Land and property have been governed by the Indian state in rather conflicting ways in the past. While the first amendments to the Indian Constitution were purported to enable the State to redistribute land more equitably, this was followed by a land acquisition that displaced Adivasis, Dalits and other vulnerable groups for developmental projects. This paper by the Centre for Social and Economic Progress (CSEP) examines these two sets of evidence available in the vast literature on property rights, acquisition and urban planning, to decrypt the stance of the Indian State vis-a-vis land and property within its territory.
This piece summarizes several key takeaways about property rights and informal housing markets from in-depth interviews with key informants, including housing brokers, in 35 slums in Bengaluru. The authors identified at least eighteen different official papers that have been given out to slum dwellers by one or another official agency at different stages in the slum notification process, constituting a tenure continuum. They find that although the legal process for a slum to become notified and for residents to access various individual housing documents is straightforward, ground realities are more ambiguous, and residents as a result misperceive the legal value of their housing status.
By Malay Kotal on June 16th 2021
Access to land in Indian cities is a major challenge for the urban poor due to the complexity of land tenure, scarcity of land, speculative land prices, and lack of political will. As a result, a majority of them are forced to live in informal settlements without having secure tenure, facing continuous threats of eviction and demolition, which puts them in an unending vicious cycle of poverty. Creation of new housing stock under different housing schemes has been the dominant strategy to address the housing shortage, but remains ineffectual on account of being a time consuming and capital intensive process. The other way to address the problem was to regularize and upgrade the existing housing stock occupied by poor groups. Over the years, state governments have introduced various tenurial measures to address this conundrum of housing and land. This article attempts a nuanced understanding of the effectiveness of these tenurial measures in augmenting and improving the urban poor housing scenario.
This paper examines how existing processes linked to the political economy of land and housing development shape or, in other words, are determinants of rental housing for the urban poor in the city of Guwahati in Assam.