Explained: What is in the new ‘J&K Land Grant Rules-2022’ amended by LG admin?
Post by Sameer Showkin Lone on Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Srinagar, Dec 27: The J&K Lieutenant Governor led administration this month replaced the J&K Land Grants Rules-1960, with the new J&K Land Grant Rules-2022.
The J&K Land Grants Rules 1960 dealt with the special rules to grant government land, mostly the forest land, on lease at prime locations like Srinagar, Jammu, Gulmarg and Pahalgam and many other places to big tourism players for construction of hotels, commercial structures and residential buildings.
Most hotels at famous tourist places in the Valley and prime commercial structures in twin capitals of Jammu and Srinagar are on lease land currently under the possession of famous tourism players and businessmen in Kashmir and Jammu.
The L-G Manoj Sinha argued that the old set of rules were regressive and needed amendments as only some chosen “400-500 people” were beneficiaries of it. Without naming anyone, LG Sinha said that some 400-500 people who are present land holders had just paid Rs 5 to enjoy profit from the Rs 100 crore properties.
The land holders presently under possession of the land termed the move as one which has opened the gateway “to outsiders to buy prime properties in J&K”.
According to the new land laws, the leases of current land owners will not be extended in case of expiry of the property on lease.
The new laws state that all leases, except the subsisting or expired residential leases, expired or determined prior to the coming into force of these rules or issued under these rules shall not be renewed and shall stand determined.
The lease period has been reduced to 40 years while the previous Land Rules gave up to 99 years of lease.
The government has asked the outgoing lease holders to evict properties or else face evictions under the new rules. However, the current land holders termed these rules “exclusive to J&K where the first right to lease-holders has not been granted and revised rates negotiated”.
Besides, the new law states that the outgoing lessees will be paid for any structure built on the land, ‘provided the lessee has not violated any of the conditions of the lease’.
Is the Land open for all now?
The new set of laws has ended the current leaseholders' rights for extension and has opened opportunities for all to participate in the afresh online auctioning of these properties.
Under the new land rules, land can be leased for education, healthcare, tourism, skill development and recreational purposes. The new land law also states that land can also be provided to ex-servicemen, war widows, families of deprived categories, migrant workers, building and construction workers and sufferers of natural calamities.
Key Features of the new J&K Land Grant Rules 2022
The new laws replaced “J&K Land Grants Rules 1960”, which had liberal lease policy such as 99-year lease period and extendable.
The new laws state that all leases, except the subsisting or expired residential leases, including lease granted under the J&K Land Grants Rules 1960, notified area (All Development Authorities set in tourism sector) Land Grants Rules, 2007 and leases expired or determined prior to the coming into force of these rules or issued under these rules shall not be renewed and shall stand determined.
All the outgoing lessees would immediately hand over the possession of the land taken on lease to the government, failing which the outgoing lessee shall be evicted.
Will the new laws impact the common people?
The LG administration claims that no poor people will be impacted by the amendments to the land laws and equated the new laws at par with the rest of the country.
“Only few people are worried by the amendments,” Sinha had said in Jammu, claiming that the new rules will have no impact on the poor as it would impact only those mighty people who are currently in possession of the properties.
Now only the time will tell what is going to happen as the tourism and business players have said that they would approach the Prime Minister and Home Minister of India regarding the issue that has snowballed into a controversy in J&K.