Thiruvananthapuram: The State Cabinet, which met here on Wednesday, has decided to amend the relevant forest act to facilitate return of land taken over for protecting ecology unless it was very much needed for the purpose.
Briefing reporters on the Cabinet decision, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said persons whose land upto two hectares were acquired would be returned the full land. In the case of tribal lands, the entire land acquired would be returned.
However, they would be paid compensation for the land if the land vested was found to be very much needed for forest protection and environment conservation, he said.
"In the case of acquisition upto 15 acres (about six hectare), two hectares would be returned or compensation paid, if it was found to be needed for environment preservation," he said.
"Any further acquisition of the land under the act should have the sanction of the government," he said.
The Cabinet decided to seek the Centre's approval for the necessary amendments to the Act, he said, noting that it was "an election promise of UDF" (in 2011 assembly poll).