A continuum of housing document types in Bengaluru slums


This Data Tale presents the complexity of housing documentation possessed by residents of slums in Bangalore. Based on an extensive survey by the authors, the findings of which are detailed in an accompanying opinion piece, they document 18 different kinds of documents, divided into three categories. These are listed here with accompanying illustrative images where available.
By and  |  February 23, 2022

This Data Tale is a companion to an opinion piece published by the same authors, where they detail the complexity of housing documentation possessed by residents of slums in Bengaluru. Based on an extensive survey conducted across 35 slums in the city, the findings of which are detailed in the accompanying opinion piece, they catalogue 18 different kinds of documents, divided into three categories on a continuum of increasing security of tenure. These are listed here with accompanying illustrative images where available.

Type 1 (Identification documents)

1. Biometric Card

The document is given to families that have been relocated or rehabilitated by the Karnataka Slum Development Board. It includes an image of the household head, identification information and information about the other members.

2. Parichaya Patra

This document is usually issued by BBMP as a form of identification when administering documents on land belonging to another government agency or on “unauthorized” land.

3. Gurutina Chitthi

This is an identification document that contains the site number/house number along with a photo copy of the identification document of the person.

(Picture not available)

4. Thiluvalike Patra

This document is a letter containing the holder’s details, house number and slum details.


Type 2 (Conditional ownership documents)

5. Lease deed — private

This is a private lease agreement document that specifies a duration for which the documented person has ownership.

(Picture not available)

6. Swadheena Patra

This document is issued by the BDA to residents (if the slum is on BDA land) during the transfer of land ownership to BBMP. The document mentions the lease period and states that the land cannot be mortgaged or sold.

7. Occupancy Certificate

This is a temporary identity document for the land.

(Picture not available)

8. Possession Certificate

This document (primarily issued by KSDB) gives one the right to live on the land, conferring ownership of a house or apartment but not the land on which the dwelling exists. This is usually given by the KSDB during relocation/rehabilitation.

9. Hanchike Patra

This document is granted by the BDA, signifying land at least 18 kilometers from the center of Bangalore is temporarily leased. Ownership of this site is conferred through a sale deed after 10 years, provided the terms of the lease are met.

10. Hakku Patra

The document confers land ownership given to low-income groups by the BBMP (on BBMP land). One can usually only get a hakku patra in a notified slum. The holder cannot sell/transfer/mortgagee the property.

11. Lease-cum-sale deed

This document is issued by KSDB with certain conditions (such as a specific lease period and no ability to mortgage or sell). Upon the completion of the lease period, this could be converted to an absolute sale deed.


Type 3 (Complete Ownership documents)

12. Patta

Some areas now incorporated within Bengaluru used to be part of rural governments’ (panchayats’) jurisdictions. Pattas are the land titles that were issued by these governments, and they contain the  allotment year, holder’s name, size of the site (land site) and tax details.

(Picture not available)

13. Khata receipt

Other documents from former Gram Panchayat areas include the khata — a tax receipt. The Khata allows one to begin paying taxes on a property or a land site and is necessary to obtain a sale deed. It is usually given with or soon after the acquisition of a Possession Certificate or a Hakku Patra.

14. Tax Receipt

After getting the land, the owner is required to pay a property tax to the BBMP. This is the receipt of the property tax payment.

15. Absolute Sale deed

In the process of legally buying/selling the property an absolute sale deed is prepared.

16. Gift deed

This type of document is provided when a person with a valid absolute sale deed gifts their land (usually to a family member).

17. Title with Khata receipt

Some former Gram Panchayat areas also have an original deed (or any kind of Type 3) document as well as a khata receipt.

(See above for pictures)

18. Title deed without tax

This is when the person has a former GP deed (or other Type 3 document) without proof of tax payment.

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About the Author(s):

Emily Rains

Emily Rains is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University.

Anirudh Krishna

Anirudh Krishna is the Edgar T. Thompson Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University.

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