Government intervention in public private partnership in housing in Kolkata

Urmi Sengupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Public-private partnership (PPP) is the most prominent urban housing policy that has emerged in the last decade in India. Housing reforms in Kolkata, under the flagship of PPP has taken the city into a different league after decades of ineffective housing policy. This paper investigates the dynamics of PPP policy in Kolkata, where public housing agencies have assumed both facilitator and regulator roles within a socialist institutional setting to achieve a balance between market forces and the needs of the low-income people. At the performance level, the joint sector brings together the efficiency in production and technical and marketing expertise of the private sector with the accountability and righteousness of the public sector. However, and despite some reform attempts, at the operational level, major bottlenecks are identified including antiquated legislation, besides high municipal taxes, stamp duties and sanction fees. Housing production under the PPP model to date is impressive in terms of costs and quality, but minuscule in terms of numbers. It is still early to comment on the likely long-term success of such partnerships. However, given the huge housing stock deficiency, high proportion of low-income groups in the city and slow pace of regulatory reforms, it is argued that future success is contingent upon the inclusion of low-income communities, which comprise half of the population of Kolkata.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-461
Number of pages14
JournalHabitat International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Kolkata, India
  • Low-income group
  • Public housing
  • Public-private partnership
  • Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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