Permission from local level govt compulsory to plot land

Kathmandu, November 18

Due to increasing number of complaints regarding land plotting and unmanaged urbanisation, government has passed a new Land Use Act 2018, which has a provision whereby local level permission is must for plotting land.

The Cabinet meeting on November 11 had passed the act and forwarded it to the Parliament for its endorsement. The Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation (MoLMCPA) had submitted the act to the Cabinet in the first week of November.

“We believe that the new act will help ease the problems that have been rising due to the haphazard way in which land is being plotted for residential purposes,” said Gopi Nath Mainali, secretary of MoLMCPA.

As per Mainali, the act has classified land into seven categories - agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, forest, public and others. “The government will soon implement this act, which will help in well-managed urbanisation and proper utilisation of land in the country.”

As a result of unmanaged urbanisation and plotting of land, size of arable land across the country has considerably decreased, directly affecting agricultural production. “The act has also addressed this issue,” said Mainali.

However, he said that the local bodies of the government need to introduce effective guidelines based on this act and focus on proper implementation of all the provisions included in the act to ensure wise and managed use of land.

Once the act is endorsed by Parliament, the local governments will need to categorise land into residential, industrial, forest, agricultural, commercial, public and other segments for better utilisation of the land.

The mismanagement of land has often been considered to be a responsible factor for natural disasters and climate change problems. “The new act has addressed all such problems and ensured to formulate immediate measures to address the growing risk of a food crisis due to increased fragmentation of fertile land and haphazard urbanisation,” Mainali mentioned.

The country has been facing a perennial problem of people migrating from rural areas to city centres as most opportunities, whether it is for employment or education, among others, are available mostly in the urban areas only. This has resulted in the agricultural land and forest areas being used for residential purposes as the demand for housing goes up.

As per MoLMCPA, over 105,000 hectares of arable land in country has been lost to urbanisation process since 2009.