No attempt to reclaim paddy fields: Oommen Chandy



Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Saturday made it clear that the government would not bring any law to reclaim paddy fields and said instead government was planning to bring in a legislation to conserve and protect paddy fields.

Government would not support any move that led to the destruction of paddy fields, Chandy told reporters when asked about the report on the draft of the amendment to Kerala Land use Bill, being circulated among the various departments by Law Department to get their opinion.

"It is only the recommendations of the committee set up to study the need for reforms in existing laws which has come out now. The government has not given any approval for the same", Chandy said.

With a view to conserve and protect paddy fields, government plans to bring in a new legislation that restricts sale and transfer of paddy land only to farmers, Chandy added.

The Draft of Land Bill has a provision to facilitate the reclamation of 'single crop' paddy lands, fallow lands and water bodies.

Social activist pointed out Amendments if becomes a law would ran contrary to the provisions in the Kerala Conservation of Paddyland and Westland Act, 2008.

The new provisions would lead to largescale conversion of paddy fields for non agriculture purposes in the state where the area of paddy fields had come dowan drastically in the recent years.

PTI