A Critical Study of Urban Land Ownership by an Individual vis-a-vis Institutional (or Community) Based Ownership - The Impact of Type of Ownership on Spatial Growth, Efficiency and Equity: A Case Study of Ahmedabad, India

World Bank Urban Symposium, 2007

24 Pages Posted: 11 May 2007


India is undergoing a radical makeover. According to projections by the census office, large chunks of country are going to be urbanized over the next two decades. By 2026, more than half the populations of states like Tamilnadu, Maharastra, Gujarat and Punjab would be living in urban areas. India has entered the 21st Century with urban population of 285 million, which is even greater than the total population of United States of America. The million plus cities have also grown substantially in terms of number, size and area. As per 2001 Census there are 35 million plus cities, which account for about one third of India's urban population. The urbanization scenario reveal that the percentage of urban population which was about 20% in 1971 may increase to about 41 to 45% by 2021. In absolute terms it may increase to about 550 million by 2021. Ahmedabad is one of 35 million plus city, which is ranked seventh largest city in India. Urban governance encompasses institutional strengthening and capability building, decentralization, community participation, and involvement of the private sector. Community participation has increased in urban development through the involvement of non-government organizations (NGOs), cooperative societies, Non Trading Corporations, business associations, associations of slum dwellers, and other community-based organizations. Such groups may become involved in local planning initiatives, taking responsibility for infrastructure improvement and maintenance, collective ownership of land and development of housing and allotting units to their members, obtaining innovative means of credit, participating in the provision of basic services and providing stable socio-economic means. Land management is vital issue in urban governance.

The present study is proposed to critically analyze various kind of formal ownership (title of property) of land that exists in city of Ahmedabad, the economic capital of Gujarat. The local authority classifies land into four classes on the basis of permissive use; namely public purpose, residential, commercial & industrial use. According to local Land Revenue Code, the ownership may be free hold or lease hold. Large chunk of land has no clear and marketable title as such. The ownership of the land is vested in individual, HUF (Hindu Undivided Family), group of individuals, Cooperative Societies, Non Trading Corporations (NTC), Association of Persons, Body of Individuals, Trust, Company, Club, Society, Government and its various Departments, Boards and Corporations.

However this study is intended to focus on major ownership of land (lease or free hold) for housing & commercial purpose owned by individual, HUF, Cooperative Society & NTC and its impact to what an extent each type of ownership made an impact on spatial growth, efficiency and equity with context to development of Ahmedabad city.

Objective & Research Problem:

-How these alternatives of ownership performed in meeting various objectives including providing affordable (economic), sustainable (effectiveness) land ownership?

-How far each alternative has made an impact on designed spatial growth?

-To rate each alternative in terms of cost-effectiveness, service provision, credit access, service access and alienation of landed property.

-What are the major constraints in each class of ownership affecting the efficiency of the formal land and housing market and land delivery?

Research Methodology & Data Source:

The study encompasses analysis using primary and secondary data from various sources.

The ownership of land by different kind of person is already availed (as on 31st March 2005) from Local Authorities; namely Registrar of Assurance, Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. The data pertaining to number of Cooperative Society and NTC, members, size of land held in each category will be made available from Registrar of Cooperative Society and Registrar of Companies, Gujarat state respectively. The detail of illegal construction will be availed from Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, to analyze category wise illegal construction. Primary study will be conducted using structured questionnaire on a sample size in each category determined using appropriate quantitative tools to know perception and experience of the actual users or members of each type of ownership mode vis-à-vis individual ownership. The populations of study being all landowner in Ahmedabad city as on 31st march 2005. The result will be analyzed using statistical tools to measure impact of each variable with reference to the objectives set.


The study likes to derive cost and benefit analysis of individual ownership of land vs. institutional ownership. These benefits may be to the ultimate user of land and government both, as the institutional ownership paves way for smooth control by government and affordability by member to required compliance. When individual can't afford expenses to comply, he tries to circumvent legal provisions. Again, collective ownership also offers cost effectiveness by allocation of common expenses. Within different institutional ownerships, research paper would like to discuss pros & cons of each category of ownership. Cooperative Society is used as tool to render justice to the weaker section of the society on the foundation of equity. HUF is cultural social institution, while NTC is association of person for limited purpose. At the end research outcome may tend to suggest any new model for institutional ownership for creating affordable, efficient and sustainable land ownership modes for better urban development plan.

Keywords: Land Law, Urban Management, Community Ownership

JEL Classification: O18, R00

Suggested Citation

Sapovadia, Vrajlal K., A Critical Study of Urban Land Ownership by an Individual vis-a-vis Institutional (or Community) Based Ownership - The Impact of Type of Ownership on Spatial Growth, Efficiency and Equity: A Case Study of Ahmedabad, India. World Bank Urban Symposium, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=955063

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