Shimla: Those eyeing for the mystical land of Himachal Pradesh to build a dream home in the Himalayan valley will have to keep their aspirations to rest.

In wake of the sudden spurt in the number of purchase of properties in the state by outsiders, the State government is contemplating on amending the Section 118 of The Land Reform and Tenancy Act 1972.

The proposed amendment will place a check on the discretion of the State Cabinet to permit the purchase of land by outsiders. The norms for setting up industries in the state would be made stricter, and outsider dreaming of owning a house in Himachal will have to bid adieu to their plans.

After a stricture coming from the High Court on the rampant sale of land to non-Himachal residents and non-farmers, the state bureaucrats have come up with a proposal to strengthen state’s Land Act. The draft in this regard prepared by a team head by Chief Secretary would be soon presented before the Cabinet sub committee for discussion. 

During the land acquisition for the power projects under the Congress regime, many officials of the Secretariat reportedly bought the tribal lands at nominal rates and sold them to the industrial houses at whopping prices to earn maximum profit.

Even though the purchase of land by non Himachal residents and non farmers is not permitted in the state, the State Cabinet by invoking the section 118 of the Land Reform and Tenancy Act 1972 is entitled to grant permission in this regard.

During the Congress regime in the state (2003-07), 2068 cases of purchase of land by outsiders got relaxation from the Cabinet, whereas in the BJP tenure (2008- to present date) the state Cabinet has given nod to 1,297 such cases.