Delhi: High-rise revolution set to give city 25 lakh new homes

The Union urban development ministry on Tuesday approved land-pooling policy regulations, setting the stage for new apartment blocks to be built on close to 20,000 hectares recognised by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) as developable land in north, northwest, west and southwest Delhi.
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Updated on May 27, 2015 09:37 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

In good news for Delhi home buyers forced to look at NCR neighbourhoods for housing options, 25 lakh new homes may come up within city limits in the next few years.

The Union urban development ministry on Tuesday approved land-pooling policy regulations, setting the stage for new apartment blocks to be built on close to 20,000 hectares recognised by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) as developable land in north, northwest, west and southwest Delhi.

With the government approving a floor area ratio (FAR) — the ratio of a building’s total floor area to the area of the piece of land on which it is built — of 400%, the growth will be largely vertical with 15 to 20 floors in each apartment block, according to DDA officials. Private developers, however, pegged it at around 30 storeys.

Even if half of this area — currently farm land across 89 villages dotting Delhi — is developed under land pooling, it is sufficient to meet the Capital’s housing need of 25 lakh homes, said DDA vice-chairperson Balvinder Kumar.

Under the land-pooling policy, plots owned by individuals or a group of owners, known as a developer entity, can be handed over to the DDA — the nodal authority for all real estate approvals in the city. The DDA develops a portion of the land and hands it back to the developers while keeping the rest to develop common areas — roads, parks, infrastructure. Any individual with at least 2 hectares can become a developer entity.

There are two categories. If the land pooled is above 20 hectares, the DDA will develop 60% of it — 53% as residential area, 5% commercial area and 2% for public and semi-public facilities — and hand it back to the developers, who can then build houses on this. The DDA will keep the remaining 40% of the land.

If the land pooled is between 2 and 20 hectares, the DDA will retain 52% of it while the developers will get back the remaining amount — of which 2% will be for public and semi-public facilities and 3% for commercial purposes.

Over and above the 400% FAR, 15% will be reserved for the economically weaker section. Half of these flats will be sold to DDA at predetermined rates while the developer entity can sell the rest.

Under the rules, if the DDA does not complete the work within the prescribed time, it will have to pay a penalty of 2% of the external development charges (around Rs 5 crore per hectare) for the first two years and 3% for each year thereafter.

Work on the new homes can take off once the Delhi government declares the 89 villages as urban villages and the 20,000 hectares as development area.

The DDA, on its part, has begun talks with agencies that can go to these areas and educate people about the policy. An expression of interest by the authority has received 70 applications so far.

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