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Punjab Land Preservation Act of 1900

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 17, Nov 2021
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The Punjab Land Preservation Act was enacted by the then government of Punjab in 1900. Through the Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2019, the state government has proposed many changes.

Now, what’s the issue?

The original law provided for the conservation of subsoil water and/or prevention of erosion in areas found to be subject to erosion or likely to become liable to erosion.

  • As per Section 3 of the original act, the government has powers to bring any area ‘subject to erosion or likely to become liable to erosion’ under the ambit of the PLPA through a notification.
  • But, a new section- Section 3A, has been inserted into the Bill to exclude certain areas from the ambit of the Act.

What are the concerns?

  • Under its provisions, the PLPA won’t apply to ‘the lands included in the final development plans, any other town improvement plans or schemes’ published under the provisions of many laws like Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority Act, 2017.
  • Environmentalists feel that the latest move by the government has exposed thousands of acres land falling on the hills and foothills of Aravallis, which cover over 26,000 acres in Gurgaon and Faridabad districts, to mining and real estate development.

Need for conservation:

According to a report in May 2019 by the Central Ground Water Board under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, 105 out of 138 blocks are in the dark zone. At current rates of depletion, good quality water in the first aquifer up to a depth of 100 m shall be exhausted in 10 years, and the entire subsurface water resource could be finished in the next 22 years.