Legal matters – Conversion of agricultural land to residential land
The district or deputy commissioner, or collector, who is authorised, may permit conversion of land if satisfied that the prescribed conditions have been met and there are no pending dues or litigations on the property. The conversion should also be permissible under the master plan of the area. A conversion order permitting the change in land use will then be issued. Also, a conversion certificate will be issued.
In Karnataka, the Karnataka Land Revenue Act 1966 has prescribed the procedure to convert agricultural land to non-agricultural, under Section 95 of the Act. The purpose for the change in use of land must be specified. The Deputy Commissioner may grant permission and may even impose conditions. The law prescribes a penalty in case of violation of the procedures.
You need to submit the Record of Rights and Tenancy Certificate (RTC) in original issued by the revenue authority along with a photocopy of the atlas of the land (survey number), duly attested by the Department of Survey Settlement and Land Records, showing the dimensions with scale and boundary of the land proposed for conversion. In addition, a photocopy of the revenue survey map of the village showing the location of the land proposed for conversion and the proposed site plan need to be submitted.
The fee charged for change in land use is to be paid as per Rule 107 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Rules 1966. The fee varies for different districts and locations in Karnataka.
Some States have restrictions on land where the use has been converted. It cannot be transferred for a certain period of time without payment of a premium or obtaining permission from the prescribed authority. Similarly, some States have a provision that if the purpose for which the land was converted is not carried out in a certain period of time, the permission is cancelled and the land reverts back to agricultural. So, any agricultural land, converted for a non-agricultural purpose, should be used for such converted purpose within the specified time from the date of issue of the conversion order, failing which the conversion order will be withdrawn and the amount of premium deposited will be forfeited to the State government.
Further, agricultural land converted for residential purposes cannot be used for industrial purposes. The revenue assessment is different in all such different uses of land. When land is converted, the purpose of the conversion is furnished by the land owner. The buyer of such converted land should ask for all documents copy of the application made to convert the land from agricultural to residential and approvals received from the different authorities.