Land is the most important natural resource in the world. Without it, the life on earth is not possible. Thus, it is the ultimate aim of mankind to acquire as much land as possible, rejuvenate the degraded lands and prevent their further degradation. A wide variety of measures and initiatives are being taken by both the Central and State/ Union Territories (UTs) Governments, with a view to promote orderly growth of land resources in the country as well as to accelerate the pace of development of wastelands/degraded lands.
At the Central level, there are two main Ministries, namely, 'Ministry of Rural Development' and 'Ministry of Urban Development'. The former Ministry looks after the land matters in rural areas, administration of Land Acquisition Act, 1894 as well as examines all State legislative proposals covering any enactment of the subject of acquisition and requisition of property/ land. The 'Department of Land Resources' is the main authority, within the Ministry, to deal with matters of land reforms, land tenures, land records, acquisition of non-agricultural land or buildings, etc. While, the latter Ministry is mainly responsible for enacting laws like Urban Land (Ceiling & Regulation) Act, 1976 and Urban Land (Ceiling & Regulation) Repeal Act, 1999, that is, concerned with varied aspects of land in urban settings.
At the State/UT level, there are various Departments which deals with matters of land acquisition, housing, infrastructure, town planning, etc. These include Department of Rural Development, Planning Department, Public Works department, Land Department and similar departments. They all aim to make maximum contribution to the promotion of urbanization in the country and look after all the matters relating to land in the rural as well as urban areas. Further, there are several Urban Development Authorities in the States for achieving the expeditious development of urban estates.