Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976

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Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976
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Enacted by Parliament of India
Status: In force

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


"To provide for the imposition of a ceiling on vacant land in urban agglomerations, for the acquisition of such land in excess of the ceiling limit, to regulate the construction of buildings on such land and for matters connected therewith, with a view to preventing the concentration of urban land in the hands of a few persons and speculation and profiteering therein and with a view to bringing about an equitable distribution of land in urban agglomerations to subserve the common good."[1]


This act has had a huge bearing on urban development, by barring development on large tracts of available land. As a result, the act has already been repealed in some states, such as Gujarat.

This act was repealed in November 2007 in the state of Maharashtra.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.

Unfortunately, this Act has led to a Lack of Managed Green Areas in cities which acts as Lungs of the City and greater population density in developed areas as owners had to sell off their excess Land to builders and the resultant corruption of Building departments of Government Municipality.


The spirit of bhoodan did not help to end land lordism 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.