As per the law, land allocated for agricultural use cannot be used for residential or commercial purposes until it is converted into non-agricultural land. Once converted, the owner can use it for the desired purpose. However, land conversion is a legal process requiring multiple documents and necessary approvals from competent authorities. The process of land conversion falls under the State jurisdiction and varies across locations. Land conversion in Karnataka from agricultural to the non-agricultural plot is carried out as follows:

Application submission

The foremost step is seeking approval from the Collector, Sub Divisional Officer or Tehsildar in the land revenue department. “Applicants can either apply offline or can opt for an online process. In a bid to benefit the landowners and expedite the process of approval, the Karnataka government has launched an online process to simplify the verification and sanction process,” shares N Somashekar, Property Agent, GK Properties, Bangalore.

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To begin the process, send an application in the prescribed format along with the following details and documents:

  • Certified copies of land records encapsulating the Title of Ownership
  • Certified copies of the land map (Tehsil and Taluk office)
  • Details of land such as extent, type of soil and crop cultivated on the land
  • Copies of mortgages on land, if any
  • Copies of layout, site plan and building plan signed by an architect
  • Appointment letter from the department of Architect and Architect (AOA)
  • No Objection Certificates (NOC) from Gram Panchayat, Municipal Corporations, Highway Authority and Pollution Control Board (if planning to set up an industrial unit)
  • Certified copy from Patwari/Talati
  • Zonal certificate copy from the Urban Development Authority
  • Record of Right and Tenancy Certificate (RTC)
  • Mutation letter
  • Original Sale Deed
  • Latest tax receipts
  • Certified survey map

In the case of an online process, the application should also incorporate a survey number and an affidavit. If the owner wishes to convert the land partially or if the RTC has multiple owners, the applicant must submit the 11E sketch too.

Reviewing the application and verifications

On receiving the request, the competent authority will scan the details to affirm the ownership, encumbrances, and land area. Once the check is complete, a circle office makes a site visit to ensure it is vacant land with no existing structure or high-tension wires. Land Acquisition Department and PCB authorities also undertake necessary checks.

In the online review process, the application will be forwarded to the Urban Development Authority for reviewing. The authority has to check if the request is as per the master plan or not.

Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP)

A Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP), also referred to as Master Plan, is a depiction of wide geographic areas of the State. If the land falls within the Municipal limits, an official from the Planning and Development Authority reviews the Master Plan to affirm if the plan is within Development Control Regulations and as per the building bye-laws.

The Grant

If the owner of the land/applicant adheres to all the necessary compliances, the authority grants the Change of Land Use (CLU). Henceforth, the applicant can commence the non-agricultural use of land, starting with levelling the ground and demarcation within one year from the order date. A CLU fee follows the entire process.

In the online process, after all the details are reviewed and verified, the applicant has to pay the CLU fees online. Once processed, the authorised deputy commissioner will sign the conversion order digitally. On receiving the application, the applicant can download the copy and print it for future use.

No scope of diversion on use of land

Once the conversion is complete, the purpose of land cannot be altered. For instance, land converted for residential use cannot be used for industrial purposes or vice-versa.

Aftermath of non-compliance

In case of defaulting the purpose, the structure on the land qualifies for demolition. Also, the owner will be slapped with penalties, avers Somashekar.

Being a landowner, you can make any use of your land, provided legal requirements have been duly complied. Lawful conversion is imperative to avoid complexities and penalties. Also, once the land is converted, apprise the Tehsildar of the Change of Land Use within 30 days for necessary record keeping.

Also read: How to apply for change of land use certificate online in Bangalore