Thiruvananthapuram: The state government has decided to allot to religious institutions and organisations the lands occupied by them without due title. The religious buildings and cemeteries will be allotted upto one acre of land, while charitable trusts will be allotted lands upto 50 cents and upto 10 cents for cultural organisations and libraries. Lands, used for commercial purposes, upto 15 cents will be allotted to their currentoccupants.
Revenue Principal Secretary Dr. V. Venu has issued an order after fixing common criteria in this regard. The decision is in pursuance of a recommendation given by Land Revenue Commissioner on 23rd November 2017.
It is stipulated that the authorities of the religious institutions and cemeteries shall produce documents to prove that they are still functioning and have a proper record of income and expenditure. If they can prove that the land was occupied before 15th August 1947, the office-bearers are liable to pay only 10 percent of the fair value. If it is after the said date and before Kerala state formation, the liability will be 25 percent of the fair value. If the possession started after the state formation and before 1st January 1990, the liability will be equal to the fair value. If the possession started after 1st January 1990 and before 25th August 2008, the liability will accrue to the market price.
The charitable trusts which comply with the criteria will be allotted 50 cents of land. The criteria includes conditions that the trusts should have registration since the date of possession of the land, the same is renewed periodically and shall have income and expenditure records and own buildings.
The cultural organisations will not be allotted lands that are located in prominent localities in urban limits. They are liable to pay 25 percent of the fair value if the land was occupied before 15th August 1947 and 50 percent if it was after the date and before the date of state formation. If the possession started after the state formation and before 1st January 1990, the liability will be equal to the fair value.
If the cultural organisations, libraries and charitable trusts can prove that they are in possession of the land used for commercial purpose before 1st January 1990, they will be allotted 15 cents of land by charging market value. The building in the land should be one with a plinth area of less than 1500 square feet. Prominent spots in urban limits will not be allotted. No further construction of building for commercial purposes will be permitted in so allotted land. The land shall not be transferred for any other needs.
The government will retrieve the land once it is found that the lease agreements are breached. The lands of exclusive lease or lease shall not be allotted. If there are any cases where the bodies cannot pay fair value, the land will be allotted on lease conditions. The order also states that the government will take appropriate decisions on the applications at its discretion.