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Karnataka imposes curbs on sale of small agri plots

The Karnataka Government has banned creation of new survey numbers for tiny pieces of agricultural land for purposes of sale. The Revenue department has taken the step to curb sale of such plots as housing sites by unscrupulous developers as the practice has led to haphazard growth of urban areas with total disregard to planning and aesthetics, limiting the government’s ability to provide infrastructure in such areas.

The survey authorities will not prepare or issue 11E sketches (maps that are needed for registration of agri plots) for plots less than three guntas in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts and less than five guntas in all other districts. “It is not possible at all to take up agricultural activities in plots measuring two and three guntas,” Munish Moudgil, Commissioner of Survey, Settlement & Land Records, told ET. The practice has been rampant around Bengaluru and around other tier two and three cities including Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubli-Dharwad and district headquarters. This practice is a clear violation of the Section 95 of Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964.

Housing plots carved out of agricultural lands are called revenue sites. They are called so because if a developer wants to develop a residential layout, he has to first apply to revenue authorities and get the agricultural land converted for non-agricultural purposes. The developer then has to take approvals for the layout plan from town and country planning authorities concerned. But thousands of small developers bypass regulations, taking advantage of the ignorance of buyers. The government, Moudgil said, had been receiving complaints about developers slicing agricultural land into small pieces and selling them as housing sites to unsuspecting buyers.

Those who want to sell plots less than three or five guntas, as may be the case, as housing sites, then they can do so after getting them converted by revenue authorities, Moudgil said, citing the notification from the Survey, Settlement and Land Records department. The government, however, has allowed existing survey numbers for such small plots to remain, and has exempted division of plots family members have got as an inheritance.


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