Can the Revenue Department Remain Urban Agnostic in India?

Author
Aparna Das, Anindita Mukherjee, Baisakhi Sarkar Dhar
Content Type
Working Paper
Institution
Centre for Policy Research, India
Abstract
The spatial morphology of Indian cities mirrors a disconnect between the urban statutory spatial plans and Revenue records. The Revenue Department instituted during the colonial times had an overarching mandate to collect land taxes and, till today, is referred to as the "custodian of the land." This was a key institution that prepared robust cadastre maps to support the revenue collection. Post-independence, these spatial records are not updated. The institutional disconnect between the Revenue and Registration departments and Urban Land Administration Institutions in the urban and peri-urban areas coupled with poor land records affect the overall confidence in the land administration system. This further limit the nurturing of a robust land market. Taking two land titling programmes: JAGA mission, Odisha, and LIFE mission, Kerala, this paper argues that to achieve the full potential of such land titling programmes, the role of the Revenue and Registration Departments need to be reimagined.
Topic
Governance, Urban, Resilience, Revenue Management
Political Geography
South Asia, India