Working definition of plantation in Karnataka

Dear Forum Members and Experts,

This is about the contentious issue of sale of farm/agricultural land as plantation land --with aim of developed holiday/weekend/nature home or getaway. As I understand “anyone can buy plantation land in Karnataka.” Let us take it from there. Plantation is clearly defined as land where coffee, tea, cardamom, pepper, rubber CAN be grown. Now, please tell me when it comes to registration will authorities go by declaration on paper that such crops can be grown/will be grown/is grown? As you may be knowing this “plantation” term is being used to circumvent both letter and spirit of the law as it stands --that is a non-agriculturist cannot buy agricultural land. So will one be on the right side of the law if the above plants 1) are actually cultivated or 2) if there is a declared intention of growing it or 3) if the soil lends itself to such plants. I know this is a lot of splitting of hairs but I need to know the flexibilities/definitions under this umbrella statement that “anyone can buy plantation land” to make up my mind about investing in one such project. What if none of these plants are actually grown?

here is a partial answer:
What land has what crop is mentioned in RTC or pahani. it is VA or PDO’s job to keep this information.

i think there is no restriction about crops. only farmers can buy agriculture land.

In our taluk no crop infor is available in pani /RTC.  Think this is same for other parts of Karnataka.

Ms Sudha,
        Please refrain from buying agri land in Karnataka. There are lot of hassles in purchasing an agri land. I know people who have purchased agri land as an investment, but the officials complained that these people were not genuine Agriculturists and escalated it to the level where its being decided in tribunals. The laws are too stringent and anybody can misuse these laws. The authorities use these laws to threaten the people to mint money.

Coming to the plantation part, the Village Administrative officer and the Tahsildar have to certify that there is plantation in the specified site. None of the places around Bangalore, at least for a 100 KM radius, are eligible to grow any of the plantations like coffee, tea, etc and cannot be categorized as plantations as per the land records.

Anybody can put in a query asking for details and questioning how the land is allocated to a non agriculturists. There are cases of misuse of laws, where even genuine agriculturists are making rounds of the tribunals because somebody complained out of personal grudge. These issues are more predominant around Bangalore, as these are the places where there is huge demand for land. Even if you manage to get a fake document that the land is having plantations, if it gets questioned, then all of the officers, including you are in a big soup. So, the officers will not take the risk of giving plantation certificate.

Please do a thorough inquiry about the documents you need, before proceeding further with the purchase of Agri land.

Regards,
AKS

Thanks for the illuminating responses. I can safely conclude by the replies so far that there are some loopholes and this gives scope for misuse. While Pani ought to contain the details, it looks like it is ignored by some. Thanks AKfarms for warning me. I will steer clear of fly- by- night operators and scout around in Tamil Nadu where the law permits non-agriculturists to purchase farm land.