A group of traders and residents have written to the Centre, the NCR Planning Board (NCRPB), and the Uttar Pradesh government, besides the Yamuna authority to “check unbridled planning and wastage of land” in the proposed Yamuna township. NCRPB has already objected to massive acquisition of land despite a low population density.
Citing the national urban housing & habitat policy 2007 and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), they have sought a share for economically weaker section (EWS) and low income group (LIG) housing.
The residents claim the Yamuna authority did not follow the EWS and LIG housing concept when it allotted 21,000 residential plots -- all above 300 square metres (sqm) in area and some as big as 4,000 sqm. They say even many builders who were allotted plots in hundreds of acres did not spare a thought for the poor.
A letter sent by the residents to various central and state government departments reads, “The area of plots cannot be categorised as residential. They are for big farms and can be used by the rich.” “Land has been wasted. There has been no consideration of employment generation,” it reads.
The NCR board in Delhi has said the proposed Yamuna township cannot be a ‘metro centre’ as the plan violates town planning norms. NCRPB says the township should be developed as a ‘sub-regional’ centre, which will be a smaller area and prevent “unnecessary acquisition of land”.
While a metro centre can have a population of 10 lakh or above, a sub-regional centre can have a maximum population of 3 lakh. The Yamuna Expressway authority has notified, for planned development, 171 villages with a total area of 584 sqkm for a population of 35 lakh by 2031. NCRPB says settlement of such a vast population is not possible.
“The overall city level density is also very low at 87.5 persons per hectare. It should be between 150-200 persons per hectare,” the NCR board has said. “Low density and unrealistically high population projections mean massive acquisition of prime farmland. The board wants to ensure optimum utilisation of land and has set a population-density benchmark,” said an NCRPB official.