September 19, 2023

Shrinkage of agricultural land

Kashmir has very little agricultural land due to the topography of its valley and the ever growing population and rapid urbanization overall which has led to a rapid shrinkage of fertile land which once made the natives self-sufficient to support themselves, but now the situation turns into a nightmare for concerned citizens who fear the worst is inevitable. The worrisome factor amid growing concern is that the government has set a deadline for the Department of Revenue and the Revenue Board to assess and thoroughly review the existing ‘land use change’ process and formulate. detailed guidelines by December 25. This direction follows the policy of “land use change”, in particular from agricultural to non-agricultural activities in the territory of the Union. The LG administration ordered that an upper cap on the amount of agricultural land to be diverted to non-agricultural activities in individual cases should be duly assessed and prescribed in the guidelines in unambiguous terms to ensure holistic development without compromising the issues. environmental sustainability and food safety. It also allowed district collectors to alienate agricultural land to a non-farmer to expand the main business to a larger commercial scale. Notwithstanding the simple conditions of opposition from the players, the government wishes to develop UT on the main commercial lines. Mahajans, Khatris and Sikhs demanded the right to sell-buy agricultural land for investment in agriculture and related activities. Their resentment existed over the statutory provision that defined certain sections of society as the class of farmers who alone were eligible to own farmland under the J&K Land Alienation Act SVT. 1995. How come that would boost the economy and jobs as prized land shrinks and tightens. The administration authorized the deputy commissioners to authorize the sale of land up to 20 kanals for agriculture and related activities, and up to 80 kanals in the case of horticultural orchards. Already, farmland is being converted to orchards in rural Kashmir for the monetary benefits of selling apples and other fruits, but this has led to massive dependence on grain or external rations, this which complicates the task of landlocked regions during the winter season. The vast acres of Kashmir are filled with concrete houses while wetlands and bodies of water are invaded in the form of sprawling townships. There have been reckless constructions of houses, settlements and shopping centers on the farmlands all around, as the officials concerned have gone blind to the conversion. Over 78,000 hectares have been converted to non-agricultural activities in the Kashmir Division over the past six years.