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  State Land Use Board
                                                                                                Major activities 

            In 1974, the Ministry of Agriculture addressed the State Governments for setting up the State Land Use Board as an apex body, under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister to provide policy direction, ensure close coordination among various departments and also to achieve integrated planning for optimal use of available natural resources. The State Land Use Board was set up in West Bengal in May, 1975 with the Chief Minister as Chairman. Initially, the membership was confined at the level of Ministers.

The Board was reconstituted subsequently in June, 1980 and December, 1983, with change in composition. Secretaries and Technical Heads of Departments, involved in land and water resources development, were inducted as members under the Chairmanship of Honorary Adviser (Land Use). A technical cell, headed by a Director, was created to provide necessary scientific support. The post was held by a senior officer of the Geological Survey of India on deputation.

The present board was reconstituted on February10, 1986. The composition of the reconstituted board as per resolution no. 3948/P/SLUB/2C-3/87 dated 5th June, 1987 includes:

    1. Chairman, on appointment by the State Government.
       
    2. Inspector General of Forest & Ex-officio Additional Secretary to the Government of India (Department of Agriculture), Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operation.
       
    3. Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Government of West Bengal.
       
    4. Secretary, Development and Planning Department, Government of West Bengal.
       
    5. Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Department, Government of West Bengal.
       
    6. Secretary, Forest Department, Government of West Bengal.
       
    7. Secretary, Irrigation and Waterways Department, Government of West Bengal.
       
    8. Land Reforms Commissioner & Ex-officio Secretary, Land and Land Reforms Department, Government of West Bengal.
       
    9. Secretary, Department of Environment, Government of West Bengal.
       
    10. Secretary, Department of Local Government and Urban Development Department, Government of West Bengal.
       
    11. Secretary, Fisheries Department, Government of West Bengal.
       
    12. Secretary, Metropolitan Development Department, Government of West Bengal.
       
    13. Secretary, Panchayat and C D Department, Government of West Bengal.
       
    14. Special Secretary, Minor Irrigation Department, Government of West Bengal.
       
    15. Director, State water Investigation Directorate, West Bengal.
       
    16. Director of Agriculture, West Bengal.
       
    17. Chief Conservator of Forest, West Bengal.
       
    18. Dr Sunil Munshi, Geographer.
       
    19. A Geologist to be selected by the board.
       

The Director of the Land Use Board functions as its non-member Secretary.

The primary function of the board is to study different factors which affect adversely the land and soil resources of the State and suggest remedial measures so as to ensure proper of such resources. In particular, the functions of the board include the following:

1. To collect and co-ordinate the available data and plans and to initiate, prepare, and publish expert studies including survey and research on land and soil resources of the state and their effective conservation.
 

2. To evaluate the land and water resources and environmental factors like erosion by wind or water, water-logging, salinity etc. and decide upon suitable land-use policy for different parts of the state so as to ensure optimum conservation of the soil, fertility and moisture, reduction of flood hazard and sustainable utilization of natural resources like forest and grazing lands etc.
 

3. To co-ordinate plans and programmes of different concerned departments of the State Government in the field of land use and soil conservation and provide expert guidance and direction.
 

4. To consider and approve soil conservation plans proposed by different departments for different parts of the state.
 

5. To consider and recommend necessary administrative measures or execution of the plans so approved and removal of the bottlenecks in their way.
 

6. To review from time to time existing laws concerning the object and suggest new legislations where necessary.
 

7. To consider and advise on any other matter related to land use, soil and water conservation and flood control that may be referred to the Board.
 

8. To consider and recommend measures for increasing the availability of trained personnel in this field.
 

9. To recommend steps for greater public participation in planning and decision making in the use of land and soil resources and suggest ways of helping rural communities to conserve these resources as the essential bases of their developmental needs.
 

10. To liaise with and advise, when necessary, different departments and agencies of the Central and State Governments as well as different local agencies and organizations including research organizations, in the discharge of its functions.

    Current initiatives:

1.Pilot project for collecting village level land use statistics - working on the Budget
    and details for consultation with Experts from other states.

2. Socio-economic implications of Land conversion in North Bengal. North Bengal       
    University has been entrusted with the job of conducting the study.

3. Cropping Pattern and Land Use in the Western Laterite Zone of West Bengal. Vidya 
     Sagar University has been entrusted with the job of conducting the study.

4. Presently we are working on the Terms of Reference for the Perspective Plan to be 
     prepared by any reputed Organisation.

5.Framing of State Land Use Policy is also being worked out.