This chapter presents a description of the state and local government structure. It concentrates upon the public organisations that deal with land and housing issues in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. The aim of this chapter is twofold. Firstly, it attempts to present a systematic overview of relevant agencies and their mutual relationships. Since the names of these agencies will often reappear in the following chapters, such an overview is thought to be pertinent. In the description of the tasks of different agencies, special attention is given to some basic issues related to land management, such as land records, the registration of land transactions and rights, and the registration and functioning of co-operative house building societies. Some of these issues are dealt with separately, in ‘boxes’. Secondly, it aims to uncover some of the most important weaknesses of the administrative structure and to relate them to the political and policy analysis presented in Chapters 2 and 3 respectively.