To convert doba/tank or water body land into residential or commercial or homestead land, one has to apply to local municipality as well as the District Land Reform and Land Reform Officer (DLR/LRO) in the given format that is attached below.

The cost for conversion is somewhere between Rs. 20 to Rs. 100 per decimal of doba or tank or water body land, depending on location. Check with concerned authority in your area.

If one were to apply for conversion of doba or tank or water body land then the competent authority to look into such matters is the Municipal Commissioner of the Corporation. The application must be forwarded to the Municipality and the (DLR/LRO) must recommend the proposal of for sanction of building plan. The land must be surveyed by the Surveyor and a report submitted. Further, in pursuance of the aforesaid report, the Deputy City Architect must also give his approval and thereafter the proposal must finally receive clearance certificate under the Town and Country (Planning & Development) Act, 1979.

Further, you must also seek permission of the Fisheries Department to check whether the said land is suitable for pisiculture purposes.

You must be aware that Section 17A of the West Bengal Inland Fisheries Act, 1984 states that:

(1) No person shall

(a) put any water area including embankment measuring 5 cottahs or 0.035 hectare or more, which is capable of being used as fishery, or any naturally or artificially depressed land holding measuring 5 cottahs or 0.035 hectare or more, which retains water for a minimum period of six months in a year, to such use, other than fishery, as may result in abolition of fishery, or

(b) fill up any water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding as aforesaid, with a view to converting it into solid land for the purpose of construction of any building thereon or for any other purpose, or

(c) divide any water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding as aforesaid into parts so as to make any such part measure less than 5 cottahs or 0.035 hectare for any purpose other than pisciculture or transfer any part of any such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding as so divided to any other person.”

(2) If the competent authority, on receipt of an information or on his own motion or otherwise, is satisfied that –

(a) any water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding, referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (1), is being, or is about to be, put to any use, other than fishery, or

(b) any such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding is being, or is about to be, filled up, or

(c) any such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding is being, is about to be, divided into parts, or any part of any such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding as so divided is being, or is about to be, transferred to any other person, in contravention of the provisions of sub-section (1) and that it is necessary for the purpose of promotion of pisciculture, checking of destruction of fisheries and prevention of environmental degradation so to do, he may, by order in writing, take over the management and control of such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding, as the case may be.

(4) The management and control of such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding may be transferred by the competent authority to any person for proper utilization for pisciculture of such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding, as the case may be, in such manner as may be prescribed.

 

(7) If the person referred to in sub-section (4) fails to utilize the water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding, as the case may be, in accordance with the prevailing norms of pisciculture, the competent authority may, after giving noting to such person, resume the management and control of such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding, as the case may be, without payment of any rent or compensation to such person; and such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding, as the case may be, may thereafter be managed by the competent authority or transferred to some other person for pisciculture.

(10) (a) The competent authority may, by a written notice, require any person who, by contravening the provisions of sub-section (1)- (i) puts any water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding to any use other than fishery, or (ii) fills up any water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding with a view to converting it into solid land, or (iii) divides any water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding into parts for any purpose other than pisciculture or transfer any part of any such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding as so divided to any other person, to restore, within such period as may be specified in the notice, such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding, as the case may be, to its original condition at his own expense.

(b) If such person fails to restore such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding to its original condition within the period specified in the notice under clause (a), the competent authority may, by order in writing, take over the management and control of such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding, as the case may be, restore it to its original condition, and recover the entire cost in this behalf or any part thereof from such person.

(c) The management and control of such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding as may be taken over by the competent authority under clause (b) may be transferred by the competent authority to any person for proper utilization of such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding, as the case may be, in such manner as may be prescribed. And, thereupon, the provisions of sub- sections (5), (6), (7) and (8) shall apply to such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding, as the case may be.”

Fishery has been defined in Section 2 (vi) of the West Bengal Inland Fisheries Act, 1984. It reads:

2(vi) fishery means any activity or occupation connected with conservation, development, propagation, protection, exploitation or disposal of fish and fish products, or any place or water area where such activity or occupation is carried on, and includes a tank fishery.” Mr. Chatterjee has argued that the said property is not naturally or artificially depressed land holding but a water area as mentioned in the first part of clause (a) of Section 17A(1) of the Fisheries Act and that there has been contravention of provisions of clause (b) thereof.

In Siteswar Pramanik -vs- The State of West Bengal & Ors (W.P. 16140(W) of 2008) it has been stated that if the conversion is violative of West Bengal Land Reforms Act, 1955 and West Bengal Municipal Act and West Bengal Fisheries Act, 1984 then steps may be taken for inquiry. As per section 4(C) of the West Bengal Land Reforms Act, nobody can change the nature and character of any plot without permission of the Collector and violation of the said provision is punishable. Further, West Bengal Inland Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1993 puts an embargo on the conversion of water area for other use as per provision of section 17A(1)(b) of the said Act.

As per the provisions of then West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993 nobody can make any construction for residential house without permission and the Municipal Authority cannot issue sanction plan in a water body. The Land Reform Department cannot also convert the water body for other purpose. However, a deeper analysis of such provisions is required.

