Urbanization | VOL. 15, ISSUE 88, January-February 2015

Land Acquisition and Urbanisation

Land is a vital component in the economic process and an important asset. Everyone needs some land to live and work on. Its ownership pattern and its use largely determine the structure of the economy and shape economic processes. In the process of urbanisation, the land hitherto used for agricultural and allied purposes, is put to non-agricultural uses such as housing, commercial infrastructure, public utilities and the like. When rural land is converted into urban land, it commands far greater market value. Who is entitled to this increase in market value of the rural land? Is it the individual who owns the land, the person who buys it, the middleman or the society at large, which is collectively causing the process of urbanisation. Urban planners, researchers and policy makers have different takes on the issue and there is no consensus as yet.   Urban Land Development in Delhi: A Different Model Delhi went in for large-scale acquisition of land ‘to check the haphazard growth of Delhi’ (following the unprecedented influx of refugees after partition in 1947). Thereafter, a ‘Master Plan’ was put in place, for which the Delhi Development (Provisional) Authority was created in 1955. Accordingly, in 1959, about 34,000 acres of land were notified under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, (indicating intention to acquire for ‘Planned Development of Delhi’). In total, acquisition...

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