Types of land use in India: All you need to know

[] In this article, we discuss the types of land use in India and the importance of zoning regulations that govern land use.

Land is a precious resource required for performing various economic activities. Land use refers to the utilisation of land and its resources for different purposes. Land utilisation depends on several factors, such as its geographical location, density of population, socio-economic factors, among others. Land use planning is an important function of the government, to ensure planned development in cities. Development authorities have been established to achieve this purpose.

You are reading: Types of land use in India: All you need to know

Let us discuss the types of land use and regulations pertaining to land use in India.

[] Land measurement units used in India

Types of land use in India

In India, the study of land utilisation is mainly based on the classification of land into the following categories:

  • Forests
  • Land put to agricultural use
  • Barren and wasteland
  • Land put to non-agricultural uses
  • Area under permanent pastures and grazing lands
  • Area under miscellaneous tree crops and groves (not covered in net sown area)
  • Culturable wasteland
  • Current fallow
  • Fallow other than current fallow
  • Net area sown

The different types of land use are explained below:


This type of land use is primarily meant for residential purposes, including single or multi-family dwellings. However, this also includes different categories of density and dwellings that are allowed to be developed such as low-density houses, medium-density houses and high-density houses like multi-storey apartments. There is also a mixed-use construction category covering residential, industrial and recreational uses. Residential zones may also include establishments such as hospitals, hotels, etc.


Read also : Mahindra Lifespaces signs pact with Maharashtra, to develop tourist destination in Murud

Commercial land use is intended for structures like warehouses, shopping malls, shops, restaurants and office spaces. Commercial zoning laws control the kind of operations a business can perform and the category of business allowed in a particular region. There are some regulations that must be adhered to, including the provision for parking facilities, permissible building height, setback, etc.

[] What is a Grade A building: A guide to office building classification


Industrial land use is classified into different categories, depending on the type of industry. Businesses belonging to light, medium and heavy industries are allowed to set up operations in the industrial zones, including factories, warehouses, and shipping facilities. However, there may be some environmental regulations that must be followed.


Agricultural zoning pertains to the preservation of land parcels against non-agricultural use. There are laws pertaining to the number of non-farm dwellings, property size and activities allowed in these zones.


In this category, the land is utilised for the development of open spaces, parks, playgrounds, golf courses, sports arenas and swimming pools.

Public use

Social infrastructure is developed under this type of land use, including educational institutions and healthcare facilities.

Infrastructure development

The land is utilised for the development of infrastructure, including roads, streets, metro stations, railways and airports.

All about the Land Acquisition Act 2013

Importance of zoning

Read also : Haryana rolls out online system for property records

Zoning is a scientific method adopted by the local authorities to oversee development and the use of real estate in a specific region. It involves segregation of land into several zones to ensure proper land use for different purposes. For example, zoning regulations are framed that prevent the construction of commercial properties in a residential zone. In India, land use zoning is based on the Euclidean approach that refers to land use classifications, such as residential or commercial, by the geographic area.

With the scarcity of land resources becoming a concern in cities, zoning is carried out in an integrated manner. Thus, a mixed residential zone permits all developments allowed in primary residential, including banks, shops, etc. Zoning regulations may also specify the maximum height of buildings in an area, availability of green spaces, building density and type of businesses that can operate in a specific region.

Land use regulations in India

In India, zoning laws are framed by the local municipal governments or local authorities. These laws govern the use of land and the development of structures. Different land use patterns are implemented in different zones.

Also read: Land purchase due diligence checklist

There are various government departments that undertake land use planning functions. They are responsible for framing land use planning and development policies and guidelines. The authorities also develop a land use plan, also referred to as a Development Plan or Master Plan. For example, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has prepared the draft Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) 2041 and the Draft Land Use Plan for Delhi 2041. The MPD 2041 lays down policies and norms for the future development of the city.

In 2013, the Rural Development Ministry came up with a draft National Land Utilisation Policy that aimed at adopting policies for ensuring optimal land utilisation based on suitable land-use planning and management.



What is zoning?

Zoning refers to an urban planning method that allows national and local authorities to regulate and control land use patterns by framing laws. It involves the allocation of land areas by dividing them into different zones.

Copyright belongs to:

Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button