The land pooling policy will fuel a housing boom in the Capital with 24 lakh dwelling units to become available in the next five years.
As per the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021, based on a projected population of 230 lakh by 2021, Delhi would require an about 24 lakh new dwelling units. Till date, the Delhi Development Authority has built only 11.69 lakh residential units in the city.
Under the policy, the owners will have an option to give their land to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for development. After the roads, and water, power, sewage lines are laid, a part of the developed land will be returned to the owners who can then build apartments on it by partnering with real estate developers.
For implementation of the policy across 89 villages which were declared urbanised on Wednesday, the areas have been divided in five zones — L, N, P-II, K-I and J. The land parcels for development fall west, north-west, south, south-west and north Delhi. The DDA claims it would see the emergence of new sub-cities such as Dwarka that came up in the late 1990s.
Planned housing is also expected to help prevent growth of illegal colonies across the city.
Zone N and L best areas
Of the total five zones, at least two — Zone N and L — have the required physical and economic characteristics to evolve as self-sufficient sub-cities, the Delhi government’s urban development department said.
“Zone N is the best as it is close to NH-10 and has the highest water table of 40-60 feet. It will also be connected by extension of Rithala-Narela Metro line planned under Phase-IV,” an official said. Zone N covers an area of 13,975 hectares and includes villages like Kanjhawla, parts of Bawana, Chandpur, Salahpur Majra, and so on.
Zone L is situated next to Dwarka which recently got a new water treatment facility. It is also the largest pocket with an area of 22,840 hectares and includes parts of Najafgarh, Dichaon Kalan, Qazipur and Samaspur Khalsa.
Zone J is the smallest with just one village, Neb Sarai.
Experts say several areas earmarked for land pooling are already among Delhi’s most water-stressed zones.
“The DDA and Delhi government will have to work together to revive defunct water reservoirs in the city to meet the demand in the newly developed areas,” said Ramesh Menon, director, Certes Realty.
Development in these areas is going to be vertical leading to higher population density which would need a robust water, sewage and transport network. Dwarka was developed as a sub-city too, but it got adequate water supply only two years ago. Similarly, Vasant Kunj too was supposed to be a planned sub-city, but the area too faced water crisis.
“The success of land pooling policy would lie in the coordination between agencies like DDA, MCDs, PWD. Last mile connectivity is also going to be a challenge,” he added.
Benefit for land owners
According to the DDA, the land, which will be returned to farmers, will be like a “gold mine” as they would get fully developed residential pockets that they can later sell off at very good rate. They can even enter into an agreement with developers, which could facilitate building and selling residential units.
Those giving their land will also have to pay an External Development Charge (EDC). When asked if the EDC clause would deter owners from surrendering their plots, a DDA official said, “It is because of this that we have included the provision of waiving off EDC in lieu of 8% developed residential land. We are charging an EDC of Rs.1 crore for 1 acre of land, which comes to around Rs 2,500 per square feet. They are low by the standards in Delhi.”