‘Govt’s move to start khazan land development board fishy’

 

The move to start a khazan land development board is only a means to legalise construction on khazan lands, the Pilerne Citizens Forum (PCF) has alleged as they picked holes in the government’s draft bill which has been put up for public feedback. 
Addressing media persons, Yatish Naik, advisor to the Pilerne Citizens Forum pointed out several provisions in the bill that can be misused and abused. 
“Section 21 of the bill prohibits constructions in khazan lands without the previous permission of the board. Does this mean that with the permission of the board, construction and development of khazan lands will be allowed?” Naik asked. 
Referring to the Chief Minister’s statement that ‘nobody is a fool to build on khazan lands’ Naik said that given the fact that the KTC bus stand and the Patto business area were once khazan lands there was every possibility that there would be development of khazan lands in the future. 
Referring to the provision in the bill giving the Khazan Land Development Board powers to acquire and further sell land, Naik said that the provision was unnecessary since, in the event that the Board needs land for its functioning, as mentioned by Chief Engineer of the Water Resource department Nadkarni, as being the purpose of that provision, the government was empowered to hand over acquired land to it.
Countering the Chief Minister’s assertion that the Khazan Land Development Board was to help promote agriculture, Naik said that the government should first have a policy in place which the Khazan Land Development Board can then implement and that policy should be based on mapping and figures done by the agriculture department. 
“When we filed an RTI in the agriculture department, they clearly replied that there was no mapping of the state’s agriculture lands done. So based on what facts and figures will they be drawing up a policy,” Naik said.
asked while adding that it was wrong to give the Board the task of drawing up a policy which, they themselves will implement. [H]