Spurt in land conversion applications in Kerala before special trip | Kerala news

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Revenue Divisional Offices (RDOs) in Kerala are seeing an increase in the number of land conversion requests filed.

The monthly increase has been tens of thousands since the tax office introduced the online facility to apply for land conversions.

Treasury officials said there were up to 78,000 applications pending at the 27 RDOs in Kerala. The increase in applications concerned the conversion of agricultural land that had already been converted into dry or residential areas years ago.

The RDOs received 70,000 requests by last month, which has skyrocketed 8,000 more this month.

When paying property tax, the online facility will provide the details such as the property register number (tandaper), tax amount, area and classification, whether dry land or rice field. Officials said that after finding that their property had been classified as rice paddy or agricultural land, landowners may apply for conversion in large numbers.

Officials, appalled by the rise in claims, said most of the inquiries concerned land registered as rice fields on the Basic Tax Register (BTR) but not on the database or on the list of registered land.

Exemption from fees
One reason for the increase in land conversion applications is the fee reduction granted by the state government.

On February 25 of this year, the government issued an order exempting the conversion of up to 25 cents of land that is not in the database from the fee.

Before the order was issued, up to 40,000 land conversion applications were pending with the RDOs. It has now reached 78,000.

The RDO would enable conversion after setting a fair price for land over 25 cents and charging 10% of the fair price as a fee.

Special trip on October 18th
In the meantime, the tax office would launch a special campaign on October 18 to clarify the pending land conversion requests. Additional officers would be assigned to the RDOs for the ride, which would first be introduced in Alappuzha.

What is in the law
Land included in the database could only be converted for residential use under the provisions of the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act of 2008. Under the law, land that does not exceed 10 cents in panchayats and 5 cents in corporation limits may be converted for residential use.

The land reclamation permit would be granted by the local committees in Panchayats and Corporations after checking whether the applicant already owns a house or an owner-occupied property and whether they already own the land before 2008 notifying the RDO.


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