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Brooks31 Brooks31 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Making a tamasha of the Urban Land Ceiling Act

But in the last 14 years, since its enactment, the Urban Land Ceiling Act has managed to achieve the opposite of what it intended to do. In all the towns and cities of the state, since the enactment of this legislation, enormous effort and expenditure have been spent on identifying and scrutinizing surplus land, the wheels moved extremely slowly with the ostensible application of brakes by pulls and pressures and greasing, leading to only 14,589 hectare having been acquired and vested in the government.

Out of this, the area of lands actually taken into physical possession was only 3,852; and out of this the land actually used for housing construction was a mere 621 hectare, i.e., 0.37 percent of the total, till 1988. Outside of Kerala, for example In Kolkota, the land acquired measures 35 hectares, in Chennai 10 hectares, in Ahmedabad 2.79 hectares and in Delhi only two. The endeavor of moving of the mountain i.e., in identifying and locating the 1,66,192 hectare, thus, led only to the eventual acquisition of the proverbial mouse.

Meanwhile with the identification and notification of these large chunks of land on the cities and towns, conditions of scarcity of land were generated and land prices shot up. The spiral of these prices has since continued upward because the pressure of a migrating and expanding population has gone on increasing, land continues to become scarcer, and the prices get out of hand. Within a decade the prices of land has shot up 100 times or more in some cities and Housing Development has become a pipe dream for many.

Real Estate in Kerala has appreciated in value in spite of the severe constraints. Perhaps in no other state in the country has seen such intense scrutiny of the land records and the subsequent truncation of landed properties. The present boom in real estate has belied all expectations.
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