Land Reforms legislation in Kerala was a watershed event and served a huge socio-economic purpose. But fifty years on, Kerala has done little to maximize the use of land in terms of productivity, housing, industries, forests etc. Whilst retaining the spirit of the Land Reforms, it must be examined how economies of scale can be achieved with all its attendant benefits of higher productivity by planned land use.
It’s pertinent that urban and rural areas must have a guideline for personal, industrial and civic use. As a state, do we really have a master plan for land use to serve as a guideline for corporations, municipalities and panchayats keeping in mind the density of population, topography, natural features and local needs? Admittedly, there ought to be a ‘zoning’ approach to planning. This is necessary to prevent geo-climatic disasters and reduce its impact on people.
Our higher density of population and lower land availability vis a vis other states is a reality and should call for pragmatic solution to development needs with regard to human aspirations. This calls for an interface management using adaptive techniques leveraging on technology. Industrial parks must ensure air, water pollution control measures, especially when habitation around industrial areas cannot be averted due to population/land availability.