Bhu Kanoon in Uttarakhand (उत्तराखंड भू कानून)

Bhu Kanoon in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand, with its breathtaking mountain ranges and serene valleys, is a land of immense natural beauty and cultural heritage. However, navigating the legalities of land ownership in the state can be a complex affair. The Uttarakhand Bhu Kanoon (Land Law) plays a central role in regulating land transactions and protecting the interests of local residents. This guide aims to demystify the Bho Kanoon, providing a clear explanation of its purpose, key provisions, and recent updates, empowering you to make informed decisions regarding land ownership in Uttarakhand.

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You might have heard about the Bhu Kanoon in Uttarakhand but what exactly it is and how you can buy land in Uttarakhand while following all the rules?

What is the Uttarakhand Bhu Kanoon?

Bhoo Kanun is the land law of Uttarakhand. It is a complex and controversial issue, with many different stakeholders involved. The main goal of the Bhoo Kanun is to protect the interests of the local people, while also encouraging investment and development in the state.

Enacted in 2016, the Bho Kanoon serves as a legal framework for managing land ownership and transactions in the state. Its core objectives encompass:

  • Prioritizing local residents: The law prioritizes Uttarakhand natives in land ownership matters, aiming to safeguard their rights and prevent uncontrolled land acquisition by outsiders.
  • Curbing land grabbing: The legislation strives to combat land grabbing practices, ensuring fair and transparent land deals for all stakeholders.
  • Preserving agricultural land: Recognizing the significance of agriculture for the state’s economy and environment, the Bho Kanoon seeks to protect and preserve agricultural land by restricting its conversion for non-agricultural purposes.

In 2002, a regulation was instituted restricting individuals from other states to purchase land in Uttarakhand, limiting it to parcels of up to 500 square meters. However, in 2007, this threshold was reduced to 250 square meters.

The Bhoo Kanun has been criticized by some for being too restrictive. They argue that it prevents investment and development in the state and that it discriminates against non-residents. Others argue that the Bhoo Kanun is necessary to protect the interests of the local people, who are already facing a shortage of land.

Key Provisions of the Bhu Kanoon

The Bhoo Kanun is a complex and controversial issue. There are strong arguments on both sides of the debate. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to reform the Bhoo Kanun is a political one.

The following are some of the key provisions of the Bhoo Kanoon:

  • Restrictions on land sale to non-natives: Non-Uttarakhand residents are generally prohibited from purchasing agricultural land or acquiring residential land exceeding 250 square meters. Exceptions exist for specific categories like educational institutions and government projects, subject to approval.
  • Regulated Land Use: The law categorizes land into distinct zones, such as agricultural, residential, and commercial. Conversion of land from one zone to another necessitates obtaining specific permissions to ensure responsible development.
  • Emphasis on Registration and Transparency: The Bho Kanoon emphasizes the importance of transparency and registration in all land transactions. Proper documentation and registration with the concerned authorities are mandatory for all land dealings.
  • Non-residents are prohibited from purchasing land in Uttarakhand, with some exceptions.
  • Non-residents can purchase land if they have been living in Uttarakhand for at least 15 years.
  • Non-residents can purchase land up to a maximum area of 250 square meters.
  • Non-residents must obtain government permission before purchasing land in Uttarakhand.

The future of the Bhoo Kanun is uncertain. The Uttarakhand government is still considering the recommendations of the Uttarakhand Bhoo Kanoon committee. The law may be reformed, or remain unchanged.

Recent Developments:

As of March 2024, the Bho Kanoon remains in effect. In December 2023, the Uttarakhand government established a high-level committee to review and recommend potential amendments to the law. This committee’s focus lies on striking a balance between safeguarding the interests of local residents and fostering sustainable development in the state.

Data Snapshot:

  • Land area of Uttarakhand: 53,483 sq. km (source: Government of India website)
  • Percentage of agricultural land: Approximately 62% (source: Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Uttarakhand)
  • Number of registered land transactions (2022): Over 100,000 (source: Uttarakhand Registration Department)

Disclaimer: This blog post serves as a general overview of the Bho Kanoon and does not constitute legal advice. For specific situations or inquiries, consulting a qualified legal professional is highly recommended.


  1. 1. What are the exceptions to the restrictions on land sale to non-natives?

    As mentioned, specific categories like educational institutions and government projects can acquire land under the Bho Kanoon, subject to approval from the concerned authorities.

  2. 2. How can I verify the zoning of a piece of land in Uttarakhand?

    You can contact the local tehsil office or the Uttarakhand Town and Country Planning Department to obtain information regarding the zoning classification of a specific land parcel.

  3. 3. What are the steps involved in registering a land transaction in Uttarakhand?

    The registration process typically involves submitting the required documents, paying stamp duty and registration fees, and appearing before the Sub-Registrar’s office for finalization. Refer to our previous blog post on Property Registration in Uttarakhand for a detailed walkthrough.

Do you have any questions or require further clarification regarding the Uttarakhand Bhu Kanoon? Share them in the comments section below, and let’s engage in a conversation about responsible land ownership and development practices in Uttarakhand.

You might like to read our previously published blog post about Uttarakhand real estate.

K. S. Bisht
Author: K. S. Bisht

Property Consultant in Haldwani.


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