Land pooling policy stuck because of confusion over classification

    Land pooling policy stuck because of confusion over classification

    While the Delhi Development Authority notified the Land Pooling Policy a month ago after years of waiting, the project cannot proceed further unless Delhi government classifies the identified agricultural lands as ‘urbanisable’.

    The DDA had notified the policy in May, and was looking to start registration of lands in 89 villages for pooling by August. The matter then went to the Delhi government for consideration, and the DDA hasn’t heard from them since.

    “We are waiting to hear from the Delhi government. Unless that happens, we will not be able to move any further. The land use has to change for us to start building residential and commercial complexes there. As of now, that land is agricultural land,” said a DDA official.

    However, sources said the Delhi government was still considering whether to change the land use, lest they be perceived as being anti-farmer.

    “The plan is to carry out various mohalla sabhas and find out if the residents of these areas want the policy. Once that happens, a final decision will be taken,” said an official.

    “Since the land pooling policy has been notified, land acquisition cannot happen, unless it is compulsory (for public infrastructure projects). So any residential or commercial development in the area will be completely stalled till a decision is taken,” the DDA official added.

    DDA has recognised close to 20,000 hectares of land that developed in North, North West, West and some parts of South West Delhi, spanning 89 villages. According to DDA, even if half this area is developed under land pooling, it would be sufficient to meet Delhi’s housing need of 250,000 homes.

    Under the land pooling policy, land parcels owned by individuals or group of owners can be handed over to DDA which will take a fraction of it and develop the common areas. The remaining will be handed over to the developers.

    The policy is applicable in the proposed urbanisable areas of the urban extensions for which zonal plans have been approved. Even an individual who owns two hectares of land can become a developer, under the project.

    According to the DDA’s land pooling model, there are two categories of land pooling — (i) if the developer owns 20 or more than 20 hectares of land, the DDA will return 60% of the land (ii) if the developer’s land parcel is less than 20 hectare, the DDA will return 48% of land.

    Source: Hindustan Times
    Dated: 30th July 2015

    A blueprint for land pooling

    What is land pooling policy?
    Under the  land pooling policy, the land parcels owned by individuals or a group of owners are legally consolidated, via transfer of ownership rights to the designated land pooling agency which later transfers the ownership back to the land owners. These land owners are then entrusted with the development of such areas.

    Why has DDA introduced the land pooling policy in Delhi in the proposed ‘urbanisable’ areas?
    According to DDA, land acquisition and planned development has not kept pace with the increasing demand of urbanisation during the last five decades. Moreover, the process of acquisition is being increasingly challenged by land owners due to low compensation as compared to the market value. So in the land pooling policy either the developers buy land from farmers at the market rate and hand it over to DDA or the farmers can themselves become developers by tying up with construction companies. This will avert land acquisition complications.

    How much land will a developer get back from DDA?
    According to the DDA’s land pooling model, there are two categories of land pooling – (i) if the developer owns 20 or more than 20 hectare of land, DDA will return 60% of land to him and retain 40%.
    (II) If the developer’s land parcel measures less than 20 hectare, DDA will return 48% of land and retain 52%

    Zones which will be a part of the policy
    According to the land pooling policy, notified on September, 2013, the immediate urban extension is to be in the zones of J, L, M, N and P (I&II).

    How long will it take for the scheme to get operational?
    On November 18, 2014, DDA sent the final regulation of the scheme to the Ministry of Urban Development, which has to give its approval for notification. Once the regulations get notified, DDA will invite developers to apply for deposit of land.

    What’s the minimum size of the land parcel that a developer must have to participate in the land pooling scheme?
    The minimum size of the land parcel that the developer will have to hand over to DDA is five acres.
    He can even own various plots of different sizes in the land pooling zones and the consolidated size of the plots should not be less than five acres.

    How is land ‘returned’?
    According to DDA, whenever it acquires around 60% land from a particular sector of the land pooling zones, it will hold a draw and return land to the developers. It is not necessary that the developer get the same parcel that he handed over to DDA.

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