It has been held in Bajranglal Sarda & ors. vs State of west Bengal & Ors. W.P. No. 9383 ( W ) of 2008 that:

“water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding as aforesaid” and “such water area including embankment or naturally or artificially depressed land holding” have been used in Section 17A, the expressions “as aforesaid” and “such” refer either to “any water area including embankment measuring 5 cottahs or 0.035 hectare or more, which is capable of being used as fishery” or to “any naturally or artificially depressed land holding measuring 5 cottahs or 0.035 hectare or more, which retains water for a minimum period of six months in a year”. I am conscious that clause (b) of Section 17A(1) does not contain the words “as may result in abolition of fishery”, which find place only in clause (a) thereof. However, having regard to the object of the Fisheries Act, the words “for any other purpose” in clause (b) is wide enough to include within its reach “as may result in abolition of fishery”.

Further, it has been held by the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court that:

“In order to attract Section 17A(1) of the Fisheries Act that debars conversion of a water area of the requisite nature and area to any other use including construction of building thereon, as in the present case, it was therefore imperative for the competent authority to reach a satisfaction that not only a water area of the requisite size is being sought to be filled up or has been filled up for use other than fishery as may result in abolition of fishery but also that such water area is capable of being used as fishery. From the order of the competent authority it is revealed that no finding has been given as to whether the water body which, according to him, was existing and has since been gradually filled up, was at all capable of being used as fishery or not.

What clauses (a) and (b) of Section 17A(1) seek to prevent is that no water area existing on the relevant date, measuring 5 cottahs or more and which is capable of being used as fishery, shall be put to any use other than fishery or filled up with a view to converting it into solid land for the purpose of construction of any building thereon or for any other purpose, including a purpose that may result in abolition of fishery. The words “which is capable of being used as fishery” after the words “water area including embankment measuring 5 cottahs or 0.035 hectare or more” assumes significance in the light of sub-section (2) of Section 17A which confers power on the competent authority, if contravention of provisions contained in sub-section (1) thereof by any person is established, to take over management and control of such water area, if necessary, inter alia for the purpose of “promotion of pisciculture” and “checking of destruction of fisheries”. Sub-sections (4) and (7) of Section 17A also refer to handing over of management and control of a water area for “proper utilization for pisciculture” and “for pisciculture” respectively. The predominant purpose is to give effect to the object of the Fisheries Act, i.e. for conservation, development, propagation, protection, exploitation and disposal of inland fish and fisheries in West Bengal.”

Check this link for further info: http://ldo.nic.in/ & http://ldo.nic.in/conversion/SCHEME.pdf

Also check this link: http://ipheindia.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/scan_1.109161203.pdf

 

Format for Application for Conversion of Land for Setting up of Industries /Housing Complex.

(Court fee of Rs.10/- to be affixed)

To

The District Land and Land Reforms Officer,

……………………………………………….

Sub : Prayer for conversion of Land.

Dear Sir,

I/ we shall be very much glad if you kindly arrange to convert the following schedule of

land to Non-agri land for setting up of Industries/ Housing Complex.

Schedule of Land.

a) Name of Mouza- ………………………………………………………….

b) J.L.No. ………………………………………………………….

c) Khatian No. ( R.S. & L.R.) …………………………………………………………

d) Plot No. ( R.S. & L.R.) ………………………………………………………….

e) Recorded classification. ………………………………………………………….

f) Area of Land. …………………………………………………………

g) Police Station. ………………………………………………………….

h) District. ………………………………………………………….

The following documents in 5 copies are enclosed.

1. Declaration

2. Copy of Mutation Certificate.

3. Copy of current Record-of-Right.

4. Site plan in duplicate.

5. Certificate regarding industries issued by the D.I.C./ Dte. Of

Industries / Deptt. of Industry.

6. Copy of the project report duly vetted by the Competent Authority.

I/we further undertake to the effect that I/we will have no claim over the said land if in future the land(s) vests in the State in any proceeding under any provision of law. I/we also undertake to the effect that if the land in question is found to be vested. I/we will apply to the State Govt. for Long Term Settlement of the same under usual terms and conditions on payment of Rent and Salami etc. as will be determined by the State Govt.

That in case of my failure to apply Long Term Settlement within the period of one month. I shall be liable to be evicted from the land as a trespasser and shall also be liable to payment of damage for the use and occupation of the said land.
That I have taken over possession of the land and the said land is free from encumbrances.

I/we also declare that none of the land is recorded as Tank/Orchard or cultivated by Bargadar.

Date :                                                                    Yours faithfully

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6 thoughts on “Conversion of Doba or Tank or Water Body Land into Homestead Land or Commercial Land in West Bengal

  1. I have purchased a piece of land recently. The character of land is fruit orchard. now i want to make conversation of this land to homestead purpose. please reply me the procedure have to be followed accordingly.

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  2. i am parches a part of land that is already embankment of water body , but more than 70% part of this land was already conversion for utilize of commercial and also construction for residential house by other person, of the said part of land.
    Now i am request that what procedure should be taken for conversion of part of said land for purpose of residential house.

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  3. I have a land designated as pond in Habra municipality. The area of the land is 3 cottah or 2160 sq ft. Now I would like to convert the land from water body to home steed. I already deposited an application to Habra municipality for issue a NOC but they are ignoring to issue the certificate. What can I do at this sotuation. Is there has any substitute for the NOC.

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