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Uttarakhand 2018 Land Laws Congress vs BJP – Free PDF Download

The Observation

  • In 2000, State of Uttarakhand was formed by carving it out of Uttar Pradesh.
  • In Uttarakhand also the land was regulated through the UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reform Act 1950 itself.

Demand for protection

  • In 2002, people of the newly formed state had voiced their concern to the then CM ND Tiwari about land laws in the state.
  • In 2003, the ‘Uttaranchal (UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reform Act 1950 – Adaptation and Incorporation) Amendment Ordinance 2003 was brought, which prevented outsiders from buying more than 500 square metres (sq m) of agricultural land in Uttarakhand.

Demand for protection

  • In 2007, the BJP government under CM BC Khanduri further reduced the area of land that could be bought in the state by the outsiders to 250 sq m through the Uttarakhand amendment (UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reform Act 1950) 2008.
  • Note:
    • These restrictions did not apply to urban areas.
    • Also, under the UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reform Act 1950 there was already a land ceiling limit of 12 acre agricultural land.

Protection Diluted

  • In 2018, the BJP govt led by CM Trivendra singh Rawat diluted the land ceiling on agricultural land by bringing the Uttarakhand Amendment Act, 2018.
  • The amendment added two new sections — 143 (A) and 153 (2) — in the UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950.
  • These sections basically allowed any firm, group or individual to purchase agricultural land in the state for setting up industrial units in select non-agricultural sectors specified in the Act.
  • You must be thinking, Why this protection was diluted?

The protests over dilution

Why protests?

  • It began as a movement on social media but soon it spread like a wild fire with slogans of ‘Uttarakhand maange bhoo kanoon’.
  • The youth of the hill state have launched a major campaign demanding stringent land laws so that ‘outsiders’ cannot buy farmland in the state. This, they believe, is crucial for safeguarding the land, culture, language and the identity of the residents of the state.
  • Environmentalists have supported this protest criticizing that resorts have come up everywhere, borewells are being drilled in the water-strapped hilly terrain. Due to this, the farmers in surrounding areas are facing severe water shortage in their farms.

Politics over land laws

  • INC which is the main which is the main Opposition party in the Uttarakhand has said that it will quash the Uttarakhand (Uttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition And Land Reforms Act, 1950) Amendment Act, 2018, if voted to office.
  • In place of that INC will bring a strong legislation like in the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh which is present since 1972.
  • According to section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972, agricultural land cannot be sold to be used for non-agricultural uses.
  • Also, no non-Himachali person can buy land in the state, though he or she can rent land for commercial purposes.

Politics over land laws

  • Former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat defended his decision saying, restrictions were lifted for setting up industrial units in Uttarakhand.
    • The changes had a positive impact and investments of more than Rs 35,000 crore have been grounded in the Uttarakhand since 2018.
    • How can you expect investment if we don’t provide land for industries?

Politics over land laws

Just a thought..!!

 

 

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