The Act was enacted in the year 2008 and it was formulated with the objective to conserve paddy land and wetland. It was also to restrict the conversion or reclamation of such land. Prior to this there was indiscriminate conversion of paddy land and wetland in the State.
Kerala conservation paddy wetland Act specifically prohibits the owner, occupier or the person in custody of any paddy land from any activity for conversion or reclamation of such paddy land and further provides that suitable incentives would be provided from time to time for paddy cultivation. To monitor the implementation of the Act local level committees would be formed. The monitoring committees would be at the following levels:
- Local Level Monitoring Committee
- District Level Monitoring Committee
- State Level Monitoring Committee
The Act further prescribes measures for the protection of wetlands. From the date of commencement of the Act there is a complete prohibition on reclamation of wetland and of removal of sand there from. Authorized officers would be further appointed to inspect if any of the provisions of the Act have been violated.
The District Collector is further empowered by the Act to take measures and steps which it deems fit for the purpose of conservation of paddy lands and wet lands.
Local authorities shall further not grant license to any person who intends to carry out any construction activities on paddy land and if such a license is granted then the same would be in violation of the Act. The committees are further empowered to issue directions to the holder of the paddy land to start cultivation on such land if there has been no cultivation.
Any person who converts or reclaims any paddy land or wet land is liable to be punished by way of fine or imprisonment.
The Kerala conservation paddy wetland Act is a progressive step and is taken in order to prohibit conversion of paddy and wetland.