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House panel clears amended Lands Act

Posted 3 July, 11:31 am

July 03 2015 – The Parliamentary Agriculture and Water Resources Committee has cleared the way for implementation of the amended Lands Act 2021 (1964) that had long been under serious debate.

The Act has been amended amid growing concern about increasing fragmentation of fertile land and unplanned urbanisation. In an absence of effective land use and integrated resettlement policies, Nepal suffered much damage in the recent earthquake.

After the Act is enforced, landowners will not be able to build houses/industries or choose site for the development of a settlement beyond the land allocated for such purposes.

The Act will not allow the people to inhabit in areas where there is evidence to show the existence of minerals and mines, forest, areas of cultural and historical importance, river and sites to risk prone areas, not suitable for human settlements, like slopes, inundation and landslide.

For the optimum utilisation of land, the committee has divided land into 12 zones. They are agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, mines and minerals, extraction of construction mineral sites, land of cultural and archaeological importance, river and rivulets, ponds and lakes, forest, public uses/open, risk-prone areas and others.

“Under the amended provision, land will be used under which it has been allocated purposefully,” Gagan Thapa, chairman of the committee. “The Act will not allow people to use their land haphazardly even if it is under their ownership. The Act will discourage plotting and construction in the arable land, according to the landlord wishes now.”

Due to the lack of a proper land use Act, haphazard settlement on the agricultural land has been on the rise. the country has also been facing deforestation and natural resources have depleted. The committee has decided to table the Bill at the parliament.

A meeting of the Legislative Parliament on November 18, 2014 had sent the draft of the Act to the committee for further discussion. The committee was told to discuss on the issue and sent the draft with its recommendations.

The committee also decided to form a seven-member sub-committee to discuss any complaints filed on the amended Act and study the implementation of the recommendations. Lawmaker Amrit Kumar Bohara has been named the chair of the sub-committee. Land Act (1964) was amended for the fifth time in 2053 BS (1996).

Source: The Kathmandu Post /3 July 2015