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Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976

The Urban Land Ceiling Act was a law in India, that was passed in 1976.

Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976
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Parliament of India

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Enacted by
Status: In force

The stated purpose of the law is "bringing about an equitable distribution of land in urban agglomerations to subserve the common good."[1]


In a real world scenario, monopoly of land can take place when people, entities and corporate companies, with access to huge capital can occupy vast tracts of land, hoard it, make it scarce and use this scarcity to control demand - supply of land.

The common perception is that this act has had a huge bearing on urban development, by barring development on large tracts of available land.

However this is more due to the fact that governments of late 90s till today refused to develop lands quickly based on growth and demand, much like Germany where timely development of land and releasing it to public allowed land to be affordable

However, the act has already been repealed in some states, such as Gujarat.

This act was repealed in November 2007 in the state of Maharashtra. The repeal was a pre-condition to the state government with a grant under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), to be used for major infrastructure development projects (like the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, the Mumbai Metro Project, the Bandra-Worli, the Worli-Nariman Point sealink and the Mumbai Urban Transport Project-II).[2]

However, there is still considerable confusion in the process required for the clearance of land for buildings; the repeal has not had much impact on the ground.

The Maharashtra Government has purchased large tracts of land under provisions of this act, to be used to provide low-cost housing to the common people. However, this land continues to lie vacant.


The Bhoodan movement did not help to end landlordism, because this movement did not make any serious difference to the land problem in the country, as landlords continued to hold large tracts of fertile land.