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All you need to know about Gunthewari and ULC

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Gunthewari and ULC are two terms often used when it comes to real estate in Maharashtra, but not many are aware of what exactly do they constitute. Ramesh S. Prabhu clears the concepts

There has, of late, been a growing tendency to form plots unauthorisedly by subdividing private lands and transfer them to needy persons for the construction of dwelling units. Since these subdivisions are usually in multiples of a guntha, such developments are sometimes referred to as Gunthewari developments.

Although Gunthewari developments are unlawful and there is an obvious need to curb such development, it has at the same time, to be appreciated that is neither practicable nor desirable to demolish on a mass scale the old and long existing constructions, made on such plots. This is especially so because the formal housing market has failed to meet the demands of economically weaker sections of the society for shelter in terms of both quantity and price.

Gunthewari developments are a form of informal housing and have to be viewed as a positive response, however flawed and imperfect, of the common people to meet their shelter needs. This is now widely recognised and several states have announced policies for curbing further unauthorised developments of this kind on the one hand and regularising and upgrading those that already long exist. Therefore, an Act called “Maharashtra Gunthewari Developments (Regularisation, Upgradation And Control) Act, 2001” is enacted in Maharashtra “to provide for the regularisation and upgradation of certain Gunthewari developments and for the control of Gunthewari developments and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.

Urban Land Ceiling
The Urban Land Ceiling Act was a law in India, that was passed in 1976 to sub serve the common good. 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 As a result, the act has already been repealed in some states, such as Gujarat.

This act was repealed in November 2007 in the state of Maharashtra.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 sea link and the Mumbai Urban Transport Project-II).

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 the city, 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.

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