Govt okays proposed legislation to protect agricultural land

Published June 9, 2021
The participants were told that under the proposed law, besides the Land Use and Building Control Authority, the establishment of a council at provincial level was also proposed with the chief minister as its head. Reuters/File
The participants were told that under the proposed law, besides the Land Use and Building Control Authority, the establishment of a council at provincial level was also proposed with the chief minister as its head. Reuters/File

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has finalised the proposed legislation to protect agricultural land and green areas and prevent illegal construction activities on agricultural lands.

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan accepted the draft of the proposed Land Use and Building Control Authority Act, 2021, and directed the relevant quarters to seek its approval from the cabinet to table it in the provincial assembly for approval, according to a statement issued here on Tuesday.

He said the government was focusing on the protection of agricultural land and prevention of illegal construction activities on it but an effective legal framework and its strict implementation was required for the purpose.

Mr Mahmood issued the directions during a meeting on the bill at the Chief Minister’s House here, where local government minister Akbar Ayub, chief secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, senior member of the Board of Revenue Syed Zafar Ali Shah, advocate general Shumail Butt and relevant administrative secretaries were in attendance.

Authority to be set up for land use, building control

The participants were told that under the proposed law, besides the Land Use and Building Control Authority, the establishment of a council at provincial level was also proposed with the chief minister as its head.

The council will have representation of the provincial cabinet, relevant administrative secretaries and experts from private sectors. It will approve land use plan for any district and necessary amendments to it.

The meeting was informed that besides the approval of land use plans and master plans of districts, the council would also provide policy framework and work as an oversight body for the implementation of policies in that regard.

Under the proposed law, committees will be formed in all districts with deputy commissioners heading them and heads of the related departments working as their members.

The district committee will prepare land use plan at district level and forward it to the provincial council for final approval. The district committee will also ensure implementation of the approved land use plan at district level.

The meeting was further informed that at tehsil municipal administration level, the establishment of an inspectorate had been proposed to ensure the maintenance of land use records and take action against violators of the building laws and bylaws.

The bill also sought the formation of tribunals to address the complaints of citizens regarding the land use plan.

Briefing the forum about the master planning of districts, the officials said the master planning of six district had so far been completed, while consultants were being hired for 22 more districts.

The chief minister directed the relevant authorities to fix timelines for the completion of the master planning of the remaining districts and complete the master planning of urban districts on a priority basis.

He said the master planning of districts should be carried out for 30 years instead of 20 years.

Mr Mahmood said the provincial government intended to establish at least two family parks in every district during the next two years. He directed the authorities concerned to identify suitable lands in districts for the purpose.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2021

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