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Punjab land Alienation Act 1900

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Punjab land Alienation act 1900

In 1900, the Punjab Land Prevention Act was passed by the government of Punjab. The state government has proposed many changes through the Punjab Land Prevention bill 2019.

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The original act suggested ‘the conservation of subsoil water or prevention of erosion’ in areas found to be subject to erosion or likely to become liable to erosion.

The government has the authority to bring an area ‘subject to erosion or likely to become liable to erosion’ under the ambit of the PLPA through notification as per section 3 of the original law.

A new section Section 3A has been put into the bill to keep out certain areas from the ambit of the act.

Lord Curzon enacted Punjab Land Prevention Act in 1900. The bill was laid down that non-peasant could buy lands from the peasants and neither could be attached their lands in case of non-payment of debts nor keep the land in mortgage for more than 20 years as per the act.

Therefore, the moneylenders stopped lending money and Lord Curzon had to open banks and these societies. During the time of Lord Curzon, Various cooperative societies of agriculturists and Agricultural Banks were established.

Through this bill, a 15 years limitation was placed on all land purchases and mortgages. This act also cancelled the right of ‘Zamindar’ to sell or mortgage a land

The fundamental objective of this law was to impose a check on the alienation of land from agriculture to nonagricultural class and therefore it disappointed the moneylenders.

The objective was to protect the Zamindars. They borrowed money from the Money Landers and then either sold or mortgaged their lands.

These Zamindars also restricted the entry of urban Professionals and traders into any kind of land transaction with the peasants.

Due to economic oppression, the peasants were on the border of the agitation and the government wanted to provide them with some relief. Although many Indian leaders and the press opposed this bill by saying that this bill has nothing serious measures to improve the social-economic condition of the peasantry.

This bill made the shopkeepers, moneylenders, professionals and the trader class against the government. It is known as an encroachment on private property and the money lenders thought they shall be made the scapegoat.

At that time, the trader class of Punjab came close to Congress.

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Under its provisions, The PLPA would not be applicable to the lands included in the final development plans or any other town improvement plans published under the provisions of many laws like the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act 1994 and the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority Act 2017.

This move by the government has exposed thousands of acres of landfalling on the hills and foothills of Aravalies covering over twenty-six thousand acres in Gurgaon and Faridabad district to mining and real estate development.

Way forward

Under the ministry of Jal Shakti, 105 out of 138 blocks are in the dark zone according to a report in May 2019 by the Central Ground Water Board.

Good quality water in the first aquifer up to a depth of 100 m shall be exhausted in 10 years at current rates of depletion. Also, the entire subsurface water resource could be finished in the next 22 years.

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