Protection of Government lands within the state is entrusted with the Department of Land Revenue. The department is responsible for land assignment, land acquisition, land use etc.


Protection of Public Lands

Each Village Office maintains a register which lists all the public lands within the boundaries of the village. The Village Officer is responsible for identifying and reporting any encroachments in the public lands, to the Tahsildar. The Village Officer should check the boundaries stones of the Government lands once in 3 months for identifying any encroachments. The Tahsildar is responsible for performing a super-check of 5% of the cases thus reported. The details of the inspection has to be recorded in the register maintained in the Village Office for this purpose and is verified during Jamabandhi.


Land Utilization

As per section 6 of the Kerala Land Utilization Order, 1967, conversion of lands being cultivated with food crops mentioned in the order, consecutively for 3 years prior or subsequent to the enactment of the order, without prior permission of the District Collector/RDO, is prohibited. The District Collector/RDO is authorized to order the holder of the land who acts in contravention to this Order to continue cultivating the same food crop, after hearing the affected parties. The District Collector/RDO is authorized to order the holder of lands left barren, to be cultivated with paddy or other food crops. The District Collector/RDO is also authorized to auction out the right to cultivate on a land for a period of 3 years in cases where the order to cultivate is not complied with. Before deciding on the application as per the KLU Order, the District Collector/RDO shall call for the report from the Village Officer or inspect the land himself. The Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act was enacted to protect the ecology, encourage agriculture, prevent conversion and protection of Paddy Land and Wetlands.


Transfer of Registry

Mutation of land details in village records, upon transfer of ownership, for the purpose of collecting tax from the owner of land is known as Transfer of Registry. This is done as per the Transfer of Registry Rules, 1966. The application for TR is presented before the Village Officer. Transfer of Registry is initiated in the following cases.

1. Voluntary transfer of title – This includes cases of absolute transfer of title over a land by sale, partition, gift, agreement etc. This is approved based on the registered document by which transfer of proposed to be effected.

2. By virtue of decrees of Civil Courts or Revenue sales – Transfer of Registry can be effected based on the decrees of Civil courts or Revenue sales

3. Transfer by succession – Whenever a Pattadar dies, the Village Officer reports the fact to the Tahsildar along with the details of the legal heirs so far as can be ascertained. In cases of disputes, the Tahsildar can arrive at a decision after hearing the affected parties.


Transfer of Possession

Transfer of Possession is done by the Revenue Department to transfer Government lands to other departments in the Government for public purposes. If the land is being planned to be put to use for commercial or profit generating initiatives, the value of land has to be levied. Land for autonomous bodies under the Government, local self government organizations and public sector undertakings are given on lease or assigned after levying the market value of the property.


Land Reforms

Land reforms in Kerala was enacted through the Kerala Land Reforms Act, 1963. This was enacted after the Kerala Agrarian Relations Act, 1960. Though certain provisions of the Kerala Land Reforms Act, 1963 was enacted with effect from 01.04.1964, it was amended comprehensively after including the relevant provisions for land ceiling, with effect from 01.01.1970. The three key aspects of this Act are fixity of tenure for deemed tenants, establish the rights and liabilities of Kudikidappukars and restriction on ownership and possession of land in excess of ceiling limits.


Cardamom settlement

The RDO decides over the matters related to the leasing of land for cardamom cultivation. Rules for lease of Government lands for cardamom cultivation, 1961 have been enacted for this purpose by the state Government and is applicable to the Government lands in Devikulam, Peerumedu and Udumbanchola Taluks. Lands in the possession of encroachers who have cultivated the same with cardamom may be leased to them, without auction, for a period of 20 years. Lease of Government lands suited for cardamom cultivation and not under private possession can be auctioned out for cardamom cultivation as per the rules.


Land Records Maintenance

Proper maintenance of land records is mandatory for effective land administration and future needs. Timely update of permanent land records which were created after the original settlement as per the changes happening in the land is the main objective of this initiative.