1988 volume 20(11) pages 1427 – 1447

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Acharya B P, 1988, "The instruments of urban land policy in India: opportunities for future direction" Environment and Planning A 20(11) 1427 – 1447

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The instruments of urban land policy in India: opportunities for future direction

B P Acharya

Received 29 June 1987; in revised form 15 December 1987

Abstract. India is noted for her initiatives on urban land-reform measures, and she has been experimenting with various forms of public intervention since the early 1960s, with a view to diluting some of the disturbing trends in the urban land-market, such as speculation, land-price increases, and skewed distribution of land. This paper is an attempt to compile the scattered information on urban land-policy in India, to describe the major instruments currently in practice, and to examine them critically in a comprehensive perspective. In this way, I assess their potential and the constraints they place, in relation to planned urban development, regulating land-supply, and smoothing the behavior of the urban land-market. It is found that, despite the great promises attached to the present instruments, most of them have so far demonstrated only limited success, mainly because of their conceptual limitations and their disjointed nature. I highlight the improvement possibilities of the instruments and point towards some innovative technique(s) of urban land-management, for future application. I conclude that it is necessary to have a comprehensive and integrated approach to the setting up of policy objectives and instruments, and to their coordination with national development policies.

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