New DDA policy to regulate development in green belt villages on Delhi periphery
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is preparing a policy to regulate development in villages located in the green belt on Delhi’s periphery. DDA officials say the policy, which is tentatively being called the Low Intensity Development Area (LIDA), will soon be put in the public domain.
Currently, no new construction, either residential or commercial, is allowed in the 47 rural villages located on city’s periphery such as Dhansa, Mitraon, Tikri Kalan, Kapashera, parts of Rajokri, Ghumanhera, Bamnoli and Bijwasan.
The new policy, a senior DDA official said, will allow planned development in these villages and make way for institutions, hospitals and big parks to come up. The policy will also be applicable in 23 villages which are currently covered under the Low Density Residential Area (LDRA) policy, notified in 2013.
A total of 70 villages in the urban extensions of the national Capital will benefit from the policy, once it is approved.
“There is a need for planned development in these villages. As these villages fall in the green belt, we will not be allowing large scale development here. But to provide some basic facilities, development of institutions, hospitals etc will be permitted. We will allow only farmhouses in these villages, but there will be some relaxation in the housing component,” said a senior DDA official.
The official added, “The floor areas ratio will be much less than what is approved for any development in the rest of the city in a bid to ensure the green character of the area.”
As per the Master Plan of Delhi-2021, the green belt extends from the boundary of the national Capital “up to a depth of one peripheral revenue village boundary”.
Residents of these villages say that with the population increasing, there is a need for a plan so that people can construct their houses and earn their livelihood. Bhupinder Bazad, president of Master Plan committee of Delhi Dehat Vikas Manch, said, “There are a lot of warehouses in these villages which are currently unauthorised. As the population increases, residents need space to construct new houses and also look for opportunities to earn their livelihood. The policy is the need of the hour. While we need to protect the green lungs of the city, we also have to provide avenues to villagers to earn their livelihood.”
Now a majority of the villages in Delhi have been declared urbanised. Three years ago, the DDA started the process to implement the land pooling scheme in 95 urbanised villages, which are close to the villages in the green belt.
“We can’t rely on farming for our livelihood, as most farmers have small land parcels with them. In the absence of a policy right now, a number of farmers are selling their land parcels where unauthorised colonies are coming up,” said Pradeep Dagar, a resident of Dhansa village in Najafgarh.
Urban planning expert Sabyasachi Das, former planning commissioner with DDA, said, “It is a good move that the DDA is working on a policy for planned development in these villages. But commercial activity shouldn’t be allowed here, as it will destroy the green belt. There is a need to have strict development control norms. While giving permission for development, the focus should be on creating more green spaces on the plot.”