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Key Takeaways

  • Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act is a comprehensive process designed to balance the interests of urban development with the rights and welfare of affected individuals. 
  • It mandates the issuance of notifications, outlines provisions for negotiation and settlement of compensation and emphasises fair and just compensation.
  • The procedure for land acquisition under the Act is aimed at ensuring transparency, fairness, and the protection of the rights of landowners.Introduction

The Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973, stands as a seminal piece of legislation that delineates the legal framework for urban development in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Enacted against the backdrop of rapid urbanization and the need for systematic urban planning, this Act serves as the cornerstone for guiding and regulating urban growth, land use, and infrastructure development within the state.

At its core, the Act aims to promote sustainable and orderly urban development while ensuring the equitable distribution of resources and opportunities among urban residents. It establishes comprehensive mechanisms for land acquisition, zoning regulations, and infrastructure planning, laying the foundation for efficient urban governance and development.

About the Act

One of the key features of the Act is its emphasis on participatory planning and consultation with stakeholders, including local communities, government agencies, and urban development authorities. By fostering collaboration and engagement, the Act seeks to incorporate diverse perspectives and interests into the urban planning process, thereby enhancing the effectiveness and legitimacy of urban development initiatives.

Furthermore, the Act mandates the preparation and implementation of master plans, development schemes, and zoning regulations to guide the spatial organization and growth of urban areas. These planning instruments serve as blueprints for sustainable land use, infrastructure provision, and environmental conservation, shaping the physical and social fabric of urban settlements across Uttar Pradesh.

The acquisition of land under the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act in India is a multifaceted process aimed at facilitating urban development while ensuring fair compensation and resettlement for affected individuals. Enacted to streamline the urbanization process in the state of Uttar Pradesh, this legislation provides a legal framework for land acquisition, planning, and development activities within urban areas.

Under this Act, the acquisition of land typically follows a structured procedure, beginning with the identification of land parcels suitable for development. This identification process often involves comprehensive surveys and assessments conducted by government agencies to determine the suitability of land for various urban projects such as infrastructure development, housing schemes, or commercial ventures.

Once suitable land parcels are identified, the next step involves notifying the landowners and other affected parties about the intention to acquire their properties. This notification process is crucial for informing stakeholders about the government’s plans and initiating negotiations for the acquisition of land.

Following the notification, the Act mandates a series of consultations and hearings to solicit feedback from affected landowners, residents, and other stakeholders. These consultations serve as a platform for addressing concerns, clarifying doubts, and seeking consensus on the proposed land acquisition projects.

Simultaneously, the government conducts thorough assessments to determine the market value of the land to be acquired. This valuation process involves considering various factors such as the location, size, potential usage, and existing infrastructure amenities associated with the land.

Once the market value is determined, the government initiates negotiations with the landowners to reach a mutually acceptable compensation package. The compensation offered typically includes monetary compensation for the land, as well as additional allowances for rehabilitation and resettlement, if applicable.

In cases where negotiations fail to yield agreement, the Act empowers the government to initiate compulsory acquisition proceedings. This involves the issuance of a formal acquisition notice, followed by a period for objections and appeals by affected parties.

Throughout the acquisition process, the Act emphasizes the importance of fair compensation and rehabilitation for affected landowners and occupants. Special provisions are in place to ensure that vulnerable groups, such as farmers, artisans, and marginalized communities, receive adequate compensation and support for their livelihoods.

Moreover, the Act recognizes the need for sustainable development and environmental conservation in urban areas. Hence, it incorporates provisions for conducting environmental impact assessments and implementing mitigation measures to minimize adverse effects on the environment and local ecosystems.

In addition to land acquisition, the Act also encompasses provisions for urban planning and development. It mandates the preparation and implementation of master plans, zonal development plans, and other strategic documents to guide orderly growth and development within urban areas.

Furthermore, the Act establishes various authorities and bodies responsible for overseeing the implementation of its provisions. These include Urban Development Authorities, Development Authorities, and Municipal Corporations, which play key roles in executing land acquisition, planning, and development initiatives.

