218. Vesting of watercourse, springs, reservoirs, etc., in Village Panchayats

  1. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Kerala Land Conservancy Act 1957 (8 of 1958) or in any other law for the time being in force, all public water courses (other than river passing through more areas, than the panchayat area which the Government may, by notification in the gazette, specify), the beds and Banks of river streams, irrigation and drainage channels, canals, lakes, back waters and water courses and all standing and flowing water, springs, reservoirs, tanks, cisterns, fountains, wells, kappus, chals, stand pipes and other water works including those used by the public to such an extent as to give a prescriptive right to their use whether existing at the commencement of this Act or afterwards made, laid or erected and whether made, laid or erected at the cost of the panchayat or otherwise, and also any adjacent land, not being private property appertaining thereto shall stand transferred to and vest absolutely in the village panchayat:
    Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall apply to any work which is or is connected with a work or irrigation or to any adjacent land appertaining of any such work.
  2. Subject to the provisions of this Act, all rights and liabilities of the Government in relation to the water courses, springs, reservoirs, tanks, cisterns, fountains, wells, kappus, chals, stand pipes and other water works vested in the village panchayat under subsection (1) shall from the date of such vesting be the rights and liabilities of the village panchayat.
  3. Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), the government may, by notifications in the Gazette, assume the administration of any public source of water supply and public land adjacent and appertaining thereto after consulting the village panchayat and giving due regard to its objection, if any.
  4. It shall not be lawful for any person to remove or appropriate for himself any tree, earth, sand, metal, laterite, limeshell or such other articles of value as may be notified by the village panchayat from any land which is transferred to or vested in the village panchayat, under this Act whether a poramboke or not except under and in accordance with the terms and conditions of a permit issued by the village panchayat in this behalf and on payment of such fees and compensation at the rate determined by the village panchayat.