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.