All lands are basically agricultural land so all lands not falling in any non-agricultural categories are deemed to be agricultural land irrespective of they are used for cultivation or not. Where the area is primarily engaged in agricultural activity the Regional Plan allocates the land of the area for agricultural activity and categories it as the Green Zone.
The aim is to protect agricultural activity, preserve area for recreational use and arrest urban sprawl. Although Green Zone is much like Forest zone, lands falling under Green Zone cannot be purely used for agricultural activity alone for number of reasons. For example;
- In every village there are some places which are reserved for village settlement. The place reserved for this purpose is called Gaothan. Population of rural area is ever increasing. To meet the growing requirement of housing and allied activities provisions are made in MLR Code and in the Bombay Village Grampanchayat Act for extension of Gaothan.
- Agricultural land is required to use for other purposes such as, agro-based industries for processing farm produce.
- Village needs roads for commuting, a hospital for the health care and schools for education.
- Although poultry farms, horticultural project, cattle stables, piggeries, sheep farms are agricultural activities, they consume agricultural land for erecting buildings for above production.
- Due to high value and shortage of large size land in urban area many space extensive activities such as educational, medical, social, cultural religious institutions, film and video shooting sites are not possible in urban areas.
Generally the Regional Plans permits below mentioned activities in the Green Zone under some conditions.
b) Farm buildings as permissible under Section 41 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue
c) Holiday resorts, holiday homes.
d) Single-family houses on plots not less than 2000 sq.m. in area.
e) Educational, medical, social, cultural and religious institutions along with residential quarters, and shops for the staff and the primary school, pre-primary school and health centre.
f) Film and video shooting sites with studio and other related facilities
g) Godowns, container park, open ground storage of non-hazardous and non-obnoxious
nature on the major district roads, state highways, or road having width 15.00 m or more and away from 500 m from Gaothan and National Highway.
h) Agricultural and allied activities and agro-based industries, rice mill, poha mill, saw mill, cold storage, horticultural project, poultry farms, cattle stables, piggeries, sheep farms.
i) Religious places, crematorium and cemetery;
j) Parks, gardens, play fields, golf courses, swimming pools, race courses, shooting ranges, camping grounds, facilities for water sports, amusement parks, theme parks;
k) Fish farms, fish drying, storage of boats, servicing and repairs of boats;
l) Quarrying of stone, murum or earth including mechanised stone crushing or stone dressing and temporary housing of laborers, office of the supervisors, managers and other accessory buildings related to quarrying activity.’
m) Small scale industries and resource based industries and processing plants employing local resources and giving employment to the local population in the rural areas having land requirements of not more than 4000 sq.m subject to not more than 2.0 ha in each village may be freely allowed in villages located 8 km from major industrial department.
n) Roads and bridges, railways, heliports, airports, ports, jetties, dams, pipelines, electricity transmission lines, communication towers, rope ways and such other essential services.
o) Highway amenities and services such as petrol pump, small shops, service stations including emergency repair services, restaurants, parking lots and police check-post.