Overall, the acquisition of land under the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act is a comprehensive process designed to balance the interests of urban development with the rights and welfare of affected individuals and communities. By providing a legal framework for transparent, participatory, and equitable land acquisition, the Act contributes to the sustainable growth and development of urban areas in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Power of government to acquire land

The Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973, empowers the state government to acquire land for various urban development purposes. This authority is vested in the government to facilitate planned and orderly urban growth, infrastructure development, and public welfare initiatives within the state.

The Act provides a legal framework for the acquisition of land through processes such as purchase, exchange, lease, or even through the exercise of eminent domain, if necessary. Eminent domain refers to the government’s authority to acquire private property for public use, with due compensation to the landowners.

Additionally, the Act specifies the procedures and safeguards to be followed during the land acquisition process. It mandates the issuance of notifications to notify affected landowners and stakeholders about the government’s intention to acquire their land. This notification typically includes details about the purpose of acquisition, the extent of land to be acquired, and the compensation mechanisms.

Furthermore, the Act outlines provisions for negotiation and settlement of compensation with affected landowners. It emphasizes fair and just compensation, taking into account factors such as the market value of the land, potential loss of livelihood, and rehabilitation needs of affected individuals or communities.

In cases where negotiations fail or disputes arise, the Act provides for the resolution of conflicts through appropriate legal mechanisms, including arbitration or adjudication by competent authorities.

Overall, the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973, grants the state government the necessary powers to acquire land for urban development projects, while ensuring that the rights and interests of affected landowners are safeguarded through transparent and equitable processes.

Other Powers

Chapter VIII of the Act which deals with Supplemental and Miscellaneous provisions provides certain other powers to the government of U.P. They are:

  • Section 25 – Power of entry

The Vice-Chairman of the Authority has the power to authorize individuals to enter any land or building for various purposes such as inquiry, inspection, measurement, or survey. This includes activities like examining works under construction, digging into the sub-soil, or ascertaining whether land is being developed in accordance with regulations. However, entry must occur during daylight hours with reasonable notice to the occupier or owner, and consideration must be given to social and religious customs of the occupants.

  • Section 28 – Power to stop development

This section empowers the Vice-Chairman of the Authority or designated officers to stop any development in a designated area if it contravenes the Master Plan or Zonal Development Plan or lacks proper permissions. They can issue orders for discontinuation, use police assistance if necessary, and deploy personnel to monitor compliance. Fail koure to comply may result in fines. No compensation is provided for damages resulting from the discontinuation of development. These provisions complement existing laws regarding the cessation of building operations.

  • 28-A. Power to seal unauthorised development

This section grants authority to the Vice-Chairman or designated officers to seal any unauthorized development in a designated area, either before or after issuing orders for its removal or discontinuation. The seal can only be removed under specific orders from the Vice-Chairman or designated officer. Appeals against such orders can be made to the Chairman within thirty days, whose decision is final.

  • Section 33 – Power of the Authority to provide amenity or carry out development at cost of owner in the event of his default and the levy cess in certain cases.

This section outlines the powers of the Authority to ensure the provision of amenities and carry out development in designated areas. If the Authority finds that amenities haven’t been provided or development hasn’t been carried out as required, it can order the owner or responsible party to do so within a specified time. If the order isn’t complied with, the Authority can undertake the provision of amenities or development itself, and recover expenses from the owner as arrears of land revenue. Additionally, if a certain percentage of landowners agree, the Authority can levy a cess to cover expenses. The cess is payable by all landowners in proportion to their land ownership. The Authority can also require local authorities to assume responsibility for maintenance and provision of amenities in developed areas. Terms and conditions are to be agreed upon between the Authority and the local authority, or determined by the State Government if agreement cannot be reached.

