During most of our lifetimes, we have seen large changes in the environment
around us. We may have seen forests be cut down for housing or farm fields be
turned into a shopping center. Although some of these changes are necessary for
human survival, as we convert more and more natural land to developed land,
there is a growing concern over the amount and quality of the natural land that
remains. Some people are concerned that we are destroying all of our natural
land, and in recent years, there has been a large push to protect our land.
When you "conserve
" something, you protect it from being damaged or destroyed.
In the case of land conservation, the goal is to safeguard land in its natural
state and, in some cases, convert developed properties back into greenspaces.
Land conservation is the process of protecting natural land and returning
developed land to its natural state.
Land conservation efforts around the world are underpinned by national and
sub-national frameworks of conservation laws and policies. Some laws governing
the Conservation of Land in Kerala are:
The Kerala Land Conservancy Act, 1957
- The Kerala Land Conservancy Act, 1957 (Act 8 of 1958)
- The Kerala Land Conservancy Rules, 1958
- Kerala Land Conservancy (Amendment) Act, 2009 (Act 29 of 2009) (Repealed
The Kerala Land Conservancy (Amendment) Ordinance, 2009 )
Kerala land Conservancy Act, 1957 prevents the unauthorized occupation of
government lands in Kerala. The objective was to have a uniform act, applicable
all over the state. The act applies to all government lands across Kerala.
The ever-increasing land value resulted in rampant encroachment of revenue
lands, both through physical occupation and through forged documents. The Act
intends to prevent such encroachment, and conserve government land for the
"common good "or benefit of the society.
Kerala Land Assignment Act, 1960
- The act defines government land and perumboke land.
Sn 3 of the Act lists the following as property of government:
Perumboke land is defined as unassisted land which is the property of the
government, used or reserved for public purpose, or for communal use of the
- Public roads
- Streets, lanes, and pathways
- Bridges, bunds, ditches, and dykes
- Banks of rivers, streams, and drainage canals
- All flowing water
- The act lays down rules governing lawful occupation of government land
- Establishing the principal land once vested with the government cannot
be alienated without the concurrence of the government.
- The act makes it unlawful for any person to occupy a land which is the
property of the government, whether perumboke or not, without the permission of
- The act lists state as the custodian or trustee of all resources,
including unassessed land, and reserve its use for public purposes.
- Sn 61(1) makes it unlawful for anyone to destroy, remove, or appropriate any
earth, sand, metal, or other article of value from government land, except
without a permit.
The Kerala land Assignment Act empowers the government to assign any government
land, either absolutely, or subject to restrictions and limitations. Sn 10 of
the Transfer of Property Act prescribes conditions regarding alienation of such
The subsequent Kerala land Assignment Rules, 1964 lists out the purpose for
which government land may be assigned.
The major purposes are:
Kerala Land Utilization Order, 1967
- For cultivation
- For housing sites
- Beneficial enjoyment of adjoining registered holdings
Objective of Kerala Land Utilization Order, 1967 is to improve food crops, such
as paddy, sugarcane, vegetable, tapioca, yam, tea etc.
The act was first promulgated in 1958 and later amended in 1967.
The objective of the act was to:
- Bring wasteland and arable land likely to be left fallow under
- Prevent the conversion of any land cultivated with food crops for other
Parveen K v Land Revenue Commisisoner, Thiruvananthapuram (2010): All provisions
of the Land Utilization Order, 1967 are still valid. Only exception is with
regards to paddy and wetland, which are now covered under the Paddy land Act.
Kerala Paddy Field and Wetland Conservation Act, 2008
The Kerala Paddy Fields and Wetlands Conservation Act, 2008 aims to conserve and
prevent the reclamation of wetlands and paddy-fields of the state.
- To promote the growth of agriculture
- To sustain the ecological balance