The Uttarakhand government is deliberating the implementation of stringent land laws, drawing inspiration from the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act of 1972, to curtail non-natives from acquiring land and properties in the rural hill areas of the state.
Propelled by the objective of preserving the state's interests, the proposed law sets limits on land acquisition in rural hill regions and mirrors the Himachal Pradesh model.
As reported by Hindustan Times, the committee, constituted by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami over a year ago, has submitted a report advocating stringent restrictions on land purchases in non-municipal hill areas.
The envisioned law aims to prevent non-Uttarakhand natives from acquiring land in rural hill areas and proposes constraints on land acquisitions in urban regions to address concerns about external investors exploiting the state's resources.
This initiative finds its roots in the historical evolution of land policies in Uttarakhand.
In 2003, the then chief minister N D Tiwari permitted outsiders to acquire land in hill areas with a cap of 500 sqm.
Subsequent administrations, including the BJP-led government under B C Khanduri, reduced this limit to 250 sqm to deter extensive land transactions.
However, in 2017, then chief minister Trivendra Rawat lifted these restrictions to attract investments in hilly regions.
Following protests in various districts, the state government established a committee to scrutinise a draft report submitted by a panel led by former chief secretary Subhash Kumar in 2022.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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