  • Section 34.- Power of Authority to require local authority to assume responsibilities in certain cases

This section empowers the Authority to request the local authority in whose jurisdiction a developed area lies to take over the responsibility for maintaining existing amenities provided by the Authority and for providing any additional amenities deemed necessary. Terms and conditions for this transfer of responsibility should be agreed upon between the Authority and the local authority. If an agreement cannot be reached, the matter can be referred to the State Government, which will determine the terms and conditions in consultation with the local authority.

  •  Section 35 – Power of Authority to levy betterment charges

This section grants the Authority the power to levy betterment charges on property owners or those with interests in properties located in a development area where the value of the property has increased due to the execution of a development scheme by the Authority. The betterment charge is calculated based on the increase in property value resulting from the development, with a maximum limit set at one-third of the value increase. However, no betterment charge is applicable to lands owned by the government, except when government land is leased or licensed to an individual, in which case the charge applies to both the land and any buildings on it.

  • Section 38 A – Power of Authority to levy land use conversion charge and city development charge

This section grants the Authority the power to levy two types of charges in a development area:

Land Use Conversion Charge: When the land use of a particular land is changed due to an amendment in the Master Plan or Zonal Development Plan, the Authority can levy a charge on the owner of the land. This charge is to be paid prior to the final notification of the plan amendment. However, if the land use change occurs due to the implementation of the Master Plan or Zonal Development Plan, no conversion charge is applicable.

City Development Charge: If a license is granted to a private developer for the assembly and development of land in a development area, the Authority can levy a city development charge on the private developer. The rates and manner of levy for both charges are prescribed by the Authority.

  • Section 39 – Power of authority to licence fee

This section introduces an additional stamp duty on certain transfers of immovable property within a development area. The duty is increased by two percent on the consideration value of the property transfer, with the possibility for the State Government to enhance this percentage up to five percent through Gazette notification. The collections from this increased stamp duty, after deduction of expenses, are allocated at the discretion of the State Government, either to the Development Authority alone or shared among the Development Authority, the Uttar Pradesh Avas Evam Vikas Parishad, and the Municipal Corporation or Municipal Board, as determined by the State Government. Specific provisions are made regarding the reporting of property details within and outside the development area. Additionally, certain clauses of other relevant Acts are overridden by this section, and general provisions regarding cessation apply.

  • Section 51- Power to delegate

This section outlines the power of delegation within the framework of the Act:

The State Government can delegate its powers under the Act, excluding the power to make rules, to specified officers, along with conditions if any.

The Authority can delegate its powers under the Act, excluding the power to make regulations or bye-laws, to designated officers or local authorities, along with conditions if any.

The Vice-Chairman of the Authority can delegate his powers under the Act to designated officers of the Authority, along with conditions if any.

  • Section 55 – Power to make rules

This section empowers the State Government to make rules through Gazette notification to facilitate the implementation of the Act. These rules can cover various aspects, including the levy of fees on appeals, the procedure for determining betterment charges by the Chairman, and any other matters that need to be prescribed. Rules made under this Act must be laid before each House of the State Legislature for at least thirty days. Any modifications or annulments to these rules agreed upon by the Legislature during this period do not invalidate actions taken under the rules prior to the modifications or annulments.

  • Section 56 – Power to make regulations

This section grants the Authority the power, with the prior approval of the State Government, to make regulations for the administration of its affairs, provided they are not inconsistent with the Act and its rules. These regulations can cover various aspects, including the summoning and conduct of Authority meetings, the roles and responsibilities of key officers, the procedure for carrying out functions under specific chapters, and the management of Authority properties. Additionally, they can determine fees for various applications and services, specify the format and content of application registers, and address any other matters that need to be regulated. Until an Authority is established, the State Government can make regulations, which can later be amended or rescinded by the Authority.

