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Uttarakhand to revoke ease in land rule

DEHRADUN: The Pushkar Singh Dhami government is planning to overturn the decision taken by former chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to relax land laws in Uttarakhand. A high-level committee formed to recommend amendments to the rules has submitted its recommendations to the government, which are likely to be stamped in the next cabinet meeting.

According to sources, most of the recommendations are in line with widespread public sentiments on preserving the population distribution in the state. Since the formation of the state in 2,000, there have been many restrictions on outsiders buying land in the state. In 2018, Trivendra, who was then the CM, increased the cap for area of land that could be purchased by investors for tourism, industry, horticulture, agriculture and energy sectors in the state from 12.5 acres to 30 acres. The decision was taken in a bid to attract investors in these sectors. 

The increase in the ceiling prompted opposition from many quarters. The Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, which was instrumental in the formation of the state, accused the Trivendra government of disturbing the population balance in the hills, and resulting in a spike in migration from outside the state.

When Trivendra was replaced, opposition to this law gained momentum. However, his successor, Tirath Singh Rawat, whose tenure was not more than that of a night watchman, could not take any decision on this rule. The continuous campaigns against it then prompted current Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to constitute a high-level committee under the chairmanship of former chief secretary Subhash Kumar to look into the issue.

The committee was asked to understand and study all aspects of land laws. Sources say the committee in its report has recommended stricter provisions in land laws. The panel is said to have suggested re-imposition of the previous sealing on outsiders who buy land. Several other strict provisions have also been advocated sources say, adding that with the implementation of the amended land laws, it will be easy to rein in land mafia.

Earlier, the Dhami government had repealed the Chardham Devasthanam Board Act as well as the proposal for the Gairsain commissionerate. 

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