Urban Poverty



5.1    The amelioration of urban poverty should be accorded the same priority as the same priority given to rural poverty.


5.2    Four lakh urban youth should be selected from poor households every year and trained in skills for which there is demand.



5.3    Self-employment of the urban poor must be encouraged by an appropriate credit  support programme.


5.4    Production and market support should be given to the self-employed urban poor



5.5  City planning should be geared to providing shelter and sites for employment generation programmes. Local bodies should be supported in their efforts to create special   employment  facilities,   including worksheds for tiny manufacturers.


5.6    The shelter programme should be used to provide employment to the urban poor


5.7  Wage employment for the urban poor should be provided through a programme for creation of such urban assets as water supply, drainage systems, land development, etc.


5.8  The public distribution system should be strengthened to meet the consumption

requirements of the poor.


5.9  Community development should be the strategy for the improvement of the living

conditions of the poor and an Urban Community Agency should be setup at a national level.





Land as a Resource


6.1  A comprehensive data base on urban lands must be built.


6.2    For this purpose, a settlements Survey of  India .should  be  established  at national level which would make scientific surveys of land in an urban context, suggest methodologies for identifying city-regions,  prepare  base  maps through use of modern cartographic techniques and help state governments to use the maps far preparing urban land records.


6.3    Each state should establish a Directorate of Urban Lands, which would prepare detailed land records for all urban centres.


6.4 The data .base must provide the principal input for determining the location of various types of activities and in diverting land to urban use.


6.5  Land must be treated as a resource and land use planning converted into resource planning rather than being a zoning exercise.


6:6 Land most suited to agriculture or needed for environmental protection should not be converted to urban use. Instead, land with the least opportunity cost should be used for building.


6.7    A physical planner must be included in each district planning team so that the economic consideration of optimising land-use can be given full weightage.


6.8  City land-use planning should subserve the basic policy relating to city function,

housing, employment and social needs. It   should   not   remain  an exercise   in matching land needs to demographic projections.


6.9  Since, high prices deny access to land to all but the rich and lead to skewed land

use, squatting and unauthorised construction, land-use policy must aim at improving access to land at affordable prices.


6.10 In order to flatten the land price curve, decentralisation of activities infra-city between equitably distributed centres is celled for. Since exclusive zoning accentuates inequalities, a balanced spatial distribution of activity that benefits the poor must be promoted.


6.11 Efforts should be made to divert demand for land from high-price urban centres to those where land is still relatively cheap and plentiful.


6.12  The Land Acquisition Act should be amended to provide that the notification of the intention to acquire should be accompanied by a detailed scheme for the utilisation of the land to be acquired, it is tentative cost; etc. The act must also provide that an order of acquisition should automatically vest the land in the State on payment of the tentative cost, the award can follow. The State should also be given the right to make a reference to the district court. Courts should not have the power to delayer stop acquisition proceedings, save on the narrow ground of there being no public purpose involved in the acquisition.


6.13 Slums, squatters colonies and unauthorised colonies should be recognised as part of peoples effort to provide shelter for themselves in the absence of the State being able to meet this need. Therefore the approach to such colonies should be one aiming at regulation rather than removal.



6.14 Squatter colonies and workers' colonies located around work sites should, as far as possible, be regularised, Unauthorised colonies on land earmarked in a / master plan as green or residential,  which may have come into being because the authorities were unable to make available adequate land for residential  purposes,  should  also  be regularised.


6.15 Squatting on land which is environment tally or  ecologically sensitive, constitutes a right of Way, or is reserved for such public purpose as provision of social infrastructure, should generally be cleared of encroachment. The process should include consultation and, where possible, consent; and an alternative should be provide. However the State must  recognise  that  it  has  a positive role both to prevent and remove encroachments and also to provide land 'for those who need it. Both the regulatory and the developmental role of the ' State must be exercised.


6.16 New developments should be permitted in the public or private sector only if a substantial percentage of the land is made' available to a duly constituted authority, for the exclusive use„of the economically weaker sections. This percentage should in no case be less than 15 per cent of the total layout.



6.17 In  regularising  encroachments  and unauthorised colonies, the Andhra Pradesh model of urban community development, with active participation of the residents in the process of replanning, improvement and upgradation of a slum is recommended.



6.18 All laws restricting recycling of land must be modified or scrapped. Land under obsolete industrial use should be freed to allow viable redevelopment through the introduction of new activity like social housing.


6.19 The concept of incompatible, compatible and inefficient use should replace that of conforming and non-conforming use. All inefficient use must be identified and strongly discouraged.


6.20 FAR and density specifications must be reviewed and owners of under utilised land forced to use their land optimally.


6.21 Open lands should be brought under land readjustment schemes so that private landowners can make their developed land available for utilisation.


6.22 The Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976 should be amended, deleting Sections 20 and 21 and bringing a exemptions under the mandatory provisions of Section 19. The amended act must also provide that if, after a moratorium of 5 years a landowner has not developed his land as permitted. It should automatically vest in the State. So long as inland remains vacant, a tax of between Rs. 3 to Rs 50 per sq meter should be charged and deposited in a Shelter Fund.


6.23 Vacant land not covered by the Urban Land  (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, should also be taxed in Class 1 towns at 1 per cent of its value per annum in the case of undeveloped land and 2.5 per cent in the case as developed land. The valuation would be as periodically assessed for each urban zone. Alternatively, a flat rate of Rs.2 per sq me

could be charged.


6.24 Incremental value of land should be taxed at the same rate as stamp duty and registration fee levied at the time of transfer.


6.25 Land title should be made unambiguous and alienable. This will permit the development of a land and mortgage market.


6.26 For every city and town there should be an Urban Land Manager, under the collector,  who  would  maintain  land records, administer land and monitor it, protect public land, assess and collect land tax, deal with land acquisition, assign land and provide other managerial services.




Urban Poverty, in Report of the National Commission on Urbanisation, Summary of Recommendations, Vol. II. Ministry of Urban Development, New Delhi, August 1988. [C.J20.010888].