  • Section 57- Power to make bye-laws

This section empowers the Authority, with prior approval from the State Government, to make bye-laws consistent with the Act and its rules. These bye-laws are aimed at carrying out the purposes of the Act concerning matters affecting the general public. Specifically, they can regulate various aspects such as the form and particulars of applications for permission, the terms and conditions for continuing land and building use in contravention of plans, the payment of betterment charges, and the grant of licenses to professionals involved in building planning. Additionally, they can address matters related to the preparation of building plans, water supply, drainage, sewerage plans, and other issues until Zonal Development Plans are prepared. Furthermore, bye-laws can define arterial roads and specify repair, whitewashing, color washing, or painting requirements for buildings along such roads. Finally, they can cover any other matters that need to be regulated through bye-laws.

Procedure

  1. The procedure for land acquisition under the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973, involves several key steps aimed at ensuring transparency, fairness, and the protection of the rights of landowners and other stakeholders. Here's a simplified outline of the acquisition process:
  2. Identification of Land: The process begins with the identification of land parcels suitable for urban development projects. This may involve surveys, studies, and consultations to determine the need for land acquisition and its suitability for planned development.
  3. Notification: Once the land parcels are identified, the government issues a notification to notify the affected landowners and stakeholders about the intention to acquire their land. The notification includes details such as the purpose of acquisition, the extent of land to be acquired, and the timeframe for objections and claims.
  4. Consultation and Hearing: The Act mandates consultations and hearings to solicit feedback from affected landowners, residents, and other stakeholders. These sessions provide an opportunity for stakeholders to express their concerns, raise objections, and seek clarifications about the proposed acquisition.
  5. Assessment of Compensation: Concurrently, the government conducts assessments to determine the market value of the land to be acquired. Factors such as location, size, potential usage, and existing infrastructure amenities are considered in the valuation process.
  6. Negotiation and Settlement: The government initiates negotiations with the affected landowners to reach a mutually acceptable compensation package. This may involve monetary compensation for the land, as well as additional allowances for rehabilitation and resettlement, if applicable.
  7. Compulsory Acquisition: In cases where negotiations fail to yield agreement, the government may resort to compulsory acquisition proceedings. This involves the issuance of a formal acquisition notice, followed by a period for objections and appeals by affected parties.
  8. Legal Proceedings: If disputes arise during the acquisition process, affected parties have the right to seek resolution through appropriate legal mechanisms, such as arbitration or adjudication by competent authorities.
  9. ransfer of Title: Upon successful acquisition, the government takes possession of the land and transfers the title to the acquiring authority responsible for implementing the urban development project.
  10. Throughout the acquisition process, the Act emphasizes the importance of fair compensation, rehabilitation, and resettlement for affected landowners and occupants, ensuring that their rights and interests are protected in accordance with the law.

Compensation and Redressal

The provisions for compensation and acquisition of land is not given directly in the Act.In India, compensation and redressal mechanisms for land acquisition are primarily governed by the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (RFCTLARR), 2013. Compensation is determined based on market value, asset value, and other factors, and affected persons are entitled to receive compensation, rehabilitation, and resettlement benefits. The Act also provides for grievance redressal mechanisms at various levels, including through designated authorities and courts, to address disputes and ensure fair treatment of affected persons. Additionally, affected individuals can seek legal recourse if they feel their rights have been violated during the land acquisition process.

Case law

Mohd Ahamad vs State Of U.P. And 2 Others

The petitioner challenged a demand notice issued by the Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) state government, citing charges for sanctioning his building plan. The petitioner argued that the charges were not covered under relevant sections of the U.P. Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973, and therefore, were illegal. They referenced a Supreme Court judgment from April 28, 2023, in support of their argument. The Prayagraj Development Authority clarified its stance, agreeing to apply the Supreme Court’s judgment to pending notices. Consequently, the court disposed of the petition, allowing the authority to issue a fresh demand notice in line with the Supreme Court’s ruling, effectively withdrawing the original notice's charges deemed impermissible by the court.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973, embodies the state’s commitment to balanced and inclusive urban development, underpinned by principles of transparency, accountability, and social justice. It remains a cornerstone of urban governance in Uttar Pradesh, providing a legal framework for navigating the complexities of urbanization and fostering vibrant, resilient, and livable cities for all residents.
 


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