a marginal decline in agricultural land in the last five years from 183.63 million hectares in 1998-99 to 182.92 million hectares in 2002-03.
During the same period, land under non-agricultral use had increased from 22.80 million hectares to 24.25 million hectares, indicating that much of the increase in non-agricultural land appeared to have been achieved by utilising uncultivable land.
Mr Pawar said land being a state subject it was for them to bring about legislation in this regard.
He indicated that Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tripura, Goa and Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Pondicherry had legislation for checking diversion of agricultral land for non-agricultral purposes.
The state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Assam had issued rules and executive orders to check the diversion of good agricultural land for non-agricultral purposes, he added..